8 Great Articles for Writers in May — Plus a Video

It’s been a tough week of technical difficulties around the blog. As I write this I have a broken header and my tabs are all invisible…but we’ll get it all sorted, never fear.

But I find I have just eight articles for writers I really dug this month. So that’s what I’m highlighting. It doesn’t have to be an even 10 every month, right?

I’m not going to pad it out with other less-brilliant stuff.

Plus I’m making up for it with a hilarious bonus video. So I say we’re even.

Here we go:

  1. 5 Things You Need to Relearn by Ollin Morales on Courage2Create. If you’re a would-be author and haven’t discovered Ollin’s site yet, check him out. One of my Top 10 Blogs for Writers winner-homies.
  2. 7 Valuable Lessons Bloggers Can Learn From Construction Workers by Joseph Wesley of Blog Tweaks on Problogger. Shout-out to a regular reader of this blog — nice guest post on Problogger, Joseph…and you know I like your new avatar on Twitter, too.
  3. 12 Insider Interview Tips from 2 Accomplished Writers by Michelle Rafter on WordCount. A seasoned editor herself, Michelle probably could have offered her own advice, but instead did a couple of sharp interviews here and provides a really useful set of tips for newbie interviewers.
  4. Conquer the Writing Process (Or Let it Conquer You) by Melanie Padgett Powers on Engage the Blog. Welcome to an interesting new voice and blog on the best-of list!
  5. How to Kill Writer’s Block and Become a Master Copywriter in Only 3 Hours a Day by Robert Bruce on Copyblogger. I love when Copyblogger uses stuff from great people or events in the past to help us learn to write better…this one’s a terrific example.
  6. How to Plan Ahead And Write a Blog Post To Go Viral by Francisco Rosales at SocialMouths. We’d all like to do this, right? I’m still working on it, and found this how-I-did-it piece very enlightening.
  7. How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise, and Get Paid to Change the World by Jon Morrow on Problogger. If you want to know how to be personal, authentic, and share useful information with your audience all at the same time, this post from the always-amazing Jon Morrow is like a training course. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn.
  8. Putting a Price on Your Capabilities: Setting Your Fees as a Freelance Copywriter by Debra Jason on The Write Direction. Cool new blog and voice here! If you need more details on how to set fees than my usual advice to “charge a lot and aim for $100 an hour,” here is a detailed analysis of how to calculate rates.

BONUS GOODIE: It’s not an article, but I loved this video of “The Inverted Pyramid Song,” which features a surprise guest appearance by a great journalism teacher I was lucky enough to take a class from years back, Jacqui Banaszynski. Coolness for journalism dorks here…

Enjoy!

Got questions about the freelance writing game?

Get them answered live on Wednesdays on my new, free Q&A phone call, The Freelance Writer’s Free-for-all.

Here’s the plan: Noon Wednesdays Pacific Time, I’m going to settle down with my lunch and go through the mailbag to answer your questions. Leave me one on the signup form and I’ll try my best to get to it. That’s all there is to it. I’ll email you back with details on how to listen in and chat with me live about your problem.

Photo: stock.xchng – canna_w

  1. Sue says:

    Wow. Thank you for this list. The first and only one I have read so far is Jon Morrow’s. Very moving and inspirational. Read it, everyone!

  2. Thank you for this list! However, I read Debra Jason’s article on pricing first, and was disappointed — she wrote it in 2006, before the Great Recession, and her examples made me positively nostalgic for the good old days. Every freelancer in my network has had to make huge concessions to get work, and it may take years to get back to pre-2008 pricing levels. Still, her explanations for how to determine what to charge are spot-on.

    • Carol Tice says:

      This is always a list of what I read this month, not necessarily when it came out. And yeah, I thought the formulas were interesting.

      I know a lot of writers are caught in that mentality where they feel they have to cut their rates because of the downturn. I didn’t do that much, and earned more each year since ’06.

      What makes the difference between the writers who are now writing for a fraction of their old rates and those who are still slammin’ busy with full-price work? M A R K E T I N G. Lots of marketing means lots of clients to choose from, and less pressure to drop your rates.

      PS — for anyone feeling that way, the recession officially ended nearly a year ago. Rates are firming up all over, so find the clients who get that!

  3. Carol: Thanks for including my post on interview tips in this awesome list. One clarification: the information from Gray and Freedman didn’t come from an interview, but from their talk at the 2011 American Society of Journalists and Authors writer’s conference that I attended in late April. Either way, they had great advice that I’ve already put into practice.

    Michelle
    Michelle Rafter recently posted..Join us for the 2011 Blogathon live chat finale on June 1

  4. Jaimie says:

    Great list Carol, thanks!
    Jaimie recently posted..Book Signing

  5. Thanks for the plug, Carol!

  6. Hi Carol,

    Thanks again for linking to my ProBlogger guest post. I’m glad you liked it. Hopefully sometime soon I’ll get one of the posts from my blog onto this list. :)
    Joseph @ Blog Tweaks recently posted..5 Tips for Writing Significantly Better Blog Posts

  7. doug_eike says:

    Thanks for the list. The last article, on freelancing fees, is interesting but unrealistic. Prices are not set by one’s view of one’s value or by the costs that one incurs in the process, but rather by the availability of others who offer the same service. In other words, supply and demand. The problem with writing is that few people are able to distinguish good writing from bad, and frequently, the folks who employ writers lump everyone together. Distinguishing yourself as a writer in a world run by non-writers is difficult. Thanks again!
    doug_eike recently posted..Internet Writing – How Much White Space Should A Writer Leave

  8. For “most profound thought of the month,” one that would be a winning quote on practically any blog, I nominate Ollin Morales’ “Maybe the most important lessons aren’t meant to be learned only once, but over and over again. Maybe it’s because the important lessons have to cut deeper into you as time goes on, like waves making a dent in the sand every time they slice the shore.”
    Katherine Swarts recently posted..Giving Up

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