I hear this a lot, from aspiring freelance writers: “I want to quit my job. I’ve always wanted to earn a living from my writing. But…I’m scared.”
Indeed. We all are. How do you know when it’s your moment to quit working for the Man and make the leap into freelance writing?
After a decade coaching writers in making this transition, I’ve discovered there are common ‘tells’ that show writers the time has come to head for the door and launch their freelance career.
If you’ve been wondering how you’ll know it’s time to act on your urge to quit, take a look at my list of common traits of writers who have reached their freelance moment:
Note: Ever wonder what the difference is between writing an article and writing a blog post? It’s a topic that comes up a lot. Besides style and research, you might be surprised by one of the key differences between blogs and articles. And it’s why I decided to share this post again. Enjoy! —Carol.
There’s a lot of confusion out there in the freelance-writing world today about blog posts and articles. Also, about what each of those types of writing should pay.
Recently, I got a lot of response to my call for freelance writers to stop writing blog posts. Many writers were confused about just what the difference is.
So let’s discuss. Because things are changing. And understanding the differences between these two writing forms will help you earn more.
For years, blog posts and nonfiction articles were distinctly different:
It’s rare that I meet a freelance writer who thinks their writing is good enough. It’s not just that you want to know how to improve your writing, either — you want to know how to do it in a hurry.
Ideally, quick enough to get you some better-paying freelance writing gigs, real soon.
It seems no one wants to become a strong writer the way I did it — namely, to file 3-4 stories each and every week, like I did for 12 years. Or to write 72 blog posts a month, like I did when I got back into freelance writing in 2005.
Everybody wants a shortcut. OK then! I think there are a few.
Here are my top seven ways to quickly improve your writing:
When you read a blog, do you think the blogger is focused on delivering useful information to help you? They may not be. I’ve recently become aware that the world of sponsored content — a/k/a native advertising or sponsored blog posts — has gotten a lot shadier.
To sum up, some bloggers are lying to you about their relationships with sponsors. Worse, they don’t see a thing wrong with it.
Today, I’m ripping the lid off the growing problem. It’s secret collusion between some link-seeking companies and unethical bloggers to deceive their readers and pass off paid promotions as their unbiased recommendation.
When I started looking into this, I could hardly believe it was real. But it’s a growing problem that threatens the reputations and livelihoods of every freelance writer who works online.
Here’s how this scam works:
If your client work has all but dried up, or you’re trying to jump start your writing career, take a look at your freelance marketing efforts.
Maybe you’re not doing enough marketing. That’s the elephant in the room for many of the freelance writers I’ve coached over the years.
Or maybe the marketing you are doing isn’t working. Then what?
Don’t get caught in shiny-objects syndrome, jumping from one strategy to the next.
Instead, be more strategic about how you market your writing. New ways to reach clients keep emerging, so keep an open mind.
Take a look at this list of 40 ways to market your writing we developed with the help of veteran freelancer Anne Wayman.
Then get to work. The more freelance marketing you do, the more likely you’re going to move up and earn more.
It’s a strategy every top blogger tells you to pursue: Contact successful bloggers and ask them for a guest post, link, or interview. But blogger outreach isn’t quite that simple.
Now that every blogger is constantly hit up with requests, you’ll have to be a bit more sophisticated than shooting them an email that is essentially just, “Hi total stranger, would you do me a favor and help build my blog career?”
To help you avoid wasted time on blogger outreach that goes nowhere, I’ve pulled together three recent examples of outreach gone terribly wrong in pitches I received. There’s also one terrific example of outreach done right.
Wondering what basic mistakes to avoid? Read on: