Content Marketing/Marketing/Writing

Why You Should Hire a Freelance Writer for Content Marketing

Posted by M. Sharon Baker

I have received several calls in the past few days from callers asking why they should hire a freelance writer and what the benefits are of doing so.

After one call, I created a quick proposal for a prospect to help convince her boss that hiring a freelance writer to help with content marketing was the right way to go.colored pencils in can msb

Here are 9 benefits I mentioned:

  1. While you may hate to write, freelance writers are passionate about writing and love it, which means they skip procrastination, fits and starts, and the constant rewriting that comes when you dislike the task.
  2. They free you up to concentrate on business development, strategy and the many marketing tasks you love to do.
  3. They cost less than hiring a full-time marketing writer. The freelancer writer is an independent contractor paying his or her own taxes.
  4. Veteran freelance writers have a system to produce written materials and adhere to a project schedule with little hand holding. Many can also manage your project.
  5. Freelance writers bring a fresh outside perspective, one that helps them think more like your audience. They aren’t steeped in your internal jargon or tied to ingrained marketing approaches.
  6. Freelance writers have an uncanny ability to understand, reach and engage audiences with their writing so they can help you better target your audience.
  7. Because they work with multiple clients, a veteran freelance writer brings knowledge gained at other firms and best practices, which can move your company forward faster. They can suggest ideas, improvements and channels that make your marketing materials stand out and demand attention.
  8. Finding a writer with industry expertise who is also knowledgeable about content marketing gives you a leg up on your competition. You don’t have to spend as much time learning about the new ways of marketing or spend as much time bringing the writer up to speed on your industry.
  9. Freelance Writers help you avoid falling behind. There is a cost when you do nothing: Marketing is changing rapidly. Today, B2B customers are two-thirds through the buying cycle before they engage a salesperson. That means they are doing research and seeking answers to questions before they are on your radar screen. Without fresh, helpful and thought-leadership content, you are falling behind your competition and losing customers.

Here’s a shorter answer: Hiring a freelance writer is a great way to create a steady stream of content on a variety of topics on a timely basis without having to add a full-time employee.

Can you think of other benefits of hiring freelance writers? Please share them in the comments.

Share
Journalism/Writing

Freelance Journalist Wins 4 WA Press Association Awards

Posted by M. Sharon Baker

Once in a blue moon, I find I need to write a press release about myself. Here’s the latest, which I’m writing for my local newspaper.

 Freelance Journalist Wins WA Press Association Awards

Freelance Journalist M. Sharon Baker won four awards from the Washington Press Association for her online and magazine work.MSFT The One That Started snip (415x527)

The Anacortes resident won two First Place awards, a Second and a Third from the WPA, which is an organization of Washington State professional communicators including print and online journalists, public relations practitioners and students in these fields.

Baker won:

  • First Place, Features, food for “Seattle’s Pizza Wars”, a story about the growth of startup MOD Pizza and other new pizzerias that plan national rollouts, which ran in the March 2013 issue of Seattle Business.

 

 

  • Second Place General News for “Startup Generates Electricity from HVAC System Thanks to UW Design, Testing” for the University of Washington’s magazine, The Trend in Engineering.

 

  • Third Place Business/Technology for “The One that Started It All:,” a story on Microsoft Corp.’s efforts to help startups for ID8Nation’s Seattle digital magazine.

 

A former reporter with The Skagit Valley Herald, The Puget Sound Business Journal, and the defunct Journal American of Bellevue, Baker has been an independent journalist since 2001. Her recent work appears in Nation’s Restaurant News, Alaska Airlines magazine and Seattle Business, among other publications.

Baker is also a freelance content writer who helps companies connect with customers by writing case studies, white papers, web copy and other marketing materials.

–30–

 

Share
Public Relations/Writing

Do You Have Questions About Contributed Articles?

Posted by M. Sharon Baker

We’re fresh off the free call hosted by Carol Tice at the Freelance Writers Den, and I understand that a lot of our listeners are not yet members of the Den.

So, if you have additional questions about contributed articles, please feel free to ask them in the comments below and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

Please note, I won’t be answering too many specific questions about press releases, retainers, or public relations as these are all topics I’ll be sharing information about in the upcoming Bootcamp, which is a real steal –especially since you also get to join the den free for the first month. (And the Den is currently closed to everyone else.)

 

 

pr_bootcamp_banner_550x100_v2

 

So, What can I tell you about contributed articles?  Ask away and I’ll try to help as much as I can.

 

 

 

Share
Public Relations/Writing

Learn How I Get Big $$ Gigs in PR

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
Learn How I Get Big $$ Gigs in PR

pr_bootcamp_banner_550x100_v2

Carol Tice, a friend and colleague from our days at the Puget Sound Business Journal and Den Mother at the Freelance Writers Den, has asked me to teach freelance writers the ins and outs of public relations.

I’ve agreed to create and lead a 3-session bootcamp Dec. 5, 12 &19. You can check out the details by clicking on the banner above.

I will be covering how to write press releases that get results, how I land PR retainers as a writer and our special guest Karl Sakas from Agency Firebox based in North Carolina will devote a whole session on how writers can work with PR agencies.

Next Tuesday, Nov. 19, Carol is hosting me on a free conference call at 2 p.m. where I will reveal how I make $1,200 on articles that other freelancers only make $300 on.

Want to Join us on the free call? Leave a note in the comments below, and I’ll add you to my private list that will receive the call details, or shoot me an email.

On Tuesday, I’ll also have a guest post on Carol’s blog Make A Living Writing blog talking all about how I added public relations services and grew that part of my freelance businesses. (Hint: I worked with a lot of great people who have their own PR agencies.)

 pr_bootcamp_banner_550x100_v2

 

Share
Writing

Seattle is a Hotbed of Entrepreneurs, Says Digital Pub

Posted by M. Sharon Baker
Seattle is a Hotbed of Entrepreneurs, Says Digital Pub

The Kauffman Foundation recently profiled Seattle as a hotbed of entrepreneurism through their digital publication www.id8nation.combest snip ID8Nation ship

They previously featured entrepreneurship in Pittsburgh and San Diego.

In the Seattle issue you’ll find stories on the Big 6:  Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft, Costco, Nordstrom and Boeing, and a lot more.

There’s also coverage of the area’s music and video game making scenes, profiles of entrepreneurs such as Cheezburger’s Ben Huh and Jane Park of Juelp, all through the lens of entrepreneurship and what makes the region such a magnet.

I wrote a couple of stories for the issue.

The bulk of the content is only for mobile and tablet users, devices they say offer a different experience than the web. However, you can read some stories on their website.

The editors agreed to let me post my two articles on Microsoft and another on Method Homes, the modular homebuilder based in Bellingham that’s expanding nationwide.

The Microsoft Corp. stories focus on its recent efforts to help startups with a sidebar on some of the more historical moves the company has made to foster entrepreneurship in Seattle.

The Method Homes story is just one of a collection of manufacturing stories. (Full Disclosure: I only wrote the Method story, not the profiles on the other two manufacturing firms.

You can read the stories by clicking on the story covers.

MSFT The One That Started snip (415x527)             MSFT Venturing Forth snip cover (603x481)             ID8nation Method snip cover (446x456)

 

Did they portray Seattle accurately? Seattleites, and others, let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

Share