Freelance writers spend a lot of time reading posts, taking courses, and otherwise seeking information on how to build their careers. But what about self-help for writers?
Working on self-care can build your self-esteem up and make you far more productive and creative. And when I say self-care, I don’t mean bubble-baths and walks in the woods, either.
What I have in mind goes much deeper than catching a little ‘me’ time.
Recently, I took a training on one powerful self-help technique that every insecure writer could benefit from. This approach can help you get more and better writing done, put yourself out there more, and gain the confidence to pitch better clients.
Ready to take your writing — and your life — to a whole new level? Read on…
If you’re a new writer focused on building your freelance writing income rapidly, it’s easy to get frustrated. You try different ways to get gigs, and they just don’t seem to work out.
Recently, I’ve been seeing a trio of basic blunders that newbie writers make. These can really put a damper on your chances of success in freelancing.
The wrong moves waste precious time, letting your savings run out before you can get any traction. Then, too often, writers end up having to take another hated day job, and their dreams of earning a fat freelance writing income go on the back burner.
How do new freelance writers mess up their chances? Let me count the ways…
Do you think you know how to write a blog post? If your blog doesn’t earn much money, I’ll bet that you don’t — at least, you don’t know all the elements that go into writing a successful blog post today.
Writing a popular blog post is a lot more sophisticated than it used to be. If you want to attract a decent-sized audience, there are a ton of technical steps to take to make sure readers can find it — and then, that they read it, like it, and want to subscribe.
Here’s a look at the process my blog editor Evan Jensen and I have cooked up at this point to make sure our posts reach the largest possible audience (and yes, I’m using affiliate links for some of the tools I recommend):
How to write a blog post? First, have a plan
My top tip for having a successful blog is to create a system and checklist for each blog post. That way, you get a consistent result. It’s not that some posts come out spiffy and others look like something you slapped together in a semi-daze when you couldn’t sleep for 30 minutes last night. With a system, you can give readers a pro experience, every time, and leave them clamoring for more.
Here are the blog post writing rules I’ve developed:
Stepped into my Wayback Machine and found this post from 2010 on productivity habits. And you know what? It’s still current. These habits have helped me and many other freelancers move up and earn more. Enjoy!–Carol
Time. We’ve only got so much of it each day. For freelance writers who are also parents, we’ve certainly never got enough of it. Or if you’re working a day job and freelancing on the side, you know you’ve got to use your time wisely.
Whether you have a wide-open schedule or just a few hours a day for freelancing, your productivity habits can have a huge impact on your writing career.
What’s the best way to spend your precious work hours? I’m often asked this question by writers during coaching calls. I had one say, “I wish I could follow you around all day and see how you do it!”
While I don’t think that would be pleasant for either of us (and might reveal an embarrassing amount of screwing off and/or snacking on my part!)…I realized that after a decade of freelancing, I have developed some strong opinions on productivity habits for freelance writers.
Here are what I consider to be the seven most important productivity habits a freelancer should spend their time on, in order of importance:
There comes a point in every freelance writer’s life when they get sick of writing for pennies. You look up one day, realizing you’re burning out fast, and that you need to be writing for money — real money. The kind that pays the mortgage.
Helping writers move up and earn more is my favorite pastime, so I love it when writers tell me they’ve hit this point.
I’ve written a ton on how to grow your writing income here on the blog. But over the years, with 900+ posts, it’s gotten harder to easily find my best tips for leaving the gerbil-wheel of lousy gigs behind.
So I’m happy to announce that I’ve now got my very best ‘earn more from writing’ material organized on a single page.
If you’re ready to earn a serious living at freelance writing, read on for details:
It can seem like a great strategy, when you first start looking for writing jobs. If you simply charge a bit less than everyone else, you’ll get more clients.
You might. But sadly, undercutting market rates is a loser’s game.
I’ve coached thousands of writers at this point, and have yet to meet one who says they’re earning a great living by being the cheapest writer around.
The good news? There’s never been a better time to charge premium rates for your writing, as changes at Google have brought the rise of longer-form online content — and have helped a growing number of companies understand the high value of what we writers bring to the table.
It takes a major mindset change (and a little research) to go from low-price-leader to a writer who charges serious fees. But trust me — you’ll be ever so much happier and earn a crap-ton more if you stop undercharging. Let me help you make it happen.