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The Freelance Writing Blog Podcasting Series

This exciting new Service has been launched on 28 July 2018 (3 days earlier than initially intended). The various Episodes can be viewed from the Dropdown Menu of this Page. The Episodes will deal with all the subjects covered by the Blog and we will endeavour to provide inspiration and information on Freelance Writing, Blogging and Online Marketing. 

 

PODCAST EPISODE 1: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE FREELANCE WRITING BLOG

Transcript:

FIRST EPISODE: THE FREELANCE WRITING BLOG PODCASTING SHOW

Welcome to The Freelance Writing Blog Podcast – the show dedicated to Freelance Writing, Blogging and Online Marketing.

For more information on all these topics, visit us at freelancewritingblog.com.

Let’s get today’s show started with myself as your host. I am a fellow freelancer and Blogger, and my name is Kim Bock. Just a heads up before we get started with the Show.

This is my very first Podcast and I am hoping to, in future, include some knowledgeable guests, so that you will not only have another voice to listen to, but also have some other perspectives on the various topics which I have already mentioned.

Now let’s get down to the very first of your weekly dose of The Freelance Writing Blog Podcasts.

I think it is necessary, as this is my very first Podcast that I share some information about myself. The next episodes will be dedicated to the main topics of Blogging, Freelance Writing and Online Marketing and will be more focused and in depth.

Let’s quickly get back to who I am. I had an exciting journey in my lifetime. True, I have not experienced the exciting adventures of Kingsley Holgate and I can unfortunately not claim to have visited every country on the Continent of Africa in a Land Rover like he did – lucky him! I have however travelled widely and have visited several European Countries as well as Russia. All these Countries were an experience I would not have wanted to miss at all, but my heart always warmed when I returned to my own beautiful country, sunny South Africa with its breathtaking scenery and warm and friendly people. I read voraciously (sometimes a novel a day (if it is not more than 50 000 words mind you!) and prefer relaxing with a novel rather than watching television or going to the movies. My favourite reading topics are Biographies of interesting people from modern times as well as history.

I could indulge my creative side and my love for books when I published my first novel (a historical romance) through LAPA which is a well-established and recognised Publisher in South Africa.

Before my husband, Eitel and I (and you will hear more from him in one of the next Podcast episodes), started our own company, WebScripto (which is a Digital Marketing Company), we both worked as negotiators for the Public Servants Association (or PSA for short).

The PSA is the second largest Trade Union in the SA Public Service. We were amongst others responsible for negotiating terms and conditions of employment for our members and networking with other Labour unions from the Federation of Cosatu as well as some non-politically aligned unions.

Some of my other responsibilities were copyediting, writing, and communicating to members through News Letters (which we called The Informus) and the PSA Magazine. I also drafted various Media Statements. I was also responsible for the editing of News Letters and articles and writing the content. I did this job for more than 20 years.

Both my husband and I decided that we were ready to pursue our own dreams of starting a Company, during 2015.

Personally, I am thankful to the PSA as it granted me the opportunity to hone my skills not only as a negotiator and a writer of articles, newsletters and press releases but also as a copy editor. I am now able to utilise those skills in our own digital marketing company, WebScripto, and in The Freelance Writing Blog which my husband and I created together.

As you can see we have been creating something (whether it was collective agreements and Newsletters, or websites, marketing material and Blogs) our entire working lives.

Starting the Blog was a dream. We are hoping to help other creatives realise their potential and start their own online businesses. I promise, that being a creative entrepreneur is not only fulfilling, but is a lot of fun as well.

The Blog was at the back of our minds for a while after starting our Digital Marketing Agency. At first, we concentrated on designing and building websites, mainly for start-up and first-time entrepreneurs, but we soon realised that we weren’t just designing their websites, we were also in a manner of speaking, helping them with finetuning their business model and what they hoped to achieve with their online business.

We extended our own business into the broader field of digital marketing which included Google AdWords, setting up and advertising on social media pages and a lot of other things that fall under the scope of Digital Marketing.

In the middle of this new journey, we started to talk about our business and where it was we wanted to end up after taking this journey. We were brainstorming, and it was during those conversations where Eitel and I, decided that at some point, we wanted to start a Blog in which we could share our knowledge and experience with other people who were passionate about starting a creative career in either freelance writing or Blogging, but who did not know how to go about the process.

A couple of years after starting our Digital Marketing Agency we decided to go for it. We also had this idea that if we really wanted to share our knowledge and experience with other creative entrepreneurs, we would not only have to Blog about these subjects, but that we should also start a podcast. At some point after starting our Podcast Series, we intend to extend our engagement with our readers and listeners to Videos and eBooks and possibly also start with some coaching, if there is an interest for it.

If what we experienced in our life journeys could be valuable to other creative entrepreneurs, why not give it a go and see if people are interested enough for us to continue.

So here we are, starting our Podcast series for The Freelance Writing Blog.

We really hope that this series will be of value to people in the creative industry and who want to be working and doing the work that they love doing, but they are not sure how to go about it.

There are a whole range of topics which we are going to cover, but all of them will relate to freelance writing, blogging or online marketing. In next week’s episode, we will be covering a topic on one of these subjects.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of the Podcast of The Freelance Writing Blog.

If you would like more information on any of our stories or would like to know how to get involved and share your story, head over to our website at www.freelancewritingblog.com, or you can find us on Facebook on The Freelance Writing Blog.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast and leave a review. We will also appreciate you subscribing to our Newsletter on the Blog for further exciting news.

 

PODCAST EPISODE 2: DISCUSSING WORDPRESS AS A BLOGGING PLATFORM

Transcript:

DISCUSSING WORDPRESS AS A BLOGGING PLATFORM WITH EITEL BOCK, WEBSITE DESIGNER AND OWNER OF WEBSCRIPTO PTY LTD

Hi Everyone, Kim here from The Freelance Writing Blog Podcast – the show dedicated to Freelance Writing, Blogging and Online Marketing. For more information on all these topics, visit us at www.freelancewritingblog.com.

INTRODUCING EITEL BOCK

Today, I’m here with Eitel Bock, founder of WebScripto and co-founder of The Freelance Writing Blog. Hi, Eitel.

Eitel: Hi Kim, it’s great to be here.

Kim: Yes, it’s exciting how this Show is evolving. Please tell us a little about yourself. I have mentioned that you are the founder of WebScripto.

Eitel: Yes, as you have mentioned in last week’s Show, WebScripto Pty Ltd was established as a Digital Marketing Agency in 2015. This was after a long career as a Trade Union Negotiator and Representative and before that as a Prosecutor and Investigating Officer at the Department of Correctional Services. On the side I have played in a band (I am a guitarist) and I have written and published some Poetry.

Kim: So, like me, you have been creative in one way or another for many years. You are the co-founder of The Freelance Writing Blog. Tell us more about how that came about and how working with WebScripto influenced that decision.

Eitel: WebScripto was initially established as a Website Design Company but in working with entrepreneurs quickly showed us that we should actually concentrate on the broader field (which includes website design) of Digital Marketing and WebScripto evolved into a Digital Marketing Agency. We have a very good and loyal client base and love doing what we do.

Late in 2017, we talked and decided that we could do more to not only exercise our creative side, but also to help other people to realise their own dreams to work from home and still be able to earn a sufficient living. This is where The Freelance Writing Blog comes in.

We read a book written by Robert W. Bly (The Digital Marketing Handbook) and realised that we could expand our existing business along the lines of the Hub-and-Spoke ecommerce model. WebScripto will be the hub and we will explore other avenues of linking spokes to this hub. Obviously, we felt that it (the Hub and the Spokes) should all be related.

Kim: So where does the Freelance Writing Blog fit in?

Eitel: The Freelance Writing Blog saw the light as one of these spokes as we could still explore and share our knowledge in the related field of Digital Marketing. As you know, Blogging is very much a business in its own right, as it takes a tremendous amount of time to not only create it, but to make it effective and work as a business. When we first started the Blog, we were pleasantly surprised to see the scale of the interest in The Blog and everything we covered in it. This tells us that people are hungry to learn and to earn a living for themselves.

Kim: What is your area of speciality and what will you be concentrating on in The Blog?

Eitel: Well obviously as a website designer, I will tell people more about WordPress (which is my Platform of choice) and how to start a Blog on WordPress and I will also tell our readers and listeners more about certain aspects of digital (or online) marketing.

Kim: Speaking of WordPress, you mention that it is your Blogging platform of choice. Why is that?

Eitel: Well I will obviously talk about it in more detail in coming Podcast Shows, but broadly speaking, I love WordPress because it allows users to publish their latest products or services at a moment’s notice. Once content is added or changed it is available on your website immediately. It’s also very easy to use. Website owners, once they have a properly designed website, can maintain their websites themselves without having to resort to Developers.

Kim: So, it’s user friendly?’

Eitel: Yes, very user friendly and keeping your website updated is a breeze. The task can even be automated.

Kim: You mention websites. What about Blogs?

Eitel: WordPress works great for websites, e-commerce stores and Blogs. WordPress was originally created for Bloggers, but website designers quickly saw that it could be very relevant for business websites and e-commerce stores. WordPress is however still top ranking for Bloggers and is perfect for all kinds of Blogging niches. The design options and themes (we will talk more about that as well in coming shows) are virtually unlimited.

Kim: But isn’t it very expensive?

Eitel: No, WordPress is Open Source. Being Open Source means that WordPress’ Core platform is free. In our books nothing beats free. The main advantage of being open source is that WordPress has the largest community of users, designers and developers out there. In turn this means great support groups for entry level and skilled user alike.

Kim:  OK, so WordPress seems just right for Bloggers. When you look at statistics though, more and more people these days are accessing the internet through their mobile phones. How is WordPress adjusting to that?

Eitel: Yes, even with our Business, we have noted through analytics, that a very large number of visitors to both WebScripto and The Freelance Writing Blog, are accessing our sites with their mobile phones. WordPress is however, lucky for us and lucky for every Blogger using WordPress as it’s platform, completely mobile friendly (or ‘responsive’ in techie language).

Kim: OK, that addresses mobile phone users, what about search engines. How does WordPress as a blogging platform, fit into the whole idea of search engine optimisation (or SEO)?

Eitel: WordPress has been created in such a way that it is Search Engine Friendly. Its framework is constructed in such a way that it can easily be “crawled” by search engine bots. In addition, there are a growing number of quality plugins available to enhance a WordPress website’s SEO, plugins like Yoast.

Kim: And things like this Podcasting show for example and other aspects of online marketing like social media optimisation and email marketing (we will talk about those darn lists in shows to come by the way), how does WordPress accommodate these things?

Eitel: Well, WordPress has an answer (or let’s call it a plugin) for almost everything these days. Even this Podcast and autoresponders and bulk email providers are accommodated. This Podcast is hosted on the site with the use of a plugin and even subscribers to our lists are added to the newsletter list by clicking on the subscribe button on the website or blog. All the top autoresponders and email providers, like MailChimp and GetResponse for example have integration plugins developed for use on WordPress.

Kim: Listening to everything you tell us about WordPress I want to give my two cents. I like WordPress and I love all the possibilities that come with it to expand one’s business, especially if you’re a blogger, like me, and you’re trying to make a living from it.

Eitel: Yes, in my view, the opportunities that come with owning a WordPress website or blog are almost limitless. I’ve seen and experienced that for myself.

Kim: Eitel, I am looking forward to future discussions and more detail on these topics in Shows to come. Thanks so much for your time. It w talking with you

Eitel: It was a pleasure to be on. Thanks for having me.

OUTRO

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of the Podcast of The Freelance Writing Blog.

If you would like more information on any of our stories or would like to know how to get involved and share your story, head over to our website at www.freelancewritingblog.com, or you can find us on Facebook on The Freelance Writing Blog.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast on Stitcher (and soon on iTunes) and leave a review. We will also appreciate you subscribing to our Newsletter on the Blog for further exciting news.

PODCAST EPISODE 3: CAN YOU CHOOSE FREELANCE WRITING AS A CAREER?

Transcript:

An Introduction to Copywriting and Content Marketing

Welcome to The Freelance Writing Blog Podcast – the show dedicated to Freelance Writing, Blogging and Online Marketing. For more information on all these topics, visit us at freelancewritingblog.com.

Let’s get today’s show started with myself as your host. I am a fellow freelancer and Blogger, and my name is Kim Bock.

Now let’s get down to the next episode of The Freelance Writing Blog Podcasts. As this blog is mainly about Freelance Writing, I thought it would be only fair if I talk about Freelance Writing as a career, addressing the concepts of copywriting and content marketing. So, let’s start off with:

An Introduction to Copywriting

Before we even begin discussing the topic in depth we need to understand exactly what the term ‘Copywriting’ means.

The Oxford English Dictionary has a very simple definition for the term. It is according to the Dictionary ‘the activity or occupation of writing the text of advertisements or publicity material’.

This is a very good and succinct academic explanation of the term. We do however need to go into more depth to truly understand what copywriting is todayand also what a copywriter does in today’s global economy. We are after all in the midst of a Digital Revolution (one of my favourite expressions).

According to Copyblogger, copywriting is one of the most essential elements of effective online marketing. Writing is a form of art and to be able to write proper copy is both a form of art and of strategic thinking. With copywriting you are after all strategically delivering words to your ideal audience (which we will speak of in more detail in a later instalment) and by relating to their aims and interests, you get your audience to take the form of action that you want them to take. This can be anything from buying a product to engaging your services to help your audience address a particular pain point which they have.

Having the ability to craft well written copy which is carefully designed and planned to serve a particular purpose or advantage is a skill which is highly sought after. In the past big advertising agencies made a tone of money by employing the right copywriters and utilising their skills to craft skilful ad campaigns for rich clients.

These days, you don’t have to work for an ad agency and work in a 9 to 5 job for someone else who makes money off your skills. You can do it all yourself, by offering your skills and experience to clients on a Freelance basis.

Copywriters are some of the highest-paid writers in the world. You can enjoy a fulfilling and lucrative career working from home. If you however know that you can write great advertising copy, but you want to expand your craft to include other concepts which relates to the art of writing, and you intend to become a Freelance Writer (note the generality), well ‘the Sky is the Limit’ for you to start your own business and to make money from what you love doing. Let’s have a look at the other disciplines which can make up the career of a Freelance Writer.

Terminological Confusion: Introducing the concept of Content Writing

Well you may rightfully ask what the difference between the terms of copywriting (or marketing) and content writing is.

According to Sonia Simone, content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers — and customers into repeat buyers whilst Copywriting gets a reader to take a specific action. These can be actions like buying a product, but it can also be subscribing to your email list, signing up for your resource library, or engaging your services as a Business Consultant.

Content marketing includes marketing aspects such blogs, podcasts, and email autoresponders, whilst Copywriting is sales pages, ads, and direct mail (Simone, 2016).

For Neil Patel ‘content marketing is all about storytelling, and humans have told stories for as long as they could speak. Our attention will always go to those who tell great stories’.

Referring back to what we have indicated earlier about the importance of strategic thinking in Copywriting, you will not be surprised to learn that Content marketing is also strategic in nature. Content Marketing is according to Content Marketing Institute, ‘a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action’.

Instead of just writing copy to pitch your products or services and get your audience to take immediate action, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.

In the end and in my opinion the difference between Copywriting and Content Marketing is instant gratification (buying that box of chocolates right now) versus engaging and nurturing your customer in a journey which will grow your reputation (and that of your business) and which will allow you to not only retain those satisfied customers, but also bring in new business.

Neil Patel writes that ‘in contrast to one-off advertising, content marketing shows that you actually care about your customers. I agree with Neil when he says that ‘today, more than ever before, people want to feel like you care about them. The world is louder and noisier than ever before, and attention is our most valuable resource’.

What do you need to become a successful Content Writer?

Sherry Gray wrote an article for The Entrepreneur, indicating that if you want to become successful as a content writer, you need a full toolkit of marketable skills. We will discuss them briefly:

  1. Successful content writers must master different writing styles. If you are a great writer, that does not mean that you are ready to write great content. Each form of writing has its own style. Blogging is for example personable, friendly and often opinionated whilst Ad copy is short and persuasive aimed at obtaining instant action from your customers. If you can master all of these styles of writing, it will make your services more valuable and in demand.
  2. Successful content writers don’t pick random subjects. As a Freelance Writer you are on your own at home and don’t have the option of brainstorming subjects with a team. It is therefore crucial that you understand the audience that you are writing for. We will speak more about your ideal audience in next instalments but suffice it to say that marketers call it creating a “buyer persona.” (You will find a downloadable example in the Resource Library of The Freelance Writing Blog). If you know who your audience is, you can write what you know that they will want to read.
  3. Successful content writers are original. Develop your own unique voice. In this way your content will be original and consistent which is what your customer wants and what keeps them coming back for more.
  4. Successful content writers know SEO and blogging platforms like WordPress. You don’t have to be a technical boffin on these concepts, so don’t be scared. You only need a few basics. There is a myriad of WordPress themes in the blogosphere and they all have varying levels of automatic functions (you will find mention of some of these on The Freelance Writing Blog). It’s certainly worth your time to learn the basics if you want to get your business and your brand established and if you want to start making money as a creative entrepreneur. SEO knowledge is also critical for ranking of your business on Google or other search engines but there are also many fine SEO plugins for WordPress (such as Yoast or All-in-One SEO) which can help content writers (and Bloggers) to keep up.
  5. Successful content writers should also be social media specialists. We will talk a lot more about the marketing or sales funnel in next instalments but suffice it to say that social media puts everything you need within that funnel within your grasp. You can build awareness of your brand, build your audience, meet publishers and network with industry experts and Influencers. Sherry Gray writes that ‘when your writing is published, the fun has only just begun. The more active you are on social media, the more likely your followers will be to recommend your content. Successful content writers are active, public and friendly’.

She closes with a statement which I fully agree with ‘So, think again about writing “success.” It stops being about words on paper as soon as “content” is added to “writer.” Content writers are marketing experts, SEO specialists, on-page coders and social media butterflies. With the right skill set, you’ll succeed and find that yours is the best job in the world’.

Do you want to become a Freelance Writer?

If the answer is ‘yes’, congratulations! You have reached a milestone in your life as an independent creative entrepreneur. My own advice to you is however to combine strategic copywriting with skilful content marketing and get the best of both worlds. If you want to learn more about Freelance Writing and of how I started my own career as a Freelance Writer, visit freelancewritingblog.com. Also while you are there, take our fun quiz and see if you have what it takes to become a Freelance Writer.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of the Podcast of The Freelance Writing Blog.

If you would like more information on any of our stories or would like to know how to get involved and share your story, head over to our website at freelancewritingblog.com, or you can find us on Facebook on The Freelance Writing Blog.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast and leave a review. We will also appreciate you subscribing to our Newsletter on the Blog for further exciting news.

See you next time when we will be discussing our topic of Freelance Writing in more depth!

Podcast Episode 4: What kind of jobs are available to Freelance Writers?

Transcript

What kind of jobs can Freelance Writers do?

Welcome to The Freelance Writing Blog Podcast – the show dedicated to Freelance Writing, Blogging and Online Marketing. For more information on all these topics, visit us at freelancewritingblog.com.

Let’s get today’s show started with myself as your host. I am a fellow freelancer and Blogger, and my name is Kim Bock.

I thought it would be appropriate if we start this next episode of The Freelance Writing Blog Podcast with the kind of jobs you can perform as a Freelance Writer.

Before we even start with this topic, it is necessary to learn what the concept ‘Freelance’ actually means.

According to the Writer’s Bureau, ‘a freelance writer is a writer who works on a self-employed basis. They can work for just one magazine or, more often, they write for several different publications at a time. The more diverse a writer can be, the more likely they are to be published and paid for their work’.

This doesn’t mean that Freelance Writer only writes for magazines or other kinds of publications. Writersedit has identified 5 major types of Freelance Writing Jobs. These are:

Article/Feature writing

This includes writing for magazines and newspapers, but can also include writing online content for magazines, journals and news outlets. This can be a more viable and lucrative option than concentrating only on print magazines and newspapers. There are so many websites which cover every topic under the sun and speaks to every kind of audience, that you may be able to get a freelance writing opportunity much easier, writing for the web, than for print articles.

 

 

 

Content/ Copywriting

We dealt with the difference between Copywriting and Content marketing in the previous podcast episode. It is however important to note that content marketing in the business world has become very important as more and more businesses start establishing their own online presence. The recent bankruptcy of big stores who have not gone with the times and started selling their products online, or at least creating an online presence, is proof of how important online marketing and digital branding has become. Brick and mortar stores are taking a backseat to online stores like Amazon.

This is why there is such a surge in the demand for copywriters and content marketers. Content marketing in the words of Writersedit, nowadays is king.

Please read the freelancewritingblog.com’s article, So you want to become a Freelance Copywriter for detail on the different publications that Freelance Copywriters are writing today. In summary however, some of the content you may be creating as a Copywriter or content marketer is:

  • Advertising copy
  • Website content
  • Blog posts
  • EDMs
  • Press releases
  • White papers
  • Ebooks

Blogging

Although Blogging can be considered a subcategory of content writing it can also be a standalone freelance activity.

Here we are however referring to blogging as an individual, or guest blogging.

We have in the freelancewritingblog.com written extensively about how you can create a blog from scratch and if you are a newbie blogger wanting to establish your own presence online, you can follow our step by step guide which we set out in the Blog.

According to Writersedit, and I agree with them, ‘once you have established your own blog and grown a community of readers, there are a number of ways you can monetise your blog, as well as writing posts for other websites (and getting paid for it!)’. We have followed that strategy with success ourselves.

Social media content creation

HubSpot summed it up perfectly. ‘To be masters of their trade, social media marketers should be able to build an engaged and enthusiastic community, prove that social media supports the company’s or brand’s goals, balance self-promotion with content marketing, maintain a strong presence on the relevant networks, and incorporate outbound efforts’.

Remember when I said in freelancewritingblog.com that we are in the midst of a digital revolution? Branding and content creation in social media is part of that digital revolution. Where people used to passively see ads in newspapers and magazines or see an advert on television and not be able to interact with it, everything has changed. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many more, have made it possible for people to actively engage with your brand and this interactivity has impacted on how everyone see and experience your brand. As a content marketer, you can use your skills to encourage greater participation and engagement with your own brand, or you can make your services available to other companies and brands to do their social media content creation for them and to establish their digital brand on the world-wide web. The possibilities are endless for a freelance writer like yourself.

Editing

As a Freelance editor or a proofreader you can make your services available to clients, such as companies who want their content checked or other writers who need an editor for their book.

You can even combine freelance editing with freelance writing and in this way diversify and extend your income stream.

 

 

Do you see yourself creating an income as a Freelance Writer with any of the above income streams?

If the answer is ‘yes’, congratulations! You have reached a milestone in your life as an independent creative entrepreneur. If you want to learn more about Freelance Writing and of how I started my own career as a Freelance Writer, visit freelancewritingblog.com. Also, while you are there, take our fun quiz and see if you have what it takes to become a Freelance Writer.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of the Podcast of The Freelance Writing Blog.

If you would like more information on any of our stories or would like to know how to get involved and share your story, head over to our website at freelancewritingblog.com, or you can find us on Facebook on The Freelance Writing Blog.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast and leave a review. We will also appreciate you subscribing to our Newsletter on the Blog for further exciting news.

See you next time when we will be discussing the tools and skills you need to become a successful Freelance Writer.

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