Sources are Crucial in Freelance Writing

If you want to be successful as a freelance writer, you need to produce quality content. Having valuable sources is an important part of producing quality content.

How do you find good sources?

Network and build bridges between yourself and people who are well versed in the subjects that you write about. Ask friends and family, ask around in chat rooms and forums (to find out who experts are, don’t use a chat room as a source), and search online. Interviews make for good articles and associating with experts will boost your credibility.

If you primarily use the internet as a source, make sure that you favor the sites of experts with credentials, government websites and .org sites that tend to be educational. See if you can contact the experts behind the websites via email or phone.

Go to the library. Do not underestimate to quality of hard copy information. Some facts change over time, so it is best to show preference to later additions. You may be able to fact-check online to make sure the information you are using is up to date, but don’t be afraid to crack open a book.

Using Sources Properly

The way that you use those sources is vital as well. An improperly used source can be worse for a writer’s reputation than not using any sources at all. Remember to always cite your references, particularly if you spoke directly with them. Be sure to use quotes and researched information within context. Always record interviews (unless the source totally objects) to ensure that your quotes are accurate. Make sure that if you paraphrase, the words still carry a similar meaning to what was originally stated.

A “References” or “Sources” list at the end of a short online article may suffice. If you are writing for a magazine, make sure you follow their recommended citation process.  Mentioning your sources within the content will strengthen your points. Familiarize yourself with a variety of citation styles and stick to one that you are most comfortable using.

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Website of the month: www.thewritenetwork.com

The website of the month is The Write Network. It is a collection of the best writing tips from a variety of trusted websites. No matter what genre of writing you practice, The Write Network has tips for you. The feed is updated daily with old and new tips from all of the members of the website. It is a one stop shop for writing tips, business tips, productivity tips, and publishing information. There are more than 25 contributing bloggers, including yours truly, Men With Pens, and Get Paid to Write Online.

You can subscribe to the daily updates at: http://www.thewritenetwork.com

Query-free freelance writing

Jennifer Mattern has a new website: http://queryfreefreelancer.com/

I just read the post about reasons why you may want to learn how to freelance without queries. Personally, I have been freelancing for a few years and haven’t yet sent a query. I do plan to incorporate it down the road, however. This new website is an excellent resource if you don’t want to spend hours on queries only to get rejected or get accepted and have to wait months for payment. Registration is required for all of the goodies, but it is free.

It is perfectly fine to continue to query if you have been successful at it. I plan to do a combination of both that method and other marketing methods that I have already employed. Check out the website to learn more about building your own writer platform and other great tips.

Best Tweets for Writers

Writer’s Digest features a sampling of the best Tweets for writers from the week every Friday. If you are a writer on Twitter, you may find one of your Tweets there one day. Otherwise, there is a great collection of writer-Tweets, and many of them include helpful tips and useful links. Check out the latest list of writer Tweets here. You can also add your own great writer Tweets in the comments area if you think there are any missing from the list.

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Top 100 Books for Freelance Writers

InkThinkerBlog.com put together a list of 100 books that would be helpful to freelance writers. The topics include:

-freelance writing business

-marketing

-writing online

-writing for magazines

-writing books

-writing query letters

-copywriting

-good writing

-writing fiction

-editing

-copyright

See the list here.

Freelance Writer’s Health Insurance

For the past two days I have been focusing on health. I think it is extremely important to discuss health insurance before I leave the topic. I am covered under my husband’s health insurance plan, thankfully. If you are a freelance writer and the main provider of the household, you will need to find a way to cover yourself and your family. Health insurance for freelance writers is available through paid membership at certain freelance websites and there are a some other places self-employed individuals can find coverage.

The Freelancers Union offers health, dental, disability and life insurance plans for freelancers.

Media Bistro offers a variety of insurance coverage including health, dental and prescription.

Other places that self-employed individuals can find coverage include: http://www.anthem.com/ca/ and https://www.kaiserpermanente.org/

Online Tools for Writers

I found a recent post that lists 5 free online tools for writers and a description of each. You can use these tools for social bookmarking, photo editing, file shrinking, and self-publishing online. Check it out.

Writers to Follow on Twitter

There is a buzz going around about which writers to follow on Twitter. I haven’t had the time to check out everyone’s tweets on these lists, but it is a good idea to pick and choose those that you feel will be the most helpful to you. Get Paid to Write Online says to follow these:

Odesk released a list as well.

Who do I follow? I am extremely picky, and I again, I haven’t had the time to check out everyone on the above list. Here are a few that I found to be helpful that did not go on the writers to follow list: EssntialWriters,YourWritingDept,UshaSliva,FreelanceWJ,FreelanceFolder,FreelanceSw

Not all of these are individuals, so that could be why they weren’t on the other lists. If you want to follow me, you may do so here: writtenquality

Website of the month: www.freelanceswitch.com

My favorite website this month is www.freelanceswitch.com. Why? This website has quality articles related to freelance business, a funny comic strip, a freelance job board (paid membership required to apply), an active freelance community forum, a podcast called Freelance Radio, and freelance tools and resources like an hourly rate calculator. This is a great website for freelance writers to visit and interact with.

Freelance Writer Social Network

I just joined a freelance writer social network. It is brand new, but I love the idea of creating a community of freelance writers. There are groups on other websites like Facebook and people are active on the community boards on Helium and Writer’s Digest, but this is better. All writers all the time. I think it’s great, all freelance writers should join, and we should make the most of it.

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