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How to Become a Freelance Writer: 7 Traits You’ll Seriously Need

Success Traits: How to Become a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.com.Every week, I hear from people who ask me how to become a freelance writer.

You hate your job, or you can’t work outside the home, or you want to be home with your kids…the reasons vary.

But the glamorous reputation of freelancing has caught your eye. Being your own boss sure sounds great!

Everyone wants to know how this gig works — how to stay home and pay your bills with your writing.

Aspiring freelancers usually have strong writing skills. But there are other strengths you may lack that could doom your chances.

What does it take to be a successful freelance writer? Is this career for you?

Here’s my unvarnished, let’s-get-real list of key traits you’ll need:

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Productivity for Freelancers: Could Binge-Watching Help?

Can Binge-Watching Increase Productivity for Freelancers?. Makealivingwriting.com.The best part of freelance writing—and the worst part—is being your own boss. There’s nobody else standing over you, forcing you to calculate every minute to measure productivity.

It’s up to you to stay motivated and disciplined, even on days when you’d rather scoop the litter box than finish that blog post, write a query, or find new clients to pitch.

How do you keep the words flowing in spite of online and off-line distractions, family responsibilities, and bad days?

Most people aren’t born with a sixth-sense for productivity. In fact, a lot of people, including writers, are notorious for stalling, wasting time, and procrastinating for an infinite list of reasons (ahem, excuses).

That ends now. You can learn productivity habits to help you maximize your time, get work done, and even carve out a little time for binge-watching your favorite show. Here’s how:

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We Got Stung: Must-Know Info for Bloggers Who Offer Reprints

Bee-ware of Bloggers Who Offer Reprints. Makealivingwriting.com.Have you ever wondered if you could sell reprints of your blog posts and make some extra cash? You know, get the posts you’ve written for your personal blog republished somewhere else.

If so, my blog editor Evan Jensen and I have a cautionary tale for you.

Many bloggers seem to believe publishing a post on their own blog — or even on a free platform such as LinkedIn Pulse or Medium — doesn’t ‘count’ as publication. And that they could still get paid selling first publication rights to these posts.

Sometimes, writers don’t even feel they need to disclose the work was previously published.

This can result in an awkward mess, when the blog or publication you resold your work to figures out they’ve gotten recycled goods. I know, because this blog recently and inadvertently accepted previously published content.

As the queen says, we were not amused.

Here’s the story of what happened, and how my guest-posting policy is changing as a result. I’ve also got some important tips for bloggers considering trying to sell reprints.

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Writers Conference Connections: Here’s How to Stand Out From the Crowd

How to Shine at a Writers Conference. Makealivingwriting.com.Ever wonder how to stand out at a writers conference?

Here’s what most writers do…

  • Sign up to attend a writers conference weeks in advance.
  • Make travel arrangements.
  • Scour the agenda looking for the lectures, workshops, and presentations that sound the most fun, interesting, or helpful.
  • And that’s it.

You show up. There’s a zillion writers, editors and publishers, and you roam from one lecture to the next.

If “that’s it,” you’re missing out on a big benefit of going to a writers conference…making connections.

Fortunately, a little pre-planning can help you get more from a writers conference than a bag of goodies and a frenzy of ideas.

Want to learn how to stand out from the crowd at a writers conference? Here’s how to shine:

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Two Easy-Fun Ways Freelancers Can Find Great Writing Clients

Find Writing Clients: Two Fun & Easy Ways. Makealivingwriting.com.Some things never change, like the need to find great writing clients. But marketing doesn’t have to be a grueling, stressful, or frustrating chore. Check out these two fun and easy ways to find writing clients. Enjoy!–Carol

One of the questions freelance writers ask me most is, “How can I find better-paying clients?” Another one is “Where are all the good-paying clients hiding?” A third one is, “Why can’t I find any good writing clients?”

I’m sensing a theme here, that people want to know more about how to connect with great clients.

There are many ways to hunt these elusive good clients, but today I want to talk about two of my favorite in-person techniques for connecting with good-paying clients.

That’s right, these methods involve leaving your writing cave, going out, and meeting live humans.

Don’t be scared!

Once you get the hang of it, networking is actually a lot of fun. Or it should be — so remember to have fun with it.

Here are two techniques that are pretty fail-proof and simple for maximizing your networking time:

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SEO Trends: A Deep Dive Into The Data Freelancers Need

Dive Into Data: SEO Trends for Freelance Writers. Makealivingwriting.com.Ever wonder if taking a deep dive into SEO trends could help you earn more as a freelance writer?

It’s easy to think SEO is a mysterious abyss only tech gurus understand.

But that doesn’t mean SEO trends are being sucked into a swirling whirlpool of digital data nobody cares about.

Quite the opposite, in fact. SEO trends are evolving…fast. Ever heard the phrase, “Google just changed its algorithm?”

Like every day. Right?

If you can keep up, knowing where the currents of search engine optimization and SEO copywriting intersect can help you move up and earn more as a freelance writer.

Afraid of diving deep into SEO trends? It’s really not that scary.

And you don’t have to be a tech-savvy genius to figure it out. Dip your toe into SEO. Skim the surface. Doggy paddle if you have to, because it’s worth it. Show a prospect you know the value of SEO, and you can charge higher rates.

Ready for a deep dive into SEO trends for freelance writers?

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