Freelance Writers: How to Partner with Your Competition

Written by Melissa Brewer

Freelance writing is an unstable occupation sometimes. We already have to struggle with dividing our time between marketing our skills, writing queries, and seeking out new clientele. Sometimes there's not enough time; sometimes there's not enough money.

Withrepparttar current economy, many freelance writers wonder if it's time to return to a "steady paycheck." This has always been my personal "backup plan", but atrepparttar 129562 same time, it isn't very logical. The current economy is creating MORE freelancers, and fewer opportunities for full-time staff positions and W-2 paychecks. Many of my dot-com clients are probably atrepparttar 129563 unemployment office or working for "the man" right now. Small businesses have tightened their budgets, and are trying to do as much in-house production as possible.

So much forrepparttar 129564 steady paycheck, right?

Not necessarily. There are hundreds of corporations and government agencies that award large contracts to agencies and groups every year. They don't hire freelancers because their project needs typically require a mixture of graphic design, desktop publishing, editing, and long-term communication strategies. Corporations and government entities typically have a budget and a regular contract with an agency for marketing, PR, and other communications that MUST get used byrepparttar 129565 end ofrepparttar 129566 fiscal year, or it will be allocated to another area. This is great forrepparttar 129567 vendors that they hire; last minute projects are thrown in their laps with bigger-than-anticipated budgets. And usually, they need to outsource to pick uprepparttar 129568 pace...

So how does a freelancer gain access to these opportunities? The key to success in these areas is a little research and a lot of networking. There are many types of contracts that you, as a freelancer, can join forces and gain access to. Here are three ofrepparttar 129569 most lucrative:

1. Government RFP and RFQ's

Government Requests for Proposals (RFP) and Requests for Quotes (RFQ) are typically published inrepparttar 129570 "Public Notices" section of daily newspapers. Honestly,repparttar 129571 descriptions of these services are usually vague -- if you want to bid on these projects, you'll need to contact repparttar 129572 government entity and ask them for their specifications, then write up a lengthy proposal incorporating all of these specs. This can be time-consuming and complicated. You'll also have to fill out paperwork to be considered for all future posted projects.

How can you skip these steps and get in onrepparttar 129573 action? Find your state's Business Registrar's office and keep track of who is winning these RFP's. They typically post a "Notice of Award" for every contract issued on their website. You can also find out information about Federal Agency contracts awarded by visiting their office of procurement's website.

Keep track of who is winning communications contracts. When you see a project awarded, you can pitch your freelance writing services torepparttar 129574 company that won. Congratulate them in your letter, send samples of your writing or your resume, and express interest in that specific contract. You can also offer to help pick up other work while they focus on their new projects. Even if they don't need you now, be sure to follow up and keep track of their accomplishments by visiting their website. Ifrepparttar 129575 government agency is happy with their work, they'll most likely be regularly contracted to inrepparttar 129576 future. If you can establish a repertoire with a government contractor, you'll have a client relationship you can rely on. (At least untilrepparttar 129577 next election, whenrepparttar 129578 government department heads may change!)

Web Writing's Evolution: The Web Content Market for Writers

Written by Melissa Brewer

When It All Began: The First Web Writings

While there weren't many online writers inrepparttar formative years ofrepparttar 129561 web, if you were around then, you know what it was like. What I remember most aboutrepparttar 129562 web back then (the Al Gore days?) wasrepparttar 129563 plain text, 10-point courier font that was consistent with 90% ofrepparttar 129564 websites I encountered. Searchingrepparttar 129565 web was a pain, but readingrepparttar 129566 web on-screen was impossible. Byrepparttar 129567 end ofrepparttar 129568 day I was completely nuts and half-blind. I would print out what looked to be a thousand pages of text and take it home to read and highlight. Even on paper, repparttar 129569 font caused my eyes to be squinty and my head to ache. I probably drank two liters of coffee a day to keep my eyes moving acrossrepparttar 129570 page. The next day I would return torepparttar 129571 school computer and begin again. The web was a pain, but it was still a fascinating source of information that was free and at my fingertips.

A year or two later, web design evolved into flashing text and moving GIF's that danced acrossrepparttar 129572 page. Words were scarce, and oftentimes, filled with unbelievable claims and brazen, nothing's-too-wild hype. There are still a few of these sites up onrepparttar 129573 web today, but consumers shy far away from them when it comes to online shopping. Thank you, Jakob Neilson! While Jakob didn't changerepparttar 129574 writing itself, really, he DID changerepparttar 129575 way it was displayed and warned that blatant commercialism sent customers running for cover. Because of his research (available at millions of websites changed repparttar 129576 way they did business, and learned about relationship building and credibility building. Web designers and writers began to learn and understandrepparttar 129577 nature ofrepparttar 129578 web andrepparttar 129579 process of converting website visitors into loyal readers. Web text became readable, scannable, and interesting. By 1998, I was usingrepparttar 129580 web on a regular basis again. While I still encountered many ugly, unreadable websites, I discovered a few gems and I was hooked onrepparttar 129581 "free information" movement again.

Web Writing Markets Today

Between web designers and web writers,repparttar 129582 web has evolved into a medium that is not only scannable, but also readable. Thousands of websites hire content writers to create interesting, compelling, emotional content for their customers. While it is true that online business has lulled,repparttar 129583 truth is that online content is here to stay. As you may know from a statistics class, there is really no way that 100% of online businesses will crash and burn. For every website that is onrepparttar 129584 web today, there will be two online tomorrow. Web business moves at a quick pace; but as one dot-com crashes and burns, another is submitting their press release to online venues aroundrepparttar 129585 world.

Understandingrepparttar 129586 web writing markets is crucial to success for online writers. Many writers get frustrated because they can't find work or don't know where to start. An understanding ofrepparttar 129587 term "content" is a good start to understandingrepparttar 129588 companies that need content.

Online content today consists of: *Web sales copy *Filler *Articles *Online tutorials *Online user manuals *Newsletter writing *Online press releases *Online journalism *Flash movie scripts *Online game scripts *Online ads

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use