blogging

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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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 resell 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 we’re changing our guest-posting policy as a result. We’ve also got some important tips for bloggers considering trying to sell reprints.

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Use This Simple Numbers Tactic to Land More Freelance Writing Jobs

The Simple Tactic to Land More Freelance Writing Jobs. Makealivingwriting.com

Have you ever experienced the frustration of crafting pitches for freelancing writing jobs, only to end up with a long list of rejections?

Even worse, have you suggested a topic for a piece of content, only to be met by deafening silence?

The fact of the matter is that supply outweighs demand when it comes to freelance writing. For all freelance writing jobs, there are an army of eager writers looking to fill it.

Thankfully, many writers are taking shots in the dark for those freelance writing jobs. A lot write in a haphazard, amateurish fashion. Furthermore, many suggest content which is unfocused, unpopular or downright unsuitable for the site they are pitching for.

If you take the time to harness the power of the secret weapon known as search engine optimization and keyword research, you stand the best chance of landing one of the many freelance writing jobs editors need to assign.

This tactic also works well for your own blog and driving traffic to it. Here’s how:

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Writing Tips: 10 Productivity Secrets From the Author of 1,000 Blog Posts

Useful Writing Tips From 1,000 Blog Posts. Makealivingwriting.com

I’ve got some writing tips for you today, on how to crank out volumes of useful posts that draw a crowd. What’s the occasion? Well, in the past month, this blog hit two milestones: We published our 1,000th blog post, and hit roughly 1 million annual readers.

I wrote the vast majority of these posts (for several years, at the rate of five posts a week).

It isn’t just the posts here that I’ve written over the past decade, either. I also wrote posts daily for a year for BNET (remember them?), wrote 3-4 times a week for Entrepreneur.com for years, and contributed 165 posts to my Forbes channel, to name just a few of my paid blogging clients.

In all, I’ve written thousands of blog posts, since getting back into freelancing in 2005.

If you have trouble pushing ‘publish’ on your posts, and wonder how to produce volumes of quality work, here are my writing tips for maximum productivity:

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Best of 2017 (And All Time) for Hungry Freelance Writers

Best Posts for Hungry Freelance Writers. Makealivingwriting.com

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Get Paid to Blog: 5 Ways to Show Clients Your Value

Tips to Help You Get Paid to Blog. Makealivingwriting.com

You may know that a growing number of businesses hire freelancers who get paid to blog. And they get paid well. High-quality blog posts can pay $200 a post and up.

The question is, how do you get those better gigs? To get paid to blog (real money, that is), you need to show clients how the blog posts you write help bring in additional money.

A decade back, blogging was more of a ‘squishy’ soft-sell tactic than it is today. Now, companies increasingly understand how content marketing works to bring them more leads, opt-ins, and ultimately, sales. Which means they look to you for proof your posts will bring new business.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this challenge in Freelance Writers Den lately, so I thought my blog readers would probably like tips on this, too. In this post, I’ll give you concrete strategies for demonstrating the value of your paid blogging, even as a newbie.

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