Posts Tagged ‘earn more from writing’

140 Websites That Pay Writers in 2014

Posted in Blog on July 20th, 2014 by Carol Tice – 22 Comments

Online markets that pay freelance writersBy Jennifer Roland

Way back in 2010, Carol decided to bust a move here on the blog.

As an advocate for writers seeking out good-paying work rather than writing for “exposure” or pennies, she decided it was time to start paying the writers who guest posted here.

Then, something really cool happened. Other bloggers started paying their guest posters, too. Some were inspired directly by Carol, and some blog owners just decided on their own that great content was worth paying for. So Carol gathered a list of those blogs as a resource for her readers.

But things on the Internet change fast. Fourteen months later, it’s time to post an updated list.

Our 2014 list of blogs that pay

Here is Carol’s fresh, new list of websites that pay at least $50 for guest posts. They’re listed alphabetically:

  1. Be a Freelance Blogger — Sophie Lizard hosts a contest six times a year for one guest blogger to win $100 for their post. The contest is judged on outlines, so you don’t have to write the post on spec.
  2. HouseLogic — This site operated by the National Association of Realtors pays $1 a word — Carol had an opportunity to interview their editor for an article for The 2013 Writer’s Market. If you’ve got a good twist on a shelter story and strong reporting skills, this could be a great place for you.
  3. Make a Living Writing — Carol pays $50 a post. Due to overwhelming response, though, she now only takes guest posts from students or grads of Freelance Writers Den or Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging course.
  4. Patch  — AOL’s Patch.com, as of this writing, often pays $50 and up for short blog post–like articles. Patch closed many of its hyperlocal news sites at the end of 2013, so do a little research to see if there’s still a Patch near you.
  5. Read.Learn.Write. — Paying $50 a post after seeing Carol’s Problogger post about paid guesting in Feb. 2012. (We just got word that Read. Learn. Write. is not accepting guest posts.)
  6. David Worrell’s blog, Rock Solid Finance was the first niche blogger to jump on the bandwagon and start paying $50 for guests posts back in late 2010.
  7. SlickWP — Are you a WordPress pro? Then this might be a great place for you to write. They pay $50 per post plus a link back to your site.
  8. Social Alexis — This is actually a group of sites, including The Penny Hoarder and Brazen Careerist. Some of the sites pay $50+ or a link, so make sure you’re pitching a paid post and that the editor agrees on the fee BEFORE you submit your final work.
  9. Strong Whispers — This multi-topic site is paying $50 a post.
  10. Tuts+ — Tuts+ is owned by Envato, which used to run Freelance Switch. Carol guest blogged for Freelance Switch for quite a while. They pay around $75 for shorter posts, and can pay $150 or so for longer ones.
  11. The Work Online Blog — This site is all about how to run an online business, serve clients, and other topics related to the gig economy. They also pay $50.
  12. Your Online Biz — Darnell Jackson is paying $100 a post, so this is another great market to look at if you’re a pro at building your business online.

Not enough for you?

Other bloggers in Carol’s network have created lists of paying blogs — between this list and the ones linked below, that’s 140 potential guest post markets for you.

Even more paying markets

Two are by Bamidele Onibalusi of Writers in Charge, and one is by the above-mentioned Sophie Lizard of Be a Freelance Blogger. One is part of a larger market listing on Jennifer Mattern’s site, All Indie Writers. The final one is from the freelance-training site Matador — it’s a little older, but it lists a wide range of online sites and blogs that pay at least a bit.

Here are the links to grab those lists:

I compared these lists to make sure I didn’t overstate how many blogs out there are paying. And even when you ignore the duplicates, there are still 140 unique paying websites and blogs here.

Not too shabby. Hope these resources help you find more paying online markets!

Have you gotten paid to guest post? Tell us about your guest-blogging experience in the comments below.

Jennifer Roland is a freelance writer, and the guest-blog editor here at Make a Living Writing. She focuses on edtech, lifestyle topics, marketing and public relations, and content creation. Her latest book, 10 Takes on Writing, will be out in late 2014.

Why Freelance Writers Earn More by Tracking 2 Key Things

Posted in Blog on May 14th, 2014 by Carol Tice – 40 Comments

Business ChartsBy Nicole Dieker

What’s the last thing you do before you end your freelance writing work week?

If you’re like most of us, you’re probably eager to get up from your laptop and do something else — anything else! — for a change.

Instead, it’s worthwhile to do a tiny bit of math before you go.

So stay where you are and tally up two numbers:

  • Money earned this week

  • Pieces written this week

For money earned, calculate everything you were able to bill this week. Don’t worry about whether the client has paid you yet — that’s not important for this calculation. If you completed a $50 blog post, add $50 to your tally even if you won’t get paid until next month.

Adding up pieces written is pretty straightforward. Count each individual assignment as a “piece,” whether it’s a 1,500-word long-form essay or a 200-word content mill article.

Got it? Now we’re going to use those two numbers to grow your writing income.

Track the trends

My goal as a freelance writer is to do two things, every week:

  • Bring the amount of money I earn UP
  • Bring the number of pieces I write DOWN

It should be pretty obvious why I want to increase my income. But why do I want to decrease the number of pieces I write?

Not because I want to do less work, but because I want to do better work.

When I write fewer, better-paying pieces, I get to spend more time on those pieces. I’m also more likely to be working with clients and editors who value my worth.

About a year ago, I was earning $500–$750 a week for anywhere between 25 and 50 individual pieces. I was literally writing 5,000 words per day.

This April, I was able to bill nearly $1,000 for 19 pieces, or about 3,000 words per day. Every week my income fluctuates slightly (my most recent billing as of this writing was $877), but I have been able to show a significant upward trend.

Use the stats to grow your income

Once you start tracking income versus pieces, you’ll notice a few things.

First, you’ll notice just how hard you work for those dang content mills, and how much easier it is when you have higher-value clients.

Second, you’ll be able to pick out which clients are the true keepers, and which ones you want to use as stepping-stones for better opportunities.

These numbers will also give you the most important metric re: growing your writing income: they’ll tell you when it’s time to hustle.

Here’s the secret: the time to hustle for clients isn’t the week when you’re writing 50 content mill pieces for $500. By then, you’re in crisis mode, and you just need to get the job done.

The time to hustle for bigger and better clients is when you’re earning $1,000 for 19 pieces.

Or, if you prefer, the very first week your income starts to drop from its highest point. If you try to bring in one new client or job every time your income dips — even just a little — you’ll set yourself up for continued, sustainable income growth.

How do I hustle for new work? I check the writing job boards for good-paying gigs. I send out pitches to online publications with which I have established relationships. I send out cold pitches to new publications that I know pay well. I also remind my social media followers and my network about my Hire Me page — you’d be surprised at how well that tactic works!

By the end of summer, I hope to only be writing 12-15 pieces per week while billing around $1,000. We’ll see if I can use my own advice to make it happen.

What numbers help you grow your freelance writing income? Tell us in the comments below.

Nicole Dieker is a freelance copywriter and essayist. She writes regularly for The Billfold on the intersection of freelance writing and personal finance. You can hire her, follow her weekly income tracking, or read her published essays at her Tumblr.

How One Freelance Writer Got $3,000 From a Simple Request

Posted in Blog on April 23rd, 2014 by Editor – 33 Comments

Freelance writer makes a simple requestBy Angie Mansfield

I was a frustrated freelance writer.

Late last year, I was finally starting to gain traction in my freelance writing business, but I still wasn’t as busy as I wanted to be. I was doing okay. But I wanted to take that next step to being able to tell my lowest-paying clients, “Sorry, I’m fully booked right now.”

As it was, I felt like I had to take their cheap gigs in order to fill in the gaps. I needed to replace them with higher-paying gigs to do more than break even every month.

The Rave Review

My chance came when I asked one of my freelance writing clients for a testimonial. I was fresh off of my initial project for her, an article and blog post based on her CEO’s book.

In her opinion, I’d knocked it out of the park, and the testimonial she wrote for me was nothing short of glowing.

Instead of just thanking her and going on my merry way, I thanked her — and then told her I had a little time in my schedule coming up. Would she mind sharing my contact information with colleagues who might need my services?

The Referral

Turns out, she wouldn’t mind. In fact, she was thrilled to send an email introducing me to one of her clients.

And what a client: A small marketing firm that has run direct mail campaigns for a few little companies you might have heard of — Lowe’s, Petco, and RiteAid, among others.

Here’s the first thing I learned about referrals: They make the process of closing a deal extremely easy.

My new client didn’t ask for clips. She didn’t ask what experience I had. She just responded to the introductory email to ask if I was available for an immediate assignment!

After getting over my initial shock at how easy that was, I took the gig — to the tune of $1,000 extra for January.

The Hidden Bonus

If the story ended there, I’d have counted it a solid success. A new, lucrative client always is.

But it didn’t end there. When I told my first client that I had some time available in my schedule, it also prompted her to send me more projects herself.

Not only do I credit her with helping me land that extra $1,000 from her referral, but she sent me another $2,000 in projects of her own.

All from one simple request in response to a positive testimonial.

The Moral of the Story

I haven’t stopped marketing. I know that, eventually, these current projects will be finished and my clients’ editorial calendars may slow. I’m continuing to send out LOIs, telling prospective clients that I’ll be available in after this current workload is finished.

But now I know that referral requests should be a part of my marketing plan, too. Which reminds me, I need to ask that new client for a testimonial … and a referral.

Angie Mansfield is a freelance blogger who’s thrilled that “Freelance Blogger” is a real title. By day, she helps businesses create blogs and marketing materials. By night, she helps fellow geeks (and freelancers) de-stress on her blog, TranquiliGeek.

How to Reel in Great Freelance Writing Clients with a Bait Piece

Posted in Blog on March 13th, 2014 by Carol Tice – 16 Comments

Freelance writers can hook clients with a bait pieceBy James Palmer

There are many ways freelance writers can get new clients, but few are more effective than a bait piece.

Write it once, then post it on your site and it’ll go to work for you all the time to grab new clients.

Curious about what a bait piece is, and how to create one? Read on:

What’s a bait piece?

According to copywriter Bob Bly, a bait piece is “an informative booklet, white paper, or special report addressing some aspect of the problem your product or service helps the reader solve.”

In this case, the service is your writing. You are not just a writer, but a problem solver.

Your bait piece could be anything from a white paper or case study to a helpful checklist or video.

Why bait pieces work

A good bait piece is effective for several reasons.

First and foremost, it establishes you as an expert in your prospect’s eyes not just another freelance writer. Many clients think writers are a dime a dozen, but they’ll gladly pay your fees if you approach them as an expert in the problem your writing solves.

Second, a bait piece acts as a sample of your writing, so make sure it looks professional and every word is spelled correctly.

Finally, it builds confidence and trust in you and your services. A strong bait piece makes the client think: “If her free information is this good, just think what her paid services can do for me and my business.”

The bonus? By having a high-quality bait piece, you’ll tend to attract higher-quality clients. Your bait piece can make the difference between dealing with lowballers and getting name-brand businesses in your client stable.

How to create a solid bait piece

If it sounds overwhelming to you to create one of these, trust me, you can do this. My tips:

  • Keep it simple. A short report with an evocative title works best. “10 Tips for…” “7 Secrets to….” Checklists also work well.
  • Solve a problem. A good bait piece tells a client how to solve a problem they have related to your writing niche. Don’t worry that you’re giving away all your secrets for free; the object is to show them that you’re the best person for the job — and convince them to hire you.
  • Make it valuable. Work hard to make your free report really valuable to your client. Study their industry and your competitors to come up with a report your prospect hasn’t seen before.
  • Target it. Depending on your niche, something industry specific, such as “12 Ways Restaurants Can Get More Clients from Social Media” can be much more effective than a generic writing-related topic like “How to Create Web Copy that Sells.”
  • Price it. You can also give your free report high perceived value by putting a price on the title page. Then you can say something like, “Click here to get my FREE report, 10 Facebook Marketing Faux Pas and How to Avoid Them (a $29 value).” You can even sell it elsewhere on your website.
  • Think outside the page. Your bait piece doesn’t have to be words on a page. You could also create a video and make it available for streaming on your website. All you need is PowerPoint, a microphone, and some screen capture software.
  • Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Offer your bait piece in every email you send to prospects with a strong, benefit-rich statement that makes them want it and tells them how to get it quickly and easily.
  • Go hard and soft. When crafting your prospect email, give them a hard and soft offer. Your hard offer is to contact you for more information about you and your services, and can include things like a free consultation, while your soft offer is for the free report. Those who need your help right away will go for your hard offer, while those who don’t need your help right now but might somewhere down the road will respond to your soft offer of the free report.

If you need formatting help to create a white paper or checklist report that looks great, partner with a designer who needs a portfolio piece of the type you’re creating and you can probably do a swap or get a good price.

Got questions about creating a bait piece — or got a bait piece to share? Ask in the comments, or feel free to give us a link to your piece and tell us how you created it.

James Palmer is a freelance content marketing writer, fiction author and independent publisher. He is the author of The Secrets of Six-Figure Freelancing: Make More Money and Have More Fun as a Freelance Writer.