interviews

Celebrity Interview Secrets: 7 Strategies for Writers to Score a Meeting

How to Score a Celebrity Interview. Makealivingwriting.com

It can be one of the most enjoyable assignments in journalism…the celebrity interview.

You interview movie stars, music artists, or politicians. Or maybe your jams is magicians, authors, dancers, or mega-church pastors.

Pick your favorite flavor, and book a celebrity interview.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

You meet up with the rich and famous. Ask loads of curious questions. Write a pitch or story. And editors and fans are foaming at the mouth over your inside scoop.

If only it were that easy. Ever wonder how to score a celebrity interview?

It’s often difficult to get famous people to grant you an interview. I spent 12 years pursuing CEOs of major corporations for interviews as a staff reporter. And I was a movie-industry secretary for several years. So I speak from experience on both sides of the fence here.

Here’s what I learned: To get household names to slot you an interview time, you have to be wily, creative, and unstoppable.

Ready? Use these 7 strategies to score a celebrity interview.

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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? 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 take 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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Freelance Writing Improvement Lab: 7 Productivity Hacks to Write Faster

Freelance Writing Improvement Lab: Productivity Hacks. Makealivingwriting.com

Do you get jealous when other freelance writers talk about how they knock out a simple blog post in under an hour — because it takes you half a day? If so, it’s time to attack this problem and get it solved. To earn a good hourly rate from freelance writing (and end up with a decent income), you’ve got to be able to write assignments in a time-efficient way.

This is especially true if you’re looking to get into content marketing, where you might develop a dozen blog posts or other pieces of content a month for each of multiple different clients. I speak as someone who at one point was writing 72 posts a month, between client blogs and my own blog.

Your success in blogging for clients is highly dependent on your speed. If you’re slow, you won’t be able to juggle multiple content marketing clients and book enough revenue — and you may even be in trouble in terms of meeting your deadlines.

Fortunately, learning to get the writing done faster has been a longtime hobby of mine. My drive to speed up was forged during 12 years as a staff writer, the last five of which required filing a story for our online edition, five days a week by 10 am (in addition to the 3-4 articles a week we had to write).

How did I learn to cut my writing time down? Here are my seven top tips:

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The Simple Question That Will Help You Land Freelance Ghostwriter Gigs

How to Be a Successful Ghostwriter. Makealivingwriting.com

How do you get paid what you deserve while doing what you love?

I thought about that a lot back when my freelance work mainly included writing for blogs and a local newspaper.

Then something happened that completely changed my writing business. I landed my first contract to ghostwrite a book.

That first project gave me the street-cred I needed to become a full-time freelancer and ghostwriter.

Want to learn how to land your first contract to ghostwrite a book and grow your freelance business? Here’s how:

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6 Clever Ways Article Writers Can Find ‘Real People’ to Interview

How to Find Real People for Article Interviews. Makealivingwriting.com

I was in New Mexico to celebrate my grandma’s 96th birthday when I got an email I couldn’t ignore. It was from the editor at Good Neighbor magazine, a custom pub for State Farm insurance.

Subject line: Happy New Year, and an assignment?

A $1.50-per-word feature story was mine for the taking, but there was a big catch. I had to find three people who had survived extreme situations with a story deadline less than two weeks away.

If you’re an article writer, maybe you’ve had to scramble to find sources like this.

Going into January with zero jobs lined up, I was desperate to get the gig. I wasn’t sure I could pull this together in time, but I had to try.

I deployed an arsenal of strategies from one of Carol’s Useful Writing Courses for finding sources. A few days later the assignment was mine.

Need help finding sources for an assignment or crafting a killer query? Here’s how I did it —

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How One Paid Blogger Got a 33% Raise

business woman making money working on line on computer

If you want to boost your freelance blogging income, you’re probably doing all the things you’re supposed to do:

  • Regular marketing
  • Checking in with past clients
  • Asking current clients for other projects

But here’s another income-boosting approach I stumbled on: Pitch extra services on the same work you’re already doing for clients as a paid blogger — in a context that matters to your client.

Those of you with sales experience already know this “want fries with that?” strategy. When I saw how well it worked, I about smacked myself in the forehead, because I didn’t think of it sooner.

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