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Freelance Writing Forecast: Ride These Epic Trends in 2017

Freelance writing forecast: Ride these epic trends in 2017. Makealivingwriting.com

Last year, I got out my crystal ball and created a freelance writing forecast that identified 12 hot writing niches for the past year. (You can check and see how I did.)

That post was one of the most useful posts of the year, judging from the traffic it got, so I’ve decided to do a new forecast for 2017.

But this time, rather than good-paying types of writing, I’m calling out the hot trends you should know about to earn well in the coming year.

How you take advantage of these trends and freelance writing forecast will depend on the kinds of writing you like to do and types of clients you serve. These are top-level trends that will affect all of us, whether you’re into blogging, magazine writing, or copywriting.

I’ve included action items that explain how to take advantage of each of these trends in the coming year.

The freelance writing forecast looks bright

The short version: I’ve never been more excited about the opportunities for freelance writers than I am right now.

Ready? Let’s look at the seven biggest trends coming down the pike:

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Is LinkedIn Premium Worth It? Why It’s One Freelance Writer’s Success Strategy

Is LinkedIn Premium worth it? Why it's one freelance writer's success strategy. Makealivingwriting.com

Need to find prospects that can turn into well-paying clients? Don’t we all. But too often, writers hit all the wrong places hoping to land a gig. You’re not likely to find good clients on job boards, content mills, Craigslist, and bidding sites. But that doesn’t mean they’re not out there.

In fact, if you use the right strategy, you can tap into a massive list of potential prospects in your niche using LinkedIn Premium. (Is LinkedIn Premium worth it? I’ll explain.) But I didn’t know that when I got serious about freelancing. I used to troll job boards and send LOIs to people I wasn’t always sure were the decision makers. I had some success with this approach. But I struggled to find the right clients. Sound familiar?

I needed a better way to zero-in on my niche (FinTech), find the right people to pitch and land better-paying clients. But how? I stumbled across the answer when I signed up for Lynda.com. And by chance, I scored a one-year subscription to LinkedIn Premium along with it (LinkedIn Premium now costs $29.99 to $79.99 a month).

I had heard plenty of buzz about LinkedIn Premium. But I was on the fence. I had the same question as a lot of freelancers, is LinkedIn Premium worth it? With a free subscription, I decided to jump in and see what I could do with it to grow my freelancing business. It didn’t take long to get results. I found a $1/word client and developed a strategy to use LinkedIn to move up and earn more. Here’s how I did it:

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Asking for Referrals for Fraidy-Cat Freelance Writers

Scared to ask for referrals? One Writer’s Essential Tips. Makealivingwriting.com

For some freelance writers, it seems like asking for referrals and selling comes easy. They have a huge network of people they’ve cultivated relationships with. Their network hooks them up with new clients. And it’s easy for the same freelance writers to talk about their business in any situation, and get referrals.

That’s what successful freelance writers do. And I wasn’t sure I was cut out to be one of them if asking for referrals was part of the gig.

If you’re afraid to ask for referrals, you’ve probably heard that fraidy-cat freelance writer voice inside your head. You know, the one trying to convince you that:

  • People will think you’re desperate
  • You’re running some kind of scam
  • You can’t possibly provide a service valuable enough to help in any meaningful way

That cat needs to go. It took me a long time to figure this out. But when I finally did, I got a response in 10 minutes, a potential project, and scored another referral for more work. Here’s how I did it:

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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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Need Story Ideas? 20 Free Online Tools to Fire Up Your Brain

Find Story Ideas With These 20 Online Tools. Makealivingwriting.com

If you want to write for magazines, story ideas are your bread and butter.

The days when big editorial staffs thought up most of the ideas and simply assigned them out to freelance writers are over. Instead, these days overworked editors are looking to their writers to tell them what’s fresh and interesting out there.

You want to be the writer with a million story ideas, to earn well.

Despite this, I often hear from writers that they’re stymied because they have no ideas.

Let’s fix this! Once you know how to troll for ideas, it becomes a fun hobby. Get out your favorite tracking software, whether it’s an app like Pocket, an Excel spreadsheet, or (like me) just a plain ol’ Word doc, and start developing your idea-finding skills.

These days, you don’t even have to leave the house to come up with a lot of great ideas, because so many online tools can help stimulate your brain.

Ready to fire up your computer and find some great ideas? Here’s my list of creative idea-finding tools (in alphabetical order):

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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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