Hello, Jen! I’m so pleased to have you offering a Writing for the Web class this year. I know that anyone who has toyed with the idea of writing for the online markets is going to be so happy to have a role model and resource in you. I’d love for you to share a bit of your personal experience writing for online markets since you took the very first Writing & Publishing the Short Stuff class back in 2006 to help everyone get a better idea of what you have to offer:
1. Did you have any professional writing experience before you took the WPSS class?
Prior to the WPSS class the only professional writing experience I had was writing policy and procedure manuals for a community health centered I had once worked for. I did, however, have plenty of experience as a work-at-home mom since I had a medical transcription business before becoming a freelance writer.
2. How did the WPSS class help prepare you for writing for online markets? WPSS was great because, although it focuses mainly on print publications, the types of articles covered are those most often used for online publications.
WPSS is especially helpful to new writers. I learned a little bit of everything in a manner that wasn’t too overwhelming. Students get a chance to try their hand at writing in a marketable way that they may not have had before. Plus this class really goes a long way in helping new writers get their first published credits, which helps to be taken more seriously when writing for online markets.
3. What was your first foray into writing for online markets?
A web content editor contacted me, after finding my website, looking for a parenting writer. Although they are not a parenting publication they felt articles written from the busy parent perspective would be helpful to their website. The initial assignment was to write two articles, but this has since turned into steady client writing many different types of articles and a paid blogging position.
4. How did you build up your client list from there?
I developed a habit of looking for other types of writing/editing services I could provide for existing clients. This meant thinking outside the box a bit, but was worth it as my workload increased. Then I applied the same marketing concepts to potential clients to secure more steady accounts.
5. What are a few keys that you will cover in the course that will help prepare anyone for writing for online markets?
Writing for the web is different than writing for print publications. In my course students will learn to develop a writing style that is suitable for the web. I will also cover the different ways writers can make money from online work.
6. Occasionally, I hear from moms who have written over a hundred articles for online content sites for almost no payment. Will your class help these folks channel their writing skills in a more profitable direction?
All writers are busy, but I feel writer mamas are the busiest. With limited time available to write they need to make the most out of it. For many this equals a decent rate of return for their time spent writing. Personally, with a large family to help support I can’t afford to buy into the “starving artist” mentality and I don’t think other writers have to either. My course will help students determine a fair compensation and get paid what they’re worth.