Blog Archives

Writing Advice That Works: The Top 10 Posts of 2018

Top 10 Writing Advice Posts of 2018. Makealivingwriting.com

Well, this is it — the year is drawing to a close. It’s time to compile the best snack-pack for you of useful writing advice for earning real money as a freelance writer. These are your picks, reader — it’s our annual list of the most popular new posts published all year, here on the blog.

One of those popular posts is the Freelance Writing Forecast for 2018 — always great to check year-end and see how the experts did predicting emerging trends and spotting opportunities. Still good writing advice here — and stay tuned for the 2019 forecast, comin’ at ya in January.

This year, I’m doing things a little differently for this top-10 list. Now that we’ve passed 1,000 posts, some classic best-of posts have been republished this year. And if you loved them, I’ve included them here.

As well as spotlighting the most popular new posts of the year, I’ve also included links to our best related content on the topic. Enjoy!

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Writing Career Tips: 9 Types of Useless Scribbling to Avoid

Writing Career Tips Avoid Useless Scribbling. Makealivingwriting.com

Do you love writing? Thinking of doing it for pay? Well, there’s a big difference between writing for the fun of it, and having a lucrative, bill-paying writing career.

Every day, there are loads of things you could be writing, sure. But when you’re writing for money, time is of the essence. You’ll need to focus on the types of writing that will help move your writing career forward.

You might think, “Well, any writing is good. Because it’s all writing practice.” Right?

If you’ve got unlimited time, then sure. But if you have other commitments in your life — say, a day job, kids, a love life — you’ll need to be efficient here.

What writing tasks should you avoid wasting time on? Here’s my list:

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January Slump? Do This Now to Book Early 2019 Freelance Work

Freelance Work Headed for a January Slump? Makealivingwriting.com

I’ve noticed something about my freelance work and writing income. It often goes to crap in January.

Does this happen to you?

One day you’ve got a steady stream of freelance work. And the next, you’re focused on making the holiday meal, hosting a party, buying gifts, or making travel plans.

But that’s not the real reason the first month of the year is often a loser.

My theory: Income sucks in January because marketing tends to slack off in December.

After all, it’s the holidays! Everyone’s on vacation. Editors are out. You’re busy with family. The next thing you know, it’s January 3. And there you are in the office, looking at an empty assignment calendar.

When you’re trying to earn big from freelance work, having a “down” month is a problem.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you do it right, you can still enjoy the holidays and take time off. Here’s how to keep freelance work and income flowing well into January:

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Get Hired: 5 Proven Angles to Land Your First Freelance Projects

Find an Angle to Land Freelance Projects. Makealivingwriting.com

It can be the most baffling part of finding new clients, as a freelance writer: What initial freelance projects should you pitch, to try to get in the door?

You look at their website and you think…. uhhh…. I dunno. Looks great! You can’t tell what they need.

Well, good news — once you know what to look for, this is easy.

Most great first freelance projects fall into a few specific categories.

Once you know those, it’s simple to find a first project to propose that’s got a high probability of getting a ‘yes.’

What are these categories?

Here are my top five project types to pitch to new freelance writing clients for an easy sale:

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Writer Websites: 4 Fabulous Branding Options That Attract Clients

Fabulous Branding Options for Writer Websites. Makealivingwriting.com

Writer websites are a proven way to stand out from the crowd, and get new clients calling you.

But most freelance writers don’t have one. That may be because when many writers contemplate putting up a site, it raises the question: What should the name of my writer website be?

And its corollary: What should the tagline say?

It’s easy to get hung up on what to do for website branding. So many possibilities! Then, you stall out and don’t end up putting one up.

That’s not good.

Your writer website is a great opportunity to create a writing sample. If you want online clients, creating a fantastic writer website is a great way to show them you ‘get’ the internet.

There are definitely some key things to know about branding for writer websites. I’ve reviewed literally hundreds of writer sites over the years — and seen writers succeed and fail with their sites. Along the way, I’ve learned there are definitely types of branding that work for writer websites…and types that don’t.

What do you need to avoid, and what works great for branding writer websites? Let’s dig into the details.

I’m going to start with the top problems I’ve seen in writer-website branding. Then, I’ll give you four ways to do branding that all reliably work great for freelance writers.

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Online Writing Nightmares: 4 Scary, Soul-Sucking Places for Freelance Work

Where Online Writing Nightmares Come True... Makealivingwriting.com

If your freelance life gives you nightmares, you might be chasing online writing jobs in some scary places. It’s a recurring problem I’ve heard from writers for years. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
—Carol.

Do you go to sleep at night feeling good about your online writing work?

Or do you toss and turn, have nightmares about writing for pennies, and wake up in a cold sweat?

Being a freelance writer can be scary. So many online writing opportunities are out there beckoning you to walk down a virtual dark alley without a flashlight.

I’ve seen it happen. And heard too many nightmare tales from freelance writers.

Some shady online writing client lures you in like an unsuspecting victim in a horror movie. And before you know it, you’re hooked into writing copy for soul-sucking rates.

If you don’t want to be stuck in an online writing nightmare, beware of these four places in the Underworld of Freelance Writing that are guaranteed to put your writing career on the road to nowhere.

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