Sunday, 12 April 2015

Ghostwriting Cash Course by Tiffany Dow - Part 4

Today, I'll be reviewing Part 4 of the fabulous Ghostwriting Cash Course by Tiffany Dow and Craig Desorcy. Time flies... but where? I have no idea but it sure does!
I am glad to be reviewing this course and I was thinking about the number of great other courses I bought from Tiffany that I will review during the course of this month and the next! If you haven't noticed yet, I am a die-hard fan of the girl! And, I am seriously hoping to "convert" you too, so by all means, stay tuned!
And, one last word before I start discussing the course, I only ever review courses that I have bought and implemented! I will never ever understand people who can review courses they haven't bought and implemented. When I say "implemented", I mean not implemented 3 years ago but recently or even currently. This is what I am going to do with a few of them and I'll be updating them as I go along!
Okay, on Part 4 of the Ghostwriting Cash Course, I want to start reviewing a few chapters at the same times! In fact, these are all intertwined so it's difficult to separate one from the other. They complement one another and I'll write as it flows to me! It's not always easy to write in a linear way especially when you know the product well and have had some experience with it! So here we go!
On Your Marks, Get Set, Go...
After reviewing the skills and some of the techniques and tips chapters, we are now leaving behind the theory bit and approaching the practical stage and this can scare people away, especially when you are going to work for someone! I was scared too and I hesitated long and hard before taking the dive! And, honestly, what else can I say? Feel the fear and do it anyway!
Before jumping ahead and looking out for clients, there is a bit of preparation to do and Tiffany explains very well the few things you can do to get the best possible start. I guess you can compare it to going for a casting! When you go for a casting or an audition, you need to bring something with you; either your book, some film rushes or a song, right?
As far as ghostwriting is concerned, the same applies, except that you won't have to sing, dance and you won't be judged on your face... but on your ability to write. So, how about some of your writing samples? Have you got any? Just like for a casting, you should have a portfolio handy to showcase your skills because no internet marketers would take you seriously if you got in touch with them and said you can write but have nothing to show for it. Again, common sense!
In the chapter, Tiffany gives a few useful tips on how to build your portfolio, if you haven't got one already. If you do, I am sure you'll find her advice useful and you'll find things to improve! And, if you do not have one, no need to panic or start undermining your confidence, she has the solution for you and it doesn't involve writing long essays! Far from it! In fact, it is very simple and you won't be spending countless hours on it either! I once sent her my portfolio with many samples of my writing and she said that the writing was good but some of the content was not marketing-oriented!
What was I thinking? So, she gave me extra advice and I applied it right away before posting my writing showcase somewhere! This example shows that it is important to have someone who's had a lot of experience and knows the way the industry works to help you get started on the right foot! Learning from the masters is so true and Tiffany is one of them!
Freelance Sites or not? That is the Question!
Now, once your preparation stage is done, what's next? Well, there are several possibilities and signing up with freelance sites is one of the options she discusses. I'd like to give my personal account about this particular choice and why it didn't go well with me!
I had signed up with Elance months before I bought The Ghostwriting Cash Course and started building my portfolio but never got round to actually bidding on jobs! I guess I was apprehensive and each time I logged in with the intention of bidding on jobs, something stopped me! I read the chapter on freelance sites and decided to go ahead and give it a try.
Now, in the PDF, she gives excellent advice on how to create a profile too by the way! You see, there is a lot of space allocated for branding yourself and marketing your services on these sites, and yet when you go through people's profiles, you just realise that most of them have a couple of lines, no pictures of themselves or their companies and no portfolio! Tiffany directs you to her own page on Elance so you can see for yourself what a really good profile should look like!
Once I had built up my profile and filled in the necessary bits and pieces such as payment terms and bank account details, I went through the job search section and selected the few ones that could be of interest to me!
Now, what's interesting again is that Tiffany provides 4 samples of bids she placed and won, so if you don't know what to write or don't have any inspiration, those bid samples will help you get started!
Plus, she also comments on each line of her bid and explains why she wrote this, for what purpose and how she managed to convince the contractors to take her on. That's actually very generous and practical and it's a really good guide. Also, since each case is different, all four of them are worth reading. Finally, you'll see how she has a dig at those who place canned bids and she is right!
Okay, back on my own case! After applying myself and responding to offers, I realized that freelance sites weren't for me for the following reasons. Freelance sites work a bit like auction houses and until you have branded yourself and have a great reputation, you will be exposed to some massive competition and I just don't like that! I don't like the work "bid"! I am not a product and I don't liked being bid on, lol!
There is also a rating system that puts me off completely since my idea of working as a ghostwriter was to be able to choose your projects and your clients! Now, when you get started on these sites, you really don't have much choice and the first few bids will have to be low just to get some exposure and feedback! And, being who I am, I refused the "system" and withdrew all of them before the bidding date expired!
Now, was I right to do so? I think so because nothing matters more than my own freedom and Elance, Odesk and other such sites can be restraining, hence my choice to create my website and post a few ads on the Warrior Forum.
At the time, I also need quick money and some it can take 15 days for some contractors to pick someone so, that was another reason to choose to create a website with the great help of Craig Desorcy and his videos, which I will comment on shortly!
When you buy the Ghostwriting Cash Course, you should still try the freelance sites and have a feel about it! It might be just right for you and some people prefer to have a structure around them and yes, these sites do provide lots of perks too! Okay, more on the perks of getting your own website soon and the other places where you can advertise your writing services!
How much are you worth? Honestly?
Right now, I want to talk about your worth as a ghostwriter and how you should price your writing because this is a difficult subject for a lot of people! How do you evaluate yourself, especially when you have never worked as a ghostwriter before?
These questions are answered in the PDF too and what's good is that Tiffany gives you a general idea of how much you can charge when you start, depending on your experience and the nature of the work. She also discusses how much she used to charge when she was on Elance and discusses a very interesting point regarding the "perceived value" of your work and how you should increase your rates gradually.
As far as I am concerned, I started with a simple $5 a page price tag on the Warrior Forum. Some came by and told me bluntly that the cost was outrageously expensive and I knew right away that these guys were typical bullies trying to "lowball" me! Some paid upfront, which is by the way the normal procedure and you shouldn't start any work unless the cash is in your Paypal or bank account.
I guess those who didn't fuss about the $5 were more aware of what the value of a good article really is, and no I am not boasting. I am just telling you the truth! My articles are researched extensively and not re-written! They are written from scratch and again, I used the Gathering and Structuring Ideas course by Tiffany to really get a good grip on how to write high quality articles! And it has paid off!
I have now increased my rates and offer quotes instead of set prices! It's a personal choice and I believe that people prefer the idea of a quote rather than a fixed amount for a set of article. So, pricing is tricky but can and must be mastered or you'll risk becoming a "slave"! There is no other word for it but in my opinion, there is no place for "haggling" in ghostwriting!
It takes research, discipline, time, hard work, talent and when marketers come to you, it's for a good reason; they can't write their own so, you'll find the "pricing your work" section of the PDF of great value. Tiffany also goes through the different "specials" she used to do to attract and secure clients straight away. This is another thing I never thought of doing and it works great!
As you can see, The Ghostwriting Cash Course Review is still ongoing and will be until I have torn it apart completely (in a good sense by the way)! I've always liked that course and I am sure you'll do to! But wait for the exciting part about creating your own website that will help you get your name out there with the big ghostwriting stars of the moment!
Part 5 of the Ghostwriting Cash Course Review will be available shortly!
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