To do good writing, read good writing. Here’s the good writing I’ve been reading this week:
This week’s round up of recommended reading for writers is all about the numbers: the real cost of self publishing, how to calculate your hourly rate, why you need to lower your ranking on Alexa, and more.
The Economics of Self Publishing (AnneTrubek.com) – Freelance writer Anne Trubek spent most of the summer working with a coauthor self publishing an anthology on Rust Belt chic, then shared the $$ side of their endeavor in this recent blog post. The bottom line is that writers need to be aware of the bottom line. The partners spent in excess of $4,500 on everything from domain names and ISBN numbers to cover art and printing. “Of course, we’re still in the hole, but the pre-orders are encouraging and I’ve no doubt we’ll make back our investment,” she writes. Get all the dets in her post.
7 Questions for Determining Your Hourly Freelancing Rate (U.S. News & World Report) – If you’re not sure what to charge for an assignment, look at what other writers charge for the same work or figure out what you can ask for without cringing or apologizing, says Lindsay Olson. Click through to read her other tips.
50+ Things Every Link Builder Needs to Know (Search Engine Land) – You may not think of yourself as a link builder, an expert at getting other sites to link back to a site they work on for a client. But if you blog for yourself, a magazine or a website, you should know some of the tricks of the trade. Julie Joyce’s post on Search Engine Land includes plenty of SEO tricks but exhibits a basic respect for good content – not surprising given SEL founder Danny Sullivan’s journalist roots. “Spellcheck exists for a reason,” she says. “I also realize that some people write just to get content out there. Trust me when I say that it shows. However, if you’re not a naturally gifted writer, practice, read some fantastic writers, and you’ll get better.”
Lower Your Alexa Rank – The ‘How To’ and Why It Matters (ProBlogger) – Advertisers, advertising networks and joint venture partners still care about where your blog stands in Alexa rankings, which is why you should too. A few simple steps, like installing the Alexa toolbar on your browser, can help, according to this post.
Mission Critical: A Mobile Friendly Version of Your Website (V3) – If I’m reading the New York Times or Oregonian, chances are it’s on my smartphone. News organizations have wised up and optimized their websites to be easier to read on the small screen or created new, mobile-only versions of their sites. If they’re doing it, you should too. This post explains how to get started. Get more tips for making your website or blog mobile friendly on this WordCount post: Take these 4 simple steps to optimize your blog for mobile browsing.