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"Make a Living Writing is the only blog I read religiously. It's always on top of the news and advice writers need RIGHT NOW to earn more from their writing." —Linda Formichelli, The Renegade Writer

5 Top Tips to Turn a Blog into a Six-Figure Business

5 Top Tips to Turn a Blog into a Six-Figure BusinessI started a blog in 2008.

I had a 9-month old daughter, and as much as I loved her and enjoyed being with her, I was going crazy with next to no grown-up “work” for my creative brain.

I wanted to write, so I put all my creative energy and imagination into coming up with a name for the blog: The Mom Writes. (Yes, I know.)

Soon people began to notice.

I had readers commenting, sending me emails and then, one day a reader emailed to ask if I would write for his site. I said yes. He wanted to know my rates and just like that, I was in business.

I’m here to tell you how I’ve used blogging to build a six-figure business and how a blog continues to be my top marketing strategy, even after 7 years.

Since then, I’ve worked with more than 100 small businesses as a business blogger, social media copywriter, and community manager. My little blog has helped me build a six-figure business — and remains my number one marketing strategy.

Here’s how I did it:

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Websites That Pay Writers 2015: These 79 Sites Offer $50 and Up

Websites That Pay Writers 2015: These 79 Sites Offer $50 and UpIt’s been a few years since Carol rocked the world of free guest posting and began paying for guest posts.

I’m happy to report that a lot of other sites have followed suit.

That means it’s time to update our annual list of websites that pay writers at least $50 per post or article (and really, should you be writing for less?).

This year’s list is a bit different from past lists, in that we’ve previously linked to other lists to make up our total market count.

This time, we’ve done the legwork, asked around our freelance writer network, and gathered our own intel on every market in our list, right here on the post. This list runs the gamut of topics, from parenting and knitting to business and writing, so there should be something here for everyone.

In some cases, these sites keep it on the Q.T. exactly what they pay. We’re including markets where freelance writers in our network report they pay over $50, in order to bring you the widest variety of paying markets possible.

As always, we appreciate any corrections or additions to our list. Read more ›

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Why I (Finally!) Broke Up With My First Freelance Writing Client

Why I (Finally!) Broke Up With My First Freelance Writing ClientThere’s nothing quite as exciting as landing your first freelance writing client. At last — someone who wants to pay you for your writing services!

Some writers are lucky enough to find clients who pay reasonably well from the get-go, and can give them ongoing work.

I was not one of those lucky ones.

I know I’m not the only freelance writer whose first clients paid peanuts. Despite that, it can be hard to let them go. You can feel sort of loyal to that first client, who helped you break into freelancing, and the security of that client you know can make you complacent.

But sooner or later, it’s time to let that low-paying first client go and move on to better gigs.

Here’s the story of my first freelance writing client — and why I dropped him.

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Great Writing Gets the Gig — 4 Tips for Crafting Killer Sentences

Great Writing Gets the Gig -- 4 Tips for Crafting Killer SentencesWant editors to trust you?

Well, you could flash your portfolio of published blue-chip writing their way.

Don’t have that? Show them great writing, with one concise, interesting sentence after the next.

I’ve been doing that for a decade, since a producer from Macmillan Publishers asked me for help debugging their e-books. They soon asked me to write their website copy. They were the first of many editors who trusted me — all because I learned the craft of writing well. That edge has paid off for me and others — and it’ll pay off for you.

Wondering how to craft sentences that make editors sit up and say “yes”? These four tips will make it happen:

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What’s It Like Writing for Contently? Writers Spill Their Secrets

What’s It Like Writing for Contently? Writers Spill Their SecretsWriters are always looking for reliable ways to earn a good rate writing for great clients. And increasingly, online content agencies have emerged that say they will make that easier for us.

Contently is one such agency, where it’s free to create a profile on their site.

The theory is that the Contently team will search through these writer profiles to find writers for their clients, which include some impressive brands that any of us would love to have in our samples: GE, HSBC, and American Express.

Contently also produces their own content for freelance writers, so there are actually two types of opportunities through them — writing for their clients, and writing directly for Contently.

What’s it really like writing for them? Here’s what I learned from talking to Contently staff and to writers who’re working on this platform:

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How to Keep Your Freelance Clients–When Everything Goes to Hell

How to keep your freelance clients when everything goes to hellI’d only been a freelance writer for a couple of months when I scored a regular gig with a large web design firm.

The pay was decent, I loved the assignments, and the editor was a breeze to work with. It seemed like my fledgling career was ready to take flight.

Then my son got sick.

Because of a chronic medical condition, we need to check on him every two hours at night when he’s ill. My husband couldn’t cover, so I was on duty for the entire ordeal. All alone. Seven Days. No sleep.

Of course, this was when my client called with an emergency assignment.

The previous writer had flaked, and he needed me to step in and write two pages of automotive content ASAP. Against all logic, I took the job.

Unfortunately, my fatigue got the best of me, and I screwed up hard. My writing was garbled, and I made mistakes that could have led to a lawsuit.

To say my editor was pissed would be an understatement. I was on the way out the door.

I turned to the Freelance Writers Den community for advice on what to do, and how I could save what I felt was a floundering career. I got some great tips and loads of supportive sympathy. I came up with a plan to win back my client’s trust.

Here’s how it went:

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