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Query Letter Workout: 15 Proven Tips to Write a Stronger Pitch

Tips to Write a Stronger Query Letter. Makealivingwriting.comHow are your query-letter writing muscles?

Go ahead…flex. Take a good look at your best writing assignments. Happy with your results? Feeling stuck? Or just starting out?

If you’re looking for ways to move up, earn more, and land better assignments as a freelance writer, there’s always room for improvement.

Think of it like this…Writing a great query letter is a lot like lifting weights. You get stronger one rep at a time. It’s hard. It takes practice. But when you follow the right steps, you WILL get better at it.

Want stronger query-letter skills?

Maybe you’re new to freelancing and your pitch skills are weak. Or maybe your query letters are landing zero assignments, and you could use a little help.

Maybe you’re standing in the middle of the gym with a confused look on your face. It doesn’t have to be like that.

Ready for a query letter workout to strengthen your pitch skills? Let’s do this.

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Writers Work: 3 Freelancers Reveal How to Smash Your Income Goals

Writers Work: 3 Freelancers Tell How to Smash your income goals. Makealivingwriting.comHave you ever imagined what it would be like to earn twice as much freelance writing income as you’re getting now? Lots of writers work hard for years, and their income seems to stay at the same, low level.

It’d be amazing if you could break that cycle and earn big, right?

No more fear and stress about whether you can get the bills paid each month — or whether you might have to go get a day job (or might be unable to ever quit the one you’re stuck in). Or never get to retire.

When you’re struggling to find better clients, it can be hard to envision that your writing life can ever change. That you can level-up your business and earn a LOT more.

But it’s definitely possible, if you’re ready to focus and work for it.

How do I know? Because I’ve spent the past 4 years teaching hundreds of working freelance writers how to double their income and more, in my Freelance Writers Den 2X Income Accelerator Mastermind.

For 6 months each year, I work with a small group of writers on a focused, step-by-step plan with individual coaching, group peer support, and monthly live trainings.

It changes how they approach their writing business — and that, in turn, radically ramps up their income.

At this point, I’ve seen writers routinely go from $20,000 a year to $40,000 — and from $40,000 to $80,000. Some of my grads are even earning $120K+ as freelance writers.

Want to get inspired and discover how real-life writers skyrocket their income? I recently sat down with three of the most high-achieving students, who all more than doubled their income in 4 months flat.

That’s pretty wild, rapid success, even for Den 2X-ers. So I asked them to unpack exactly what actions they took that got them earning a lot more.

Read on to get their tips for moving up and earning a lot more:

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The Clock is Ticking: Now is the Time to Raise Freelance Writing Rates

Why It's Time to Raise Freelance Writing Rates — Now. Makealivingwriting.comWhen’s the right time to raise your freelance writing rates?

Here’s a hint. November is one of my favorite months. And it’s not because of the impending holidays, though.

It’s because this is the best time of year to raise your freelance writing rates.

Seriously, how about starting the New Year already knowing you’re going to make more money? Yes, please.

Here’s the thing…if you want a raise next year, the clock is ticking. It won’t be long before your holiday line-up of parties, shopping, and events take up all your free time.

Maybe you even dial back freelance work for a few weeks during the holidays. That’s fine. It’s one of the perks of being a freelancer.

But if you don’t take action now, you could miss out on one of those no-time-like-the-present opportunities to raise your freelance writing rates.

Do you have any low-paying clients? Are you getting paid what you’re worth? Have you developed your skills and portfolio to charge higher freelance writing rates?

If you’ve been thinking about this stuff, here’s why you need to raise your freelance writing rates…right…now.

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How to Write a Press Release That Generates Buzz for Your Clients

How to Write a Press Release to Get Buzz. Makealivingwriting.comDo you know how to write a press release? If you do it right, you can help generate some buzz for your clients.

But here’s the thing. A lot of press releases never make the cut to score a media story in print, online, on the radio, or a TV video segment. And that’s not what you want.

For example, Carol Tice recently sifted through press releases as a quick way to come up with 23 story ideas. But do you know how many press releases she deleted, skipped over, or ignored? A lot.

Knowing how to write a press release that gets results doesn’t involve hocus pocus. And it doesn’t have to be overly complicated.

But there are a few things you can do to make it easier on editors and reporters to take notice, pick up the phone, and call your client. That’s the result you want when you write a press release.

Want to know how to write a press release that generates buzz? Here’s what you need to know:

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Topics to Write About: I Found You 23 Salable Article Ideas in Minutes

 Find Topics to Write About in Minutes. Makealivingwriting.comAre you one of those writers who struggles to find topics to write about? I hear that a lot: “I just don’t have any ideas!”

So I decided to take a few minutes and find some article ideas for you. (You’re welcome.)

Seriously, I did not spend hours gathering the ideas for this post. I collected press releases for a week that come in my inbox due to my long history as a business reporter, and then took perhaps 5 minutes apiece to think on them.

Then I used them as jumping-off points for story ideas. That’s it.

This post breaks down my process of developing a little tidbit of news into a pitchable idea, honed from 12 years as a staff writer at two business publications.

But you could do the same with overheard gossip, with scanning through publications and reslanting articles, with info you get in interviews…you name it.

Why collect story ideas? If you hope to be a working freelance writer, seeing your byline in publications, you need a big stack of story ideas.

If you fantasize that you can earn well as a writer, and editors will hand you ready-made ideas…sorry, that era ended with the rise of the Internet and the decline of print.

Today’s reality: When you know how to develop salable story ideas, you get more assignments, get in the door at bigger publications… and you earn more money.

Think of those story ideas as keys to the publication kingdom. The more keys you have, the more doors you can open.

Ready to turn on the idea-generating part of your brain and learn how to create an article-idea gold mine? Then let’s go!

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Email Interviews: 3 Tips to Make Sure They Don’t Suck

Email Interviews Don't Have to Suck. Makealivingwriting.comLet me say this up front: Email interviews are not really interviews, from a journalistic point of view. I’ve shared my view on that repeatedly.

But writers are increasingly relying on this method of extracting quick quotes from experts.

Often, they’re either scrambling for blog-post fodder.Or they’re simply scared to call people and conduct real interviews.

I see posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Help a Reporter Out, and other places, nearly every day for sources to “send your best tip on email for inclusion” in roundup posts for blogs large and small. Sigh.

In a typical week, I dozens of requests asking me to participate in email interviews of 6-10 questions. They’re usually idiotic.

And it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m always going to choose picking up the phone over email interviews. But if that’s your only option to connect with a source, here’ how to make sure it doesn’t suck.

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