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Do You Sabotage Your Freelance Writing Jobs? A Gut-Check

Do you sabotage your freelance writing jobs? Makealivingwriting.com

Are you one of those freelance writers who can’t seem to win no matter how hard you try? All the freelance writing jobs you touch seem to turn to merde. Things may start out well, but then something often goes wrong.

You don’t get paid. Your client drops you. All your prospects just want to know how little you’d be willing to do a gig for. And you’re always struggling to book more freelance writing jobs.

If this is you, listen up.

I’m going to tell you exactly why that’s happening, and how to fix it.

How do I know what’s up? I recently added a free, 1-on-1 consulting perk for all Freelance Writers Den members who’ve been in the Den a year or more. That turned out to be…500 writers!

So I’ve been talking with many, many writers who’ve been working on their careers a long time, and learning what keeps them broke, and why it’s so hard for many to find and keep freelance writing jobs that pay well.

Turns out, it’s mostly themselves. Let me spotlight the major mindset problems that lead you to choose crummy clients — or screw up better gigs — over and over. See if you recognize yourself in any of these archetypes of the low-paid freelancer:

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Best Posts 2016: The Top 10 Things Freelance Writers Need to Know

Best posts 2016. The top 10 things freelance writers need to know. Makealivingwriting.com

Every year, at the end of the year, I look back and discover the things freelance writers need to know most.

How can I tell? By looking at which posts here on the blog saw the most readers. Those are the topics freelance writers needed to learn about the most.

This year, there’s an interesting variety to the list. As always, this provides a road map for me to what kinds of posts I should bring you more of next year!

To qualify for this list, by the way, the post has to have been published or re-published in 2016. Oldies-but-goodies that keep getting traffic for ages don’t count! But you can check out the sidebar for those.

Here are the 10 things you wanted to know about the most in 2016:

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Freelance Writer Fairy Tales: Do You Believe These 3 Myths?

Freelance writer fairy tales: Do you believe in these 3 myths? Makealivingwriting.com

When you’re a freelance writer, it’s easy to go on for years clinging to magical thinking about how your career will work.

It’s like believing in fairy tales. Usually, when you grow up, you realize there is no enchanted frog or beast that turns into a prince.

But with a lot of writers, these myths persist for years and years, leading to lots of wasted time and low earnings.

What are the big fairy tales freelance writers tell themselves? Here are my top three:

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Online Writing Jobs: The Inside Scoop on 17 Job Boards

The Inside Scoop on 17 Writer Job Boards. Makealivingwriting.com

Do you regularly scan job boards looking for online writing jobs, but only find low-paying gigs? If so, you might need to get a little choosier about where you look.

If your typical rates are above what the listings offer, it may be time to stop checking the job boards altogether. In general, you’ll do better with proactive prospecting to find your own clients, rather than applying to mass-online-job ads where you compete with hundreds of writers.

But if checking online job ads is still a part of your regular marketing routine, at least be an educated freelancer and target boards that are the best fit for you. We interviewed site owners and researched listings to bring you this inside look at what’s available on 17 top boards:

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From a Content Mill to Writing a TV Commercial in 2 Months

From content mills to writing a TV commercial in 2 months. Makealivingwriting.com

Fresh out of college, with no real world experience and no real job prospects, I dove into Textbroker in 2013, lured by the appeal of easy money.

Big mistake.

Over the next three years, I slaved for 1.4 cents per word. Even though I was done with school, I was still living the life of a starving college student. Did you know it takes 7,143 words at that rate to make $100?

That’s hard to swallow now that I know it’s possible to make a lot more money from freelancing. If you’ve been writing for traditional-low-pay-race-to-the-bottom content mills, it’s time to rethink your approach to building a freelance business.

I couldn’t maintain such a grueling writing pace for bare bones rations. I wanted satisfying work. I wanted better clients. And I wanted to get paid well. I finally woke up and realized that low-pay work for content mills will never yield pro rates.

Now what?

I put five key strategies in place to transform my freelancing business. The result: Bye-bye, content mills. Hello, better pay and better clients — including a major TV network within two months. Here’s how I did it:

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How to Get Hired When You Apply for Online Freelance Writing Jobs

Freelance writer job ads online

I can remember when it was tough to figure out how to get a freelance writing gig. You typed and physically mailed query letters to editors, mostly. Or went to a lot of Chamber of Commerce meetings, hoping to meet marketing managers.

Now, of course, if you have an Internet connection, job listings are hard to avoid. Online job ads are everywhere! But finding one that pays anything substantial — and getting hired — isn’t always easy.

I hear from tons of writers who’ve had job-hunting experiences like this Freelance Writers Den member recently did:

“What am I doing wrong? I’ve applied and applied for online writing jobs, but I don’t get any response, ever.”–Hannah

As it happens, there is an art to getting a response from an online writing job-ad poster. I know because when I started freelancing in 2005, I started reading those Craigslist ads, just like everybody else.

After a few years, I realized spending hours each week combing through mass job ads was not the best way to find good-paying clients. But along the way to that insight, I got my job-ad process down to an art form.

I started getting replies, and found several decent-paying clients via online job ads.

If you’d like to start getting positive responses to those applications you send in, here are my five tips:

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