(A version of this blog post first appeared at the Copywriter Conclave of Portland. Happy Holidays folks!)
If you don’t have access to in-person resources, there are many freelance writing advisors on the Internet. Many monetize that advice through coaching, online classes, e-books, and so forth. Some are good and some are bad. Peter Bowerman (we’ve written about him before) is one of the best. He’s written for corporations (such as Mercedes-Benz), and now a major line of his business is marketing to freelance copywriters like us.
I’ve encountered many freelance writers in my online travels, and I’ve interacted with four in particular who give excellent advice. They share some traits: many years of experience; impressive client lists; and a generosity of spirit.
SEO Copywriting is based in Oregon (West Linn) and was founded by Heather Lloyd-Martin. Heather has more than 20 years of marketing experience, and she was at the vanguard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) copywriting. Heather markets to businesses, but she also offers a SEO Copywriting Certification to freelancers. Heather sends out a weekly e-newsletter, and there is an array of informative blog posts at her site. She’s also on Twitter.
I became acquainted with Jake Poinier, aka Dr. Freelance, back in 2010 when I started my own freelance copywriting business. Jake started his freelance shop in 1999. He releases the Dr. Freelance series of e-books, and his blog posts are informative and entertaining. He’s also personable, and I’ve learned a lot from him. One topic he frequently tackles is the touchy subject of freelance writer rates. You can also find him on Twitter.
Laura Spencer has more than 24 years of professional copywriting experience, with 1,400+ articles and blog posts to her credit. Laura is a working writer who is also a coach for freelance writers, focusing particularly on messaging and communication. Laura writes valuable blog posts that touch on many aspects of running a freelance writing business. Yup, she’s also on Twitter.
John Soares is another Oregon-based writer (he lives in Ashland). As of this blog post, he is not taking on new coaching clients, but he sells an e-book designed to help writers discover a niche that is right for them. (Our own Sheila Ashdown has similar advice.). John’s own niche is in “freelance writing for college textbook publishers,” which has served him well over the years. He is (you guessed it) on Twitter.
I think there’s an obvious market need for writing advice. I’m on the fence if a “freelance advisor” should focus only on other freelance writers as his/her market. I think you run the risk of giving outdated advice unless you still market to businesses/institutions. That doesn’t apply so much if you’re discussing basic grammar rules or “how-to” prospecting tips. I’ve learned the most from writers still “in the game,” and that’s why I’ve highlighted Heather, Jake, Laura, and John.
How about you? Who do you feel gives great advice for freelance copywriters?