We’re continuing our freelance writer interview series with Tonia Boterf, who has a varied resume and positive outlook.
Enjoy this interview.
You’ve been freelancing since 2008. How and why did you decide it’s what you wanted to do?
It found me, I had never considered myself a writer but then I went on a mission to create materials for others which ended up in eBooks, but then in Print (had a great mentor for cleaning up the book at the end), articles just flowed, blog posts too. Started writing for 16 newspapers (small ones), contributing writer for an on-line magazine, then articles went crazy on E-Zine articles and I was getting requests from all kinds of places who wanted to print the articles, and some didn’t ask but just did publish. I’ve got some articles with over 17,000 views each – blows my mind.
I like to write and it just flows out of me.
You’ve got a varied writing resume (17 of your own ebooks and print books as well as a dozen books for clients, article, and blog posts).What’s your approach to maintaining a successful freelance career?
Easy, my own material of stuff I’m interested in and I feel it can benefit others. I like writing about solutions to a problem. For others that I write for, it is always an adventure (usually pleasant) to pull their ideas, materials, and goals together to achieve something. It is fun each time because it is always different.
Tell us about some of your favorite assignments. In your opinion, what’s the best way to get new clients as a freelancer?
One assignment was putting together a 47 page workbook based on 7 pages of really bad notes and I did it in 1.5 hrs. and it was good. The American Journal of General Dentistry, USA Weekend, and Wall Street Journal all had the basic premise that lures me in – a topic of interest that includes a problem that allows me to offer solutions and educate with information. Getting clients – do so through my website, networking, HARO, Reporter Connection.
What’s your best advice for someone who wants to start freelancing today?
Write on what interests you most, don’t force yourself into scheduled times to write (opposite of most tell you) because then it doesn’t flow out of your soul and muse, look at every opportunity around you for writing – your housing association, the school newspaper, non-profits, HARO, Reporter Connection, network, etc. Also, must be willing to do homework or research – the more you know in breadth and depth on subjects, the easier and more fun writing can be.
Anything you’d like to add?
Sorry I can’t show you what I’ve written for others, some of it is awesome, so I just have my materials. My articles in E-Zine Articles are old and I’m much better now, I do have a new batch to put up later. I’ve been working hard on readability scores of my writing due to how readers expectations are changing. Less passive voice, and other techniques have been the focus for about a year and they have much improved. I’ve always striving to improve whatever I do. With two parents being teachers, doing my homework and research is always a priority too – luckily they also gave me fast typing skills and knowing how to find information.
Where can we find you online?
www.thepracticalexpert.com (long but is written for my target audience)