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"Make a Living Writing is the only blog I read religiously. It's always on top of the news and advice writers need RIGHT NOW to earn more from their writing." —Linda Formichelli, The Renegade Writer

Double Your Freelance Rate with These Easy Negotiation Tips

getting paidWhen I was fresh out of college, I got lucky.

I got a job offer at a magazine, almost right away. It was great … except the pay. It was much lower than I’d told myself I would accept.

So I did what everyone suggested: I negotiated. I did my due diligence — including market research, a look at industry norms, and lots of number crunching. Twenty-four hours later, I crossed my fingers and hit ‘send.’

And I got steamrolled.

I took the job anyway. I was worried nothing else would come along. But the entire time I worked there, I felt underpaid and poorly treated.

Ever since, I’ve shied away from asking for more money.

I’ve always feared that the offer would be yanked out from under me, that I’d be yelled at, or that the person I was negotiating with would be offended.

Recently, I got another offer. But this time, I pushed my fear aside and negotiated better pay. Here’s how.

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3 Free Ways to Find Out What Editors Really Think

Editor thinkingIt’s one of the biggest problems in freelance writing.

You send out a query to an editor, or a letter of introduction to a business.

And then…nothing.

You never hear back. You’re left to wonder what you’re doing wrong.

Or you submit an article, and it gets killed. They give you some vague reason, such as, “Just not a fit for us at this time.”

How can you ever improve?

You’re stuck. But you need to break through and get answers, or you’re not going to get the kind of great-paying gigs you want.

Fortunately, there are several paths out of this dilemma. One is to hire an expensive writing coach and pay thousands for their input.

But there are free ways, too. Here are three:

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7 Reasons You Have More Writing Clips Than You Think

More samples Here’s a common lament I hear from freelance writers:

“I don’t have any writing samples! What should I do to get clips for my portfolio?”

Well, wait just a minute there. Because often, when I ask more questions, I find out you’ve got clips.

You just don’t think you have any.
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Do You Have Story Idea Constipation? How to Break the Logjam

Waiting to use the bathroomEver had a great idea for an article?

The moment you think of it, everything comes to a halt. You are entranced. You love this idea!

You’re sure you know the ideal publication for it, too. A big, important, great-paying magazine.

This is the idea that’s going to transform your portfolio and make your career take off. You can hardly sleep at night, thinking about how great this is going to be.

And there, your troubles begin.

 

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6 Quick Ways to Tweak Your Pitches to Get More Article Writing Jobs

Frustration stress and writers blockEver had a pitch rejected?

It happens to all freelance writers — we get used to it.

But what about being rejected by the same editor twice? Three times? Four?

How about eight times?

That’s how many times it took me to land one of my target magazines, a craft-brewing trade publication.

Rather than seeing this as a cause for embarrassment, this pitching experience is an example of how creativity and determination can end up landing you a feature article in a dream publication.

It also helped me discover how to write better pitches that get you more article writing jobs.

Here are six tips I learned along the way:
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Watch Out for This Income-Killing Online Writing Scam

Businessman taking the baitIt’s an exciting time, when you finally start to get some traction as a freelance writer.

You land a client or two, and start writing. Maybe you score a gig with a popular blog, or you’re writing for a big website.

Having highly visible bylines often leads to emails from prospective clients. They’re impressed by who you’re writing for, and they’d like to hire you.

Unfortunately, what they’d like to hire you to write is not always legit.

I’ve gotten shady requests many times because of the visibility of my Forbes blog, and I know I’m far from alone.

For instance, here’s a discussion thread we recently had in Freelance Writers Den:

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