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Writing Police: No Comments!

This is just one example of the large number of rogue apostrophes currently littering the island of Gran Canaria, which Terry and I visited last month. These apostrophes were everywhere: on signs, on menus, on buildings… you name it. I’ve honestly…

When good brands go SPAM

…and I’m not talking about the spammer who keeps emailing Terry using the subject line, “Terry you’re an idiot” and providing a pornographic image in the body of the email – although that’s about as bad as it gets, to…

Lulu’s Time Bomb anti-ageing skincare products

Like a lot of people, I can be a little bit cynical about celebrity skincare/beauty lines. It’s easy to assume the celebrity name is just a gimmick, so it’s always a pleasant surprise when one of these lines turns out…

Typos, and why they’re not always the end of the world

I have a confession to make: sometimes I make typos. In fact, sometimes they’re not even typos. Sometimes – and this will really shock you – sometimes they’re actual spelling errors. I know, I know: a professional writer who sometimes…

Bad PR: The Social Media Stalker

Social media is great. Seriously, isn’t social media great? It lets you connect with people you might not otherwise have interacted with, it gives you access to new and sometimes fascinating pieces of information, it provides a bit of light…

Blog Trolls: Where do they find the time?

Earlier this week, I woke up this morning to find that someone had tried to post well over 100 comments on The Fashion Police, all complaining about the choice of category I’d filed certain posts in. There were dozens and dozens…

Why so dismissive of the UK, American PRs?

Several times over the past few weeks I’ve been contacted by US-based PRs who want to know if I’d be interested in reviewing one of their products for our beauty blog, Hey-Dollface.  The PR will generally begin their pitch by…

How Not to Get a Freelance Writing Job, Part 2

A couple of days ago, I received the following email: “I wish to apply as a writer for your company. i am a nigerian and a graduate of the <college name removed. It was typed all in lower case, though.>.By…

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When typos attack…

Now, I know people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but I had to smile when I found this “wide waste belt” on the New Look website today. I think they mean “waist belt”, but hey, it could just…

The type of email I don’t answer…

Received this morning: Hello, I have been in the XXXXXXXXXX field for about 10years now and is working on my second book, XXXXXXXXXXXX If you need someone to blogs sometimes for Doll Face, please contact me. Thanks & Smles I…

bad-pr-is-it-to

This isn’t so much an example of “bad” PR as it is “lazy PR” – and ‘lazy blogger syndrome” too, if I’m completely honest. Over the last couple of months, our beauty blog,Hey, Dollface, has been going through a bit of…

More on pro-blogging and holidays

Yesterday I started planning for my summer vacation. Yes, I know it’s barely even Spring yet, and no, my holiday isn’t imminent – in fact, I don’t leave until June 2nd. But when you’re a pro-blogger, and run a blog…

Do you know who’s commenting on your blog?

My very first pro-blogging job was for a TV blog. Because it was my first-ever blogging gig, I was particularly keen to do well and make a good impression, so when I started receiving some particularly vicious, and very personal,…

Six Things PRs Hate About Journalists

I’ve already written about Why Journalists Hate PRs, but having worked in both fields, I know that it works the other way too, and PRs have their fair share of gripes about us journos. I can’t speak for all PR professionals,…

Pet Peeves: ‘Ima’

No, it’s not a hybrid car, it’s a hybrid word – and I hate it. “Ima go to the store now,” for instance, means, “I’m going to go to the store now.” “Ima have lunch,” means “I’m going to have lunch.” And…

Words I Just Can’t Spell

I admit it. There are some words I just can’t get to grips with. No matter how hard I try to memorise them, or to come up with nifty little mnemonics or other methods by which to trick myself into…

Pet Peeves…. about blog comments

I love getting comments at my various blogs, and I love leaving comments at other people’s. But the fine art of blog commenting has given rise to a few Pet Peeves. OK, more than a few Pet Peeves… I hate: 1….

Writing Pet Peeves #4: ‘Prolly’

“Prolly”. Let’s just take a moment to look at it. It’s a stupid word, isn’t it? Especially when you consider that the perfectly good word it’s so often used to replace – “probably” – is in no need of replacing….

How much money do bloggers make?

How much money do bloggers make? How much money do bloggers make? It’s a question that’s been coming up a lot recently: with the media carrying extraordinary claims about bloggers apparently making millions of dollars per year from their blogs,…

Freelance Feast or Famine

Sometimes a freelance writing career can feel very much like “feast or famine”. At the very beginning, it’s almost all famine. You spend more time looking for freelance writing jobs than you spend actually writing, and, quite apart from being…

What employers look for in freelance writers

Freelance writing is as much about selling yourself as it is about writing. With this in mind, we asked some of the employers who use our site, and others like it, just what it is that they look for in…

How to snag that freelance writing job

So, you want to be a freelance writer. You’ve scoured the Internet for the best paying writing jobs, and now you’re ready to apply for some of them. There’s just one problem: so are a few hundred other freelance writers,…

Pro-Blogging: Developing a thick skin

Sometimes professional blogging is hard. Actually, scratch that: blogging professionally is hard pretty much all the time: it’s just that some weeks are tougher than others, and this has been one of those weeks. The fact that it’s still only Tuesday…

Why All Freelance Writers Should Have a Website

We’ll be looking at the technicalities of setting up a freelance writing website soon. For now, though, just trust me: if you’re serious about your freelance writing business, you’re going to need a website. Most people who find themselves in…

Working from Home: The Duvet Day

Yesterday, I decided to have myself a duvet day. In my defense, it was Black Monday: officially the most miserable day of the year. Black Monday is the day when the weather, work and the fact that we’re all still broke…

Six Things You Need to Know About Freelance Writing

The fact that you’re reading this post tells me that you’ve already discovered one secret of freelance writing for yourself: it’s not easy. Before you even get started, then, here are some other things you need to know: 1. You…

The Secret Of Successful Freelance Writing

The world is full of wannabe writers. Just ask my inbox: every day it gets flooded with emails from people looking for freelance work or just desperate to know how to get started. Not that I blame them, of course….

Deadbeat Employer of the Day: Paid to Plagiarize

This kind of job advert makes me sad: Reword Articles: Scope: We need 50 reworded copies of 10 articles. Each article will be between 500-800 words, and will be provided to you. Change: Titles, and one word per sentence changed…

Should we name and shame blog spammers?

Back in September, I talked a bit about the increasingly large number of spam comments my blogs had been receiving. While spammers will no doubt always be around, though, lately I’ve been noticing more and more so-called “respectable” companies who are…

Why it’s time for freelance writers to start thinking about Christmas

If you’re anything like me, the word “Christmas” probably strikes chill into your beating heart. If it was up to me, Christmas would be totally confined to the month of December: there’d be none of this “Christmas-carols-in-September”, “tinsel-in-October” and “total-hysteria-by-November”…

Link exchange etiquette for bloggers

As our blogs have become more popular, I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people looking to take advantage of them by using them to promote their own sites. So there’s been an increase in the number of…

Are freelancers really happier than office workers?

HR World have just published a really interesting list giving 101 Reasons Why Freelancers Do It Better – with  “it” being happiness, apparently. They claim that us freelancers enjoy better lifestyles and greater levels of happiness than our office-working friends, and…

Holidays and the freelance writer

For the first couple of years of my freelance writing career, I just didn’t take holidays at all. To be fair, that wasn’t just because of  work: my husband was on kidney dialysis at the time (this was the reason I…

How NOT to ask for freelance writing work

“I am a student journalist and would like to be writing articles to be published in your presitigious magazine. I will therefore be very grateful if you could send me a copy to my postal address below so that I…

Five Myths About Working From Home

People tend to make a lot of assumptions about working from home, and what it’ll be like. Some of them, such as the “you’ll save time on commuting” one, are absolutely true. Others  – well, not so much, really. In…

Copyright theft and blogging

Copyright theft is a problem for all types of freelance writers, but when you write for the Internet, you become particularly vulnerable to it, as most professional bloggers will probably be able to testify. Although most of my income these…

More red flags in freelance job adverts

A while back, I posted about red flags and how to spot them. Today I think I found another one – and it’s one that’s cropping up with worrying frequency at sites like Craigslist and others of it’s ilk. “Looking…

A “unique” style of writing

I don’t switch Instant Messenger on very often. The reason? Every time I do switch it on, something like this happens: unique girl says: hi unique girl says: asl plz? unique girl says: r u freelancer? unique girl says: i…

Red flags in freelance job adverts

More and more often recently I’ve been noticing ads for freelance writing jobs in which the applicant is required to submit some kind of “test” along with the usual resume and clips. I came across two of these today: one…

Pet Peeves # 2: Should of/Would of

This really should be Pet Peeve number one, such is my hatred of it, but the top spot has already been claimed by our friend excessive punctuation, so this week, ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm (or, indeed, not-so-warm)…

Deadbeat Employers: Fancy a “writting” job?

Spotted today: “I have A LOT of writting for you xxxx@yahoo.com…” What the hell is “writting work” when it’s at home, anyway? On the other hand, I guess you could argue that if they can’t even spell writing, they really,…

Dealing with rude people

If there’s one thing I really can’t stand in life, it’s rudeness. A few years ago, when I was trying to pay my way through university, I worked weekends in a call centre. Almost every call was from someone with…

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Pet Peeves # 1: Excessive punctuation

Excessive punctuation. You’ve all seen it. Sentences which end with an entire line of exclamation points. Like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why? Why do people do this? I mean, OK, they’re excited, sure. And they want to exclaim about it. But one exclamation…

How NOT to apply for freelance writing jobs

last week we advertised for a freelance writer for a large project which we just don’t have time to complete in-house. Wow. To date I’d estimate we’ve had a couple of hundred responses at least. Many of those were from…

A Lesson Learned

Today I received a rather smug email from some random person who had happened upon the website of one of my clients, and wanted to point out to me the multitude of spelling errors on it. She had clearly found…

A Question of Copyright or ‘How to Get Paid’

Today was a big day over at our sister site, Custom-Copy.com. We got paid. We didn’t just get paid for any old job, though – oh no. Today, after over three months of waiting, we finally received the payment we’d…

Making Money from Freelance Writing

It’s the question that every aspiring freelancer eventually finds themselves asking: is it really possible to make money from this? The kind of money that lets you keep a roof over your head and feed your kids occasionally, that is?…

Six Tips for Submitting Fiction

A couple of years ago I decided to start a new ezine publishing contemporary fiction. I placed a few adverts asking for submissions of just that – contemporary fiction. What I got was a revelation. As a writer myself, I…