Please bear with me while I update the look of the website. There are some exciting things coming this way.
Along with the new theme, I will be adding a new service, WordPress SetUps.
It’s important that a business has a web presence. In this day and age, not having one can actually hurt your business. However, many small businesses don’t have the budget to hire a web designer and most people wouldn’t know html from php. This is where I come in.
You buy the domain and I can install and set up WordPress. I offer three packages to choose from.
I’ve set up several websites on WordPress, including my own.
This is the perfect solution for the cash-strapped entrepreneur who needs a website, but doesn’t have the tech savvy to do it themselves.
Let me help you get started today. For more information, visit the page WordPress Setups.
Plains Magazine’s February 2013 is now live. I have three articles in the current issue.
The topic of mental health has come up as a result of the Newtown Shootings. Many argue that the shootings are a mental health issue and not a gun issue. Before we can address the mental health issue, we must understand the current system as it is before we can understand what must need to be fixed. This is the subject of my article on page 4.
Penny Hall, a Sioux Falls, South Dakota woman, shares her story of her journey in living with bipolar disorder.
And finally, my regular column deals with my own mental illness story.
The articles were personal for me because I have my own mental illness story.
You can read the issue online on your PC and/or tablet or download a PDF copy to print and read.
After a delay, the January issue of Plains Magazine has been released. You can read it here: Plainsmagazine.com. My column this month was originally a blog post I wrote for my personal blog for a writing link-up/contest and it won the Editor’s Choice award. With a bit of editing, I submitted it for the magazine. I’m very proud of that piece.
I only have a column in the January issue. But you’re going to want to stay tuned when the February issue is released because I have a column and two articles which are related to a topic I feel quite passionately about: mental health. I will post links once the issue is released.
I have a saved search on Twitter for “freelance writer”. I do this to help me look for prospective clients. The other day, this tweet appeared in the results.
— Donald Allen (@DesignerDon) January 19, 2013
The tweet is advertising for what some people refer to as a content provider or a content mill. A content mill is a business that hires a large stable of writers and charges clients pennies per word for copy writing services or pennies . Google content mills and you will find that many of them have a bad reputation of pushing quantity over quality. Some have received a bad reputation because they have abused Google’s SEO algorithm to achieve higher page rank so badly, Google changed their algorithm.
In the world of the content mill, revision is a bad word. That’s not to say that writers shouldn’t proofread their work. In the case of the mills, having a client request a revision is a bad because it affects the turnaround time for the order. These kinds of companies want fast turnaround.
The tweet asks “Why hire a freelancer?”
I can give you a few reasons why you should.
“Revision” is not a dirty word in my lexicon. Any client should be wary of using any freelancer or service that thinks revision is a bad thing. Revision is a part of the writing process. Nobody produces a perfect first draft. Nobody.
I will revise my work. If I submit a finished job to you, and you have some changes you would like made, I will make them. If you are not happy with the finished product, I will fix it until you are happy. You will not pay for something you are not satisfied with.
I will never expect payment in full until the work is done and you, the client, are satisfied. While I do require a deposit to start a job, I will never expect you to pay in full for work not completed. Sites like Textbroker have their clients buy credits up front. The clients then use the credits when they submit an order. Under this system, the client is paying for work not yet completed. If the client rejects the work, the content provider still gets paid, and the writer still gets paid.
Would you pay for repairs to your car in full before the mechanic even drove your vehicle into the shop to fix it? Why should you do the same for your business copy.
An independent freelance writer is a better value for your money. A freelance writer who you can directly e-mail, phone or Skype and whose name you know is a better value for your money than taking a gamble on an anonymous username in a crowd for 1.2 cents per word. While it is important for any business to contain and control costs, it’s also important to get the most value out of the money you spend. Sure, you may be saving a lot of money by using one of these services, but are you really getting a good value if you have to rewrite that copy yourself, have to hire someone to redo it for you or you end up starting from scratch and hiring someone else?
Content Providers devalue the worth of the freelance writer. Like you do, I run a business. If you provide a product or a service, several factors go into the price you decide to charge. A business which only charges pennies per word devalues all freelance writers. As long as people will work for pennies, clients will expect to pay that much.
Imagine that one of your competitors charged pennies on the dollar for the same product or service you offer. What effect is that going to have on your business?
Here’s a little secret: people who write for the content mills are mainly doing this for extra pocket money. It is impossible to earn a living on what these sites pay. Some people claim it can be done, but it involves a lot of work and time for very little return.
Occasionally, a professional writer who is just starting out in freelancing will write for a content mill, but as soon as they learn that there is more money to be made freelancing on their own, they stop writing for these sites.
I’m a professional writer. I have a portfolio of published clips. I’ve written for magazines. I do this for a living. Magazines do not pay me 1.2 cents per word. If they paid such low rates, they would have a very difficult time attracting the talented freelancers.
An independent freelance writer is flexible. A professional writer will work with you if you have special requirements or budgetary concerns. Many freelance writers can tailor a package to suit your needs and work with your budget. When you hire a freelance writer, you are not stuck with one pricing model. Freelancers can charge an hourly rate, a per-word rate or a per project rate. The method I choose to charge depends on the size and scope of the project.
Many freelancers also offer discounts or rewards for loyal clients. In fact, I offer a 20% discount to new clients on their first order.
Your business communication, press releases, or company blog is what the public sees of you and your business. Shoddy work will cost you customers or turn away potential new customers. If you think you can’t afford a professional freelance writer, think again. Your business writing needs are much more valuable than 1.2 cents per word.
I would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2013.
With the new year comes the new and a few changes.
Today marks the release of the debut issue of Ardor Literary Magazine. If you are a writer who writes poetry, fiction or creative non-fiction, you might want to check this magazine out. The magazine is open to submissions. Since this is a new publication, the first issue gives you a chance to check out the type of work this magazine accepts and publishes. It’s always a good idea to read a few issues of a prospective publication before submitting your work.
As of January 1, 2013, Duotrope is now offering most of their features to paid subscribers. The rate is $5 per month or $50 per year. It became necessary to move to a subscription model because the site was not able to meet expenses on donations alone. It is worth the money to subscribe, especially with their submissions tracker.
ARDOR Literary Magazine is an all digital magazine which will feature fiction, nonfiction, poetry, short stories and artwork three times per year, January, April and September. The magazine is open to submissions. To be considered for the April issue, the deadline is March 31, 2013. For more information, please see the submission guidelines.
ARDOR’S founder, Joe Hessert, is a native of Maine and has an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. He has experience in writing and editing newspapers and magazines. Most recently, Hessert has been teaching undergraduate English and writing in Maine.
There is a submission fee of $3. However, according to the website, the money goes towards covering payment to each writer whose work is published in the magazine. ARDOR is a paying market.
The December 2012 issue of Plains Magazine is available online. My regular column is on page 10. Midwesterners have a love-hate relationship with winter and I delve into this. I also confess to a strange thing.
This issue features many stories, including one about Aviation Cocktail, a movie which was filmed in Valentine, Nebraska and is scheduled to premiere in Valentine on February 8, 2013.
Call for Submissions
Plains Magazine is now accepting submissions of short fiction and book excerpts by regional writers. If you are a writer and you would like to submit your work for publication, submission information is on page 22. This is an excellent opportunity for new writers to gain clips and build up their writer’s portfolio.
Plains Magazine is also looking for other contributors as well. Contact Kay Humphrey, Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org with queries or letters of introduction.
Plains Magazine is an all-digital, regional magazine which covers the upper Great Plains area.
The November 2012 issue of Plains Magazine is now online.
I have two pieces in this issue.
The first is a feature article about the Violence Against Women Act, which is currently stalled in Congress. The act is the victim of partisan politics. Read what this act is, why it is stalled and why it is so crucial that the Senate version gets passed.
The second piece is my regular Prairie Voices column. This month, I talk about the annual November writing frenzy known as NaNoWriMo. For thirty days and thirty nights, many writers and aspiring writers take part in this exercise in literary abandon. For the third year in a row, I, too, am taking part.
Check it out at the website or visit my portfolio page to read PDF versions.
The Plains Magazine October 2012 issue is out. October is the politics issue, which covers the races which are important to people in the Great Plains region.
My Prairie Voices column this month is about the Politics of Humanity and you can find it on page 20. I believe that in order to solve the problems that plague us, we must first rediscover our humanity.
Of interest to writers, there is an article about the South Dakota Authors’ Association, a non-profit group with the purpose of connecting writers and resources from across the entire state of South Dakota. The group had a booth at the recent South Dakota Festival of Books this past weekend. They offered discounts on the annual membership fee. Yes, I joined.
This article can be found on page 26.
The September issue of Plains Magazine is out. The cover story deals with the drought and the wild fires that have affected parts of the Great Plains this past summer.
My September Prairie Voices column is on page 20. I talk about one of my favorite topics: football. Specifically, the Green Bay Packers. :-)
If you’re a writer and you live in the area, there is information on how to submit for publication.