Category Archives: Guest’s Blog

How to Choose the Right Freelance Writer for Your Project

You’ve put your heart and soul into establishing a business that is successful and useful so, naturally, you’d want potential clients to know that. Marketing has undergone many structural changes with our increasing reliance on digital media. It’s not only important that your company has advertising campaigns, it also needs to have a strong online presence; that means good content. Prospective clients and audiences want to be continuously exposed to information that keeps them involved, informed and engaged. While you’re occupied with the finer technical details of your project, someone needs to take care of the content. Luckily, there’s a whole range of talented and diverse freelance writers out there just waiting for the opportunity to work with you. All that’s left to do, is find the right freelance writer for your project.

How are you finding writers?

One thing that is certain is that there is a plethora of writers out there, eager to work on exciting new projects; the question is how to find the writer that is perfect for you. There are many online platforms that facilitate this.

You could place ads on job listing sites and have writers contact you with their details and samples of their work. This is simple and opens the door to a variety of writers who will work for different rates. Sites such as Upwork, Craigslist and Freelancer operate by allowing writers to create profiles and submit proposals to prospective clients. Clients can select prime candidates, conduct interviews, compare bids and view feedback from previous clients.

To focus your search even more, you could contact writers directly rather than through these platforms. This allows you to view their portfolio and see how people interact with their work, the writer’s range, their voice and how that voice is used to speak on behalf of their clients. Using agencies is often a good idea because the writers have already been vetted and are tried and trusted, and the company will be able to gauge which writer is the best fit for you.

Expert Writers

While finding a writer who is an expert in your industry may be a requirement in some cases, it’s not always necessary. Writers may not be qualified in your market, but sufficient research, attention to detail, and skill will get the job done. If you do need a writer who is familiar with your project, consider how you view their portfolios or writing samples. Don’t only look for work that reads well or is entertaining, but consider whether the writer can work with technical terms and can skillfully construct pieces of writing.


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Social Media

Social media is not going anywhere – use it. You may have writers in your network on LinkedIn or PartnerUp. This works well if you need expert writers; writers that have working knowledge in a specific topic or niche. Checking up on a writer’s social media can help to better understand not only their style and how they interact with clients, but also the client’s experiences working with the writer.
When you have a niche market and need writers with experience and knowledge in your field, try to form long-term partnerships, rather than working with a writer once only.

Download your free copy of 157 Ideas - Write For A Living - Freelance Writers
Download your free copy of 157 Ideas – Write For A Living

Developing Relationships

Don’t underestimate the benefits of building long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with writers. The writer will already be familiar with your voice, style and brand, and will know what is expected of them. This not only makes the writing process quicker, it will streamline the process of finding a writer when a new project comes up.

Offering longer term arrangements with writers also means the writer is invested in your project, and will work as efficiently as possible to ensure you are eager to work with them again in the future. This may lead to finding writers that are dedicated and not just looking to make a quick buck.

While finding a writer that is talented and skillful is your main concern, consider how professional they are; do they respond promptly; are they committed to too many projects; do they follow directions?

Once you have found writers that have both these qualities, begin building a database. While having a partnership with one writer moulded to your style is ideal, writers can be unavailable, but if this is the case they may be able to share your requirements with writers in their circle.

Be specific about what you need

It’s important to be specific about what you need from the writer and it may be helpful to have an outline of your article. But don’t demand that the writer follows a specific set-up; rather allow room for creativity. Writers may be more attuned to what would make a better article. You pay for a writer allow them to write. Be sure of what you need the content to achieve so that the writer can be sure too.

Don’t forget about the mundane administrative details. It’s always important to be clear about when the project is due, whether you need updates on the progress of the project, how much it pays as well as when it pays. Avoid any misunderstandings that will stand in the way of a good professional relationship. When posting listings, make sure all the information is available, so that anyone applying is sure they are up to the task.

What to look for in a portfolio

It’s always necessary to view previous work and samples of writing. If the writer has a blog or online platform – which most writers do – read the feedback on their work. Read comments and reviews to understand previous clients’ experiences working with the writer. Look at the audience’s engagement with their work – do they respond and interact through comments, is the voice received well? References from previous working relationships is always helpful.

When looking at resumes, it’s not always necessary to have a writer with a journalism or writing degree. Writers can come from diverse fields and what is important is their dedication to the craft. Be open to writers who are not be native-English speakers; writing is an art and what is important is that the product doesn’t read like it was written by a second language speaker.

Finding the right writer is simply finding a writer whose style and voice compliments your project. Ensure that they have the same vision for the project and that they have the commitment and skill that will contribute to a dynamic and prolific professional relationship.

A bit about the Author

Sam Hoffman is a South African an Artist, Writer and Entrepreneur with a passion for beautiful words and ideas. She takes special joy in nurturing these ideas and watching them grow from inception to results and sharing her expertise with others.

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Do you wish to start writing for an income?

Homejobstop.com

If you are looking for work from home, you have come to the right place. 

The Homejobstop Job Bank is an active Internet Job Board specializing in telecommuting and work from home jobs.

We feature a wide variety of home-based positions including freelance and contract opportunities as well as FT and PT positions in both entry-level and professional-level work.

We carefully screen and verify every home-based job opportunity that appears in our Job Bank, ensuring the integrity of our listings as well as the safety of our members.

If you have any feedback or wish to guest blog for The Write Styles, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to publish your work on our site.

Blessed Be,

Sancheo

Write and Stay Healthy with Carla West

As writers, many of you may sit at your keyboards hacking away forever to either reach your deadline or finish just one more paragraph. However, what do these seated hours do to your body physically? How is our circulation affected and is there a fix-it? Today we look at how to Write and Stay Healthy with Carla West.  I am pleased to have Stuttgart based,  personal trainer, Carla West assist us with some writer-friendly ideas on how to overcome the physical torments of writing.

Write and Stay Healthy with Carla West

Write and Stay Healthy with Carla West

Carla, I must also compliment you on your very informative website, your videos and tutorials are simply wonderful!

As you are clearly a very busy lady, I especially thank you so much for taking the time to share your message, so I will bounce right in.

Philosophy

TWS: Having gone through your site, I simply love your ideas and outlooks. How would you summarize your philosophy about fitness and health?

Carla: Thank you so much for all the lovely compliments! I am very honoured to be interviewed by someone like yourself.

My philosophy is very simple: Do what you enjoy.

Whatever form of training you enjoy, do it. You are never going to stick to an exercise routine that you hate. It might take some time for you to find what you like. I love doing a combination of things and pushing myself to the next level in every form of exercise I do.

Write and Stay Healthy with Carla West

That being said, there is value in every form of training. Whether you do yoga, Pilates, running, boxing or weight training. Whatever it is that you enjoy – just make sure you stick to it. Be consistent. Do it multiple times a week. Set goals. Soon enough exercise will become a habit and something you even look forward to, not a chore. And of course support your training with good nutrition; fuel yourself so that you can perform at your best. Stretch, use a foam roller. Give yourself days off to let your body repair and recover.

Basically, just take care of yourself.

Circulation

TWS: Do you have any ideas on how we can perhaps increase our circulation while writing? It would be great to get our articles out and work out! Heaven knows, with the hours we put in, we too could look great! This may be a long-shot, but is it possible?

Carla: Of course it is possible! Luckily short bouts of aerobics, strength exercises, and stretching in between emails and writing can help improve fitness levels and heart health.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Always take the stairs –  take two at a time for a real leg burn.
  2. The Seated Leg Raiser – While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Then lower the leg(s) back to the ground without letting the feet touch the floor. Repeat (alternating legs if raising them separately) for 15 reps.
  3. Perfect your posture – perfect posture is a must for long days at the desk. Adjust the chair height to make sure the feet, hips, and arms are at 90-degree angles to the floor. Engage the core to keep the back straight throughout the day. No slouching allowed!
  4. Shoulder blade squeezes – For improving hunched posture, squeeze your shoulder blades together for 10 seconds, release, and repeat.
  5.  Wrist stretch. Stretch your arm out in front of you with the palm up. With your other hand, grab your fingers and lightly pull them down to stretch your forearm.
  6. Back twist. Sit up straight in your chair and place your right arm behind your right hip. Twist to the right and hold. Alternate sides.
  7.  Neck rotations. Drop your chin and roll your neck. Raise your chin up and bend your neck to each side.

Download your free copy of 157 Ideas - Write For A Living Write and Stay Healthy with Carla WestAre you in need of ideas to work from home?

Download your free copy of 157 Ideas – Write For a Living.

 

 

15 min Workout

TWS: Many writers, myself included, discipline ourselves to take 15 – 20 min break from our PCs every so couple of hours. Could you suggest a workout that one could do in such a short time?

Carla: Yes! The most beneficial workouts would be a quick 15-20 min High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session, because honestly that’s all the time you need. A few benefits of HIIT include: Increased energy, boosted metabolism, muscle tone improvement, reduced body fat.

For a quick hard HIIT session I would suggest choosing 4 exercises. Existing out of one for lower body, one upper body, one for abs, and one that’s a bit more cardio related and gets your heart rate up. For example: Squats, push-ups, crunches, and Burpees. Do each exercise for 1 minute and only take a 10 sec break between the exercises. You get a 1 minute break after the 4 exercises and then you start the circuit over again. In 20 min you should’ve been able to do 3-4 Rounds and you will be sweating.  🙂 Those are very basic examples of exercises; please feel free to switch it up and add your own.

Writers Diet

Write and Stay Healthy with Carla West
Download your free sample of the three-week diet mindset and motivation plan.

TWS: When visiting your site, I was especially intrigued by your thoughts on diet remains essential. Can you advise which foods writers should focus more on? Foods to assist with concentration, foods that will fuel us, but not hang around forever? Can you think of a ‘writer-friendly’ diet?

Carla: The habit I suggest all my clients is planning ahead, buying healthy snacks in advance and having them at your desk will keep you satisfied and stop those afternoon sugar cravings to kick in that will hinder your concentration as well. Good examples of snacks to have at your desk would be:

  • Fruit or Dried Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Protein Bar, Fruit & Nut Bar, or Energy Bar
  • Yogurt
  • Granola

And foods that will improve your focus:

  • Blueberries
  • Green tea
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Water
  • Dark chocolate
  • Flax seeds

Message for Writers

TWS: Lastly, and once again thank you for your time and sharing all this exciting information, but what would your ‘mantra’ be for writers?

Carla:I am responsible for my own destiny.”

This might not be specific to only writers but anything you do in life, everything you put your heart and soul in will be successful. I love knowing and reassuring myself that I am in control of my own life, my happiness, success, body, fitness, food, mental health and state of mind. It’s all up to you to make the decision and to take action.

As previously mentioned, I must stress that you visit her powerfully insightful site, its loaded with amazing tools that we can use on a day-to-day basis. What I find different about Carla, is she is real.

Write and Stay Healthy with Carla WestCarla specializes in body conditioning, body fat and weight loss. You can reach Carla at any of the following.

Instagram | Facebook |Twitter | Website

I so enjoy Carla’s style, her outlook and her manner of simplifying matters. I know I am going to get started with my workout as of this very moment!

Do you have any ideas you would like to share? Please feel free to leave comments or contact me. Remember, I am always interested in posting Guest’s Blogs, so if you have anything insightful to share, please don’t hesitate to contact me. 

Blessed Be,

Sancheo

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Is a Transcription Career for You? Jeanne Fick reveals all.

Transcribing is a wonderful alternative career in the writing field, it provides a constant workflow and no two audios are ever the same. I started out on this field about five years, so I still have much to learn. Today I was fortunate enough to interview Jeanne Fick about the pros and cons of beginning a transcription career.

Starting your Transcription Career.Career in Transcribing, Jeanne Fick reveals all.

How were you first introduced to transcribing?

When I was 14, I interviewed Mr. Duckett in Darling for a history project, who fought in the Second World War. I transcribed the entire 60-minute tape using an old-school tape recorder… Play, stop, write, rewind, repeat… It took me many, many days to complete.

Many years later, while working at a law firm in Wynberg, Cape Town, as a receptionist, I was given some overflow transcription files to do when the secretaries were overloaded. I was hooked. It was so much better than being a receptionist!

Do you believe that a newcomer to transcribing would be able to make a decent income?

No. Newcomers still have a lot to learn. The transcription environment is very competitive. You have to start right at the bottom with the very poorly-paid jobs just to prove yourself and to build up your skills. Until you are very fast and very accurate, nobody is going to give you good rates. It takes roughly four hours for a good, accurate and fast transcriptionist to turn around an hour of audio accurately. For a beginner at a newcomer’s rate, it will take you at least six hours. The longer hours and poorer rate makes for low-income. Do not give up your day job quite yet.

What would one need in order to make a successful career as a transcriptionist? Are there any outlay costs?

Good ears, good language (written and oral) skills, good typing skills, computer literacy, thinking skills, analytical skills, excellent time management skills and impeccable client management skills.

Yes, there are startup costs. At the very least, you should have these four basic items: A good PC, good headphones, good internet and transcription software. Without these basic items, you won’t be doing any transcription work.

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This is where Jeanne and I both purchase our transcription equipment. We’ve searched this field and ECS are the best suppliers. Do support this site by using this banner to order your equipment. 🙂

Your PC will be on almost permanently. It will be burning midnight oil right along with you. You need one that is reliable and can handle the hours without getting cranky or crashing, causing you lose your work and/or precious time. Personally, I use a mini PC. It is tiny, silent and never complains. Of course, you wouldn’t be using this for gaming.

Great headphones make all the difference. These need to be noise cancelling, lightweight and durable. They will be on your head and over your ears for many hours at a time. Invest in a set that will remain comfortable for as long as you wear them.

A footswitch, while you can certainly transcribe using the hotkeys, really speeds things up.  While they might be rather pricey, they pay for themselves very quickly with speed and ease of use. I consider them an indispensable investment.

You need the best internet provider you can find. Even if you have to pay more for service, again, this will pay for itself when it comes to download speeds. There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for an urgent file to download for hours while you could already be typing.

Transcription software, while important, is rather down to personal preference. Pick the one that works best for you. There are many out there. Personally, I’m most comfortable with Express Scribe (the paid version… always use the paid versions of any software).

It’s also nice to have (especially in South Africa) a basic backup power system. I have a 1.4KW inverter and a 24v backup battery to keep things going for a while.

Yes, there are startup costs. Frankly, I don’t consider them “costs” as such, but rather infrastructure investment.

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Amazon is running some specials on Express Scribe at the moment, however South Africans must please note that they do NOT deliver to SA. 🙁

What would you warn an aspiring transcriptionist against? What pitfalls do you foresee? Can you give an example from your own experience?

NEVER apply for those “work at home”, “easy income from your PC” jobs. They are all scams. There is no such thing as easy money, ever. Prepare yourself for good, hard work and long hours of frustration before things start to really pay off. You need to find clients. Transcription companies that are hiring are a good place to start. You will more than likely have to do a few test files and be rejected a few times before you land a job.

Don’t have only one client. It’s like putting your eggs all in one basket. I worked for a well-known transcription company for a long time and they were my only client. Getting money out of them got increasingly more difficult as time went by. Needless to say, I no longer complete files for them. I had to start almost from scratch again to build up my client base.

Try to get private clients. If you have a medical background, start there and approach doctors, either in person or online. If you have a legal background, try contacting a few small law firms. The same goes for technical and financial, etc.

What has kept you in the field of transcribing all these years? What do you feel is the greatest advantage?

The freedom. I have been a freelance transcriptionist for nearly a decade now. Besides that I love my interesting and diverse job and amazing clients, I also have the time to do almost exactly as I please and enjoy my amazing lifestyle. I can go fishing, traveling, shopping and all sorts of things without having to ask my boss for time off or apply for a day’s leave. I can choose how many hours I work a day and when I work. What hours I take off during the day, I can always put in at night.

You don’t work for a salary. What you put in, you most certainly get out!

What advice would you give newcomers?

Work hard! You will get frustrated, you will struggle, your body will ache after hours of being planted firmly on your seat, but in the end, your efforts will be well rewarded.

Oh, and get exercise, for your ass will expand exponentially!!

I do believe Jeanne to be one of South Africa’s top transcriptionists and I, personally, have learned so much from her during the years. I do however wish she had given the ‘exercise’ advice earlier because I am living proof of what being sat behind a PC day in and day out can do to one’s ‘physique’ 🙂

So great advice from Jeanne Fick, a transcriptionist that really knows her stuff! So if you need any audios transcribed, feel free to contact Jeanne at LinkedIn.

Where to start your Transcription Career?

Here are two websites that are brilliant for aspiring transcriptionists. I, personally, started with them and had no issues with payments other than having to have a PayPal account. There are no startup fees needed, you can start today.

First is Casting Words, they are great for beginners. You can listen to their audios before accepting the job. They also grant you wonderful turnaround times too, so you don’t feel so pressured. (Oh, and you do get an extension if time runs out too 😉 ) They also have a wonderful Facebook Group that offers around the clock support!

castingwords -Transcription Career
Yup, this is where I started 🙂

Second is Speechpad, they are also brilliant and offer a wide variety of jobs including standard and premium capturing.

speechpad - Transcription Career
Ensure to follow the styleguides before commencing!

They both offer styleguides, so be sure to study them before attempting to accept a job!

What you may also find really useful is a Transcription Crash Course offered by Loretta Oliver. I enjoy her little book as she has put maximum info into a very dynamic quick paced and insightful book. In it you’ll find among more:

  • Things you need
  • Things that make life easier
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Playback Speeds
  • Verbatim vs Cleaned Up Transcribing
  • General Transcript Formatting
  • Your First Transcript
  • Planning Turnaround Times
  • Determining Rates
  • Finding Jobs and Securing Clients
  • Your Website…. and much more!!!

Do feel free to contact me with any further questions that you may still have, I would love to assist you with your Transcription Career.

Jeanne and I have recently partnered,  how honored am I! Do check out our Transcription Services.

Blessed Be,

Sancheo

Zora Marie, The Author-Embracing Author

Zora Marie, The Author-Embracing Author

Zora Marie, author of Free of Asenten (Zelia the Phoenix of Hope Book 1), might be new to the author scene but she definitely takes off with a bang! As many authors compete against one another, Zora shares a unique perspective. She chooses to embrace other authors believing that authors stand a better chance together than apart. I found myself compelled to find out more about Zora Marie, The Author-Embracing Author. I trust you will find her diversity and outlook as compelling as I do!

Zora Marie, The Author-Embracing AuthorZora Marie, The Author-Embracing Author

What does writing do for you?

Writing has done quite a few things for me. It’s given me a place to spill my guts and let my imagination run wild. Since I’ve been living with my family down south it has given me someplace to direct my pent up social energy. I suppose I should go out and make friends, but I’m a bit of an introvert. Even doing things like this can be a feat in of itself, but I’m getting better at it.

 

What inspires your writing?

Now, as far as what inspires my writing, that’s a whole other story. I have a love of Norse and Greek mythology, among a long list of others, and that definitely shows in my writing. While I love the original myths, I do have a little brother so I’ve been sure to write in a way that my work is age appropriate for children of young ages while also being deep enough to be an engaging read for the older generations.

Free of Asenten - Zelia the Phoenix of Hope Book 1 - Zora Marie, The Author-Embracing Author

Purchase your copy of Free of Asenten (Zelia the Phoenix of Hope Book 1)

Another thing that you’ll notice about my writing is that my other hobbies, current and past, have a tendency to bleed into my writing. I won’t go into too much detail as I could be here for a while if I did, but I have experience tanning hides, processing my own food, making my own yarn, and a ton of other things that has given me a unique perspective about many things that most people my age haven’t the slightest perception of how it works.

Why did you take to writing?

Quite skimpily put, the story of Zelia had been bugging me for years. Finally, it demanded to be put down on paper.  I already had most of the world built and several of the characters fleshed out. In February I may have only started putting her world on paper.

I really didn’t have time to write, I made time. Cutting all television and most movie watching gave me the time to write between college assignments.  I love writing and would love to do it for a living, but I rather choose to write a compelling story than write to pay my bills.

How does writing help you?

Funny that you should ask. I’ve actually always been utterly horrible at spelling and grammar. However, as I’ve written and edited my work multiple times my spelling and grammar has improved. Not only that, but I’ve noticed that my research paper writing abilities have improved. Which is good, seeing as how I’ve been writing a lot of them this summer.

Zora Marie Inspirational quote - Zora Marie, The Author-Embracing Author

Do you have days when you can’t write?

Certainly, I have actually just hit a wall with the first draft of book 3. I know where the story is going but I’m not sure how it’s going to get there. The characters are taking their sweet time decided where they want to go next.

What did you do to overcome these days?

I’ve found that editing other parts of the work or even earlier books in the series to be extremely helpful. It helps me get back into the character’s heads and stirs the kettle up a bit. If that doesn’t work I’ll step back and read a book. I have a few books on my shelf that are waiting to be read and a few works of Indy authors that are on my wish list.

When I read I delve into another author’s world and learn their writing style and when I come out I can look at my own work with a whole new light. Sometimes it’s almost as if I received an upgrade. When I learn something new or find something in someone else’s writing that bothers me, it opens my eyes to all kinds of things.

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What inspires you?

As of late, the most inspiring thing has been the willingness of authors to help each other. I know that I would not be where I am now if it weren’t for the advice and encouragement of both authors I have met in person and those I have met through social media. It’s my interactions with these people that make me want to strive to be a better person, one that is there and willing to lend a helping hand.

Zora Marie is truly a fascinating person and author, and yes, she most certainly has many unusual pastimes! You can find out more about her at her book launch – July 28th!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1275890145754928/

Zora Marie will be posting her exciting happenings as they unfold on her website in the weeks after the event so be sure to come poke around and support her at https://zoramarie.weebly.com and catch her exciting newsfeed onTwitter @AuthorZoraMarie

Thanks for having me!

Thanking Zora Marie, The Author-Embracing Author, for sharing her precious time, her energy and her passion with us all! If you wish to guest blog here and showcase your work on all my social networks, please don’t hesitate to contact me… I will do all I can to assist you!The Write Styles is her for YOU.

Blessed Be,

Sancheo


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Perks of being your own boss.

Perks of being your own boss… by Chrissi Maria.

South African, Chrissi Maria, spends most of her days as a ghostwriter, copy-writer, researching and writing magazine articles, compiling scripts, or marketing. Chrissi is a most passionate teller of people’s stories, but today she shares her own story of her success and inspiration with you. I trust that Chrissi’s perks of being your own boss will inspire and motivate you!

Perks of being your own boss… by Chrissi Maria.

Yes, there are perks to being your own boss, but if you are expecting to read an upbeat, being my own boss is ever-so-awesome piece of prose, you will need to look elsewhere for an over-zealous self-help source on earning a quick and easy buck as a free agent.

Chrissi Maria - Perks Of Being Your Own Boss
Chrissi Maria Shares Her Success with The Write Styles

Continue reading Perks of being your own boss.

Writer’s Magic and Inspiration by Michele Barrow-Belisle

Michele Barrow-Belisle has become one of the most sought after authors, her radiant beauty shines through her writings and exploits the allure of her inner nature. Today The Write Styles is truly honored to share A Writer’s Magic and Inspiration By Michele Barrow-Belisle with you.

A Writer’s Magic and Inspiration By Michele Barrow-Belisle

A blogger once described my writing journey so far as a Cinderella Story. He went on to explain how I’d landed an agent and a publishing deal, and that my debut novel had hit the bestseller list, sold audio and foreign language rights, and been optioned for a major motion picture. I remember pausing to reflect on his analogy for a moment, at first wondering if the “magic” of Cinderella took into account the blood, sweat and tears that went into getting my first book published. Then I smiled when I realized that, yes, it really did. Continue reading Writer’s Magic and Inspiration by Michele Barrow-Belisle