How to write a good introduction for a blog article

There is no such thing as a second impression when it comes to a blog article introduction. A writer has but one chance to reel in as many readers at first bite. Sure, it’s easier said than done.

Tempesta Media previously discussed that catching readers’ interest from the very start is the toughest part of a writer’s job. Nevertheless, this skill has to be mastered if you are to be a serious writer. Without an effective introduction, the rest of your content might as well be used to wrap fish.

So how does one go about writing a blog introduction that will get a reader hooked?

First off, a blog intro needs to be concise. Dedicate three to four sentences that are no longer than 35-40 words. Just think: Bloggers reached 30.6 million in 2018 alone. A writer gets only a few seconds to make a pitch before readers will want to give the next blog contender a chance.

Check if the following blog article introduction techniques have also enticed you to take a writer’s bait:

Give your readers a taste of what they want.

Sports fishers are modern-day athletes who depend on blogs to navigate the murky waters of this billion-dollar pursuit.

Different readers want different information. Identify your audience. This means understanding what they want to hear and what tone to use when writing for them.

Use an anecdote to draw the reader into your blog article

My niece Tammy had a bad experience with fish when she was four. So for a year or two, she was told that the salmon and mackerel dishes that she loved so much were chicken parts.

Blog writers often start with funny stories because they sell. However, a scary or dramatic anecdote can also pack a punch. It doesn’t have to be personal, but it must be written in a way that makes the characters and the situation familiar.

Find a popular and relatable topic.

Conclusive proof of high levels of mercury in tuna has put additional limitations for those who don’t eat meat.

Controversial subject matters may actually be a more effective way to start your blog article. But these posts may alienate half of your readers. It might be better to use more universal themes or those that have become part of popular culture.

Use a provocative question, a fresh or an astonishing piece of information, or a unique quote.

Has the scientific community finally found proof that fish can feel pain?

Unrelated studies from three Ivy league universities have now proven that fish can feel physical and emotional pain.

<<<“As no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler.” – Izaak Walton>>>

All these intro techniques are effective hooks because they play on readers’ emotions. As such, these blog article introductions are sometimes abused by misguided bloggers who often have no content to match. A professional writer does not fall into this trap.

There are many more ways of writing a blog introduction. The long and short of it is that an effective intro should act as a net. This net will prove effective if readers will not want to escape until they reach the blog’s very last word.

Best practices for conducting industry research as a freelancer

Anyone who has writing and storytelling skills can write a blog. You can show some professional distinction by taking advantage of the best research tools for writers available via modern technology.
The internet is a very advanced tool for researching industries that you are writing about. However, you need to use best practice techniques when conducting online research to be the most efficient and effective.

Techniques for conducting industry research

Producing quality research for topics requires being savvy at two different skills: one, at conducting web searches and, two, at finding credible sources.
When conducting searches, these techniques will make your job easier:

  • Identify specific terms that are unique to your subject.
  • Learn indispensable searchspeak to filter information further:
    • + indicates two or more search items have to be found together
    • – indicates that you want to exclude this in the search
    • “” indicates that a particular term needs to be exact
    • | means OR; the multiple terms in the search can be found together or one at a time
    • site:website URL (e.g., site:www.tempestamedia.com) means that you want to search a particular website. This is usually more efficient than using a website’s in-house search mechanism.
  • Find forums that are discussing your topic.
  • Maximize advanced search options.
  • Don’t hesitate to use another search engine whenever you feel dissatisfied with the amount or quality of information.
  • If all else fails, contact an expert through the phone and set an appointment.

Ways to spot credible sources

Next comes the part when you ensure that your sources are credible. This is a Tempesta Media standard. Authoritative sources with appropriate links make for superior content.
It’s not as daunting as it sounds. The proliferation of misinformation on the web has compelled many institutions to publish guidelines to gauge a source’s trustworthiness:
Get to know what web domains mean:

  • .edu are university websites. The older and more established are usually the most reliable.
  • .gov or .mil are government websites. These are reliable as long as they are not talking politics. Many studies in the U.S. and other countries can also be accessed freely.
  • .com are companies or products.
  • .org are nonprofits or special interest groups. These last two both have their own agenda, but their studies could prove useful if they are verifiable. Additionally, many experts are affiliated with the latter group.

Determine if this site is credible and the information is factual:

  • Check the authors’ credentials. Are they respected by their peers? Have they published similar work recently? Are they associated with special interest groups?
  • Ensure that the study was done less than two years ago. Also, check for contradicting studies that may have already pierced holes in their argument.
  • Ensure that references cited are verifiable. Confirm that the links work. For books, check the library if they contain accurate information attributed to them.
  • In-depth discussions are preferable. Long-form content shows that studies were extensive.
  • Finally, browse through the website. Are articles facts-oriented and bias-free? Is the site highly opinionated? Does it play on emotions? Were time and effort spent on designing the site? Or does it look suspiciously like a fly-by-night venture?

A few obvious best practices:

  • Wikipedia should never be cited as a reference as the authors are not verified and the content isn’t verified
  • Rather than citing an article who cited another article, try to go to the original source
  • Narrow your search to specific keywords and phrases to get the answers you want, more quickly
  • Focus on content that is current, ideally created or updated in the last 2 years

All of the information above is a lot to process. However, these are necessary research tools for writers who want to prosper in their career. Learning to make quick and efficient searches will allow you time to review your work. Plus ensuring your sources are credible will steer you away from embarrassment and make you shine as an authority, too.

Tools for Writers – Grammar and Training Guides for Freelance Writers

There are many apps and tools available to help freelance writers create better content. Here are some recommendations we’ve put together:
Grammarly
Grammarly’s free writing app – available for Firefox, Chrome and Safari browsers — makes sure everything you type is easy to read and mistake-free. The add-in enables you to check spelling and grammar on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, and nearly everywhere else you write on the web. Key features include:

  • Contextual spelling checker: Detects correctly spelled words used in the wrong context. You can stop worrying about misusing homophones like lose/loose, affect/effect, lie/lay, there/their/they’re, and many other commonly confused words.
  • Grammar checker: Grammarly can fix hundreds of complex grammatical errors, including subject-verb agreement, article use, and modifier placement, to name just a few.

The basic browser-based add-in is free. The premium app, $12-$30 per month, has many advanced features.
AP Stylebook
The AP Stylebook is an English guide for grammar, punctuation and principles of reporting, including many definitions and rules for usage as well as styles for capitalization, abbreviation, spelling and numerals. Tempesta Media uses AP style for all BrandBuilder and Ghostwritten content.
You can buy the book for $20.95 or get an online subscription for $26 per year.
Tips and Training
The Poynter Institute is a global leader in journalism training. Its website features a very helpful blog filled with writing, grammar and style tips, and it offers a variety of free and paid online courses that you can take at your own pace.
Hemingway Editor
The Hemingway Editor desktop application highlights common problems that get in the way of clear writing – complex words or phrases, overly long sentences, too many adverbs, passive voice – and offers suggestion for solving them. It also allows you to measure readability of your text and to import and export from .docx files. Finally, it contains a set of easy-to-use web formatting tools, including HTML headings, formatting and links.
Readability Test Tool
The Readability Test Tool provides a quick and easy way to test the readability of your work using a variety of readability formulas. You can test all or part of a web page, or simply type in or paste your text for analysis. You’ll get a score for the most used readability indicators: Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease, Flesch Kincaid Grade Level, Gunning Fog Score, Coleman Liau Index, and Automated Readability Index (ARI).
Oxford Dictionaries
These free grammar tips from the venerable Oxford English Dictionary (OED) provide straightforward advice on some of the trickier points of English grammar, from dangling participles and double negatives to comma splices and the subjunctive case.
Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips
Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty, a former science writer who produces an educational blog and podcast, provides this “friendly guide to the world of grammar, punctuation, usage, and fun developments in the English language.”
The Elements of Style
Asserting that one must first know the rules to break them, this classic reference book is a must-have for any conscientious writer. It offers concise explanations of the principal requirements of plain English style and focuses on the rules of usage that are most commonly violated.
Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University provides writing resources and instructional material on grammar and writing style as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. The online service can be used by anyone who needs guidance on the finer points of writing.
Common Errors in English Usage
This guide (and accompanying book) by Paul Brians, Emeritus Professor of English at Washington State University, is a useful and fun guide to mixed-up, mangled expressions, foreign language faux pas, confusing terms, and commonly misused words.
Tempesta Media’s editors edit the writing before customers take the first look. Writers with the best quality are offered more paid freelance writing opportunities and can be part of more of our client’s expert writer teams. Apply to write for Tempesta Media.

Examples of how to improve writing by refraining from long and wordy sentences

“Long sentences are not necessarily wordy, nor are short sentences always concise. A sentence is wordy if it can be tightened without loss of meaning.” – Diana Hacker, The Bedford Handbook 2004.

Wordiness makes writing confusing and can be frustrating to the reader. With so munch content, readers have limited time, so content should be concise and to the point. Below are some examples of way to avoid being too wordy.

Redundancy

There is no need to say the same thing over and over again. Instead, focus on avoiding redundancy in your writing.

Redundant: We assess and prioritize each separate incident.
Better: We assess and prioritize each incident.
Redundant: The New York Times is a newspaper that is credible.
Better: The New York Times is credible.
Redundant: Mike, our CFO, is diligent, hardworking and industrious.
Better: Mike, our CFO, is hardworking.

Empty words and phrases

All the words that you use should have a purpose. Here are some examples to demonstrate how you can avoid empty words and phrases.

Wordy: In my opinion, community support workers make a profound impact on the lives of others.
Better: Community support workers make a profound impact on the lives of others.

Wordy: For all intents and purposes, preparedness saves lives as well as businesses.
Better: Preparedness saves lives and businesses.

Wordy: Change is quite unavoidable in any office situation.
Better: Change is unavoidable in any office situation.

Expressions

Expressions can often be said more clearly in another way. The problem with expressions is that they can easily be misinterpreted.

Wordy: His promotion will be delayed until such time as this matter has been resolved.
Better: His promotion will be delayed until this matter has been resolved.

Wordy: The price of the property is in the neighborhood of a million dollars.
Better: The price of the property is about a million dollars.

“There is/are … that” and “It is … that” phrases

Wordy: There are many employees who share your vision.
Better: Many employees share your vision.

Wordy: It is the platform that is the problem.
Better: The platform is the problem.

Passive voice

Passive voice sentences should be modified to active voice.
Wordy: A need for additional training is indicated by these results.
Better: These results indicate a need for additional training.
Wordy: Patients can be empowered by using our software.
Better: Our software empowers patients.

“To be” verbs

“To be” verbs and overused prepositional phrases should be eliminated as they don’t read well.

Wordy: Lack of sleep is bad for your health.
Better: Lack of sleep harms your health.

Wordy: Seniors with diabetes are in need of caregiving services.
Better: Diabetic seniors need caregiving services.
Wordy: In this book are examples of the use of imagery in poetry.
Better: This book includes examples of imagery in poetry.
Even better: This book exemplifies imagery use in poetry.

Always try to say less with more. Your writing will improve and your readers will thank you.

How to be a better freelance writer

Improve your writing quality as a freelance writer

Tempesta Media takes pride in having quality freelance writers who meet and exceed expectations as industry experts. As writing for Tempesta Media is a competitive endeavor, we strive to help develop skills by providing learning and training resources that will set you up for success.
Here are five specific and actionable recommendations that can help you improve your writing quality fast.

Follow grammar rules:

To be clear: The most conscientious writers dutifully learn the rules. The best writers know when to break those grammar rules. The most successful writers follow the rules. To thrive in the writing business, you must pay attention to the basic principles of grammar, punctuation, usage and composition.

Use a style guide

Ensure that the writing is consistent across the brand. The messaging should reflect the brand’s value and capture all the tiny nuances of what makes that company special. Maintaining that style improves the quality and overall satisfaction across Tempesta Media customers.
It always helps to follow a set of standards for writing and formatting content. At Tempesta Media, we use the Associated Press Stylebook. You need to familiarize yourself with AP’s or the customer’s preferred word usage, spelling, capitalization and punctuation. Not only will you make fewer errors, but you will also achieve consistency – two things that will make editing your article a lot easier. Remember, the time it takes to edit your article affects your rating

Research provides great insights

Your article should be both informative and insightful. Be sure to always conduct thorough research when writing for a content provider. Make sure to back up any claims made in your article by linking to credible outside sources. Proper attribution of statistical data, study findings and quotations will build trust and credibility with your readers.

Optimize your content to improve results

Optimize your content for your audience and search engines. To keep up in a digital marketplace, your content needs a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Use relevant and effective keywords or keyword phrases, know where to place them in your article and aim for the ideal keyword density percentage.

Provide value to the reader

Write engaging blog posts and thought leadership pieces. Grab readers’ attention with a catchy title. Your headline should be clear, concise and information-rich. It should adequately summarize the article in five words or fewer.
You have more control over what you are paid than you realize. Creating high-quality, error-free content, which closely aligns with a customer’s voice, tone, style and culture, is the key to maximizing your writing pay rate.

Six common writer mistakes to avoid

“Remember: Mistake is not for mistake; it is for alteration!” – L.A. Golding, Lerkus: A Journey to End All Suffering

Only the writer who is trying to learn from grammatical errors can advance in life, to paraphrase another great quote. If you have been writing for some time and the editor still catches you using their instead of they’re or your instead of you’re, that’s a red flag. Mastery of the basic rules of grammar, punctuation, usage and composition is a requirement if you’re a writer. Making mistakes may be unavoidable, but making repeated mistakes is a no-no.

In this day and age when technology is empowering freelancing, the competition among freelance writers has gone from tough to fierce. To thrive in the writing industry, it’s more important than ever to stay consistently good, strive to be even better or be the best at what you do. This means you cannot afford to deliver anything less than error-free content.

Common errors and how to fix them

If you truly love writing and you want the industry to love you back, you must pay attention to things that affect the quality of every piece of content you create. In this article, we will focus on six common grammar and writing mistakes that journalists, bloggers and freelance writers are still making in 2019 and how to correct them.

1. Wordiness

We took the liberty of publishing an article with suggestions and strategies to improve wordiness in your writing.

2. Not Only … But Also

When using the construction not only … but also in formal writing, writers often forget that presenting the two related pieces of information requires parallelism.

Incorrect: She writes not only thought leadership pieces but has also written SEO articles.
Correct: She writes not only thought leadership pieces but also SEO articles.

Incorrect: When editing, Cris considers not only grammatical correctness but also reviewing the writing style.
Correct: When editing, Cris considers not only grammatical correctness but also writing style consistency.

3. Between … And

Many writers mistakenly combine “between” with “to.” “To” and “and” are not interchangeable in this case.
Incorrect: He weighs between 50 to 60 kilograms.
Incorrect: Life expectancy fluctuated between 30 to 40 years.

Correct: The rate increase more than doubled between 2015 and 2016

Correct: Between 2010 and 2015, the annual outbreaks had ranged between a minimum of 489 in 2011 and a maximum of 2630 in 2014.

4. Compliment vs. Complement
Writers often mix up these two similar words. Make no mistake: Compliment means a praise (noun) or to praise another (verb) while complement means an accompaniment or enhancement or to accompany/enhance/complete another.

Incorrect: In preparation for ACT/SAT, students should set test prep goals using study methods that compliment their unique learning style.

Incorrect: The politician sent his complements to the chef.

Correct: The teacher used strategies that complement her student’s learning style.

Correct: The customer complimented the chef for the scrumptious dish.

5. Semicolon
Writers use this punctuation mark sparingly and often incorrectly.

1. When joining two independent clauses separated by a conjunction (e.g., and, but)

Incorrect: The idea for the seminar may or may not have come from you; but it is your responsibility to rally the team behind it.

Also incorrect: The idea for the seminar may or may not have come from you but it is your responsibility to rally the team behind it.

Correct: The idea for the seminar may or may not have come from you, but it is your responsibility to rally the team behind it.

2. When separating items in a list

Incorrect: I bought bananas; strawberries; and mangoes.

Correct: I bought green, unripe bananas; big, sweet, juicy strawberries; and overripe mangoes.

3. When joining two independent clauses separated by a conjunctive adverb (e.g., however, consequently, accordingly, hence, otherwise, therefore, moreover, thus)

Incorrect: Rowan Atkins started his acting career in London, however, he made his major mark as a YouTube star.

Correct: Rowan Atkins started his acting career in London; however, he made his major mark as a YouTube star.

6. Comma Splice
Using a comma to link two independent clauses results in a comma splice.

Incorrect: Chicago can get bitterly cold in winter, it surprises some tourists.

  • Fix it by adding a conjunction: Chicago can get bitterly cold in winter and it surprises some tourists.

  • Fix it by changing the comma to a semicolon: Chicago can get bitterly cold in winter; it surprises some tourists.

  • Fix it by making separate sentences: Chicago can get bitterly cold in winter. It surprises some tourists.

If you have been making these common grammar and writing faux pas, it’s not too late to correct them. The success of your freelance writing job depends on the quality of your work. Take your writing career to the next level – one error-free article at a time!

How to write a good conclusion for a blog article

The ability to write a good conclusion is a must-have in order to thrive as a freelance writer. Feedback provided by Tempesta Media’s content marketing partners supported this point.

“It’s very important to include a conclusion section, which should briefly recap the main details of the article, then plug our services,” said one customer, whose writing team knows better than to ignore this best practice.

If you’re a hardworking freelance writer, we strongly advise that you make it a habit to write well-thought-out and effective endings. It should help you gain a competitive advantage in today’s digital content marketplace.

So, how does one write a good conclusion? Here are a few tips and tricks for writing a conclusion that is so much more than just the closing paragraph of a piece of content:

Choose an approach

  • Basic Conclusion – Recap arguments and facts and show the readers how these and the examples you cited in the body of the article work together. The summary should be brief and not identical to the sentences you originally used. Connect the key points and main point logically.
  • Full Circle – Link your introduction with your conclusion and bring the ideas full circle. If you asked a question in the first paragraph, you can restate it and provide a direct answer in the last paragraph. If you wrote a scenario or anecdote in the introduction, you can share the ending in the conclusion.
  • Provocative Question – Finish off your article with a question that provokes additional thought about the topic or a reason to explore other aspects, or challenges the readers to think about how they can apply the new information to their lives.

Answer the question “So what?” convincingly

The significance of the subject matter may not at all be obvious to the readers. Use this section to remind them why the topic was important and useful.

Paint a vivid picture

Use words or phrases that will make the readers picture the idea you are describing in a very real way.

Make it short and sweet

This means every word should count. A succinct conclusion consists of three to six sentences that wrap everything up in a tidy package.

Avoid adding new information or creating a new argument

A conclusion is a place where you reflect on the points discussed in the preceding paragraphs.

Never apologize for your views or downplay your authority

The last paragraph should reinforce your key messages.

Incorporate a call to action (CTA) when appropriate or required

Get straight to the point and use a strong command verb when telling readers to take the desired action.

Make it simple

Pitch your solution but keep it short, clean and simple. While a conclusion is basically a sales pitch, it calls for subtlety in promoting a business in a blog post, especially in thought leadership pieces.

No matter what type of conclusion you use, it makes sense to bring the overall message home and leave a lasting impression on your readers. Ultimately, a conclusion is not a good conclusion if it does not give readers a sense of completeness.

Tips for Writing Stellar Content as a Freelancer

Learn how to deliver great quality writing while working remotely as a freelancer. We’ve put together some of the best tips and trick to help you succeed with your writing career.

Creative headlines inspire the reader

Hook your readers by writing a catchy headline of at least 35 characters in length. Capitalize only the first word and proper nouns. You can use numerals in headlines.

Introduce the article with a strong lead

Make sure your first sentence/paragraph tells the reader what the post is going to be about. You can be creative, but be clear. Get to the point.

Write towards the appropriate target audience

Tailor your content to the right audience by following the Voice Profile and assignment instructions. Make sure you’re talking the target audience’s language. Reach the level of content depth the readers need and use appropriate words and writing style they respond to.

Proper formatting makes the content more helpful

Use subheads to make your post easier to read. Try to make your subheads consistent in tone. All statement, questions, parallel structures, etc. should be the in the same tone. Capitalize only the first word of headings and proper nouns. Use an H3 heading style for subheads.

Choose your perspective and stick with it

The most common perspective is third person – which is what you’ll see on the average news site. But many blog posts work well in second person, especially if the post focuses on “how-to’s” or “10 tips” or “5 things.” First person is rarely used unless you’re writing about a personal experience.

Use authoritative sources and link to them appropriately within the content

  • Proper linking helps SEO: Include internal/external links, which are not only helpful for your readers but also great for SEO. Highlight the text that you want to make into a hyperlink and insert the link.
  • Internal links: Internal links are links within a post that lead the reader somewhere else on the customer’s own blog/website (e.g., a previous blog post or related content, landing page of a specific product or service, Contact Us or About Us page). Blog articles should have at least one internal link.
  • External links: External links are links that lead a reader to a site outside of the customer’s web domain. You do external linking when you link to an article/research study/survey that you reference in your blog post.

Best practices for linking to external sources within an article:

  • Link to highly authoritative articles (i.e., those published by Forbes, Investopedia, McKinsey, Gartner, government agencies and other credible sites/resources). Wikipedia is not a credible source and should never be cited within an article.
  • Do not link to competitors or include blog posts/articles that link to competitors.
  • Use timely sources. Stay away from old references or statistics (> 2 years can be considered outdated).

Write a compelling conclusion

Craft a good sentence that flows logically from the preceding sentence to the concluding paragraph. To adequately end your article, present the message you’re trying to convey one more time. Finally, write a clear “Call to Action”. Direct readers to take the next step after reading your article.

Use the spell-check feature

While these tools are not perfect, they do catch obvious mistakes. Many writers find it helpful to compose articles in Microsoft Word and spell-check there before pasting the content into Article Document.

Deliver meta data for the post or article

Good meta data improves your article’s visibility in search engines. First, choose one keyword or keyword phrase (2 or 3 words) that best represents the article. Use those keywords or keyword phrase in the Meta Keywords field. Think “If I were searching for this article, what would I type into Google?”
Next, make sure the keyword phrase appears in the Meta Title and the Meta Description. This is the content that will be displayed on a search results page. Your Meta Title can be the same as the article title, but it needs to contain your Meta Keyword Phrase and be no more than 55 characters. Your Meta Description summarizes the article and needs to be between 50 and 300 characters.
Writers can begin the writer application process by applying directly online.

How Writers Can Improve Their Writing

Writers often ask, “How can I get paid more for the content that I create?” In order to learn the answer to that question, you have to understand the cost components that go into creating and publishing a piece of content. Only then can you understand the key levers at your disposal for getting paid more.

Content cost drivers

While this list does not intend to be comprehensive, it does provide a good framework for calculating the total cost of content.

  • Content strategy development – Someone needs to spend time putting together an effective content strategy that seamlessly integrates with the overall digital and offline marketing program, as well as the company’s corporate strategy. As one of many other components, the content strategy outlines the metrics that will be measured and establishes specific goals that need to be achieved. Depending on the size of the organization, budget and expertise, this effort can take anywhere from a dozen hours to hundreds of hours to develop, refine and get approved.
  • Content marketing budget development and approval – This is the pot of money that is allocated toward executing the content strategy. The budget includes money for management of the program, content creation and content distribution. Generally, it is recommended that the content distribution line item be at least equal to the content creation expense line item.
  • Editorial calendar creation – The editorial calendar takes the content strategy and turns it into an executable plan. Editorial calendars define the type, frequency and focus of planned content. The density and time period for the editorial calendar will be driven by the content marketing budget.
  • Content creation budget – Within this budget, there are several major expense components: writing expense, editing expense, workflow and plagiarism screening expense, and management expense. For most writers, the amount they get paid for content comes out of the writing expense line item.

The workflow and plagiarism screening and management expense are generally fixed costs and considered sunk costs (meaning that they are overhead and cannot easily be cut). The writing and editing expenses are generally variable costs.
With this newfound knowledge on how content marketing costs are budgeted, let’s talk about how your writing affects your pay rate.
Let’s say you write a 1,000-word blog post and are paid $X to do so. The company who has hired you has to spend $Y to edit your work. If what you submitted requires a significant amount of editing and re-work, the company’s editing costs go up. Therefore, to compensate for this budget shortfall, the company is going to pay you less for your work going forward.
Correspondingly, you submit a 1,000-word blog post, but this time it is incredibly well-written. In this scenario, the editor spent less time editing your article. The company’s editing costs went down. Therefore, the company has more flexibility in their budget to pay you more for your work going forward. The reason being is that the company is now spending less time on editing costs.
One might ask, “What prevents the company from pocketing the savings as a result of your hard work?” It is true; some short-sighted companies may choose to do so. Given that freelance writer turnover is significant, most companies will opt to pass the majority (if not all) of those savings onto you, instead of having to deal with the hassle and time of finding, vetting, hiring and training a new writer.

Improving your writing quality

Here are 5 specific and actionable recommendations that can help you improve your writing quality fast.

  1. Follow grammar rules.
  2. Use a style guide.
  3. Do your research.
  4. Optimize your content for your audience and search engines.
  5. Write engaging blog posts and thought leadership

You have more control over what you are paid than you realize. Creating high-quality, error-free content, which closely aligns with a customer’s voice, tone, style and culture, is the key to maximizing your writing pay rate.

Seven best Chrome plugins for writers

Freelance writing is an extremely rewarding creative experience. You get to explore a variety of interesting topics, learn about new trends and game-changing technologies, and share your opinions with large audiences that value your unique thoughts.
Freelance writing can also be challenging. Your writing ability, organization, time management and research skills are constantly being tested. Luckily, there are several tools at your disposal to minimize or completely eliminate these challenges.
Here are seven Chrome plugins that will help you become a more efficient and successful writer.

1. Grammarly

Grammarly checks your spelling, grammar, and even your vocabulary in any writing that you do online. This is extremely helpful when writing an email or in a Google doc. Even if you write primarily in Word or a similar offline program, Grammarly will still catch some mistakes that your word processor might miss when you copy your text into your blog or article submission platform.

2. Google Dictionary

This one is a real time saver when doing online research for an article. You simply double-click on any word on the page that you are reading, and the definition magically appears. It also stores a tremendously useful history of searched words, just in case you are fond of a new word and want to use it later.
You can download it here and try it now on some weird words: absquatulate, concinnity, funambulist.

3. Power Thesaurus

This plugin is amazing for amazing writers who want to create amazing content. With Power Thesaurus you can avoid disastrously repetitive sentences like that one. You can search any word using the toolbar button or highlight words in the text you are reading to find synonyms and antonyms.
Just FYI, Power Thesaurus has 825 synonyms for amazing.

4. AdBlock

Remember when you got your first smartphone, and you immediately had no idea how you ever lived without it? That is what AdBlock does for web browsing. Research can easily account for half of your time spent writing, and AdBlock makes that a cleaner, faster experience.
There is a reason this extension has over 200 million downloads.

5.OneTab

This is another essential plugin for research. It takes all of your open tabs and places them neatly in a list to help you easily navigate and view the information. It is not uncommon to have more than 20 active tabs when conducting research. OneTab helps writers stay organized and quickly find the information that they need.

6. StayFocused

This one is for those of us that frequently fall down inescapable YouTube rabbit holes. Hours fly by without your knowledge and evening approaches without having started your blog post or article. With StayFocused, you can block certain websites such as Facebook, Reddit or YouTube for a specific amount of time, allowing you to focus on your writing.
It might be overkill for some, but it definitely works.

7. Save to Google Drive

This is another huge time saver that also provides flexibility for writers on the go. With a click, you can save images, PDF’s or web pages to your Google Drive to be accessed later from any device. Save to Google Drive allows you to quickly organize and access research from anywhere, with significantly more free space than Dropbox.
Since you are already using Chrome, this extension is a natural next step for anyone preparing to write an article or blog post.

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