Blog Archives

Clients From Hell: Quick Ways to Spot and Avoid Them

Beware

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

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

How to make $5000 a month with freelance blog writing. Makealivingwriting.com

Are 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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10 Ways to Earn More From One Great Article Idea

How to earn more from one great article idea. Makealivingwriting.com.

Are you a writer in search of an article idea? These days, the big-earning article writers have loads of ideas for editors.

But if you’re someone who really finds idea generation tough, there’s another way to earn well. You can do it by getting more mileage out of your short stack of ideas.

Get out of the habit of coming up with one article idea, landing an assignment, and then moving on.

Instead, think in terms of spinning that one little idea straw into a big pile of gold.

How? Here are ten different ways:

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Freelance Writing Gigs With Great Pay: 50 Niches to Explore

Niche Nectar. Get the best-paid freelance writing gigs. Makealivingwriting.com.

Do you ever wonder where the better-paying freelance writing gigs are hiding? It can be hard to believe a good income is even possible, especially if you’re trapped in low-pay assignments that don’t even earn you the minimum wage.

The good news is, there are plenty of niches that pay better than writing, say, a 300-word blog post or a 50-word online product description — to name just two classic bottom-of-the-barrel niches where pay is often miniscule.

The problem is, many writers aren’t aware of all the different types of freelance writing gigs that offer better pay.

Below is a list of writing niches that I can report writers are seeing strong rates for. I’ve noted rate ranges as I’m aware of them, from talking to thousands of writers through Freelance Writers Den and my coaching. I’ve also included tips on industries and approaches for connecting with these clients.

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