You Just Lost Your Biggest Client…Now What?

Illustration by Ramiro Roman, Jr.

Illustration by Ramiro Roman, Jr.

And you thought paying your taxes was depressing! (It was “Tax Day” here in the United States yesterday).

When it comes to clients, freelance writers tend to follow a fairly specific pattern. It doesn’t matter how many clients we have in total — there are always two who stand out the most. We have our “favorite” client (the one who treats us with the most respect, offers up fun side perks, and is all-around awesome to work for no matter what the pay scale) and we have our “money” client (the one who pays the most). We often call the latter our “biggest” client because, well, they account for the “biggest” chunk of our income.

Even if your “biggest” client isn’t your “favorite” client, they’re still immensely important. They’re the client who’s funding your dream life — your career as a freelance writer — in the most literal sense. When you pay your bills each month, they’re the one you thank. And each day you don’t have to go back to working the fast food drive thru, you give a grateful hat tip to their mighty wallet.

So what happens when you suddenly lose your “biggest” client?

…Oh, @#$%! See more ›

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Posted in Freelance Life, Freelancing, Freelancing Advice, Time Management, Uncategorized

Book News and New Update Schedule!

ghostwriterHello, Everyone!

A few of you super fans/cyber stalkers already know what I’m about to say…

I’m in the process of writing a book on ghostwriting/ghostblogging!

It’s called LittleZotz Writing: School for Ghosts and it’s coming out September of this year. I’ve already got it outlined, have written several chunks of it, and I’ve hired these amazing artists to draw the cover and inner illustrations:

The book is filled with material that has never appeared on any of my blogs, and never will. It’s fresh, it’s informative, and it’s fun. I’m really excited about it.

And I’d love to get your input! 

I’ve been doing my best to cover everything about ghostwriting/ghostblogging I can possibly think of, but if YOU have a question: Now’s the time to ask it! Send me your question(s) about ghostwriting and/or ghostblogging and I’ll make sure to answer it in my upcoming book!

What Does This Mean for the LittleZotz Writing Blog?

Well, unfortunately, the update schedule for this blog is going to be changing. Here’s how things will work for the next few months: See more ›

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People I Know: Sophie Lizard

Sophie Lizard is the owner of Be A Freelance Blogger, one of the most well-renowned “information for bloggers” websites in existence today. She’s a blogger, a copywriter, and she’ll help you live your blogging dreams…even if she has to kick your butt to make it happen!

Sophie Lizard

Sophie Lizard

How I Know Sophie

Similarly to former PIK interviewee Breanna Armstrong, I was first introduced to Sophie through Muay Thai blogger Mike LeNg. He had come across her blog, Be A Freelance Blogger, and thought that I would love it. He was right.

I became an avid reader of Sophie’s work and an active member in the BAFB community. Sophie took notice, doing a little research of her own…on me! She ended up contacting me in regard to my first free e-book, LittleZotz Writing: Adventures in Freelancing, to let me know she was adding it to her first list of free resources for bloggers.

Not long after, she hired me as BAFB’s “community manager.” And we’ve been working together ever since! See more ›

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WordPress Basics: Running Your Own Business

WordPress Logo

Pic source: WordPress.org

Let’s get technical this week, shall we?

A couple months ago, I attended one of Danny Iny’s “Passion, Purpose, and Prosperity” webinars. The webinar was a way for Danny to not only gain awareness for his Audience Building Masterclass, but to legitimately help his knowledge-hungry audience.

And while I didn’t end up joining the class (sorry, Danny!), something he said ended up rattling around in my head, weeks later. Something that I found so important, I wrote to him for a direct quote:

“Every business owner should at least know the basics of the tech they’re working with. Don’t be the person that has to run to their ‘website guy’ for every little thing — the reason you got WordPress in the first place is because it’s so easy anyone can use it.”

~ Danny Iny

I’ve run into this so many times with my own clients — and even my fellow writers! They sign up for a WordPress website because it’s “easy” and it’s the “hot new thing”…and then they do nothing with it. They’ve given themselves all that wonderful control over their businesses; and yet they refuse to use it!

Does that sound familiar? I hope not!

If you’re guilty of this, you’re not only needlessly holding yourself back, you might also be getting hosed financially. That “deep HTML fix” your “web guy” insists you need might be as simple as logging in, clicking the left-hand sidebar, and changing a word in the menu bar. (i.e. changing “Blog” to “Writing Advice”).

You don’t have to run your website completely on your own if that’s not your thing, but you should at least know enough about the technology you’re working with to not get hoodwinked. Of course, real “deep HTML” fixes might be needed from time to time; but, with a WordPress site, it’s not as likely.

Most of the problems and little tweaks you encounter are things you can do on your own — easily! Save those “let me call my tech guy” moments for when you really can’t figure it out on your own.

“I don’t know how to do it” and “I’m not a tech person” are just excuses. And crappy ones at that! Because I’m about to blow your mind and show you the Top 15 common WordPress issues that I’ve been asked about (or have had to fix myself) and how to fix them. Because are you running your business or aren’t you?! Come on! Let’s do this!

15 Common WordPress Problems/Questions and Their Solutions See more ›

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Posted in Freelance Life, Freelancing, Freelancing Advice, Time Management, Uncategorized

Launch a Freelance Writing Career [LIVE Webinar Event!]

Lauren Tharp QuisticHi, Everyone!

I am thrilled to announce that Quistic has invited me to help instruct their “Launch a Freelance Writing CareerLIVE webinar event!

Date: March 24 – 28th (5 days!)

Start Time: 4:00pm PST/7:00pm EST (1 hour each day!)

What: This amazingly informative 5-day webinar promises to teach you everything you need to know to feel confident getting started as a freelance writer! From “The Basics” to the intricate details of personal online branding, you’ll learn exactly what you need to know to get off on the right foot and start earning what you deserve — in the career you’ve always dreamed of.

Who: Each day is instructed by a different professional freelance writer. In addition to myself, you’ll be getting killer information from Dana SitarStephanie AuteriKelly Gurnett, and Jessica Lawlor!

How Much: $47.00 USD (Around $9 per lesson/day!)

Save Your Seat!Need More Information?

See more ›

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People I Know: Lawrence Montaigne

Lawrence Montaigne is a retired actor, dancer, and “occasional” stuntman. He’s also a freelance writer and a great guy. Just don’t call him “Larry.” He hates that.

Lawrence Montaigne

Lawrence Montaigne

How I Know Lawrence

Back in 1999, my friend Nicole and I were dropped off at school early one morning. Not particularly eager to get on with our 8th grade classes, we decided to head over to the local donut shop and blow our lunch money on treats rather than head up to the school like we were supposed to.

We, being fickle teens, couldn’t decide what to buy. Growing frustrated with our indecisiveness, the clerk suggested, “How about a bag of donut holes?” To which I replied, “What? Like a bag of nothing??” See more ›

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How NOT to Treat a Fellow Freelance Writer

Illustration by Ramiro Roman, Jr.

Illustration by Ramiro Roman, Jr.

To quote one of my favorite movies: “You are violating my territorial bubble!”

I’m always telling writers that one of the best things about “going freelance” is getting to be a part of the freelance writing community. In fact, in my monthly column over on A Writer’s Bucket List, I even went so far as to say that it’s a big mistake not to connect with fellow writers. And I meant it.

For the most part, you couldn’t imagine a better group to be in. However, as my business continues to grow in popularity, I’ve also noticed a growth in another area: Off-putting interactions. See more ›

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People I Know: Dana Sitar

If you’re a blogger or indie author, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with this month’s interviewee. Read on to find out how Dana Sitar — blogger, author, and publishing coach — got her start…and what she’s going to do next!

Dana Sitar

Dana Sitar

How I Know Dana

In early 2013, I opened up an e-mail from Writer’s Digest and was greeted with this article: “5 Things That Should Be On Every Writer’s Bucket List.” It was written by a guest columnist and I loved what she had to say.

So much so that I purchased her book, A Writer’s Bucket List. I also subscribed to her newsletter (which ended up helping me become a bit of a “local celebrity”).

That guest columnist was Dana Sitar. And I’m still a huge fan.

Dana is also my kick-butt editor! In October 2013, she offered me my own monthly column — Freelance by Lauren — on her amazing blog. And, each month, she makes sure that my posts are uploaded on time, formatted beautifully, and get the attention they deserve. She’s a joy to work with and I hope to do so for a long time to come.

Read on to see what makes Dana tick! See more ›

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Building Your Ghostwriting Portfolio When Most of Your Assignments are a Secret

FWAlogo

Hey there!

This week, instead of the usual LittleZotz Writing blog post, you’re in for a special treat! I was the featured guest on The Freelance Writer’s Academy podcast this week.

It was an honor to be on the show. We discussed one of my favorite writing topics: Ghostwriting.

Throughout the 36-minute interview, you’ll learn: See more ›

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“My Client Just…”

Illustration by Ramiro Roman, Jr.

Illustration by Ramiro Roman, Jr.

I’m trying a thing here. If you like it, I’ll do it again.

I get a lot of questions (usually via e-mail) from readers. Sometimes I answer them as a blog post and sometimes I answer them as a video. This time, I’m taking a lump of similar questions and answering them all at once.

Make sense? Great.

Here we go!

“My client just… used a terrible image to accompany my writing.

Oof. Been there.

A lot of times this is simply a matter of taste. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who will look at the image that accompanies this post and deem it “terrible.” (But they’re wrong. Cat butts are hilarious).

You were hired to write. And if the client is happy with your writing and is paying you well, you should be happy too! It’s their website, so they get to choose the images. That’s just how it is.

However, if your writing is attempting to help them sell something (copywriting), and you know the image they’ve chosen will hurt their sales: Speak up. See more ›

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