How to make money with freelancing – Tip

Let’s be brutally honest here, we’re all guilty of not paying attention to essential housekeeping tasks in our copywriting businesses from time-to-time. We’re so focused on how to make money with freelancing that we tend to forget how important it is to control our business properly.

Plus, life’s hectic and it gets in the way. I get that, it happens to me regularly. That said, there’s one area you really shouldn’t be neglecting and that’s keeping your portfolio updated with all your current literary masterpieces.

Again, I admit to being complicit in not doing just this. Well, the other day I decided I’d delayed it long enough and got stuck in. I have to say I was amazed by what I discovered!

Here’s my tip of the day!

If you’re like me, you’ve probably written lots (and I mean lots) of articles for freelance clients on all kinds of weird and wonderful subjects. Personally, I’ve written on everything from dog breeds to computer software, from food blenders to content management strategy and how to make money with freelancing.

Amusingly, I’ve even written on erectile dysfunction and Viagra and Cialis as the solution. Perhaps not so amusing if you suffer from erectile dysfunction so my apologies if that’s the case.

Now, when I write all this content I often wonder where it ends up. On the web somewhere I guess but where exactly and how best to locate it. I’ve tried doing a Google search but that’s pretty limited, at least it seems to be every time I try it. So, I got to thinking.

Whenever I write a piece for a client it has to be totally unique. It mustn’t appear anywhere else online other than where the client himself wants to put it. That’s fair enough and actually part of what I get paid for. So, before I submit any work I ALWAYS pass it through Copyscape Premium.

For any newcomers who might not be aware of Copyscape Premium, I’ll explain.

What is Copyscape?

is an online (hosted) tool that checks written content against all the other content out there on the World Wide Web to see if there’s a match. It’s a plagiarism checker and it uses an algorithm (formula) to search via the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.) to see if it can find content similar to yours.

Now, if you’ve genuinely written unique content, say on how to make money with freelancing for example, this shouldn’t present any kind of a problem. Okay, occasionally you might get a match by sheer coincidence, but if this happens it’s easy to quickly re-write the offending sentence, part of a sentence, paragraph and so on.

This is all very well and good I hear you say, but how the heck does this help me as a freelancer build my portfolio? Good question. The answer is that you simply use Copyscape Premium in reverse.

Using Copyscape Premium in Reverse

Dig out, from your well-organized client files, past work and copy and paste it into Copyscape Premium. Within seconds the program will throw up details of where that copy is to be found. It works like a charm and can sometimes produce some surprising results.

Personally, I’ve found my work on as many as twenty different websites, blogs and article sites. I don’t know if that was intentional on the part of the client who bought my content or not.

Usually, once I’ve written a piece, they own it in any case so it’s not really my business anymore. I’ve also found my work on some pretty heavy hitting sites as well. Last time I did this, I found one of my articles on NBC and one of my press releases on a high-ranking press release site.

How to make money with freelancing – build your portfolio!

I know much of your focus is on how to make money with freelancing (and rightly so) but try my tip with your own writing and add the results to your portfolio.

A piece of work appearing on a highly regarded site will do your career no harm at all.

Hope that helps and good luck getting your freelance writing portfolio to be the best it can be.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Sophia

    I wasn’t aware that in CopyScape Premium, if there is something that is plagiarized, it will highlight the exact phrase, sentence, paragraph, etc. I just know that in regular CopyScape if you have a piece of writing that is somewhere else in the web it will let you know, but it won’t tell you exactly what you wrote that is offending , it also won’t show you where in the web this piece of writing is, you know what I mean? CopyScape Premium must have a lot of really neat features if it can do that for you. You are right though, it really isn’t your business anymore once you have finished a freelancing writing piece, I mean out of curiosity yeah – but for what purpose to see where it goes? It shouldn’t matter. CopyScape Premium however, is a handy tool just to have so you are more aware of where the plagiarized writing is. You can also find if anyone else is copying YOUR work and publishing it. 

    1. Les Blythe

      Hi Sophia,

      The main reason I suggest using Copyscape in reverse is to hunt down your work online so you can add the links to your portfolio. Often clients will ask to see examples of your work online.

      Even if you work is ghostwritten and appears in someone else’s name, clients understand that and don’t tend to query it.

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. Glenn Hodges

    Hello Les, Isn’t it amazing when a slight tweak of a popular tool makes so much sense.  I use Copyscape as well and as far as I know it’s the industry standard, but never thought to use it in reverse.  To date, I have not dipped my toe into the freelancing pool, but as I get closer to leaving the 9-5, I will want as many potential income streams as possible.  I’m currently working on a project that is nearing completion (if anything online is ever complete) and will bookmark your site as my next project.

    1. Les Blythe

      Hi Glenn,

      I agree that Copyscape is pretty much the standard, it’s also the only tool I use to check for plagiarism. Good luck with your project.

  3. Ryan

    This is very valuable knowledge you’ve dropped here. I personally appreciate it because I’ve done and still do plenty of freelance web development and graphic design which requires some of same tips you’ve mentioned. I believe Copyscape is very good and sort of undervalued so I’m glad you mentioned it and got into detail. Do you use or are familiar with any other plagiarism services (because I know there are a few)? If so, why did you pick Copyscape to talk about? Great read overall!

    1. Les Blythe

      Hi Ryan,

      I tend to stick with with Copyscape because it’s pretty much the industry standard. You’ll see writing jobs that say “must pass Copyscape” all the time.

      If I really want to impress a client, I’ll provide them with a screenshot showing the content I’ve written is free of plagiarism – even if they haven’t asked for it. It takes seconds, and it’s very easy to present it as a free value added service. Clients REALLY appreciate that and it makes you stand out from other writers and helps you position yourself as a trusted expert.

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