Author Archives: Charles Mburugu

About Charles Mburugu

Charles Mburugu is a professional content developer and an entrepreneur. He is passionate about subjects such as technology, social media, internet marketing, blogging and SEO.

Freelance Writing – A Guide on Publication Rights

Publication rightsBesides negotiating work rates with editors, freelance writers should also learn how to negotiate publication rights. It is very important to understand the different publication rights before getting into any publishing agreement or contract with a publisher. This will enable you to make a more informed decision. Here are some of the common publication rights you are likely to encounter:

All rights – This means surrendering all the rights to your work. Since the copyright belongs to the publisher, they can use it as they please without paying any royalties. Some publishers don’t even allow you to include the work in your portfolio

First English language rights – These rights belong to the publisher who is the first to publish your work in the English language. This means that you can still sell your work to other publishers in different languages

First electronic rights – These belong to the publisher who first publishes your work in electronic form. This could be an eBook, a compact disc or a video. However, the publisher does not have the right to publish your work in print form

One-time electronic rights – These rights allow the publisher to only use your work once in electronic form

Internet rights – Also called digital rights, these rights give the publisher permission to publish your work only on the internet. However, some publishers include internet rights within electronic rights. Be sure to get a clarification

Exclusive rights – This is where the publisher sets a specific time period when your work cannot be used elsewhere. For instance, the publisher could demand exclusive rights for 30 days from the date of publication

Non-exclusive rights – As opposed to exclusive rights, non-exclusive rights allow you to submit your work to various publishers at the same time

One-time rights – These rights allow a publisher to use your work only once, even if it has already been published somewhere else. One-time rights can be issued to several publishers, though not simultaneously

Simultaneous rights – Unlike the one time rights, simultaneous rights allow different publishers to publish your work at the same time

Excerpt rights – These rights give the publisher permission to publish excerpts from your work. For instance, a newspaper could buy excerpt rights to publish sections from a book

Archival rights – This allows the publisher to archive your work, thus making it accessible for an indefinite period. Such rights are common with publishers who would want to archive your work for research purposes. However, giving archival rights will prevent you from selling your work elsewhere. Therefore, it would be advisable to offer such rights for a limited time period, after which the rights revert to you

Subsidiary rights – These rights, which apply to books, allow the publisher to publish your book in other formats such as audio, video, screenplay or film

Worldwide rights – The publisher has the right to publish your work in all the countries of the world in different languages

Conclusion These are just some of the rights involved in publishing. Figure out what works best for you before issuing rights to any publisher.

Why You Should Become a Freelance Writer

Freeelance Writing ProsA freelance writer is someone who writes for one or several clients on a self-employed basis. With the increasing demand for online and offline content, freelance writing has become a very lucrative industry. Companies, advertising agencies, media outlets and individuals are constantly looking for experienced writers to create quality content for magazines, newsletters, books, newspapers, websites and blogs. Some of the most common types of writers include novelists, biographers, copywriters, playwrights, songwriters and screen writers.

So why should consider becoming a freelance writer?

1. You can work from anywhere

Whether it is the coffee shop, the library, the beach, the park or your personal space at home, freelance writing allows you to decide where to work from. This saves you from the trouble of having to commute to an office. In addition, you can choose a setting which inspires you and enhances your productivity. If you are a parent, freelance writing gives you the opportunity of taking care of your children while working from home.

2. You get the chance to network with others

Though freelance writing is a largely an individual business, it does not mean that you have to be by yourself perpetually. There are numerous online writing communities and groups that you can join and interact with other like-minded people. In addition, you can also attend offline seminars and conferences to interact with others face-to-face. This gives you the opportunity of sharing ideas and thus sharpening your writing and entrepreneurship skills.

3. Your earnings are unlimited

Freelance writing gives you the opportunity to work with several clients at a time. The more work you deliver, the more you get paid. You can enhance your earnings even further as you build your expertise and reputation in the industry. The more experienced you are, the higher you can charge for your services. However, handling multiple projects at the same time requires a lot of competence, focus and discipline.

4. You are in control of your time

One of the best things about freelance writing is that it allows you to be your own boss. You have the freedom to decide how you will spend your time. To maximize your productivity, you need to know which time of the day you are most efficient. While some are ‘morning people’, others are at their best late at night. You can schedule your work according to the time that works best for you.  In addition, you have the freedom to set your own short- and long-term goals, as well as strategies for attaining those goals.

5. You can spend more time with your friends and family

Since you are in control of your schedule, you can find more time to spend with your loved ones. Unlike a 9-5 job, you don’t have to wait for your boss to give you a vacation or some days off. You can meet your friends for lunch or coffee, go for a road trip, or take your family for a picnic on any day of the week.

Conclusion

Just like any other career, freelance writing has its pros and cons. However, if handled properly, it can be a very satisfying and rewarding venture.

Content Marketing Tips for Musicians

Music careerContent marketing involves promoting yourself by sharing free content. As a musician, this content could be videos on platforms such as YouTube, photos on Instagram, song clips on your site or text posts on your blog. Content marketing offers musicians several benefits:

  • Regular, good quality content can improve your search engine rankings. This makes it easier for people to find you
  • It allows you to build a stronger connection with your fans
  • It gives your fans a reason to come back for more
  • It is cheaper compared to other kinds of promotions
  • Content put out lasts long and can even be reused in future

The following are some ideas for using content to market your music:

Video based content

  • Behind the scenes videos of your concerts
  • Videos of your rehearsals
  • Behind the scenes footage of music video shoots
  • A video of you interacting with fans
  • Videos of you in the studio
  • A series of videos showing the progress of your projects
  • Videos of your fans singing or dancing to your song
  • A video of you talking about your preferred musical instrument
  • Video tutorial for playing your songs

Photo content

  • Photos of your studio sessions
  • Photos of yourself with fans
  • Photos of your upcoming single or album cover
  • Photos of you with famous artists
  • Photos of your recent concert
  • Throwback photos of you

Song based content

  • Song clips from your upcoming album
  • Streams of your latest song
  • Streams of other artists’ songs
  • Song lyrics
  • Music scores of your songs

General ideas

  • A poll to find out your fan’s favorite songs
  • A list of top 5 songs voted by you
  • Your opinion on a current debate involving your style of music
  • General music lessons e.g. in songwriting or vocal exercises
  • An article or video about your journey in music
  • Videos of you engaging in your hobbies
  • Posts about the inspiration behind your songs
  • A ‘Did you know’ article about yourself
  • A video or article about your objectives for the new year
  • Testimonials and reviews from your fans
  • Your review of another artist in your genre
  • A survey or quiz for your fans
  • Your response to another writer’s news article
  •  A photo gallery, video or article capturing a typical day in your life

Conclusion

Content marketing can be a very effective strategy for getting fans more involved in your music career. It would be advisable to post at least two pieces of content every week. Make sure the quality of your content is consistent. Have a small video camera or a camera phone with you at all times ready to capture an opportune moment. You could also consider uploading app recorders such as Evernote on your smartphone. Finally, it would also be advisable to carry a notepad to make a quick note of ideas for future content.

Pros and Cons of Working from Home

rp_Graphic-Design-300x199.jpgNowadays, many companies offer flexible work arrangements which allow some of their employees to work from home. Though working from home has many advantages, it also has some downsides.

Here are some of the advantages of working from home:

1. Cost cutting

Working from home allows you to avoid many of the costs related to traveling to work. This includes commuting costs such as fuel, car maintenance, parking fees and road tolls. In addition, it saves you from indirect costs such as buying professional outfits. If you have children, working from home can help you to avoid costs related to child care.

2. Minimal distractions

Most people who work in company offices have to put up with interruptions such as unnecessary meetings and banter from colleagues. Working from home allows you to focus on your tasks without having to deal with such distractions.

3. Flexibility

Working from home gives you the freedom to set your own working hours. This means that you can schedule time to handle other important issues such as child care. In addition, it allows you to create a working environment which suits you best. You can set the temperature, lighting and ambience which will enhance your productivity.

4. Proximity to family

Most people that have to go to work spend their days worrying about their families, especially if they have small children or elderly relatives at home. Working from home gives you the chance to be near your family and available if any issue arises.

 5. Less stress

Long commutes, traffic, difficult bosses, uncooperative colleagues and poor working conditions are some of the main causes of stress among workers. This stress can also lead to health problems. Working from home allows you to avoid all these stressful situations and thus enjoy better health.

Here are the downsides of working from home:

1. Isolation

The workplace offers an environment where you can meet and interact with people. However, people who work from home have to deal with loneliness and isolation. When not dealt with, this can have a negative effect on your socializing skills and even lead to depression. To avoid this, you need to make a deliberate effort to get out of the house and interact with others.

2. Inability to separate work from home

When you work from home, you could find yourself being tempted to take care of household affairs instead of working. This could be shopping, cooking, cleaning up or hosting visitors. To avoid this, be sure to draw a clear line between work and home.

3. Distractions

Though working from home allows you to escape office interruptions, it exposes you to several other distractions. This could be children, family, friends and neighbors. To avoid this, you need to let your family and friends know that you are unavailable even though you are at home. It would be advisable to work in a dedicated room with a closed door.

4. Alienation from the goings on in the company

Many things happen on a daily basis in a company. This could be staff changes, changes in strategy or new competitive intelligence. It is very easy to lose touch with what is happening in the company when working from home. You might even miss the opportunity for a promotion. Therefore, if possible, drop by the office at least once a week to touch base with your colleagues and keep updated on the latest developments.

Conclusion

Working from home calls for much discipline, self-control and commitment. Since there is no one constantly looking over shoulder, you have to continually motivate yourself without giving in to distractions.

How to Use LinkedIn Groups Effectively for Business

LinkedInLinkedIn is a social media network which brings together professionals from various industries. One of the most prominent features of this social network is LinkedIn groups. These are virtual forums where like-minded individuals can exchange ideas on different topics of interest. Joining such groups is a great way of connecting with people, building relationships and promoting your brand.

Finding LinkedIn groups that are related to your business is quite easy. All you need to do is carry out a search using specific keywords. From the search results, you can then select the groups you would like to join. For instance, if you are a physician who wants to promote your practice, you could search using keywords such as ‘medical marketing’. However, before joining any group, find out who in your LinkedIn network is already a member. Get in touch with them and find out what they think about the group. This will give you a good idea of which groups would be right for you.

It is also important to note that LinkedIn groups are either private or public. To join public groups, you are only required to click on the ‘join’ button to get instant access. However, joining private groups requires approval from the manager of the group.

Here are some of the ways you can use LinkedIn groups effectively for business:

1. Establish yourself as an expert

LinkedIn offers you a great opportunity to establish yourself as an opinion leader in your industry. One of the best ways of displaying your knowledge is by answering questions asked by others. You could also write helpful articles or direct readers to other useful resources. When your connections recognize you as an expert, they might be interested in what your business has to offer.

2. Connect with others

LinkedIn groups offer a great opportunity for connecting with people that have similar interests. After building a rapport with individuals in your group, send them an invitation to connect. Remind them of your conversations and let them know why you would like to connect. The more people accept your invitations, the more your LinkedIn network grows. This allows you to reach a wider audience with your marketing messages.

3. Create your own LinkedIn group

Besides joining already existing communities, you could consider starting your own group. Make sure the group is focused on a specific niche topic. Creating your own LinkedIn group offers several benefits to your business. First, it allows you to target the specific audience that you would like to interact with. It also positions your business as an authority in the industry. Finally, it creates increased interest in your brand.

4. Carry out market research

LinkedIn groups provide a cheap and effective way of conducting market research. The members of your group are basically a cross-section of your market. Therefore, if you want to know what your market thinks, you can simply carry out a poll within your group. The feedback collected can be very valuable for your business or brand.

5. Ask for recommendations

Once you have listed your products and services on LinkedIn, you could ask group members to recommend them to their connections. This allows you to reach a wider audience while also building credibility for your brand.