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How to Blog: The Ultimate Guide to Mega-Useful Tools

How to Blog: The Ultimate Guide to Mega-Useful Tools for Writers. Makealivingwriting.com.When writers ask me how to start a blog, I usually start talking about blog-post topics, ideal blog-post format, monetizing strategies, and such…and then realize I’m on the wrong track. Writers have topic ideas! What many need to know is technically, how to blog.

As in: If you write a post, how does it show up on the Internet? What tools are behind the curtain, that make your blog go?

Over the years, as my blog has grown, sprouted my writer community, courses, coaching, and more…lots of new tools came into play. I’ve been meaning to share everything I’m using for a while, because I know bloggers want tips on the best tools.

So, here it finally is! A look at the many blog software tools that work behind the scenes at Make a Living Writing, grouped by topic for easy reference. I’ve included tools I used as a newbie, as well as more robust tools my blog uses today.

Many of these apps and blog software bits are free, some have free trials, some you’ll need to pay.

And yes, there certainly are affiliate links included here, since I personally use and happily recommend these. If you’re a technical noob and have wondered how to blog like a pro, your questions should be answered below.

Enjoy!

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Online Writing Jobs in the Cannabis Industry: 15 Markets for Freelancers

Online Writing Jobs in the Cannabis Industry. Makealivingwriting.com.If you’re looking for online writing jobs, the cannabis industry may be one of the fastest growing markets for freelance writers.

Just how big of a niche market is the cannabis industry?

With more and more states opening the door to medicinal and recreational marijuana use, it’s an industry that’s expected to generate more than $10 billion in revenue this year, according to market data.

And that’s very good news if you’re a freelance writer.

Now there are growers, processors, sellers, dispensaries, cannabis equipment suppliers, tech companies, and product manufacturers competing for a piece of the pie.

There’s also a growing list of online writing jobs in the cannabis niche cropping up.

For example, this summer Entrepreneur magazine launched Green Entrepreneur to cover the business, technology and lifestyle aspects of the cannabis industry. Even Forbes closely follows the budding cannabis industry.

And these are just a few of the many places you can find online writing jobs in the cannabis niche. Check out these 15 cannabis markets for freelance writers:

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The Swift-Kick Move to Triple Your Income for Freelance Work

The Swift-Kick Move to Boost Freelance Work Income. Makealivingwriting.com.You dream of being a successful writer. But instead you’re stuck with freelance work writing for content mills and clients who pay you $20 or less per post.

Sound familiar?

Deep down, you know it’s time to drop these low-paying clients and find better-paying freelance work, but the thought terrifies you.

Isn’t it risky to just let your clients go? What if no one will pay your higher rates for freelance work?

If you’re struggling to keep up with deadlines and the volume of freelance work for low-paying clients, where are you going to find the time for marketing to get better ones?

I understand where you’re coming from. I was in this very situation less than six months ago. And then I did something that felt a little crazy and scary. I gave most of my clients a swift kick.

What would happen if you let all your clients go tomorrow?

It cleared the way for me to get higher-paying clients and triple my freelance work income. Here’s how it’s done:

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Exhausted? 7 Busy Writer-Moms Share Their Fall Productivity Formula

The Fall Productivity Formula for Busy Moms. Makealivingwriting.com.If ever there was a time of year to come up with a productivity formula for getting more done as a freelance writer, it’s fall.

Know why I say that? Well, fall is a special time because:

  • Editors and marketing managers get back from vacation
  • Companies plan next year’s marketing calendar and start assigning projects
  • Editors complete their editorial calendar, and look for special-section writers
  • If you do marketing now, you could still book more writing income this year
  • Kids go back to school, and writer-parents suddenly have a lot more time for freelance writing

See the potential fall has to ramp up your writing income?

Except that you’re suddenly transitioning from sleeping late as you like to having to get up at 6 a.m. to put kiddos on that early school bus. And you’re…dragging.

Also, maybe feeling the pressure that now, you’re out of excuses and actually need to do this thing.

And the fall productivity formula is just the thing to help you grow your freelance writing business. Ready to get started?

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Freelance Journalist? Use These Tips to Get Juicy Interview Details

Freelance Journalist Tips for Juicy Interviews. Makealivingwriting.com.If you want to be a freelance journalist, you need to know how to find and interview sources.

But if the idea of calling up a total stranger and asking for a few minutes of their time for an interview freaks you out, then what?

Stick with low-paying content-mill assignments? Give up on freelancing? Sell your soul to the devil? Don’t do that, OK.

Ask any veteran freelance journalist about finding and interviewing sources, and most will tell you they felt the same way starting out.

It takes a little practice to learn how to find sources, build relationships, and ask the kind of interview questions that get people to spill their guts and plenty of juicy details for your assignment.

You might need to ignore those first-time jitters to ask a source for an interview. And once you’re on the phone or face to face with a source, guiding the conversation takes a little practice. But it’s a skill you can learn to develop.

Want to learn how to find and interview sources as a freelance journalist? Here’s how it’s done:

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The Ventriloquist’s Guide to Get Your Client’s Voice Right for Ghostwriting

The Ventriloquist's Guide to Ghostwriting. Makealivingwriting.com.Have you ever wondered how to master the voice of a ghostwriting client?

When you’re starting out, ghostwriting can be a little tricky. You have to learn how to think and write like your client, and separate that from your own thoughts and writing style.

It’s a lot like a ventriloquist trying to master the skills to bring a doll to life.

When I picked up my vent-figure doll “Dexter Darling,” I had a lot to learn to develop his voice and personality. In the beginning, I wasn’t very good at it. But it’s a skill you can learn, and so is ghostwriting.

After plenty of practice, Dexter Darling and I hit the road to perform at local library shows.

When the audience enjoyed his one-liners and funny antics more than anything I had to say, I realized the process was a lot like ghostwriting.

Here are a few tricks I’ve learned as a ventriloquist to be a better ghostwriter:

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