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What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What Is Copywriting? The How-To Guide for Freelancers. Makealivingwriting.comIt’s a question so simple, you might think everyone already knows the answer: What is copywriting?

But in my decade-plus helping newbie writers launch their freelance careers, I’ve learned not to assume. People come from all walks of life into freelance writing, and aren’t born knowing the lingo.

When I researched this question, it got even more interesting. Because I disagreed with many of the most popular posts on the topic.

What I have for you isn’t your grandpa’s copywriting definition and description. It’s a rebel’s 21st Century copywriting definition — and a how-to guide on how to break in and do it.

How copywriting evolved
Old copy hacks will tell you copywriting is the art and science of crafting writing that sells.

They’ll tell you writing that overtly sells a product or service is copywriting — and everything else is ‘not copywriting.’

That was once true — but it isn’t any more. Because the Internet changed much of what we once knew about marketing.

I’ve got a new definition of copywriting for you, one I think is more accurate for the 21st Century marketing era we live in now.

Read on to learn what copywriting is today, how to do it — and how you can capitalize on the changes to earn well as a freelance writer.

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Freelance Work: Use This Writer’s Gut-Check Method to Earn More

The Gut-Check Method to Get Freelance Work. Makealivingwriting.comHave a gut feeling about the freelance work you’re pursuing?

Maybe your stomach is in knots about a project. Maybe it’s chill and happy about a new client.

Or maybe you’re talking with a prospect, but something’s telling you to charge higher rates, move on to find better freelance work, or sign a contract.

Been there, done that?

When you’re hungry to land freelance work, it’s easy to want to gobble up any client willing to throw you a bone. But that’s bound to cause some bank-account indigestion at some point.

So what happens when you’re offered an assignment where the rate is too low but your enthusiasm for the job and the client is high? You could walk away, try and negotiate the rate, or even accept the assignment.

But before you make any hangry-for-freelance-work decisions, give yourself a gut check. When I started doing this, I turned a one-off assignment into a long-term client, grew my network, and scored referrals for more freelance work.

Should you take that freelance job? Use the gut-check method to help you decide:

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Op-Ed Writing: 10 Markets That Pay Freelancers for Views & Opinions

Paid Op-Ed Markets for Writers. Makealivingwriting.comEver have an idea for an op-ed?

If your mind jumps to the old-school newspaper section with editorials, opinion pieces, and letters to the editor, you’re probably thinking it’s a waste of time.

But writing op-ed pieces is still a thing. And if you know where to look, the right markets pay well.

Getting paid $300 to $1,500 for opinion pieces, essays, and editorials is still happening.

Let the ideas begin to percolate…

Maybe you’ve learned a few lessons at the School of Hard Knocks.

Maybe you’ve got some insight, views, expertise, or opinions about issues in your niche.

Or maybe some comment on social media is so hot, you’ve got to take a stand.

Chances are pretty good you’ve got an opinion piece in you worth writing.

Check out these 10 op-ed writing markets to share your point of view and get paid for it.

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Book Marketing Playbook: 6 Winning Moves from a Self-Publishing Pro

The Game Plan to Win at Book Marketing. Makealivingwriting.comWhat if there was a book marketing playbook?

You know…a game plan to help you attract more readers, build authority, and generate book sales.

Ever thought about writing a book? 

It’s never been easier to be an author. Write a book, self-publish, put it on Amazon, and you’re set.

Sounds simple, right?

Here’s the problem. With books being published every day, it’s difficult for a new author to stand out.

The basics aren’t enough to get your book out there. And that means it’s up to you to create book marketing opportunities to boost exposure.

It’s the kind of problem I’ve helped thousands of writers and authors tackle over the last five-plus years.

Want to get your book in front of more readers?

Check out these winning moves from my book-marketing playbook.

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How to Become a Freelance Writer: The Ultimate Guide

The Ultimate Guide to How to Become a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.comHave you wondered how to become a freelance writer? This is the time of year when many writers who dream of earning their living doing what they love most finally stand up and shout, “I’m doing this!”

At the start of the year, my email inbox fills up with questions about how to get started in freelance writing. Rather than try to answer them one at a time, I’ve created an ultimate guide below, that walks you through all the common questions and gives you everything you need to know to get out there and start getting paid as a freelance writer.

Ready? This guide takes it step by step, with sections for each topic. It’s got a breezy, Q&A format, to make it easy to read through and quickly move forward with your freelancing goals.

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Government Contracts for Writers: 11 Red-Tape Cuts to Get Hired

Writers: Tips to Cut Red Tape and Get Government Contracts. Makealivingwriting.com.Ever thought about getting freelance work through government contracts?

You’re probably thinking something like:

  • There’s a lot of red tape to cut through
  • It’s too hard
  • It’s not my niche
  • I don’t know enough about government

Sound familiar?

FYI, those are just excuses. Maybe this will change your mind about pursuing this kind of freelance work.

Take the time to cut through the red tape, and you can find government contracts that pay writers $100 to $200 an hour.

Bill $5,000 to $25,000 in a month writing for one client? This is happening for writers hired to create content for government contracts at the federal, state, and local level.

Can you see past the red tape now?

Sure, finding clients and writing content for government contracts is a little different than writing for magazines and businesses.

But there’s lots of work. It pays well. And if you’re willing to cut through the red tape, some of it can be yours.

Check out these tips from a government-contracts freelancer to get started.

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