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7 Things You’ll Need to Know Before Becoming a Managing Editor

meditating editor
Illustration by Ramiro Roman

After just over five years of being the Managing Editor of Sophie Lizard’s Be a Freelance Blogger, I finally said “so long” to the job.

Why? Well, long story short, it’s because I’m now a full-time content editor for Syed Balkhi’s Awesome Motive, and I simply didn’t have time for BAFB anymore.

However, five years as a Managing Editor is a long time. Especially in the fast-paced online world. Five years can feel like a decade, especially where learning and experience comes into play.

There‘re so many things I wish I’d known before starting my career as a professional Editor. I learned, of course; but fumbling around using “trial and error” tactics was brutal at times. I desperately wanted someone “in the know” to tell me “THIS is what you should expect, and what you should do…”

But, hey! Now I’M that “in the know” person. And I have the power to tell YOU what you should expect, and what you can do.

So, without further ado, here’s a list of seven things you’ll need to keep in mind if you plan on becoming a Managing Editor: Continue reading “7 Things You’ll Need to Know Before Becoming a Managing Editor”

Lauren Tharp is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers.

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3 Powerful Productivity Tips to Become a Better Freelance Blogger

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Becoming an efficient blogger with a productive way of working is crucial to success.

It’s unlikely that your blog will fail from a lack of love for your topic. After all, you took the time to get started. That’s more than most people with an idea will ever do.

It’s more likely that life will throw curveballs that make it difficult to stick to your original vision. Unless you treat your blog as a priority, a ‘must’ rather than a ‘should’, it’s easy to let it stagnate and die.

If you want to give your blog every advantage, read on to discover:

  • How tech can help you stay focused while blogging
  • How mapping out your creative process can help you stay productive
  • How a strict schedule can make your blog resilient to life’s challenges

Continue reading “3 Powerful Productivity Tips to Become a Better Freelance Blogger”

Dave Chesson teaches authors advanced book marketing tactics at Kindlepreneur.com. He likes sharing in-depth, actionable guides, such as his recent comparison of the best book writing software. Dave loves geeking out about sci-fi in his spare time and immersing himself in nerd culture.

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Six Tips to Keep You Productive When Working from Home

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Staying productive and on task when you work from home can be super challenging, but, if you’re a freelancer and your home is also your office you absolutely need to nail this if you want to succeed.

Getting everything done just as you want it and on time can be one of the hardest things to get right when transitioning from office life to working for yourself at home.

When I first started working from home I’d get up just before I needed to be at my desk and then spend the morning working in my pyjamas.

I’d make regular trips to the kettle, potter around the kitchen, and, before I knew it, it was 11am which meant time for a break. I’d eat biscuits, stick on Netflix then sit at my PC to work without focusing on anything in particular.

Soon enough it’d be 3pm and I’d done pretty much nothing.

I did this for two weeks before realising I was getting nowhere and would be back in a ludicrous 9-5 office job in no time if I didn’t get my act together, pronto!

Now I successfully work from home as a freelancer and here I share my top tips for how to stay on task and be sure the job gets done when your office is also your living space. Continue reading “Six Tips to Keep You Productive When Working from Home”

Emma Lander is a freelance copywriter who writes for technology companies that are working to improve our lives and/or the environment.

She has a degree in Creative Writing with Business Management and has worked for a number of years in the IT industry.

She is an AI, VR & FinTech enthusiast and loves writing about these topics.

When she’s not writing for clients she can probably be found working on her YA manuscript, cycling or playing Rocket League.

Follow her on Twitter @EJLander or say Hello over on LinkedIn.

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EXACTLY What It Takes to Be a Managing Editor

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Last week, I asked you, the readers, what you’d like me to write about next. The response I got most often was “What are the duties of a Managing Editor?”

That’s a great choice! But, boy – this is going to be a LONG post.

I’m the Managing Editor of both a news site and Be a Freelance Blogger. So I have some personal experience in this particular area. I’ve also seen the Managing Editors of the publications I’ve written for in action.

The basic duties of a Managing Editor in today’s online world boil down to this:

Accepting and rejecting pitches. Some publications hire a separate Pitching Editor for these duties but, most of the time, they fall onto the shoulders of the ME.

Editing writers’ posts. As a Managing Editor, you’ll not only be looking for typos and grammatical errors in the posts you intend to publish, you’ll also be making minor rewrites to get the “tone” of the overall article correct, and you’ll also be keeping an eye out for a Call to Action (CTA) at the end so that the post’s final goal is fulfilled (getting shared/getting comments/selling something/whatever).

Uploading and formatting posts. It’s your job to make the posts look pretty before they’re published. This means adding in headers, enhancing certain sentences, adding in a photo or video, etc.

Writing posts yourself. As a Managing Editor you’ll often be called upon to write certain posts yourself. Generally, when something needs to be done RIGHT – and is “too hard” for your stable of writers – you’ll have to take on the task of writing the post yourself. Or, if you’re a publication that accepts guest posts and your buffer has run dry, it could be up to you to fill in the gap in the schedule. So don’t think your writing skills are going to go to waste just because you’re an editor now!

Maintaining a uniform social media presence. Again, some publications hire a separate person to take on the duties of updating the publication’s social media accounts. But, as the Managing Editor, it’ll be your duty – if not to write the updates yourself – to at least take a peek at what’s being written to make sure it’s “on target” with the publication’s overall branding/message. You may also have to edit copy before it’s sent out.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten the “basics” out of the way, I’m going to share some helpful tips to get all you aspiring Managing Editors out there on the path to success! 🙂 Continue reading “EXACTLY What It Takes to Be a Managing Editor”

Lauren Tharp is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers.

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6 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Writing Partner

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

I was a lone wolf in the writing and editing business for years. And, for the most part, I still am. However, recently, I’ve partnered up with two magnificent writers to form The Real Freelancer’s Resource Vault (with Samar Owais) and The Positive Bloggers (with Monique Muro).

Choosing a writing partner isn’t easy. I’d had failed attempts at collaborations in the past. There were projects that never quite got off the ground, projects that started and then collapsed, and even projects that were finished but never actually published. It was pretty frustrating!

However, after teaming up with two wonderful writing partners, I think I’ve finally got the magic formula for what it takes to succeed.

If you’re looking to partner up with another writer, keep these six elements in mind: Continue reading “6 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Writing Partner”

Lauren Tharp is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers.

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FREE Writing/Business Goals Workbook!

familyphoto

Hey, Everyone!

I’m having a rough week due to issues with my health, so I’m going to keep this week’s blog post short.

Every year, I make myself a little workbook to reflect on the year that’s passed and plan out my freelance writing/business goals for the future year.

This year, I’m sharing that workbook with all of you!

Personally, I like to print mine out and fill it in with glitter gel pens and add drawings and whatnot to the pages. However, you can probably fill it out digitally too if you prefer (or don’t own a printer).

Click the link below to get your FREE PDF and have fun filling it out! 😀

–Lauren*

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE WORKBOOK!!!

Lauren Tharp is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers.

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The Seven P’s of Perfect Freelancing

the letter p

Whenever my my mentoring clients ask me what makes a “perfect” freelancer, I always end up using a lot of “P” words to make my point.

It’s become such a common question in my sessions that I decided to make a blog post about it.

If you’ve ever wondered what elements make up a great freelancer, this is the post for you.

Here are my seven favorite “P” words to describe freelance writing success: Continue reading “The Seven P’s of Perfect Freelancing”

Lauren Tharp is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers.

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How to Meet Deadlines While Avoiding Burnout

There are a lot of things that cause freelancers stress, but deadlines are one of the worst. How do you meet them without getting overloaded?

Illustration by Ramiro Roman.
Illustration by Ramiro Roman.

Would you hire someone to do a job the night before it was due? Of course not. You’re probably thinking, “That would be unreasonable.”

However, as a freelancer, you’re bound to have a client or two who think you have an endless amount of time on your hands.

In my experience, every client thinks they’re your only client.

But, remember, they’re your client, not your boss. YOU are your boss. So YOU get to set the deadlines. Their deadlines are not your deadlines.

No matter how badly you need the money, never feel pressured to take on a “rush job” if you feel you can’t complete it to perfection. Sacrificing quality for speedy delivery can come back and bite you in the butt in the long run. You also don’t want to put yourself in a position with a client where they consider your “rush job” turn-around as your “norm.”

Note: It’s perfectly within your rights as a freelancer to charge an extra “fee” if a client insists on a rushed deadline. Just remember: You do not have to accept the project if you don’t feel right about it.

9 Tips to Meet Deadlines While Avoiding Burnout

Here are nine of the things that I do to meet all of my deadlines without losing my sanity. I have confidence that you can make these tips work for you as well! Continue reading “How to Meet Deadlines While Avoiding Burnout”

Lauren Tharp is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers.

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How to Set Your Rates as a Freelance Writer

Every freelancer has to decide for themselves what they want to charge, but this post is a good place to start your thinking process.

going rates
Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Let’s get one thing out of the way before we start: Rate setting is going to vary depending on who you are and what you do. What works for me may not work for you. But, that said, here’s what works for me:

How to Figure Out the “Going Rate”

You always want to be fair to your clients as well as yourself. And one of the best ways to do that is to figure out the “going rate” for the services you’re providing. I figure out these rates by combining two sources:

  1. I check The Writer’s Market rates guide. (You can also check other sources like The Editorial Freelancers Association’s rate guide).
  2. I ask fellow freelance writers what they charged for a similar project. (Note: It’s important to ask successful freelance writers what they charged… Asking someone who’s plateau’d their career on Fiverr won’t do you much good).

From there, I use the numbers I got back — and combine them mentally with what I’d like to charge to earn a living wage — and come up with a price that I think will be fair for both my client and myself.

Making Adjustments to Your Rates

I’m about to show you something that no one has ever seen before. My rates: Continue reading “How to Set Your Rates as a Freelance Writer”

Lauren Tharp is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers.

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12 Common Freelance Writer Mistakes

Everyone has to start somewhere, but you don’t have to make the same dumb mistakes everyone else does.

Illustration by Ramiro Roman
Illustration by Ramiro Roman

As a freelance writer, you will make dozens of mistakes throughout your career; however, here are the twelve mistakes you might be making right off the bat:

1. Limiting Yourself

Just because you’ve chosen a niche for yourself doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself. You can still write for other sub-niches under the umbrella of your main niche.

For example, if you’ve chosen parenting as your main focal point, there’s no need for you to forget about your love for fashion, pets, or fitness. You can write articles like:

  • “Get Glam! 15 Make-up Tips for Moms on the Go!” (Parenting/Fashion)
  • “10 Ways Dogs Help Our Children Become Better Human Beings” (Parenting/Pets)
  • “How Having Two Under Two Helped Me Lose 20 Pounds!” (Parenting/Fitness)

Even if you’ve chosen a particular niche, you can still put all of your writing expertise to use! Don’t limit yourself.

2. Disliking Other Writers

Other writers are your friends, yo! In fact: About 60% of my current business comes from fellow writers. Other writers are not “the competition.” Continue reading “12 Common Freelance Writer Mistakes”

Lauren Tharp is the owner and creator of the multiple award-winning LittleZotz Writing. She’s written hundreds of posts helping freelance writers to become BETTER freelance writers.