Freelance Copywriting as a Part-Time or Full-Time Job by Brian Scott

Freelance Copywriting as a Part-Time or Full-Time Job by Brian Scott

The term "copy" simply denotes "information that a client wants written and published." A client may contract you to create copy for print or digital media, such as for a magazine, a website, a brochure, a DVD, or a sales letter. Because copy comes in all forms and for all industries, the variety is seemingly limitless.

All writing needs "somebody" to write it. In industries where businesses need an ongoing supply of promotional and sales materials, the demand to hire freelance copywriters always remains high and lucrative. If you have exceptional writing abilities and know how to write engaging and persuasive copy, then you can join an elite group of well-paid copywriters.
Read more →

Top 10 Most Embarrassing Spelling Mistakes Made by Popular Politicians by Brian Scott

For politicians churning out multitudes of sound bites, press releases and Tweets in our 24-hour news cycle, the probability of making a spelling or grammar mistake is high. Some are inconsequential, others are laughable, and a few are downright embarrassing. Take a look at these famous flubs from the last few campaign cycles.

1. The Obama Campaign's "Congrssional Budget Office"—In a video blasting Republican Mitt Romney for offering misleading information on the national debt, the Democratic President's policy director appeared in a searing video citing numbers directly from the nonpartisan congressional budget watchdog. However, when the screen flashed to the slide citing the CBO, it was erroneously labeled as the "Congrssional Budget Office." The ad lost its bite and the President took some ribbing in the press.
Read more →

How to Pitch Story Ideas to Online Magazine Editors Without Annoying Them by Brian Scott

How to Pitch Story Ideas to Online Magazine Editors Without Annoying Them

With more people working part-time and looking to supplement their income with freelance work, it's important for creative-types to learn how to pitch, communicate, and correspond with editors the right way, especially if they dream of becoming full-time freelance writers.

A difficult but essential writing rule I had to learn as a budding freelance writer was to communicate and interact professionally with print and online editorswithout agitating their pet peeves. If you are beginning your quest to write articles for websites and publications, then you should know these four basic rules because they will help you build new and lasting relationships with editors. I refer to these rules as "duh!" rules because they are so obvious to seasoned writers but often ignored by beginners.
Read more →

To All Big Mouths: Junk the Jargon and Write in Plain English by Brian Scott

Jargon is a specialized writing style often abused by big business, certain trade industries in the legal and medical fields, federal and state governments, and institutes of education. Jargon contains "workshop words," vague figures of speech, hackneyed expressions, and pompous writing that communicators use obsessively to communicate with their peers and colleagues. Many communicators who are recipients of such jargon-wretched writing often complain about struggling to understand the written work's meaning.

Jargon creates wordiness in a document. Wordiness often creates confusion. Confusion leads to a lack of understanding. Overuse of passive voice, using bigger words instead of simpler synonyms, and lack of specifics contribute to jargon. Too much jargon in a document is said to "muddy its meaning" because readers have trouble understanding its true purpose.
Read more →

The Query Letter: Advice for the Aspiring Writer by Brian Scott

The Query Letter: Advice for the Aspiring Writer

Freelance writing can be an exciting career choice or a creative way to make extra money on the side. The daily chore of freelancing involves seeking out new editorial markets, whether print magazines, online ezines, news journals, etc. If you have an idea for an article, the most common method to procure a writing assignment is with a well-written, compelling, and persuasive query letter.

Typically, you will encounter submission guidelines that state the following:
well-written, compelling, and persuasive query letter
A query letter is a brief synopsis of the article that you plan to write or have already written. Ideally, you should craft your query letter to convey the premise of your article and explain why you are the most qualified person to write it. While some editors still ask to submit query letters via snail mail, most editors accept email pitches. The right query letter can grab the editor's attention and convince him or her to publish your article.
Read more →

10 Fascinating Facts about William Shakespeare by Brian Scott

10 Fascinating Facts about William Shakespeare
Few figures in history have had a lasting effect the way William Shakespeare has. Simply stating the man's name is enough to make a connection to literature, drama, and the written word as a creative tool rather than just a means of communication. But even with a legacy as robust and celebrated as time has awarded William Shakespeare, other trivial facts make this historical giant even more of an enigmatic character.
Fact #1
William Shakespeare is more famousFact #1: Google lists 83 million pages when you search for the name "William Shakespeare." Of course, this figure is not totally accurate, but it does present a statistical curiosity of Shakespeare's popularity around the world. This surpasses the returns on searches for literary heavyweights like Ernest Hemingway (11 million) and H.P. Lovecraft (3 million), and even contemporary darlings of the writing world like Stephenie Meyer (4 million) and JK Rowling (6 million).
Read more →

10 Style Guides for Writers, Authors and Editors

Style Guides for Writers, Authors and Editors

Style guides provide writers and non-writers with a manual of rules for writing, formatting and creating documents. They govern consistency and uniformity. Many of us have used a style guide in school, such as APA Style, MLA Style or Chicago Manual of Style, to format and cite sources for a thesis, dissertation or research paper. You may have used a style guide when you composed an article for a journal, magazine or website. Some of us who copy edit or proofread for publishers use either a common style guide or the publisher's in-house style to ensure all written materials are consistent in substance and structure.
Read more →

15 Tips to Write, Format and Distribute a Press Release

15 Tips to Write, Format and Distribute a Press Release

A well-written press release can greatly boost your sales, promote your business globally, and significantly improve the image of your business, products and/or services.

I share with you my own 15 PR tips that will guide you in the right direction to: 1) write a newsworthy press release for any occasion; 2) format a press release for print media and digital media; 3) distribute your press release to newswires, PR distribution sites, journalists, and the media; and 4) generate ongoing, long-term publicity with a single press release or a series of press releases.
Read more →

7 Crowdsourcing Job Sites to Find Freelance Writing Work (updated for 2014)

Freelance Writing Work

The Internet has made finding freelance writing work much easier. You can visit a job site in one or two clicks of the mouse, and then review current jobs that need writers immediately. In this special post, I will reveal the best, most-referred "crowdsourcing" sites that supply new writing jobs each day.

Because each job site can attract 50-100 new writing jobs each day, I recommend you stick to just one. It makes no sense to register at multiple sites. The reality is you can only handle one or two (maybe three) projects at any given timeunless you have superhero powers or you are a freak of nature! :)
Read more →

Freelance Crowdsourcing Sites Offer Part-Timers a Way to Supplement Their Income

Freelance Crowdsourcing Sites
During the Global Recession (2007-2011), a time during which many countries faced near economic collapse, an untold number of workers lost their jobs or were transitioned from full-time to part-time work without benefits. In 2009 the U.S. unemployment rate peaked at 10%, a 16-year high. More than 2.5 million U.S. workers had lost their jobs. What may seem all negative also had positive outcomes, one of which affected the outsourcing industry. Laid-off, unhappy, frustrated and displaced workers turned to the Internet for freelance work.
Read more →