Happy holidays...now back to finding writing leads!

A doodle of mine for your enjoyment!

Well, Christmas has come and passed and we are just about to enter a whole new year...yikes! Where does the time go?! I'm excited as Santa was quite good to this freelance writer and artist this year...hehe. Actually I was really happy to get a bunch of great new art supplies and such, but the best part was being able to spend some time with my younger siblings. If I have not stated to before they are AMAZING!! But here I am back at home getting back to the grind. It seems getting new leads and finding new freelance writing jobs around the holidays is obviously tougher being that many people are off enjoying vacations. So I've taken the time to getting ahead on some projects and then doing some work on the blogs, tying up loose ends, and organizing. Always the most fun, not really.

But in terms of my freelance writing career I've been doing some thinking about what I hope to achieve, what kind of work I want to do, and then where I hope to be a few years from now. I am not one to make New Year's Resolutions because I think that many of them fall flat after only a few weeks, but I think that with the New Year I do want to think about planning my writing and art career. I am happy that I am now at a stable point in finding freelance writing jobs that I am not so stressed out about constantly looking for leads and I want to start focusing on what I want to do next.

In terms of writing there are so many possibility and I think I'd like to get serious about finding an agent for my book, getting my blogs more traffic, and then doing more with my art. Don't get me wrong, I do love writing articles for my clients on various topics and will continue to do so, but I think it would be fun to decide what I want to write about. I'd also like to find higher paying article sources and do some magazine article queries. So I'm not setting resolutions but goals I guess. If anyone else cares to share some goals or thoughts (or resolutions are fine too don't let my bias sound like judgment!) for their freelance writing, freelance art, or anything else I'd love to hear them!

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Educational Craft Projects

I have written dozens of crafts that are great for kids to do on a rainy day or any other time for that matter! Growing up the eldest of four kids it was often me left for babysitting duty and to keep everyone entertained I would come up with lots of fun projects and games. Today as a freelance writer I can then take some of my ideas and submit them to craft and learning sites. Here are a few samples of the crafts I have written as a freelance writing job for an educational site which ties in learning with each project:

Milk Carton Train

Play Pizza Toss

Scrapbook With Envelopes

Pop up Puppets

Make Recycled Plastic Wallets

Compete in the Maccabiah Games

Magnetic Menorah

Make an Oil Lantern

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Latest doodles

Just wanted to put up some of my latest doodles! Enjoy, and you can see the full cards here: http://www.pigspigot.com/app/profile/user/62

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A Little of This and a Little of That

Just a quick one today as I'm actually happy to say I've been busy. :P I think that it can be tough sometimes finding freelance writing work around the holidays because people are just about to head off for vacation or are out of the office and aren't able to reply to a query. It can be hard when you are left with time to fill, and then when you do get a freelance writing job it seems they all come in at once and there just aren't enough hours in the day! It can be unpredictable at times, but that's the nature of the beat I guess.

I'm trying to be able to do more art and stuff between freelance writing jobs because I miss not being able to do that as much. I'm actually happy I found another place to sell some cards to which gives me an excuse to doodle away instead of keep looking for freelance writing leads. I usually feel guilty if I'm not 'working' and instead having fun drawing and creating, so I'm happy I can find some paying freelance art jobs when I can. I would like to be able to venture further into that line of work as well, but like freelance writing it's about getting your foot in the door and that can be tough!

Okay, well I'm off, but wanted to do a quick one. If anyone is out there reading and would like to share what they're doing around the holidays, in terms of freelance writing or art feel free to leave a note! Heck if you'd just like to say what you're doing for the holidays in general don't be shy either. ;)

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Pigspigot Card Contest

Okay, I'm not gonna lie I'm SUPER EXCITED because I won the Naughty Santa Contest at Pigspigot.com! This is a great site I spoke about earlier for freelance artists to get their work out there and create a buzz, hopefully leading to some more freelance art jobs. ;) Anyways if you haven't checked this site out yet, I recommend you do and upload some cards of your own. They have other contests, one coming up in January, so put your thinking caps on. And even if you aren't so artistically inclined you can send out the ones that are already there and available from other freelance artists.

You can check out the results and see some of the other Naughty Santa Cards here: Contest Results.

Hope you guys are all having a great day and ready for the weekend!

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Freelance Writing Jobs You May Not Have Thought Of

There is no doubt an ongoing search for work when you are a freelance writer, and finding jobs can be a bit hit and miss. Freelance writing jobs are definitely out there but sometimes it seems finding them is tough or the particular gigs aren't up your alley or are ones that actually pay that much! I do most of my writing work online for websites and blogs and I was looking for ways to sort of diversify my jobs. I've mentioned a site that I frequently go to, if not daily, for new writing jobs and I am going to speak of them again!

I found a really great post from the Freelance Writer's Journal which is really thorough in siting numerous places where writers can find different work. A lot of the suggestions I hadn't even thought of, and it was great in giving me ideas of where I could further look and connect with businesses and people in need of freelance writers. So I want to post a link to the article and hope it helps you too generate a few good ideas and leads!

Freelance Writing Gigs

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My Query...

Hey there fellow freelance writers! Well, at least I hope a few of you are out there reading today. :) I'm actually excited because I've officially started sending out my query letter to literary agents about my book! I know it is going to be a long road and will be waiting weeks to hear back (hopefully!) but am happy that I got the first wave of them out. My goal is to just send a few out each day until I start hearing back and use that as motivation to really see this novel through. I really do love freelance writing jobs and writing articles, but creative writing is such an outlet for me and I've always aspired to be a published author. So in keeping with that, I've actually got my query letter below and would love any advice, tips, feedback, etc. So feel free to be brutal, be critical, or say what you like! :)

Kendra has always been mesmerized by the whimsy of lithe dancers on stage that tell their stories through movement. Even at the tender age of five, as she sat in the audience, entranced by the ballerinas of the New York City Ballet, she could feel them calling. While many would have assumed that dancing was simply in her blood, and expected the precocious child to follow in her mother's footsteps, that is not what attracted Kendra. She found that time stood still as she performed onstage; the troubles of her life seemed to slip away, and for those few precious moments she
was free of all burdens--weightless.

Abandoned by her mother in order to pursue her own career, Kendra is raised by her loving grandmother whose own health begins to fail. While the old woman is silently reluctant to let her granddaughter enter the very world that was the demise of her own daughter, she continues to be a pillar of support to Kendra. Amid the struggles of passing from adolescence into adulthood, Kendra must further cope with the cruelties of the dance subculture. With the ultimate dream of becoming the next great prima ballerina, Kendra is pegged as the girl to hate by her contemporaries. She is considered the bane of her jealous and retired mother's existence; a woman who finds it impossible to watch the illuminating career of her daughter ignite while only having dim memories left of her own. Kendra is now left to naively navigate the best she can.

As her career looks promising, she is taken under the wing of her coach and mentor, but inner demons of guilt, insecurity, and doubt continue to eat away at her. The doors of opportunity that begin to open up, may be shut inadvertently by her own hand.

DANCING IN THE DARK is a 57,000 word YA manuscript depicting a young dancer's journey to becoming a prima ballerina in her own right. She must step out from the shadows set by her mother's illustrious career, and find the confidence to stand on her own. Wrought with inner turmoil, fueled by passive-aggressive competitors, and pressed with the rigors of training, Kendra could fulfill the dream she is chasing or be left just outside the spotlight.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Marketing and Web Content

Whether a business is working online or off, there are always on the lookout for freelance writers to prepare an array of different written works for them. This includes writing press releases, brochures and fliers, creating web content, and various other types of marketing content. As a freelance writer I have done work in this field and below are a few samples of my work.

Press Releases:

Yes-Shop 1

Yes-Shop 2

Netbook Accessories

Web Page Content:

Simply Hike Squidoo Lens

Simply Snorkel Squidoo Lens

Simply Beach Squidoo Lens

Simply Scuba Squidoo Lens

Simply Swim Squidoo Lens

Business and Website Articles and Product Reviews

Best Weight Loss Pill?

Do Diet Pills Work?

Alii the Diet Pill Revealed

Does Alli Really Work?

What is Resveratrol?

What is Maqui Berry?

Top High Street Brands

What is Acaiberrry?

Does Liponbind Work?

Does Adios Work?

Special LG Brand Features

Should You Upgrade to an LED TV?

Which LCD TV is Best For You?"

TV Ratios and Terms Explained

Which Plasma TV is Best For You?

Why Choose LG?

How To Calibrate Your TV

Choosing the Size of Your TV

What's the Difference Between and LED and LCD TV?

Should You Buy and LCD or Plasma TV?

MOOV Education is Fun to Learn

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Freelance Artist Opportunities

Along with being a freelance writer I do love to dabble in the arts too! I've always been one to doodle in the margins of my papers, and loved to draw, paint, sculpt, and create. I like working with different mediums, writing and words being oen of them, but drawing does hold a special place in my heart. I like to do more realistic art pieces but also find that doing funny or quirky cartoons is fun and relaxing too. I like to write little stories or books for my family and friends and then add in cartoon illustrations.

Okay, so where is this going and what is the point of the post? Well the thing is, just like freelance writing jobs there are freelance art jobs for plenty of different niches. Obviously you can be a bona fide artist, but there are other opportunities as well. There are graphic designers that are needed, logos to be created, cartoons to be sold, and then the greeting card industry. There are tons of freelance artist work out there, and if you have a passion for drawing, painting, digitizing, or any other form of visual arts you can look into it. As an example, there is an awesome site: www.PigSpigot.com that lets you upload your own greeting card designs. They are usually not the more traditional looking ones and definitely have an edge and I like that. They don't pay for their submissions at this time so anyone can upload and create then send their cards and you can use those as examples of your work to submit to other companies. But Pig Spigot does hold card contests for the best designs and always have some awesome prizes. There are numerous greeting card companies that are always looking for submissions and you may want to inquire.

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Writing articles of magazines vs. writing online

So right now I'm thinking about the different opportunities in freelance writing jobs. It seems there are two parallel worlds: online and print. I really do all my writing online and submit for websites, blogs, and marking all over the internet. But the thing that I'm wondering is if it is better to seek out more magazine and paper article submission. Since freelance writing is my career, I have to think obviously about the amount of money that I can make from my articles. From what it sounds like you can make much more per submission to a magazine or newspaper than you can for any online content, websites, or blogs.

I can see that because for blogs the tone and nature is often more casual and shorter in length. But that's not always the case with all online freelance writing jobs because I've written some longer articles and done significant amounts of research for others. But in my experience it seems that per word and assignment you can make a lot more from your freelance writing when you query to magazines, trade papers, and newspapers. But it seems that finding writing jobs online is both easier and you get a speedier return. If you submit a query to a magazine the wait time can be months and if you are stuck waiting to hear back you're sort of, well stuck.

Since being a freelance writer is at time inconsistent in regards to the amount of work; you can be super busy one week then have little to do the next, I'm just trying to find a way to maximize the return for whatever I do. Well, duh, that's everyone's goal right! But again with breaking into the magazine realm it seems like it's a struggle, and right now I've finally gotten to the point where I have a good amount of freelance writing jobs online yet they don't pay as much as I see some magazines offering. So I'm just weighting in my head what to do, and if anyone is reading and has advice or input, do feel free to share!

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Saying good bye on friendly terms

When you are doing freelance writing as a career, you will no doubt (well hopefully that is!) come to a point when it is time to say good bye to some clients and move on to greener pastures, or freelance writing jobs! Whether it be that you have simply tired of the writing work or project, or that you have been able to find better paying freelance writing jobs and can then focus your times on them, saying good bye can be a few things. It can mean that you are getting better at your freelance writing job, which is awesome, and you are able to get better gigs and higher paying clients, that you are shifting gears or topics and you would rather focus your energies elsewhere, or it can simply be that you for whatever reason you just don't want to work with a certain client anymore.

Whatever the reason for leaving a freelance writing job, it is worth noting that unless there are extenuating circumstances it should be done in a way so as no one is left hurt, upset, or angry. In the freelance writing business it's always best to avoid burning bridges whenever we can because you never know when you may want to work with a certain client again or you may need them for a reference. So as tempting as it may be to give them the email equivalent of flipping the bird and shouting, "Sianara, Sucker!" it's usually best not to. And anyways, let's be grown ups about this...hehe.

Personally, I've been thinking about this because one of my clients is just not fitting into what I want out of my freelance writing career. The work is not only usually writing on topics that are so obscure that I don't think that the amount of research time to the payout is worth it, but they are nit picky and often demand lengthy rewrites. And then when they get them they still reject them, and I'm left with an article about toilet seats that I spent time on and end up without getting paid! I'm thankful in that I have been getting more clients that DO pay better for freelance writing jobs and that are more pleasurable to write. Yet I don't want to completely blow off the former freelance writing work as I may never know when I may want to approach them in the future. (Freelance writing as a career can be fickle, and if jobs are slow, we need some way to pay the bills!) While this business has been a headache, I need to avoid telling them where they can shove it, and be a professional myself.

In saying good bye as a freelance writer, we should strive to be cordial and at least civil. Down the road our paths may cross and if you are in need of someone to 'scratch your back', if you were rude to them in the past you can't probably count on trying to itch yourself! Even when I lose out on a prospective freelance writing job I try to reply with a thank you and to keep me in mind email, because in this business contacts mean a lot and you want to have a good reputation if you can! So in closing, I would recommend parting ways on as best of terms as possible; even though I'd rather run a tirade! :)

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Maddening rewrites from nit picky clients

I am still learning the ropes of freelance writing as a career myself, and while I have at least made it to the point where I do have a few reliable clients or freelance writing gigs, I still consider myself a newbie and a work in progress! I am still seeking out better paying freelance writing jobs an better opportunities while still working with what I've got. And so today I come to the point where I must do a bit of venting and see what others have to say who may have been in my same position or are still in my same boat!

When it comes to what a certain freelance writer employer demands of us writers, how much do you think they can expect when they aren't willing to pay us a substantial amount. For instance, I am doing quite a bit of writing for a certain company who will supply a list of articles they need, each 500 words minimum and they will then pay you $7 for each accepted article. Now I know this isn't a great amount, but it's not nothing, so I do submit an decent amount. Yet I am growing ever more frustrated in the fact that they not only frequently demand rewrites with nit picky reasons but that they also reject a lot too.

Case in point, I was told that I was writing with too many 'fancy' words, and one of which they cited was the word ORATE for an article about speech transcription. Throughout the freelance written article I had sentences like, "when the speaker...", "when the talker...", and then "when you are orating..." and I guess orate is now a two dollar word! I'm sorry but you do want some variety in the word choice, no? And now they are having a lot of system troubles in which they claim to not even being receiving my freelance writing articles and then don't pay out. Yet I forward them the previous email that I have showing up in my outbox! ARG!! So frustrating. I just think that if a certain freelance writing job or gig is going to demand a certain amount from their writers, then rewrites, and lengthy invoice procedures they should either pay as such or at least treat us a bit better.

As I'm still learning the ropes and working on getting more freelance writing business I guess it's all par for the course. But it is still annoying and maddening all the same! I'd love to hear anyone else's input, rants, raves, or experiences. At least we can all offer each other some shared commisery! HEHE!!

Keep writing!

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Uncover one of the best freelance writing opportunities

One of the best places to find freelance writing job and business is with other companies and their marketing needs. By writing up not only press releases, reviews, and even web site content, there are a wide array of possible freelance writing jobs withing the business world. Many big and smaller companies circulate newsletters or have a lot of various needs for different writing articles and blurbs, and instead of tying up their own hired workers they will turn to freelance writers. This is great for us writers because they are usually willing to pay better than say other freelance writing gigs and are appreciative of our work because they may not have professional writers on staff.

But how do we find these potential freelance writing jobs? That can be a bit difficult only in the beginning in that you often want to be able to show prospective clients previous work you've done. You can start out by talking to friends and family members who may own their own businesses or know of some companies in need of some marketing freelance writing work, business newsletters, press releases, and any other number of writing related jobs. By getting together a few writing clips, you can then venture to bigger businesses and tout your works.

There are lots of places that could use freelance writers outside of the obvious businesses. Head to local charities, churches, recreational centers, and community centers, as they often have newsletters or announcements that could be written up. If the don't already have one established, show them a few of your freelance writing samples and propose starting one up for them. A great thing to do for your first few clients is to offer them a great deal, build your writing experience, and then let the word of mouth and their recommendations find you new freelance writing jobs. Think outside of the box, and you'd be surprised where a writing gig may pop up!

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Finally finishing what I set out to do...writing that first novel

I've always loved to write. Creating stories, fictional characters, spinning story lines and plots, and writing poems. Creative writing was an outlet for me that I always enjoyed and while I often had lapses in which I was focused on other things, I would usually come back to it in. Through many of my passing phases, my writing, artwork, and running were three things that held my interest. I had dreams of writing an award winning novel, would often start out on a creative writing venture, work away but get stuck somewhere along the way and either start a new writing project or push what I had already written aside as a project to be picked up again at some unknown later date should I ever choose to go back. There I would be left with lots of little unfinished written works, and I had almost resigned to the fact that a full book was outside of my capabilities. That I simply hadn't the patience or concentration to get down THAT many pages, and should stick to short fiction or poetry.

There's nothing wrong with that, in fact I love writing short stories, and poetry if I'm in the right mood, but there was the little part of me that still was remiss that I hadn't actually finished a creative writing piece that was long enough to constitute a novel length story. I do a lot of writing and blogging about fitness and exercise and I'm constantly saying how the mind is the biggest obstacle in our way to achieving our goals. The mind will tell your body you're too tired long before you are ever in danger of actually physically getting to a point where you have to quit. That's the case with long distance running, many people can't fathom the idea of running a certain amount of miles, but with proper training and perseverance you'd be surprised how far you can actually go.

So I thought I should apply this same logic to my writing. I had to stop gulping at the prospect of thousands or words, and instead just take it a day at a time; one sentence at a time. I set a daily goal for myself to write a certain amount of words each day, and found myself actually being able to exceed that amount more often than not. (My obsessive compulsive tendencies definitely started to come out, just as they do with my running!) Eventually I was becoming excited by the prospect that I would actually finish this written novel. As I continued to get the plot and story down onto the page I was growing more excited as I could see the end in sight.

I would get anxious and impatient, simply wanting to get it DONE, but I knew that I wouldn't be happy with the end result if I just rushed it. I did finally finish the project I set out to do. I have the rough draft of my first officially finished novel, and while it is still on the shorter side as far as books go, I do feel proud I finished it. I proved to myself that I could do it; although I still have the mundane task of editing and reworking to do and I by no means and DONE done. And although I may be a freelance writer and have article writing under my belt, I don't' have an agent and getting one's first book published is not an easy task by any stretch!

However, I finished something I had always wanted to do; had set out upon and never fully achieved. I keep that in mind whenever I get frustrated with my own freelance writing, blogging, and articles in that I may not be where I want to be or earning as much as I would hope from my freelance writing career. I am still new to the whole world of freelance writing, but am learning and doing my best to improve upon my skills as best I can. Learning from other and reading tips and advice, I still keep plugging away at my goals because I know that writing makes me happy and that freelance writing as a career is something I want and worth working for!

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Freelance writers unite to build a strong community

One of the great things about the freelance writing community is the willingness to help each other out. For the most part, other freelance writers are more than happy to pass on their advice, help, and experience to those writers just starting out. Whether it be guidance and offering the best places to find freelance writing jobs, strategies on how to most effectively utilize your time, or simply be sounding boards to listen to a rant. Because they know how difficult it can be just starting out on a freelance writing career, they are usually great people to turn to with all your questions.

I often found myself stuck with plenty of questions, confused about the whole freelance writing business and how to get writing jobs, and outside of reading books I found the the best place to go looking for answers was right on the web. Other freelance writers' blogs, forums, and online articles were a source of both tips, advice, and reassurance the the hardest part was sipmly starting out and getting established. Their kind words did much in the way to not only get me freelance writing jobs, but in keeping me inspired to keep at, keep going, and believe in my own abilities. After lots of rejection, many writers often begin to doubt themselves, but hearing that many freelance writers struggle can motivate you to keep plugging away.

There were many places that helped me and provided excellent insight into the freelance writing business, but perhaps the very best place was at the Freelance Writer's Network: http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/ , here was not only tons of articles and resources to get you started and help you along, but also freelance writing leads for you to look for jobs. I found my first gigs there, and continue to visit this site often, as there is always something new to learn because I am still learning and still consider myself a newbie to the whole freelance writing business. So, I hope that in pointing you to this site you too can find answers to your questions and that you take advantage of the generous and forthcoming freelance writing community!

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Don't sell yourself short...

I recently finished up a freelance writing job with a site that was collecting educational craft projects and games for parents to do with their children. The contract was for a total of 25 craft projects, and I actually turned in the whole freelance writing job a few days early. I was happy with my work, felt that I provided what they were looking for, and in fact all of the projects were longer than the requirements. It looked like everything was going fine, until I got an email from one of the people stating that they wanted pictures for every craft!

Well, at this point, it was now a day or two before the deadline, I had already signed the freelance writing contract (and nothing mentioned a picture anywhere) and I was working on other deadlines as well. I simply had no time to put together 25 craft projects and then set up a photo shoot! I replied as much, and then they told me that because of this, they actually were going to reduce my pay by $10 for each written project. Well, now that is $250, and quite a chunk of change. I replied that because I hope to be able to work with then in the future for other freelance writing jobs I guess that is a compromise we must make, but I hope they can appreciate that on my end I lived up to my end up the bargain and turned in the work, and would hope that in the future there wouldn't be any amendments to the writing job contract after it is already signed and the articles submitted.

I was disappointed, but felt that at least I stuck up for myself. A few days later, I received an email stating that they can see my point, and will honor the freelance writing job contract as it stands. Yea, victory for me. :) I think the point I am trying to make is that I could have simply told them, okay, fine and left it at that and swallowed the loss. And actually that is something I probably would have done not too long ago, but I figured that I had nothing to lose it stating my point of view and sticking up for myself. I put a lot of time and energy into the freelance writing job and did what I was asked to do. I didn't send an irate or mean spirited email, I just stated exactly what happened and how I felt. In doing so I was rewarded not only in terms of getting the actual payment that was promised, but I feel good that I didn't sell myself short.

The thing is, as freelance writers, we do sometimes get a raw deal. Clients skip out on paying or you simply never hear from them again. In today's age, the anonymity of email correspondence makes it easier to do this. If someone is standing in your office and decides they don't want to pay, it can be trickier to skip the bill. Not so from the safety of a computer screen. So if you are met with differences in regards to getting paid for your freelance writing jobs, stick to your guns. You put in the work, and you should get compensated for it!

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Going above and beyond

Generally when you first start out freelance writing for a career, you are met with admittedly less than to be desired amounts of payment for your freelance writing works. That's the nature of the beast, as in order to gain the higher paying freelance writing jobs you need to have clips, or previous works, to show your potential hirees. So in completing these early assignments, freelance writers may be tempted to simply muddle through and do what is being asked, but not too much more.

Okay, so you may be thinking that's what you should be doing, because I said in a previous posting that you should dedicate an appropriate amount of effort and time to the amount you are getting paid for each freelance writing job. So you would think that if you are only getting $5 an article, then they should be happy to receive something that is at least legible and in English! Well, let me backtrack a bit in saying, you need to earn that right as a freelance writer. You can't simply crank out, well, crap, and expect to then have enough good quality freelance writing clips and satisfied clients who will recommend you in the future. So yes, early on you will be working harder on those lower paying freelance writing jobs, but you will be building your credentials, experience, and your brand.

And by being extra attentive and willing to provide your freelance writing clients with sometimes more than they would have expected, you can be they will be all the more willing to not only work with you on future projects, but then even give you better paying and more desirable freelance writing jobs. This is how I got my best client. I started out writing articles for $4 each, not too much money at all, but I always did my best and did them promptly. I was early on deadlines, and even helped her out when other freelance writers didn't get their own assignments to her on time. I busted by butt to get done a bunch of work she needed done that day, and she then began offering me better freelance writing articles and other projects much more often.

Staring out freelance writing is the hardest part, but once you get those first few clients and do those writing jobs to the best of your ability, the better projects will come. Then, you can earn the right to pass on the lower paying jobs!

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The Importance of Article Marketing

Freelance writing for a career entails much more than simply writing. Although as a freelance writer we get to do what we love to do, and that is write, but at the same time we must also be our own marketers, build our brand, and in essence sell ourselves which is our product. You have to get your work noticed in order to get freelance writing jobs. That's why today it is so important to have a platform to show your freelance writing work to potential clients and the best way to do that is through a website or blog.

Once you have set up a blog or site for your freelance writing business (Because you are small business!) you need to get it out there. To do that you need to promote your blog and there are a number of ways to get the traffic you need for people to come to your freelance writing site and then give you the chance to work with them. One such tactic is through article marketing. Article marketing is excellent for a freelance writer because it part of what we are good at and is part of our career of choice. What you do with article marketing is write a number of articles a week and then submit them to various internet article hosting sites. There, you will gain exposure and the all important backlinks that people who read your article at the host site will then find a link back to your freelance writing website or blog.

Some of the best article database sites to submit your freelance articles to to get those backlinkds are ezinearticles.com, buzzle.com, amazines.com, and ideamarketers.com. When you submit to these sites it is free for you, you retain all rights to your freelance articles and so you can then get your work out there with links directly back to your freelance writing website or blog. Starting a freelance writing business is tough to get going and gaining traffic, but with hard work, fortitude, and time it can be done!

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Freelance Writing Articles vs. Blogging

In thinking about the differences between freelance writing articles and using a blog as the platform for the majority of your writing and making your money that way, I'm often left wondering how to best find the balance between the two. There is of course the potential of making a decent income in either of these freelance writing markets, but with article writing it seems that the writer is reliant on what the employer or magazine wants whereas with blogging you can take the content and topics into your own hands. Basically, it is with blogging that the freedom to write whatever you want to, whatever moves you, and whatever you are most passionate about. This of course is appealing to any freelance writer, or anyone in general.

In building a successful blog, however, any freelance writer or blogger needs to do a lot more than simply post. Getting a following through networking, building your brand, and getting your voice out there are all integral parts of the process. For if you have a kick butt blog, but no one is reading it, what does that get you? The fact is, making money off of blogging takes a lot of work, energy, networking, and times. The reward is of course being able to dictate what you write and post, but you have to be willing to put in the necessary work and energies.

As for freelance writing articles, the hard part is simply finding an interested party or a writing gig. Freelance writing jobs are wrought with competition, and you have to present an intriguing query or submission, or prove you are the best candidate for the job. The other aspect of freelance writing articles and assignments for others is that if freelance writing is you only source of income, you are reliant upon what they are willing to pay. And if you are just starting out, many of the freelance writing jobs don't pay as much as you hope or in relation to how much actual time and research the project entails.

It is here that I come to the question of: how much time do you invest in each of these freelance writing ventures so that you can build your brand and your blog while still freelance writing articles in order to make enough money. You need to write, sometimes less than desirable projects to earn a salary, but you still want to designate enough time to your own blog so that you can keep building it up and eventually one day make that your full time priority. Anyone is urged to weigh in with their thoughts!

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Rising up Among the Masses

With much of what we read coming from online sources, the freelance writing market is fast becoming more internet based than solely in printed form. This can be great, as you can almost instantly reach a wider fan base, but at the same time, it gives everyone and anyone license to say virtually anything. Along with that, credible sources get lost in the shuffle of 'experts' and one never really knows where sources or articles are coming from. It seems that everyone and their dog has a blog of their own, and are more than willing to share with the world, from everything from what needs to change, to the move captivating revelations going on in their lives...did I mention that I switched toothpaste brands?! Freelance writing and blogging has been granted to the masses, and those hoping to make a successful writing career must push all that harder to get noticed.

With that, the online world is constantly being bombarded by articles, blurbs, and snippets, which can make it all the more difficult for those freelance writers to actually DO good work and get their services and articles out there. SEO keyword writing is a major player in getting your words picked up and noticed by search engines, but that is a difficult beast to master. It seems that with a wider availability allowing everyone to voice their thoughts, you no longer have to like or have a particular knack for writing to be success in any type of freelance writing or online marketing, as long as you cram enough keywords into the text and market like a fiend.

It makes it a bit unfair, I feel in my humble opinion, to those who are looking to write good quality works, but aren't quite as up to speed on the evolving internet techniques. Finding freelance writing work can be tricky, with tons of competition, and writers willing to work for pennies an article. If a potential job listing gets a hundred responses, and someone offers to do the work for $5 a piece, and another candidate's price is higher, who would you choose? Between competitive pricing, experience also comes into play; which puts freelance writers just starting out at a big disadvantage. Still, you have to hope that if you continue to produce good quality work, it will get noticed in the end. In the meant time, we must polish our SEO skills and cede to the fact that it's no longer enough to simply love to write and be willing to do your best on each assignment. Freelance writers need to think of themselves as marketers and actively sell their work. Good luck freelance writers of the world!

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Write for the Particular Job

Being a freelance writer for your sole source of income is a great job in that it allows you to do what you love for a living, but is also difficult because let's be honest, for most of us it doesn't pay in the way of any brain surgeon! Actually, just starting out can land you in the position of making less than those lucky few flipping burgers at the local McD's. The thing is, not only is there stiff competition for freelance writing jobs, but many of the offers don't pay very much and still require a good amount of time and research invested into each project.

This lands us freelance writers in a tough position, because often times we are also a tad perfectionistic and want only our best work represented when we submit and put our names in the byline. But, this can get us in trouble, if we are investing hours into an article that only pays $5 or $10. The thing is, you want to supply quality, but at the same time you are a working individual and can't devote copious amounts of time on jobs that aren't paying that much. That's why it is imperative to hone your skills to be both efficient, but realistic enough to know when to say, "This article is DONE."

A big part of the freelance writing business in effective time management. That being said, you need to assign your projects according to how much they are worth in what you are going to be paid, how soon they need to be submitted, and how much work or research each one is going to take. For an article that you are being paid more, the amount of time and subsequent care and quality going into the article can be higher. Moving forward, for something that is paying you only in the single digits, you can afford both time wise and money wise to spend the same amount, if not more, time on this work than the higher paying jobs. You need to be able to, yes submit a decent article, but you can't be meticulous and go into as much research and detail as you may be tempted to. In doing the smaller paying articles, it goes without saying that they aren't going to be masterpieces or the next front page article, they are fillers and you should be able to get through them fast enough to get multiple ones done and then move to the next task. Especially if you have a few different deadline to focus on.

It is always tough letting go of some of that perfectionistic attitude, but it is part of being successful in freelance writing. Because, after all, while we are doing what we love, we are still trying to earn a decent living!

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Persistence is the Word

Freelance writing as a career is tough to break into. Most of the jobs you apply for want to previous work or references, but if you are new and don't have much in the way to offer up, you are stuck in a sort of nasty circle. In order to get a job you need previous experience and work, but in order to get that, you need writing jobs! It can frustrating, and downright mind-numbing at times sending out queries, replying for gigs, and a writer not only needs to have the ability to write, but outfitted with a thick skin, persistence, and patience.

Generally, jobs aren't going to fall into your lap, and unless you know someone with connections or are lucky enough to serendipitously find an easy way into the market, you will be out trolling for possible leads. Online has quickly become the best way to do this, and by searching sites you can find postings from people seeking article writers, bloggers, and other writing contributions. From there, it's just a matter of putting yourself out there time and time again, and never giving up. Honestly, these posting get hundreds if not many more replies from writers looking to fill the position, so there is tough competition. But, if you truly are willing to put the time and work into it, eventually you will get your first few replies. You'll make it to the final rounds of interviews, and ultimately...*drumroll* the first few jobs! Yes, it is possible, but don't fool yourself, it's going to come with lots of rejection first, and even after that, you can't have low self-esteem and be a successful writer. Pick yourself up and keep on going back for more, in the mean time, write...on everything and anything. Practice, and if you have a blog write there and work on your craft. If you don't have a blog, I'd suggest starting one, if for nothing more than getting the words out there.

Good luck my fellow writers and have the fortitude to keep going back out there!

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Cartoons and Cards

I have created cards that can be purchased or sent online, and they can be viewed at:

PigSpigot Greeting Cards

I love to poke fun at pop culture and everyday oddities and turn those thoughts into humorous cartoons to share!

Fitness Articles

I am an avid runner, well more closely a border-line obsessive, and being that I love to learn about the latest fitness and health related topics, I generally write about them. I am currently contributing to a few different sites on just that, including being Portland's Senior Fitness Examiner. Below you can visit my links and read my different articles!

Portland Senior Fitness Examiner

Run Portland Training Log

'The Power of the Core'

'Back to School Shape-up'

'Dining Smart at McDonald's'

'Dining Smart at Taco Bell'

'Dining Smart at Carl's Jr.'

'Dining Smart at Wendy's'


Ethical Consumption Blogger at Justmeans

Second Ethical Consumption Blogger for External Justmeans

So You Want to be a Welder, eh?

Meeting to Address Global Warming

Reducing our Impact but Increasing it in Another Way

The North Pole to Become the North Lake?

Eco-ize Your Halloween

Make the Most Money From Your Welding Job

What to Expect on a Welding Certification Test

Are You Ready to go it Alone in the Welding World?

Oh the Possibilities: Many Welding Projects

Welding Projects: Let Your Hobby Take Flight

Find the Best Welding Helmet - What You Need to Know


She sits beside her fireplace, quietly rocking.

Back and forth, back and forth.

Silently contemplating:

Lost in the past, ignoring the present, not yet ready to accept the future?

All is still, all is calm;

Nothing moves, not the slightest sound of life around her.

Her only companion, the potted fern,

Dutifully fulfilling its place in life,

Growing with water, seeking the sun, expanding its roots.

There it sits alone on the window sill;

While it’s master is seated in her own isolation.

What is she thinking, in time to the back and forth, back and forth?

Perhaps musing on memories past, opportunities taken or lost,

Regrets or shortcomings, elations or sweet accomplishments?

Maybe brought back to an era few still alive to recall,

Living life vicariously through lapsed memory.

Alternatively, she is mentally wandering among more of the mundane:

Chores, grocery list, errands, or bills.

No one watching to ask what could possibly occupy her thoughts,

No one there to care.

The clock ticks in time with her rocking,

Ever back and forth, back and forth.

Fire dimming just slightly,

Casting the only lighted shadows across the floor.

Moon having risen, stars slightly visible through scattered clouds,

Little light encompasses our mute persons.

Owls and bats fly freely outside,

Birds of prey in the endless cycle of predatory habits.

Blankly programmed slates simply driven by primal urges;

Next meal, next need, next act of survival.

Yet this seated creature much more complex,

Unable to simply live to exist.

More is beyond the surface, a prize yet a burden;

Not so simply this life to be lead.

Possible troubled angst on one side,

Potential happiness fulfilled on the other;

A pendulum to be swung one way or another.

Back and forth, back and forth.

At times resting on this journey,

Motion is halted and balance is found.

Yet constant changes quake this swing back to motion;

Choices, decisions, actions.

Not all are in our power-left to fate,

Others solely conscious, and put in motion by one’s own hand,

Still some simply repercussions combinations of two.

What twists of fate,

Or is it by personal regard does this heavy thinker rock

Back and forth, back and forth?

Could loneliness reside within that beating heart,

Aching for something lost or perhaps never fulfilled?

Conversely is it perfect contentment found in her present company:

A fern of no words.

What brews below this surface one wonders;

Troubled unease, aching pines,

Pleasant acceptance, anticipated hopes?

As each being is so layered,

Only obliged to share as much as one pleases,

One soul truly knows itself.

How well one may see another is only through the window they open

Decidedly as far to their liking.

What light they cast outwardly dimmed and brightened

Exclusively by their own kindling.

She sits beside her fireplace, quietly rocking

Back and forth, back and forth.

An enigma, a mystery to all the outside.

Sweetly contained in the safety of her abode but also her mind;

What weighs on this delicate soul?