Blog Archives

Literary Agent Advice: 3 Rules to Write a Stand-Out Book Pitch

Book-Pitch Advice from a Literary Agent. Makealivingwriting.com

Thinking about pitching your book idea to a literary agent?

It’s no secret that scores of book pitches and proposals end up in a mammoth-sized slush pile every year. So what’s going to help your book idea stand out?

Literary agents have to sift through a mountain of book ideas. Many of them miss the mark and get dumped. But if your book pitch is handpicked by a literary agent, they’ll partner with a publisher to bring your book to life.

Note: This does not happen by accident.

If you’re serious about writing a book and pitching a literary agent to help you get published, the throw-this-together approach usually doesn’t work.

You need to think like a literary agent. Look at it this way: More than half of the book pitches a literary agent receives aren’t a good fit. If you don’t want to fall into the abyss of rejections, you need to know how to stand out.

Want to get your book published? Check out this insider advice from a literary agent.

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10 Smart Tips to Get Assignments from Magazine Editors

How to Get Assignments from Magazine Editors. Makealivingwriting.com

Ever wonder what magazine editors are thinking?

You know they sift through a ton of query letters and pitches. And many of those end up in the slush pile.

They’re always on a deadline. Probably a little stressed. And they count on freelance writers to help produce great content for their publication and readers.

But what is it that magazine editors look for in a pitch or query letter? And how do you get past the delete button when an editor opens their email?

If you want to write for magazines, even pro freelancers will tell you rejection is part of the gig.

But if you can learn to think the way magazine editors do, you’ll significantly increase your chances of making a connection and landing assignments to make a living writing.

We recently caught up with two smart freelancers to learn more about what it’s like for magazine editors, what they’re looking for, and how to stand out when you pitch a story idea. Here’s what you need to know:

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Journalist Skills: 13 No-Degree-Required Tips to Get Writing Jobs

Learn These Journalist Skills to Get Writing Jobs. Makealivingwriting.com

Thinking about going back to school to learn journalist skills to help your freelance career?

You could…if you want to waste time and money. Don’t get me wrong, learning is good. But do you really need to spend a couple years in the classroom and a pile of money on tuition to develop journalist skills? No.

In case you’re wondering, I’m one of those people with a master’s degree in journalism. That’s the route I took to develop journalist skills to write for newspapers and magazines, and ultimately carve out a career as a freelance writer. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

You don’t need a degree to be a freelancer. After all, The Carol Tice is a college dropout.

But you do need journalist skills to do things like dig up information, generate ideas, interview sources, find fresh angles, craft headlines, and write great content.

So how do you develop journalist skills to get more writing jobs? Skip the college route, and learn by doing. Here’s what you need to know:

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Punch Fear in the Face: 9 Confidence Boosters for Freelance Writers

Freelance Writers: Punch Up Your Confidence Level. Makealivingwriting.com

Are you one of those freelance writers with a confidence problem?

You know…you think about pitching businesses and magazines, but you don’t actually do it, because you don’t think you’re good enough.

Or maybe you get a bite from a prospect, and then take forever to reply or book a call, because you’re afraid you’ll screw it all up.

Or maybe you’re stuck comparing yourself to other freelance writers who appear to be smarter, more creative, more successful.

Sound familiar?

If you’ve ever felt this way as a freelance writer, you’re not alone. But you’ll never achieve your freelance writing goals if you let fear and lack of confidence hold you back.

The truth is, even the most successful freelance writers have doubts, fears, and frustrations. But they know how to fight back, stay productive, and keep moving forward.

Ready to punch fear in the face, and give your freelance writing career a boost? Here’s how it’s done…

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Write for Magazines: 21 Publications That Pay $500+ Per Assignment

Get Paid $500+ to Write for Magazines. Makealivingwriting.com

Want to write for magazines?

It’s a great way to make a living writing if you pitch the right publications. How about $500 or more per assignment?

If you’ve been cranking out magazine stories for $50 to $150 a pop, you may be wondering if that’s really even possible. That’s often the going rate for local, regional, or small-circulation magazines.

If you want to write for magazines, and have limited experience, these are great places to get some clips, and earn some money, but it shouldn’t be your last stop.

Many consumer and trade magazines pay $500 or more per assignment. And the pitching process is pretty much the same as smaller pubs:

  • Identify a magazine you want to write for
  • Study the submission guidelines
  • Develop a solid story idea
  • Do a little research and interview a source
  • Write a killer query letter, and pitch your story idea to an editor

If you can do that, you’ve got the chops to get paid well to write for magazines. But you need to know where to look for those $500-plus assignments. Check out these 25 magazines to get started.

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Online Writing: Productivity Habits to Speed Up the Process

Online Writing Tips to Speed Up the Process. Makealivingwriting.com

You’ve got an online writing assignment, but you’re feeling stuck.

So you procrastinate. You make excuses. You roll around on the floor. And you keep listening to that voice inside your head that fills you with doubt and fear.

Sound familiar?

That’s exactly what Kristina Adams’ online writing career looked like for years when she first started out. Full-on writer’s block, lots of mistakes, lots of wasted time.

And then one of those life-changing epiphanies happened that changed everything. It made her rethink her approach and take a hard look at her productivity habits. The result: she went from writing next to nothing, to publishing her first book.

If you’re wondering how to get more online writing done, move up and earn more, you’ve got a choice to make.

Spend your days wasting time, doing nothing. Or do everything in your power to achieve your online writing and freelance goals. What’s it going to be?

If you want to speed things up and be a more productive writer, here are some things you can do:

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