Edit! Edit! Edit! - You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
In a highly competitive niche, appearances are everything. This cannot be stressed enough. If you are a freelance writer, place yourself in the shoes of a publisher or a hiring agent. Would you rather the content you've purchased be riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, or would you rather it be well constructed with nary a misspelled word in sight?
Writers who market on forums tend to venture beyond the traditional marketplace posts. In fact, many writers become established and well respected members of forum communities. This is where things have a tendency to become a bit difficult. Familiarity tends to breed laxity. It seems to beg the question as to whether an increase in the frequency of posts from an “average” user is directly proportional to an increase in the frequency of spelling and grammatical errors from the same user. An average user, however, will not necessarily see an impact to their business unless they also happen to be a writer who relies upon the forum, or forum-related resources for work.
A writer can protect their brand by ensuring that whatever they post is at the very least passible, while also considering that unless they happen to be posting under a super-secret alternate identity (Batman!), their posts may be used to either make or break them at a later date. The bottom line? The better the posts/sample content, the more likely the writer will get more work.
That being said, here are some quick tips to help minimize the incidence of posts that could potentially harm a freelance writers reputation:
- Take the time to spellcheck your posts. Spelling errors are extremely common and a huge deterrent amongst hiring publishers.
- Verify you've used the correct punctuation. When asking a question, end the question with a question mark.
- Make sure you don't use random or incorrect capitalization.
- Read through your post aloud at least once. If you don't understand it, how will everyone else?
- If you find more than 3 commas in one sentence, verify your sentence isn't a run-on. If you aren't certain, consider shortening the sentence or splitting it up into multiple short sentences.
- See if you can get someone else to read through it at least once.
Have something to add? Feel free to post it below!
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Brilliant post! I was thinking the same things myself. I hope that some potential clients understand the difference between a light hearted post and a serious one though. I know NetBuilders and DP both have "general" subforums where jokes are passed around frequently.
I was recently hired for a nice little project based on my forum posting! The person actually told me that "Based upon your forum postings, I believe you are perfect for this job".
It pays off to always be your absolute best.
m42 (10 June, 2009)
yep, like 99% of all the writers and their articles in the market are just awful. They are full of grammatical errors, meaningless and repeating sentences, frequently even make little sense. Finding good writers is frankly pretty hard hard nowdays.
Instead of competing who offers the lowest price, take the time to create real quality content and charge more!
m42 (12 June, 2009)