If you’re a freelance writer—or thinking about becoming one
—you’ve probably got a lot of questions about how to earn well.
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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

How to Land That First Big Magazine Writing Assignment

Write your first BIG magazine article! Makealivingwriting.comWhat freelance writer doesn’t dream of snagging a magazine writing assignment for newsstand favorites such as Men’s Health, SELF, or GQ?

Heavyweight magazines may be hard to crack, but with smart, persistent strategy, it’s possible — even if you’ve never had a national magazine writing assignment before.

Here are the tips that helped me land a magazine writing assignment for Runner’s World.

Embrace the pre-interview

When I first started pitching, I tried to get by without doing any pre-interviews. Why spend my time finding an expert and interviewing them, if I’m not even sure the article idea will sell?

But I always ended up with anemic, generic query letters that didn’t get any traction. Once I started doing pre-interviews, I sold more articles — which means less of my pitching time is wasted on queries that don’t sell.

Pre-interviews make your pitches meaty. Not only can you include juicy, pithy expert quotes, but your pitch will come across as authoritative because you will be far more knowledgeable about the subject.

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12 Essential, Free WordPress Plugins for Your Writer Website

Best WordPress plugins for your writer website. Makealivingwriting.comCan I make a confession?

I’m not a tech expert. I don’t know my PHP from my HTML or SQL or any other of those terms that the “technically inclined” seem to spout a thousand miles a minute.

I’m a writer. And if you’re on this site, so are you.

If you’re like me, you could probably make some improvements to your writer website.

When you’ve got a self-hosted WordPress site (and you definitely should), having the right plugins can make the difference between spending hours trying to do a simple task — or being able to accomplish it in one click.

After an extensive search and personal trials, I’ve come up with a list of WordPress plugins that are a definite *must* for any writer website.

Here are the free plugins that will make your life easier (some of them have premium versions, but the free versions offer plenty of features for you):

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Why You’re Starving: How to Avoid The Dark Side of Freelancing

Avoid the Dark Side of Freelance WritingWriters become freelancers for many reasons. Often, it’s the freedom to set our own schedule, a desire to be our own boss, wanting to earn more than a low-paid job offers, or maybe to be home with our young children.

Freelancing is a wonderful way to live and work, but few people tell you about the dark side — namely, struggling with the ups and downs of freelancer income.

Today’s post is a brief Q&A with Dianna Huff, author of Cash Flow for Freelancers. Dianna started out as a B2B freelance copywriter in 1998 and has since transitioned into marketing consulting. She wrote Cash Flow based on the strategies she taught herself to better manage her own variable income.

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5 Disastrous Blog Design Mistakes — Fix These to Keep Your Readers

5 Disastrous Blog Design Mistakes - Makealivingwriting.comIf you’re here learning how to make a living as a writer, you’ve probably already got your writing skills down.

But even the most skilled writers can struggle with the design side of their blog.

Internet users are bombarded with information, and each mental transaction takes a toll on their brainpower.

Presenting content so it requires minimal effort from your audience is not just considerate — it also improves your chances that reader will subscribe and return.

What common design errors drive your blog readers away? From my experience as a user-experience expert and Web designer, these are my top five:

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Get Better Freelance Writing Gigs With These 7 Sneaky Tools

7 Sneaky Freelance Writer ToolsHave you ever wanted to spy on your prospective freelance writing clients?

There are some ways to sleuth out information that can really give you a leg-up in your marketing. The more you know, the easier it is to avoid scams and suss out better freelance writing gigs.

I love digging up useful info on prospective freelance clients.

So whenever I come across a new tool for this, I start compiling a list.

Below are the seven intelligence-gathering freelance writer tools I’m currently finding most useful:

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Get Paid for Traffic: The Scoop on Writing for Blasting News

How Bloggers Can Get Paid for Traffic. Makelivingwriting.comIt seems like there are always new sites coming into the market, offering to give freelance writers a little pay. But few sites pay based on traffic anymore (which makes sense, since traffic does not equal dollars).

Blasting News is one opportunity that is new to the U.S. and does pay based on the number of visitors you attract. They contacted Carol about referring writers to the site — and she asked me to take a look and learn about the pay and requirements.

Is Blasting News a good way for writers to earn a living? There are highly mixed reviews on Glassdoor and on Indeed (in several languages).

We decided to find out more, and talked to several writers around the world with experience on this platform. Here’s our report:

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