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Book Review: Write for the Web: A Beginner’s Guide to Writing on the Internet


One of the things that Tamara and I originally planned to do with this blog was to offer reviews of books related to freelancing and writing. Somehow, that brilliant idea slipped into the background.

So, when James Chartrand and Harrison McLeod at JCM Enterprises mentioned that they had released an e-book on those very topics, we offered to review it for them. We couldn’t imagine a better topic to share at Freelance Parent, we figured maybe we could give them a little publicity (assuming the book was any good, of course), and—best of all—we’d get to read it for free.

I was excited to receive my PDF version of Write for the Web: A Beginner’s Guide to Writing on the Internet. I know that JCM Enterprises has had quite a bit of success building their freelance writing business, and I was prepared to soak up any knowledge they had spilled on the pages of their e-book. I was pleased by what I found.

First of all, the overall look of the book was quite nice. The layout and design were attractive and pretty easy to navigate. There were some formatting issues in the ebook version I had, but they have since been addressed and corrected. The photos and color scheme were nice and professional, and the graphics were really inviting. There were also a lot of bullet points in the form of check boxes, and as a consummate list-maker, these appealed to me in a big way.

The book is organized into four sections that lead pretty smoothly into one another. It made me ridiculously happy that much of the first section focuses on evaluating yourself and determining whether or not freelance writing is a good fit for you. So many e-books are full of I-Got-Rich-and-So-Can-You hype, but JCM Enterprises deliberately avoids taking that route with theirs. They invest the time to help readers determine not only if they have the necessary writing chops, but also if they are prepared to learn to market themselves and offer great customer service.

The second section of the e-book gives some really practical information that any new freelance writer would want. While it can sometimes be a little tricky to figure out how on earth to set your fees, for example, the book dives right in and offers suggestions. Other topics include some background information on copyrights, and an introduction to what the heck “SEO” means. They also give a quick run-down on some of the scams that sucker newbies.

As they move into the next section, the authors get into some of the nitty-gritty details of exactly what types of markets are available to those wanting to write online. I liked the fact that they not only describe markets like article writing and sales letter writing, but they also talk fairly in-depth about what specific skills a writer needs to excel in the various areas.

In the final section of Write for the Web, JCM Enterprises actually shares a number of links to resources for beginning freelancers. This section isn’t necessarily extensive, but it creates a helpful jumping-off point for getting started. This, partnered with other suggestions scattered throughout the book, really does offer enough information for a person to get started. As I alluded to before, while the e-book is optimistic in tone, it doesn’t sugar coat the hard work that is necessary to become a successful freelance writer.

When Tamara and I started freelancing, we spent a lot of time reading blogs and articles all over the Internet in order to gather the basic information we needed. I really do think that this book would be a great resource for someone in that same position. It would literally save the beginning freelancer a few weeks’ worth of research. Since we’re more experienced, we didn’t learn anything in the e-book that we hadn’t already learned on our own, but that’s only because we’ve worked very hard and invested a lot of time and energy. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Write for the Web is definitely a book for beginning freelance writers, and that someone in that position could gain a lot from reading it.

There is a ton of material on the pages of this e-book, and it manages to cover the majority of the most important questions a new freelancer would have. Whereas you can generally sit down and read an e-book in one sitting, this is a book that is better digested in sections. To me, that says that the authors were more concerned about including the pertinent information than they were with simply selling a slick-looking book.

I would recommend Write for the Web to those wanting to get the basics on how to pursue their freelancing dreams. Goodness knows, it would have saved Tamara and I a lot of research time.

If you are interested in purchasing the book, we feel comfortable recommending that you Buy Now

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    On December 20th, 2007 at 3:16 pm, Writing the Cyber Highway said:

    Great review, Lorna! Sounds like it would have saved me a lot of endless hours surfing the web, too!


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    1. Web Content Writer Tips from JCM Enterprises » Blog Archive » How To Get Started As a Freelance Writer on the Web on December 21st, 2007 at 10:12 am

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