story ideas

10 Ways to Earn More From One Great Article Idea

How to earn more from one great article idea. Makealivingwriting.com.

Are you a writer in search of an article idea? These days, the big-earning article writers have loads of ideas for editors.

But if you’re someone who really finds idea generation tough, there’s another way to earn well. You can do it by getting more mileage out of your short stack of ideas.

Get out of the habit of coming up with one article idea, landing an assignment, and then moving on.

Instead, think in terms of spinning that one little idea straw into a big pile of gold.

How? Here are ten different ways:

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How One Query Letter Got $6,000 in Assignments

How one query letter got $6,000 in assignments. Makealivingwriting.com

It’s been nearly 6 years since this post was originally published — and it’s been one of my most popular ever. The need to write strong query letters has only grown in the years since, so I thought it would be a good time to put it out there again. Enjoy!–Carol

I often have freelance writers tell me they don’t think writing a query letter is worth the effort. They get a lot of rejections, and feel it’s basically a crapshoot…and so much easier to sign on to a content-mill dashboard for a guaranteed few bucks’ worth of work.

It’s true that querying isn’t a sure thing. But if you take the time to learn this skill, it can really help you move up and earn big.

I regularly get lucrative assignments off of query letters and guest post pitches, and I continue to believe querying is a vital skill for successful freelancers.

With so many writers turned off of queries, taking the time to learn how to write a compelling query letter is well worth the effort, as it makes you stand out in today’s marketplace. Querying can open doors when you don’t know anyone at a publication or company, and make a connection that could turn into an ongoing relationship.

For instance: I recently sent one query letter that got me $6,000 of assignments. And I’m reproducing it in full below.

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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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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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How to Be Original: 18 Ideas to Jump-Start Your Creativity

How to Be Original: 18 Tips for Writers. Makealivingwriting.com

Do you feel like everything has already been said? That it’s impossible to be original, in an age where everyone has instant access to everything?

Well, I disagree.

Fresh, original writers and bloggers emerge every day. Each of us is an utterly unique human being.

Yet originality remains a struggle for many writers. Here’s a typical comment I recently got on one of my blog posts:

“I run a blog and I’ve been trying to be original in my content. The more I try, the more I get less original.

“What’s your advice on this?” –Ifeanyi

When you feel like you have nothing fresh to contribute, it’s time to take a step back and shake up your creative process.

I put together this list of 18 originality-enhancing ideas because in Hebrew, the word for life, chai, has the numerical value of 18. Pump some new life into your writing with these!

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Do You Have Story Idea Constipation? How to Break the Logjam

Waiting to use the bathroomEver had a great idea for an article?

The moment you think of it, everything comes to a halt. You are entranced. You love this idea!

You’re sure you know the ideal publication for it, too. A big, important, great-paying magazine.

This is the idea that’s going to transform your portfolio and make your career take off. You can hardly sleep at night, thinking about how great this is going to be.

And there, your troubles begin.

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