Awesome, brand new writer need guidance!

I'm drawing a huge blank while trying to write out profile. Could someone please take a look at it and possibly give me some constructive criticism? Ideas? Examples? A pat on the back for trying?
18 REPLIES 18

Hi Mary, why don't you start by looking at other freelancers' profiles? Take the ones who are in the same area as you and who are doing well on UpWork (Top Rated, active jobs, higher rates, etc.), and draw some inspiration from them; I'm sure you'll get loads of ideas of your own after that.

 

Oh, and here it is: pat, pat, pat.

versailles
Member


@Mary S wrote:
I'm drawing a huge blank while trying to write out profile. 

Writers are generally very good for writing profiles. Awesome writers are even better. This is what makes them stand out from the freelancers working in other industries.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Mary,

 

I am so pleased you did not write "awesome" in your overview - you are almost forgiven "passionate", and of course you are passionate about writing, but so are three million others . . .

 

You are not telling clients what you can do for them. Your overview is crammed with information about you and some of it is irrelevant. You need to streamline it. The first two lines are the most important in the arsenal of your skills.

 

Elementary school is far removed from what you are intending to offer today.  Whether you throw out your old notebooks or not, is likely to be completely irrelevant to somebody who wants some decent copy for his or her financial website, and you end your overview by showing that you are far, far too needy. 

 

This is what I think you should concentrate on and offer:

- deep understanding of the English language and vocabulary

- blogging (this from your years of writing thoughts and stories in your journals)

- Children's stories along with your imagination

- Substantive editing (this from your ability to change and elaborate on an existing piece of writing) - not copy-editing or proofreading. By the time a work is proofread - the die is cast - there should be no fundamental changes or polishing of the text.

 

All the above should be backed up with a portfolio and examples of your writing.

 

And if you apply for a job as an editor or proofreader and your client sees that you think it is "silly" (i.e. below the elevated heights of a writer) then it is possible you won't attract the sort of client you are looking for. Just sayin' 😉

 

 

 

 

 

tlsanders
Member

I would seriously consider taking the listing of writing courses out of your profile. Nearly everyone who has attended college has taken English 101 and 102, and the vast majority of them know that they are in no way remotely qualified to write professionally. One creative writing course doesn't really bump you up to the level of someone with an educational background in writing--it just spotlights the fact that you've had very few writing courses at a very basic level.

English 101 and 102 = worst college classes ever. Showed up only to turn in my crappy papers and find out what crappy boring book I had to read next.  I guess it's good to mention them because it proves you can suffer through terrible things.

The posting has a two grammatical errors.  Really??


@Mary W wrote:

The posting has a grammatical error.  Really??


The title has a grammatical error. But let anyone who has never left a typo here in the community throw the first stone.   🙂

 

 

[Ponk]

Ouch! Hey you! I saw this!

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless


@Rene K wrote:

@Mary W wrote:

The posting has a grammatical error.  Really??


The title has a grammatical error. But let anyone who has never left a typo here in the community throw the first stone.   🙂

 

 

[Ponk]

Ouch! Hey you! I saw this!


 I thought you were referring to the OP's profile title at first and was preparing to get into a fistfight with you to defend their Oxford Comma use, Rene, but then I realised you were referring to their forum post title. *puts fists away*


@Jennifer D wrote:

 I thought you were referring to the OP's profile title at first and was preparing to get into a fistfight with you to defend their Oxford Comma use, Rene, but then I realised you were referring to their forum post title. *puts fists away*


Jennifer, I have no fixed opinion about the Oxford Comma. I don't know if I like it or not. But this is a discussion for the Coffee Break section... 🙂

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless


@Rene K wrote:

@Jennifer D wrote:

 I thought you were referring to the OP's profile title at first and was preparing to get into a fistfight with you to defend their Oxford Comma use, Rene, but then I realised you were referring to their forum post title. *puts fists away*


Jennifer, I have no fixed opinion about the Oxford Comma. I don't know if I like it or not. But this is a discussion for the Coffee Break section... 🙂


We had the great Oxford comma  debate on Elance once. I remember it became quite heated. I am with Jennifer D and the OP on this, as are most of the major style guides The Chicago Manual of Style, Oxford Style Manual, APA, and MLA - but not AP (for the most part). 

 

I feel a coffee break coming on 😉

We probably wouldn't be discussing the Oxford comma at all if Oxford Press had not amended its style to "whatever makes sense in context." Most often, it clarifies. Occasionally, it seems fussy.

I would narrow Nichola's list...

 

Focus on writing and proofreading for blogs first.

 

Then move into a deeper set of analytical processes required for substantive editing.

 

Alternatively, perhaps, focus on writing children's books. 

 

I've taught all of the courses you refer to in your profile, and also being a writer on Upwork, there is a differential between the source (your coursework) and the target (writing for people who will pay you to write on a certain topic, using a particular tone, and who may or may not front load all of the information you need to complete the job successfully).

 

There is already a gap mentioning you are an "awesome writer" but need help writing an appropriate (or "awesome" or "good" or "marketable") profile. Looking at other profiles may or may not help unless you know what market you want to target. 

 

Sure, you could look at Jenn M's profile. However, she is a technical writer for a highly specific industry. I am a technical writer, but not in the same industry as Jenn M. As such, there are differentials even within similar writing categories. 

 

Moreover, editing, well that can be a whole different world depending on the type of editing. 

 

Those who do copywriting have a different (even if only slightly) tone/diction to their profile. 

 

Do you want to do copywriting?

Web content writing?

Ebook writing?

Blogging?

Do you know the difference between copyediting, substantive editing, developmental editing, and proofreading? 

 

I know all of this can be easily researched. That's step 1.

 

 

 

 

 

cupidmedia
Member

In response to your actual post, Mary: you've received a lot of great advice already from other, very successful freelancers in your niche. I just wanted to add one more thing that I don't think anyone else mentioned:

 

"I excelled in every course, and was often encouraged to submit my assignments for publication, but I never felt confident enough to do so." - if you weren't confident enough to submit your own writing for publication, why on earth should a client hire you to write content for them to publish?

I completely agree with the point Jennifer has mentioned. It is a marketplace. You need to show how strong you are rather than exposing your weaknesses.

 

Nevermind .... I guess I am.

The OP's profile includes "Slang-style Writing" as a skill. I suppose this would come in handy writing certain types of dialog, or even ghost writng a rap lyric, but I wonder if there is a standardized slang as opposed to regional slangs, and if so, how do you choose one or the other? I also suppose there are degrees of slang use, ranging from occasional through frequent all the way to near continuous. I will say this, and maybe it just reflects my age, but I don't recall any formal slang instruction in any college writing course I took, and I've taken a few because I had a liberal studies major, but maybe it's all the rage at progressive institutions of higher larnin' Cat Wink

 

Update: just did a search for 'slang' and found all sorts of jobs with slang in the description -- maybe I'll try out for one for a lark when I'm not too busy. Cat Very Happy

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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

u mad br0?

kat303
Member


@Mary S wrote:
I'm drawing a huge blank while trying to write out profile. Could someone please take a look at it and possibly give me some constructive criticism? Ideas? Examples? A pat on the back for trying?

 

Mary, if you come on here and ask for advice AND receive some Very helpful advise and some helpful criticism I'm wondering why haven't you taken all that. I mean, what's the purpose of asking if you don't listen and follow?