Freelance Writers Den

CONTEST: Win a Year in My Online Writing Community

Essay contest: Win a free ticket to my writing community. Makealivingwriting.com

Six years ago, I got a crazy idea in my head: I was going to start an online writing community for freelancers, where they could learn how to market their services and earn more.

When we opened the doors in 2011, I had no clue how needed this sort of all-you-can-eat learning platform was for freelance writers.

Next week, Freelance Writers Den turns 6 years old! And it’s over 1,000 members strong.

At this point, the Den is packed with 300+ hours of trainings members can access anytime, on everything from how to do lucrative types of writing like white papers, to how to find better-paying clients.

Curious about the Den? Well, we’re celebrating our 6th year by opening the doors and welcoming new Denizens on our anniversary date, July 11. We’ll stay open for six days (unusually long for us!).

And we’ve got a new way to hop in the Den — you can try it out with a 1-week free pass.

We always do giveaways and goodies on the Den anniversary, but this year I want to go crazy.

So besides free 1-week passes for all comers, I’m also giving away 6 free, 1-YEAR passes to Freelance Writers Den.

That’s right, an entire year of soaking up the Den resources, 4-week bootcamps included, the works.

How can you win one of those 1-year passes? I’m holding an essay contest. Read on for the rules:

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12 Great Writer Websites That Magnetically Attract Clients

Writer Websites That Attract Great Clients. Makealivingwriting.com

Years back, I did a post about great writer websites. It turned out to be one of my most popular ever.

But over time, websites change. So do best practices in website design (hello, mobile-responsive design!). Writers get staff writing jobs and shut their sites down. Links break.

And writers still need ideas, examples, and inspiration to create their writer website…so I’ve put together a sequel.

This time, I’ve collected a dozen different flavors of successful writer websites to show you. Got notes below for you about what I love about each (and what I’d tweak).

I’ve done a multi-hour training about writer website best practices inside Freelance Writers Den (and many of the sites you’ll see featured below are from current or former Den members who’ve taken advantage of that course). But to give you a super-quick overview, the important elements of a successful writer site include:

  • Clean design — No flashing or rotating items, nor too many different colors or boxes.
  • Easy to connect — Your email/phone are easily visible and links are clickable.
  • Photo of you — This helps reassure people you’re not some Internet scam.
  • Portfolio — The #1 thing prospects want to do on your site is read your clips.
  • Testimonials — These are a huge factor in convincing prospects to contact you.
  • Personality — Your writer website is a writing audition, and a chance to give prospects a sense of what it’d be like to work with you.

With that crash course in writer website design in mind, here are a dozen writer websites (in alphabetical order) that show the variety of approaches you can take to implement these fundamentals. As you’ll see, websites can always be improved, so I’ve got some wish-list tips on how even these could do better:

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Explode Your Freelance Writing Income: An Essay Contest and Celebration

Freelance Writers Den - Fifth Anniversary!

Five years ago, I took a crazy risk and opened a community for freelance writers, hoping I could get 100 people to sign up.

What happened? It turned out people were starved for freelance writing help.

Today, the Den turns 5 years old — and it has over 1,200 members. When I say I couldn’t have done it without you, my great readers, I’m really not kidding.

Great community can’t be created by my answering every forum question. It’s created by everyone in the community coming together to pool their knowledge and share best practices. The Denizens are what make the Den the truly awesome resource it has become today.

I’m grateful for everyone who’s come together to make Freelance Writers Den great — so grateful that I’ve got five different goodies for you as part of our Den 5th anniversary celebration:

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Transform Your Freelance Marketing: 5 Things You’re Probably Getting Wrong

Transform your Freelance Marketing

Every week, I meet writers who are taking their first plunge into freelance marketing. Maybe they’ve grown tired of applying for UpWork gigs they don’t get, scanning Craigslist ads for hours, or of getting $10 a post from a content mill.

To me, this is an exciting moment, when writers realize they’re in business — and running a business means you do proactive marketing. Passively trolling online ads that are each going to get 1,000 responses isn’t your ticket to high earnings.

This is all good, but often, when you first start active marketing, it can be discouraging. Early results may not be stellar. There’s a decent bit to know to win at pitching your writing services.

While some writers make phone calls or do in-person networking, the majority send marketing or pitch emails. For publications, we send queries.

And most of these pitches don’t get results. Why? Here are my top five probable reasons freelance marketing is ineffective, based on my experience reviewing hundreds of pitch letters over the years:

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2016 Forecast: Top 12 Great-Paying Freelance Writing Gigs

Great Paying Freelance Writing Gigs for 2016. Makealivingwriting.com

If you think there are no great-paying freelance writing gigs out there anymore and it’s all $5 blog posts, I’m here to spread some sunshine.

I have the advantage of chatting with hundreds of freelance writers on a regular basis in Freelance Writers Den. That’s allowed me to get a strong sense of what the trends are, and where writers are finding opportunities.

I’m hearing more and more reports of rising rates in some specific writing niches, and of growing demand for some emerging assignments.

If you’re hoping to up your game and find great-paying freelance writing gigs this year, check out my list of a dozen top niches.

All of these niches have two things in common, so let me call out those two key items first:

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8 Crazy Nights of Freebies & Bargains for Freelance Writers

8 Crazy Nights of Freebies & Bargains for  Freelance Writers - Makealivingwriting.com

No matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, I’m here to make it a festive season for you.

Since I celebrate Hanukkah — which this year, starts tonight — I’ve decide to create my own online festival of light for writers, by bringing you a series of free offers and super-cheap discount deals. There will be a different offer each day!

Hanukkah is a festival of light and miracles…of the freedom to worship as you choose, a theme that’s more relevant than ever this year. Of believing you can banish the darkness, even when all seems hopeless. I’m hoping to enlighten some writers and bring them some serious help over next 8 days. Because when you go from earning peanuts to earning real money…it truly is like a miracle. Right?

While I’m announcing this 8 Crazy Nights extravaganza here on a blog post, if you’re not a subscriber to this blog, you won’t see most of the rest of these offers. They’ll only be going out on email. So if you’re not a subscriber, you might want to sign up now.

Ready? Let’s get rolling…

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