writing for a living

Business Writers: Did You Destroy Your Craft and ‘Sell Out’?

Business Writers: Did You Destroy Your Craft and 'Sell Out'?. Makealivingwriting.com

There are a lot of opinions out there about what freelance writers do. One of the big ones I’ve heard lately is that business writers are selling their soul and writing crap just to fill their bank accounts.

In other words, we’re not ‘real writers’ like novelists. Business writers are just paid copywriting hacks.

Writing for businesses also ruins our writing chops for any ‘meaningful’ personal writing we aspire to, such as poetry, essays, or novel writing.

I used to think like this. For many years, I was a reporter who thought advertising writers were part of the Dark Side of the Force.

By contrast, I was finding facts, revealing truths, enlightening readers with vital news and information they needed. Good stuff!

Then I happened into my first business writing gig, ghosting blog posts for a startup’s CEO, and decided to give it a try. Suddenly, I remembered how my first career as a songwriter went wrong, all because of a similar misconception I had about ‘selling out.’

Here’s what happened…

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Desperate Freelance Writer? You Need This Type of Client

Don't Be Desperate: Get THIS Type of Freelance Client. Makealivingwriting.com

Are you a desperate freelance writer, often running out of work and having dry periods where you’re frantic for income?

It seems like the vast majority of freelance writers I know are in this boat.

And it’s terrifying, waking up in the morning and knowing no money is coming in. Often, that terror paralyzes you, so you don’t even do the marketing that’s urgently needed to drum up more clients.

By contrast, some freelancers never run out of assignments, and have billings every month. When I started back in as a freelancer in 2005, I vowed to be in this second category. After all, I had a family of five to feed!

I did it, too — I fairly quickly built a stable of clients where I always had work. I never had a ‘down’ month will little or no earnings. Seriously! Not in all of the 7 years, through 2011, where freelance writing was my entire income.

What makes the difference between feast-or-famine and steady income? For many freelancers, it’s finding one particular type of client: The fill-in client.

These clients may not pay as great as some of your other clients, but they’ve got as much — or as little — work as you need to supplement your other gigs, month after month. They fill in the holes, smooth out your income, and keep you from biting your nails or emptying your savings because you’ve hit a rough patch.

To help you land this valuable type of client, let’s first define what a good fill-in client looks like. Then, I’ll talk about how you land a fill-in client — and keep them happy.

Tagged with: , ,

Blogging, Tim Ferriss and the Myth of The 4-Hour Workweek

I remember feeling excited when Tim Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Workweek first came out in 2007. I thought — aha! That’s it exactly. In the future, we’ll all hardly need to work, as our Internet businesses run on autopilot. Selling

Tagged with: , , ,