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Clients From Hell: Quick Ways to Spot and Avoid Them

Beware of freelance writing clients from hell. Makealivingwriting.com

They pay late, or too little. They’re not sure what they want. They’re unavailable when you have questions, and sometimes downright abusive when they do pick up the phone. They’re clients from hell, and as a freelancer, you just don’t need this grief.

And yet, tales of client woes are an epidemic in the freelance world. Stories of the best friend you went to work for, who underpaid you for years. Or the company that never raised your rates, even as your responsibilities grew. The one that disappeared with your big final payment.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could avoid freelance writing clients from hell like these?

Well, for the most part, you can! There are some classic warning signs that things will go wrong — if you know what to look for.

Here’s my guide to quickly screening out losers:

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Emergency Help for Freelance Writers: My Top 7 Answer Posts

Urgent care help for freelance writers. Makealivingwriting.com

When you’ve created over 900 posts full of free help for freelance writers, it’s hard to remember every single post. Becomes a bit of a blur!

But a few posts stand out in my memory, because I keep sending their links out to struggling writers, week after week. They’re posts that address a writer’s critical need to understand some aspect of freelancing.

You’ve got urgent questions about how to make it as a freelance writer — and these are the posts that deliver the answers.

I can’t remember where I put my sweater half the time these days, but there are a few key posts that come easily to mind, because I find myself sending writers off to read them again and again.

After nearly a decade (!) writing this blog to provide help for freelance writers, these seven posts seem to address the most common problems freelancers face:

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Online Writing Portfolio: 5 Ways to Design Yours to Dazzle Clients

5 Ways to Design a Dazzling Online Writing Portfolio. Makealivingwriting.com

What would you do if a prospect asked to see your writing portfolio right now?

In the perfect world, you’d point them to a link that shows off your best work. Why? Every potential client wants to see samples of your writing to find out if you’re the right fit.

You’ve got an online writing portfolio, right?

If you’re laughing nervously now because you don’t, or you have one but you know it needs help, that’s OK. I’m going to show you how to fix that.

Your writing portfolio is one of your most important marketing tools to attract and impress potential clients.

Point a prospect to your portfolio, and you want to capture their attention with an attractive and appealing design and great writing so they hire you.

If your writing portfolio is confusing or uninviting, the prospect might click away and never return. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are some ways to design a dazzling online writing portfolio:

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When Freelance Writing Jobs Go Terribly Wrong: Steal My Recovery Plan

Recovery strategies for screwed up freelance writing jobs. Makealivingwriting.com

Ever have one of your freelance writing jobs turn into a total disaster? It happens, even to experienced writers.

I know, because it recently happened to me. After roughly 18 years of freelancing.

This flameout happened on a $3,000 corporate research report project that required intensive interviewing. I’d done these sort of projects in the past, loved them, was excited to do another one.

Then I did my research, put my list of possible interview subjects together, sent out hundreds of inquiries — roughly triple what I’d needed in the past to land the 6-8 interviews required — and got zero responses. Not. A. One.

It’s been a long time since one of my freelance writing jobs ended in failure. In fact, I’d only ever had one other article that got killed, at the very beginning of my career. Having a complete whiff this late in my career was a humbling experience.

What should you do if the worst happens and one of your freelance writing jobs gets screwed up? Here’s my guide to keeping it professional and minimizing the damage, when everything that could go wrong does:

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The Unusual Business Writing Niche That Pays $500 an Hour

Earn more in this unusual business writing niche. Makealivingwriting.com

My freelance career was off to a dismal start. It was nothing but low-paying gigs, flaky clients, and race-to-the-bottom bidding on content mill sites. Then I discovered an unusual business writing niche that changed everything.

Two small business start-up clients asked me to write content designed to attract investors to help fund their business ideas.

But these entrepreneurs weren’t looking for angel investors with millions of dollars. They were going to get funding in a different way. And they needed someone who could blend copywriting and business writing to ramp up.

It didn’t take long to discover that I liked this unusual business writing niche. Write copy to promote a business idea, help entrepreneurs, and see an idea turn into a physical product or service.

And the pay? It’s been two years since I discovered this unusual business writing niche. It took a little work to understand it, but now I regularly earn $500 per hour.

Curious? I’ve carved out a niche writing crowdfunding campaigns. And so can you. Here’s what you need to know.

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How to Make $5,000 a Month With Freelance Blog Writing

How to make $5000 a month with freelance blog writing. Makealivingwriting.comAre you looking to find some great-paying blogging clients? Join the club! Business blogging is one of the best entry-level types of writing to get you started as a freelancer. When I got back into freelancing in late 2005, paid blog writing caught my eye right away.

As someone coming off 12 years as a staff-writing journalist, I was fascinated by the breezy, casual, short blog-post format. So I dove in.

Soon I was earning quite a lot blogging for clients. I documented what I was doing, and the post How I Make $5,000 a Month as a Paid Blogger became one of the all-time most popular posts here at Make a Living Writing.

Recently, I got to wondering what I’d do if I wanted that level of monthly income from blog writing clients now.

My approach would be completely different, because the world of blogging has changed so much. Also, the way I did it a decade ago was a recipe for burnout. I had to churn out nearly 60 blog posts per month to make that money! That’s not sustainable.

Here are the strategies I recommend now, for becoming a well-paid freelance blogger:

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