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An Introduction to Commercial Writing

An Introduction to Commercial Writing

Corporate writing or commercial writing, as they say, is similar to each other. Although this may not sound as creative as writing blogs, journals, or stories, it is still an exciting field that allows you to experiment with various niches and, more importantly, enables you to write for multiple clients at once.

As a result, if you have never tried to write a commercial piece, this is an ideal starting point for you. If you ask experienced commercial writers, they will guide you on the same. Everyone begins with copywriting. Not only is this an exciting field, but it pays well too. Like every writer, you can learn new facets of language, enhance your skills, and use different tones and styles to maneuver a specific message. See! It can be as creative as you want it to be.

From writing the health benefits of sardines and red grapes to describing how bobcats function, you have everything to test and prosper. Moreover, if you have been a part of multiple genres at once, consider utilizing this information and facts for future articles. So, let’s get you started with what commercial writing is.

Commercial Writing

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What is Commercial Writing?

This type of writing is for companies. A freelance or copywriter tends to write a copy to help businesses interact with their clients and customers. Every brochure, advertisement, catalog, and sales letter you’ve come across was written by a commercial writer. This goes the same for TV and radio ads and all those fundraising letters sent by charities. Wait, we aren’t finished yet! Every catalog description you have gone through on multiple websites is written by content writers.

Copywriting is a massive field. Some of the usual jobs a commercial writer can indulge in are mentioned in a rundown:

  • Advertisement copy
  • Press releases
  • Catalog descriptions
  • Brochures
  • Sales letters
  • Company newsletters
  • Scripts for television/radio advertisements
  • Website content
  • Website advertisements
  • Direct mail campaigns
  • Scripts for promotional films
  • Specialist magazines/articles for publication in trade
  • White Papers
  • Speeches

Become a commercial writer

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It can be fun if one thinks they like the sound of it. Followed by specific fields, commercial writers can be called upon to write these:

  • Training manuals
  • Internal corporate newsletters
  • Job advertisements
  • Office procedures
  • Company reports
  • Corporate vision statements
  • Motivational posters

What can you earn as a copywriter/commercial writer?

This largely depends on the work you are into and the experience you have gathered. But, guess what? You can make a real livelihood by committing to commercial writing as your full-time career. And, if you want to adhere to commercial writing on a part-time basis, it can be an ideal way to supplement other income streams.

For instance, writing around 300-350 words for a newsletter can quickly provide you with $25 an hour. Some companies may offer you a temporary contract while others provide a quick job. One can also write press releases for event marketers and earn up to £60 ($120) for every press release. The varying hourly pay rates for article writing and press releases are entirely different. All one has to do is find the right mix since these involve a similar skill.

How do you become a writer?

The good news is that any individual can become a commercial copywriter. Like other writing areas, there are several courses and books about how to begin in this area. Another excellent news is that most of the content work you can take falls under the freelance area. You won’t be competing with staff or contributing writers and editors. Most organizations tend to utilize freelance content writers instead of in-house writing teams. That is because freelancing is tangible, flexible, and cost-effective for companies.

Commercial Writing

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This has to be the most profound factor. A budding writer does not require any initial investment to begin their writing journey. You only need an internet connection, computer/laptop, telephone, and a printer (if needed).

What you require:

A Website

Several writers own a website where they advertise their services and tend to showcase writing skills. Such a website can comprise a brief about you and the experience you have gathered in all these years. Moreover, do not list your rates as seasoned professionals believe there’s no such thing as typical projects with typical fees. Besides, try enlisting your work samples for companies to look at your work and the clients you have worked with.

Business Cards

Get business cards printed with your title and name. You can either choose online designing sites or have them designed at a nearby store. But, remember, do not put excess information on the card.

Word of Mouth Marketing

Follow the basics. Tell people around you that you’re a commercial copywriter/ talk to your bank manager, friends, people you meet at a cafe, or tourists on vacation. Hand them your business card whenever you can.


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

How To Make Money Online Tips: Check Them Out

How To Make Money Online Tips: Check Them Out

From selling Beanie Babies to online poker, several ways are there to get-rich-quick. However, do they always work? While some may, others might not be so effective. Can an individual make money by just doing this? Well, a BIG MAYBE! Many people prefer to get trapped in their 9 to 5 jobs since it pays more and the monthly cheque is guaranteed. The truth is, there are many ways to make quick cash online. From savvy marketers and rising entrepreneurs to digital nomads, you can incorporate any business idea, put forth a laptop coupled with a robust internet, and you’re good to go.

So let’s break it down and present some of the easy yet effective ways to make money online, but the real way.

Start Dropshipping

Starting off the list with the most favorite ways to make quick cash – drop shipping. As per Google Trends, the popularity of dropshipping is rapidly increasing, demonstrating its capability to encash online. If you happen to go through the web, you will find endless success stories on how people used such a way to earn quick money online.

Try Print on Demand

Money Online

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Print-on-demand services are on a significant rise at the moment. Budding and experienced graphic designers are shifting to this business model to trade their designs on specific niches to monetize their work. With the help of distinctive designs, you can create an established and consistent brand. This is similar to dropshipping, but you do not have to ship out products or carry inventory with you.

Earn with Affiliate Marketing

If you haven’t heard about affiliate marketing, it is one of the most prevalent ways to earn money online. To get into such a process, you can affiliate with various brands around you and advertise their products and services through your platforms. From Amazon to Shopify, you can pick any company and help their products grow in popularity.

Start a YouTube Channel

Start a YouTube Channel

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If you have come across other people making money online through YouTube, you can too. Guess what? The highest-paid individual through this platform is a 7-year old Ryan, who tends to review several toys on his channel. This made him earn more than $22 million in 2018. Yet another earner is Jeffree, who made around $18 million and comprised a cosmetics brand, which sells more than $100 million products annually. All one has to do is create a YouTube profile, pick a niche to make videos on, and adequately advertise the channel.

Become an Influencer

Did you know the importance of building a personal brand? Well, if you knew about this, what about knowing the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo made close to $975,000 for each Instagram post. This is not surprising. Social media and particular brand names sell out crazily. Even though you are thinking that influencers, celebrities, and sportspeople are earning bullocks of money online, you can do that as well. These days, good influencers can easily make seamless money through their online presence, traffic, and brand.

Create an Online Course

An online course can do wonders when it comes to being on the other side. If you happen to be an expert on one or more subjects and would like to share it with other people, what would be best than introducing a course on it. You can choose to sell your courses on Udemy. If you have your website, it would be ideal for teaching through that.

Publish an Ebook

As someone willing to go public and does not know how to, this point can help. If you are a writer who does not have ample time, hire a writer to write an ebook for you. Or, if you are an illustrator, hire a designer to design covers, posts, and many more things. Options are plenty. You just need to find a platform to submit an issue and get it reviewed before publishing it.

Start a Blog

Start a Blog

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Blogging is reckoned as one of the traditional and effective methods to make money online. People who love to write and read tend to start blogs in various niches. To build a loyal base of followers, one can begin with a blog on cars, procrastination, toys, dropshipping, etc.

Consider Freelancing

One of the straightforward ways to earn money online is to take your daily 9-hour job online. If you are a writer, try finding clients who can pay you for freelance articles. Follow the same course if you are a designer or developer. Marketing such skills on a freelancing basis can significantly help your profile achieve unmatched heights. If you want to start soon, build a solid portfolio and list down reputable links or works you have adhered to before. The more you build on these things, the more you increase your chances of landing a successful gig. So, what are you waiting for?


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

Business Online

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Become a Digital Nomad  Courtesy of Life Upswing

Freelancing: Best Software for the 2020s

Freelancing: Best Software for the 2020s

So… you’ve decided to go freelancing, huh? We’re just gonna be honest with you – it’s not an easy road. It’s not all smooth-sailing, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, and it’s not all as glorious as the now over-romanticized idea of “freedom from the 9-5” paints it to be….

The truth is that until you nail everything down and figure out your process, getting started freelancing is a lot of hard work. A lot of pain and struggle is involved, and there’s a pretty steep learning curve if you don’t know anything at all yet….

Don’t get us wrong here – freelancing, when you succeed, is totally worth it! But you will likely need help along this path you’ve chosen. Because of the difficulties along the way, you’ll need tools.

And the proper freelance software tools, used wisely, can really help to ease your burden.

While we could probably elaborate in much greater detail when you boil it down, you can reduce it to seven main steps – seven stages that basically constitute a freelancer’s work, no matter their chosen field.

Below, we’re going to break these stages down, and take a look at what you’re most likely going to need to succeed. Then we’ll look at a few tools that will help you make it along the journey.

Do these seven things well, and you’ll succeed!

Best Freelancing Software

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Nailing the Proposal

You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but it’s true – first impressions matter.

As a freelancer, when you propose your services to a potential client, you want to make that first impression count. If your proposal looks unprofessional, or maybe there are just too many steps in your process, too much back-and-forth, etc. – then you may lose them in the details.

This is why there are software tools that are specifically designed to make freelancers’ lives easier by giving them access to things like attractive templates, pre-written legal contracts, a streamlining of the various steps in the process, and more.

Let’s take a look at some of these tools below.

Bonsai

When you create a new project in Bonsai, any proposal, contract, or invoice becomes integrated with the project. This means you can create contracts and invoices directly from proposals without having to enter a ton of information all over again – resulting in a major streamlining of the whole process.

Bonsai certainly has a track record and has long been acknowledged by freelancers as a fantastic freelancing software tool.

HoneyBook

Like Bonsai, HoneyBook also streamlines the entire client-onboarding process – but to an even greater degree.

HoneyBook takes it a step further than Bonsai does by reducing the process to as few steps as possible – putting the proposal, contract, and invoice together to make an appealing offer and most importantly easy 1-2-3 client experience that’s incredibly easy to say yes to!

HoneyBook also offers more branding customization, so if showing your brand is important to your presentation, then HoneyBook is your best bet.

AND.CO

Known for its free tier (where you can serve one active client at a time), and its ready-made contracts are written by the Freelancers Union, AND.CO is a great option when it comes to smoothly onboarding your clients – especially if you don’t have a lot to start out with.

Prospero

Prospero is a fascinating tool that will not only make your proposals look good, but will also dynamically help you price your services…. How crazy is that?

By asking you questions about the type of work you’re doing, how long it will take you, and so forth, during the creation of the proposal, Prospero will help you come up with ideal pricing based on your answers. It almost sounds like having a personal assistant!

Freelancing: Staying Organized

Once you land the client, there can be a lot of details to sort out… documents, links, and folders are exchanged, additional people are added to the communications, and if you’re not exceedingly detailed and careful (and if you don’t have a system worked out for organizing things efficiently), you may find yourself accidentally losing track of stuff, working with the wrong revision, forgetting a certain included file – or worse.

Fortunately for you, there are a few great freelancing software tools that solve this very problem.

Basecamp

Basecamp is changing the way companies manage their project workflow with consolidation as their primary advantage. Removing the need for several distinct software tools, Basecamp takes several common problem areas, like to-dos, scheduling, and document management, which have typically been managed using multiple tools, and puts them all “under one roof,” offering a solution they say is “The only tool you need to run your entire business.”

HoneyBook

HoneyBook is rather a different creature altogether than Basecamp. Yes, HoneyBook does handle organization within individual projects with features like tasks, scheduling, and documents, but it helps take on managing the entire project from a business perspective as well. It helps with a larger-scale organization with features like a customizable Contact Form, funneling leads directly into the platform; a Project Pipeline to give you a quick, visual overview of where all those Projects currently stand; and robust reporting tools to manage your success rates, financials, and more.

This means it can be used as a tool for project management and for client onboarding. So in some ways, it’s an even greater consolidation advantage than Basecamp’s, which focuses more on the project perspective.

Trello

Even with its focus on team collaboration, Trello can be a very effective tool for freelancers to organize their projects into easy-to-understand boards, lists, and cards, which represent their various projects and tasks.

Being able to see your entire project laid out in neat, organized little boxes with checklists and to-dos can be one of the most exhilarating feelings of joy! The lack of chaos in your workflow will free up your mind and greatly increase the efficiency of your work.

Staying Focused

So you’ve got all your ducks in a row now – everything’s organized, and you can start working.

There’s one problem though… You keep getting sidetracked with other things that really shouldn’t be worried about right now. Your inbox keeps notifying you, and other distractions keep coming up that take you away from the project you’re trying to complete.

Since the brain readjusts itself after a distraction, needing a re-focusing period before reaching full capacity again, this pattern is quite inefficient, and will not result in optimal productivity. It’s best to have a way to stay focused and on task, so you can pound out the work distraction-free.

There are a few excellent ways to do this, including the following freelancing software tools:

Boomerang

Boomerang is an absolutely amazing app that allows you to take total control over your inbox.

Boomerang provides several wonderful features, such as, “respondable,” which guides your writing, making it easier and more enjoyable to read, “inbox pause,” which allows you to temporarily turn off your inbox, removing distractions, and send-scheduling, allowing you to send emails at optimal times, ensuring even more optimal response rates.

If your email notifications are threatening to take over your life, then you really should look at Boomerang as a possible solution. Seriously, it’s great.

IFTTT

IFTTT (If This, Then That) saves you time and makes your work more productive by connecting your apps and devices so they work together. By linking sets of your small actions and tasks together so they are automatically triggered, you’ll save yourself a lot of time on busywork, in the long run, which results in a more focused workflow, and less time wasted navigating between apps.

BONUS TIP: 

Not a software tool, but the Pomodoro method is probably one of the best time-management methods for getting stuff done efficiently. All you need is a timer and increments of 25 minutes. Basically, every 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break. Every four cycles, take a longer break, maybe 15-20 minutes. Try it once, and not only will you be hooked, you’ll also skyrocket your productivity.

Counting Those Hours

Alright, cool. You’re now:

  • Working with a client
  • On an organized project
  • That you’re staying focused on…

…But all that work isn’t going to do you any good if you don’t record your time. (Granted, there are many freelancers who don’t bill by the hour, but since it’s such a common compensation model, we feel this is an important piece of the process to include here.)

Recording time can be a real hassle if you’re used to doing it the old-fashioned way – by hand – but there are several tools that completely eliminate the need to write down (or memorize!) anything at all.

Chrometa

The cool thing about Chrometa is that you don’t have to think about it – at all, really.

Since it’s almost entirely passive, it works in the background, automatically recording your billable hours as you work. You simply do what you need to do, and Chrometa will log your time for you!

This means you’ll actually save time since you won’t spend so much of it logging time. Which ultimately means you’ll get more done and get paid more, right? It’s a win-win situation.

Harvest

Harvest is a pretty nifty time-tracking tool that not only allows you to make invoices directly from the app, but you can also do some neat stuff with integrations.

For example, if you integrate it with QuickBooks or Xero, for instance, you can pull your Harvest invoices and recorded payments directly into your accounting software perfectly, eliminating any problems with double entries. Or, if you integrate with Trello, you can turn cards into time entries with a Chrome extension.

These seemingly small things do add up over time to help you be more productive in your workflow!

Toggl

Few who have used it will disagree if you make the claim that Toggl is among the best time-tracking apps. To be sure, it does have it’s advantages.

Do you want over 100 compatible integrations? Toggl’s got them. That means less navigating between apps for you. Do you want tracking reminders so you don’t forget to start your timer? Toggl’s got those too. So you don’t lose track of your precious billable hours. Tracking by individual apps or time of day/week? Yep, Toggl even has that.

One thing Toggl does not have is the native invoicing feature like Harvest does. If that’s what you’re looking for, then Toggl isn’t for you. However, if you just want a really good time tracker, Toggl is an excellent option.

Getting Paid

Ah, yes, everyone’s favorite part – the money! It’s probably the reason you started freelancing, right? Freedom from the “tyranny of the 1st and the 15th,” and all that?

But, as you may have realized, getting paid is much more of a hassle than you ever thought possible. Missed deadlines, the client didn’t get the invoice, etc. There are a lot of details and minutiae that can be missed or mistaken…

Luckily, this has been going on for long enough that freelancing tools have been developed to make the whole thing much easier….

HoneyBook 

As we mentioned in Contracts and Proposals, HoneyBook has a single, integrated format for the entire proposal-contract-invoice process.

This makes client onboarding a total breeze, but it also makes it way easier to get paid faster.  Since everything is all at once, in one place, you’ll be far less likely to miss anything—and your clients are less likely to miss stuff, too! In addition to the simple invoicing process, you can also set up automated payment reminders to go out to your clients on the days surrounding a payment due date, taking that task off your plate while still making sure you get paid.

HoneyBook also makes it easy to track the status of upcoming, paid, and overdue payments both within individual projects, and collectively, via the bookkeeping tool. And best of all, when payments do come in, you’ll always be the first to know—you’ll receive instant alerts on desktop, and, if you’re a mobile app user, via the famous “CHA-CHING” push notification.

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Bonsai

Bonsai was one of the very first software tools that made the invoicing process consistently easier for freelancers, and it still remains a popular option to this day. They say you’ll be paid “13 days faster,” on average.

PayPal

This classic standby is an oldie but a goodie. It’s completely free, and it does the trick if you’re not keen on dishing out money for extra software tools right now. If you want something fast and reliable, without any bells and whistles at all, then PayPal will be perfect for you.

Stripe

A newer PayPal alternative, quickly on the rise for its clean and easy-to-use interface. Stripe is more easily “brandable” than Paypal, so if you’d prefer to have your branding more customized, this is the freelance software for you.

Doing Taxes

It’s just one of those things…. Nobody enjoys filing taxes (or if they insist they do… they’re joking, right?!), but one way or another, it just has to get done.

And since it’s pretty much unavoidable, why not make life easier for yourself as a freelancer by using software that is specifically designed to help make filing your taxes a lot simpler….

Here are a few tools that can really take a lot of stress off your shoulders during tax season.

TurboTax

This is the big one – the name everyone’s probably heard.

TurboTax is a well-established and trusted name in the tax software industry, and for good reason. The software has built up a great reputation for being incredibly easy to use while sacrificing none of its functionality and thoroughness.

This excellence, though, does come at a price – TurboTax is pretty much the most expensive software of its kind that you can get. So if it’s worth it to you to have super-simple navigation through your complicated tax situation, just be prepared to pay a little extra.

H&R Block

When filing a tax return, it can be very easy to miss small details or make a careless oversight. H&R Block software does its very best to help you prevent this from happening as you file.

Many people will say that H&R Block is the most user-friendly tax software option available today, and they’re probably not wrong. The software almost makes you feel as though you have a real, live person there with you, walking you through the process as it asks thorough, but friendly-sounding questions.

If you want to have the smoothest, least stressful tax-filing experience, there’s a good chance H&R Block is the software for you. (They also guarantee to get you the biggest possible refund… so that’s a plus!)

TaxAct

If you’re willing to deal with just a smidge less sleekness in the interface, TaxAct is a prime option for freelancers for two reasons:

  • It’s cheaper than both TurboTax and H&R Block. Clearly, saving money is a plus, and
  • It has a “Price Lock Guarantee” which promises that you will never pay a higher price than what’s advertised at the time you begin your return, no matter how long you wait to file.

If you’re looking to save money in the long run, both of these can make TaxAct’s reduced elegance worth it.

Aaaand… General Finances!

After all this work, finding clients, contracting with them, getting paid, filing taxes… How do you know if what you’re doing is worth it? How can you easily track expenses and income to find out whether you’re coming out on top with a profit or not?

This is where accounting and bookkeeping software comes in handy for freelancing. Without it, you might be up all night just trying to figure out your stuff….

QuickBooks

Being made by TurboTax’s creator, Intuit, you might expect the same high standards of ease-of-use and comprehensive features for QuickBooks as you do for TurboTax – and rightly so!

QuickBooks is well-respected among accounting software tools, and it is actually the software that most accountants use.  There’s no doubt that QuickBooks is a powerful and robust program that will serve your bookkeeping needs, no matter what they are. If you’re looking to consolidate systems, QuickBooks integrates with HoneyBook which brings your booking process and finances under one roof.

FreshBooks

A newer and slightly less expensive competitor to QuickBooks, FreshBooks is also quite prevalent among freelancers and small business owners.

Users tend to feel that the FreshBooks interface has an overall simpler and more intuitive feel to it than QuickBooks does, which gives it a slight advantage. Overall, FreshBooks provides an easy way to organize and track your expenses at an affordable price and with an interface that’s a little simpler to use.

Xero

Are you a visual person? Well, this tool provides you with a fantastic way of seeing your cash flow with its intuitive reports that are pleasing to the eye.

A popular favorite among freelancers, Xero uses its visual representations to allow you to see exactly what’s happening to your money, and keep your finger on the pulse of your finances. Since you can log in at any time from any of your devices, Xero makes it quite easy to stay on top of your accounting and bookkeeping with grace.

Xero also has experts available for support 24/7. If you need help, they’ll be there to help you answer questions, so you’re never left alone.


The original article by Joel DeVos was originally published at Honeybook.com

About the Author:

Joel DeVos is a content/copywriter for Tech & SaaS brands at Wizard Copywriting. As a small business entrepreneur himself, he thrives by helping startups grow and expand their business, and understands the need for powerful software tools.

Trained in the dark arts of persuasion and storytelling, Joel is an expert at crafting a gotta-have-it-now feeling in your blog and website’s reader. Head here for more info about Joel.


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay