Blog Archives

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

Writers Work: 3 Freelancers Tell How to Smash your income goals. Makealivingwriting.com

Have 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.com

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

Find Topics to Write About in Minutes. Makealivingwriting.com

Are 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.com

Let 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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Positive Thoughts for Writers: 10 Powerful Ways to End the Hurt

Positive Thoughts for Freelance Writers. Makealivingwriting.com

Got a question for you: When’s the last time you cut yourself a break, as a freelance writer? If you’re all smack-talk and no compliments when you look in the mirror, I have some positive thoughts I’d like you to adopt.

It’s time to give yourself the same level of loving care you’d give any struggling stranger on the street.

That’s right — it’s time to practice self-compassion.

It’s a classic paradox that writers are commonly sensitive people, yet we’re also often very hard on ourselves.

Sound familiar?

If that’s you, it’s time to change course and practice self-compassion. Honestly, stop torturing yourself! #justwhy

Life’s too short to spend your precious moments beating up on yourself. Too short to dwell on negative thoughts about what you haven’t done, or how much you need to improve your speed or your craft.

Consider self-compassion a productivity shortcut. When you feel better about yourself, it’s easier to sit down and get the writing done.

How can you practice self-compassion and get the positive thoughts flowing? I’ve boiled down my top 10 self-care tips into a handy infographic you can download and keep:

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Writing Skills: Steal My Efficiency Hacks to Hit Your Target Word Count

Steal These Writing Skills to Hit Your Word Count. Makealivingwriting.com

Are you tired of trying to draft a 1,000-word article, only to find your first draft clocks in at 3,000 words? Then it’s time to gain some new writing skills and learn how to write to length.

A reader recently asked me if I had a resource on how to hit your word count, and I realized I didn’t.

Which is silly, because I had to write to assigned length on 3-4 print stories a week for 12 years, as a staff writer. Not to mention the hundreds of short blog posts I’ve written for clients since I got back into freelancing in 2005.

And then there was that one hard-ass editor at Entrepreneur who would refuse to read my draft if it was more than 10% over assigned length. Period. THAT schooled me, for sure!

Got some writing tips to share with you on how to avoid time-wasting and overwriting in your writing process.

Ready for a simple system to avoid overwriting? Let’s go! Here are 10 key steps to cut the blather and make sure your first draft is close to target length.

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