guest posting

How I Turned An Unpaid Guest Post Into $4,000 Per Month

From guest post to landing $4K a month. Makealivingwriting.com

Are you taking advantage of in-person networking opportunities to find freelance writing clients?

Write a guest post for free? When you’re trying to make a living writing, it might seem counterintuitive to give your best effort to a piece that won’t put any money in your pocket.

But you can’t look at it that way. One of the first things I tell writers who are new to the freelancing world is that opportunity is unpredictably predictable.

You never know where writing opportunities will pop up. But if you cast enough lines in the water, you will inevitably reel something in. Some good marketing strategies you should be using to land freelance writing gigs include:

  • Send query letters and LOIs
  • Make cold calls
  • Create a direct-mail marketing campaign
  • Introduce yourself to prospects using social media
  • Use LinkedIn to connect with prospects
  • Attend in-person networking events

When you focus your efforts on marketing and do it consistently, you’re going to get results. But there’s at least one marketing strategy that sometimes gets overlooked:

Write a guest post. For free. For a popular blog.

If you’re looking for a way to throw new lines in the water, start pitching and writing guest posts, even if you won’t be paid. It’s a smart marketing strategy that can help you land new clients and lucrative gigs.

Here’s how I turned an unpaid guest post assignment into a $4,000 per month contract in four steps.

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3 Guest Post Pitch Emails That Got the Gig

Guest

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ever wonder what the secret sauce is to writing a guest post pitch that gets accepted? This was a popular topic on my blog five years ago, and it still is. Study these examples to learn how to pitch a guest post and land an assignment. Enjoy! –Carol.

A few weeks back, I talked about bad guest post pitches I’ve received, and outlined some of the elements of a good one.

One writer asked if I would show some examples of pitches that were accepted here — so here are three.

One needed a little back-and-forth and refining before it was accepted, as you’ll see.

I also noticed that each of these pitches had weaknesses to them, too. Guest post pitches don’t have to be perfect — but they do have to convey that you have a strong, unique idea, know how to execute it, and have some experience in freelance writing.

The idea also needs to be something I haven’t written about before, and probably wouldn’t have thought to do otherwise.

Want to learn how to write an effective guest post pitch? Here’s what you need to know.

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Hunting for Writing Jobs? 8 New Sites That Pay Writers — Plus Important Updates

8 New Sites That Pay Writers — Plus Important Updates. Makealivingwriting.com

We know how much you love our lists of sites that pay writers. So we’ve got an update since last year’s list of 92 sites that pay $50 and up.

Why do we do these market lists?

First, we like to help writers earn a good living. We have a floor rate of $50 for inclusion in these lists so that you can move up from sites that pay writers $10, $15, and $25 for posts.

Then, once you’ve added a few clips from these better-paying sites to your portfolio, you can move up again to sites that pay writers more. (Don’t think those sites are out there? Read about writers who are making $200+ per post and a content mill that pays $400 per post.)

Second, we want to recognize sites that value the work their writers are doing. Good guest posts bring traffic to a site, which leads to list subscribers or ad revenue. When someone helps a blogger or business earn money, they deserve to earn money for that work. And we celebrate sites that have that same philosophy.

Now, on to the updates.

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Guest Post Tips: 9 Top Online Editors Vent About Writers

Guest Post Tips from Top Online Editors. Makealivingwriting.com

Are your guest post pitches getting ignored?

If so, there may be some concrete things you can do to fix that. And it’s worth taking the time to figure out how to make your guest post ideas better.

Why?

Plenty of writers I know get all their freelance clients from the exposure they get guest posting on popular blogs. You can slog away posting on your own little blog named “blog” that’s living under a tab on your writer website, but few prospects ever see that.

Start guest posting for some high-traffic sites about the topics you’d like to get hired for, and all of a sudden, the calls start coming. These clients are usually impressed as heck that you’ve appeared on that big blog, and dying to hire you, in my experience.

To improve your guest-post pitches and get more posts approved, you’ve got to know how to please editors. So I asked a bunch of editors at popular sites what writers are getting wrong in their pitches.

Listen in as nine editors tell us their pet peeves. Here’s what writers are getting wrong:

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Is Your Guest Post a Waste? 5 Ways Bloggers Can Tell

5 Tips Reveal if Your Guest Post is Worth It. Makealivingwriting.com

Guest posting can be a superb way to collect email subscribers. But it can also be a huge waste of time, as you write a compelling and well researched guest post perfectly targeted at the blog’s readers — and get no engagement or new subscribers.

Maybe you know a couple of blogs you think would make a perfect fit for you, because their readers are the people you want on your list.

But how can you tell if it’s really a good site to pitch? Is there any way of predicting how many subscribers you can get?

Many factors are in play, and you can never predict your results for sure. Still, I have done my fair share of guest posting, on sites including Write to Done, The Write Life, Boost Blog Traffic, and many others.

Over time, I’ve found these five factors help me decide whether to pitch a guest post or move on:

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Websites That Pay Writers 2015: These 79 Sites Offer $50 and Up

Websites That Pay Writers 2015: These 79 Sites Offer $50 and Up

It’s been a few years since Carol rocked the world of free guest posting and began paying for guest posts. I’m happy to report that a lot of other sites have followed suit. That means it’s time to update our annual list of websites that pay at least $50 per post or article (and really, should you be writing for less?).

This year’s list is a bit different from past lists, in that we’ve previously linked to other lists to make up our total market count. This time, we’ve done the legwork, asked around our freelance writer network, and gathered our own intel on every market in our list, right here on the post. This list runs the gamut of topics, from parenting and knitting to business and writing, so there should be something here for everyone.

In some cases, these sites keep it on the Q.T. exactly what they pay. We’re including markets where freelance writers in our network report they pay over $50, in order to bring you the widest variety of paying markets possible.

As always, we appreciate any corrections or additions to our list.

Prepare to pitch

Before you go pitching any of these sites willy nilly, read the guidelines carefully and study the posts they’ve already run. Paying markets are more competitive than posting on free sites.

Make sure you either have a fresh topic or a new way of exploring an issue they’ve covered before. Compiling this year’s list, I spoke with some site owners who used to pay, but got so many junk pitches from people who didn’t even know what the site covered that they quit offering payment — or quit taking guest posts altogether.

Need help learning how to pitch a successful guest post? See this post, and this one.

Here’s the list!

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