writer websites

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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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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How Freelancers Get Hired Online: The Essential To-Do List

How freelancers get hired online. Makealivingwriting.comIt’s summer.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get terrific new freelance clients without having to do anything?

Well, you can — if you know how freelancers get hired online.

For starters, you need to be easy to find and contact and you need to make a good impression. Unfortunately, most writers aren’t so easy to peg and connect with on the ‘net.

If you’re a freelancer who’s never gotten an inbound lead — a prospect who calls without your contacting them first, or applying to their job ad — this post is for you.

Even if you have a modest portfolio, a strong online presence can make a big difference, both in the number and quality of prospects you attract.

Let’s go through the to-do list of important items I ask writers to check off:

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12 Essential, Free WordPress Plugins for Your Writer Website

Best WordPress plugins for your writer website. Makealivingwriting.com

Can I make a confession?

I’m not a tech expert. I don’t know my PHP from my HTML or SQL or any other of those terms that the “technically inclined” seem to spout a thousand miles a minute.

I’m a writer. And if you’re on this site, so are you.

If you’re like me, you could probably make some improvements to your writer website.

When you’ve got a self-hosted WordPress site (and you definitely should), having the right plugins can make the difference between spending hours trying to do a simple task — or being able to accomplish it in one click.

After an extensive search and personal trials, I’ve come up with a list of WordPress plugins that are a definite *must* for any writer website.

Here are the free plugins that will make your life easier (some of them have premium versions, but the free versions offer plenty of features for you):

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5 Disastrous Blog Design Mistakes — Fix These to Keep Your Readers

5 Disastrous Blog Design Mistakes - Makealivingwriting.com

If you’re here learning how to make a living as a writer, you’ve probably already got your writing skills down.

But even the most skilled writers can struggle with the design side of their blog.

Internet users are bombarded with information, and each mental transaction taking a toll on their brainpower. Presenting content so it requires minimal effort from your audience is not just considerate–it also improves your chances that reader will subscribe and return.

What common design errors drive your blog readers away? From my experience as a user-experience expert and Web designer, these are my top five:

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Is This Insidious Affliction Shrinking Your Freelance Writing Income?

Multitasking freelance writer

When you start out as a freelance writer, there’s a lot to learn. I know when I got back into freelance writing in 2005, I subscribed to dozens of email newsletters and spent hours every day, reading, watching videos, and attending live events.

But learning how to be a successful freelance writer is a bottomless pit. There’s always more you *could* know that *might* help your freelance writing career.

And often, new writers fall into this pit, and forget to get any clients. They get a creeping learning addiction that stops them from moving forward.

I see these writers leaving loads of comments on the Freelance Writers Den forums, or on LinkedIn’s writer forums, or commenting on every single blog post on popular blogs.

They ask arcane questions like these:

Should I create a mirror site to protect my writer website in case it’s hacked?

What’s the best SEO keyword tool?

Should I do marketing on autopilot with email autoresponders?

What are the best apps for coordinating writing projects with clients?

A year later, these writers sometimes quietly confide to me that they’re flat broke and had to take a day job. They were so busy learning everything about how to be a succcessful, 21st Century freelance writer, they fell victim to analysis-paralysis — and forgot that the top priority is getting clients and generating freelance writing income!

How can you focus, learn what’s essential, and move forward to earn as a freelance writer? Here are my tips:

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