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7 tough love tips to boost your freelance income and more

7 Tough Love Tips to Boost Your Freelance IncomeFreelance writers receive a lot of happy-crappy “how to increase your income” advice.

It’s not that the advice is wrong (heck, I’ve discussed those tips, too.) It’s that the advice only goes so far.

“Charging more money” doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know your numbers. And there are a lot of writers out there making six figures without a niche.

So, how do freelance copywriters boost their income?

Create Content Success with a Cohesive Content ExperienceCreate Content Success with a Cohesive Content Experience

One of my favorite things about content marketing is the ability to create an experience. Instead of buying a single ad, you can use different kinds of content to do different work strategically.

This week on Copyblogger, we shared ways content can create an experience for your audience and help you strategically move people in alignment with your business goals…

Be Your Own Boss: 10 Free Business Resources for WritersBe Your Own Boss: 10 Free Business Resources for Writers

Want to be your own boss and make a living writing? If you’ve got solid writing skills and even a little marketing savvy, you’re already ahead of the game. But there’s more to freelance writing and running your own business than being a great writer and smart marketer.

Fortunately, help is available. And if you know where to look it’s free or available at a low-cost to help you build your freelance writing business, move up and earn more.

Want to be your own boss? Check out these free business resources for writers:

 

 

The Content Path: Moving from Attention to ActionThe Content Path: Moving from Attention to Action

We work so hard to get attention. We craft our headlines to make them irresistible. We strive to display enticing images that make a great first impression. If we’re Copyblogger readers, we think about finding that perfect balance of meaning and fascination that will pull our audience right into our content.

But what do we do with attention once we get it? One of my favorite aspects of content marketing is the way we can use content to pave a comfortable path for our audience to move toward a purchase. Attention matters — because if you can’t capture it (and keep it), nothing else happens.

How to Hook Your Ideal Prospect with Content that ConnectsHow to Hook Your Ideal Prospect with Content that Connects

When it comes down to it, “content” is simply information. And in an age of information (and opinion) overload, your content can contain incredibly valuable information and still be easily ignored.

This is the opposite of the “clickbait” problem. In that case, you have a compelling headline that leads to worthless information. The ideal scenario is to have a great headline (effectively a promise to the prospective reader) that delivers on, and hopefully exceeds, the expectations created by the headline.

Ultimately, what you say (the information) is the most important thing, because the wrong information is simply not meaningful to the people you’re trying to attract. But how you say it is still indispensable in an environment overflowing with information — both of high and (too often) low quality.

Great content boils down to two essential elements: meaning and fascination.

Why I Spent $500,000 Buying a Blog That Generates No RevenueWhy I Spent $500,000 Buying a Blog That Generates No Revenue

In early January 2017, I purchased the KISSmetrics website for $500,000. If you go to the site, you’ll notice that it forwards here to NeilPatel.com (which I will get into later in the post). The $500,000 didn’t get me the company, KISSmetrics, or any of the revenue streams. The parent company, Space Pencil, is continually improving and developing the product.

And on top of that, there are restrictions. I can’t just pop up a competing company or any company on the KISSmetrics site.

So why did they sell me the domain? And why would I pay $500,000 for it?

I can’t fully answer why they sold it, but I do know a lot of their customers came from word of mouth, conferences, paid ads, and other forms of marketing that didn’t include SEO or content marketing. See, I already have a revenue stream, which is my ad agency, Neil Patel Digital. So, my goal is to find as many sites that have a similar traffic profile to NeilPatel.com and leverage them to drive my agency more leads.

Is This Inappropriate Emotion Killing Your Freelance Writing Rates?Is This Inappropriate Emotion Killing Your Freelance Writing Rates?

NOTE: Feel like you’re stuck with low-paying clients that will never pay higher freelance writing rates? This post is for you. Enjoy! —Carol.

Want to make money from home as a freelance writer? I’ve got a question for you today, writers. How do you feel about your freelance writing rates and the clients you work with?

I ask because today’s topic is just that — the feelings we have for our clients. Because business isn’t all dollars and cents. It’s also relationships. Our clients are people, too.

But some feelings freelance writers have are sadly misplaced, and really hurt your ability to earn higher freelance writing rates. Check out what a couple of writers said to me recently, and I think you’ll start to see what I mean:

Avoid ‘All-or-Nothing’ Advice to Get Smarter about Your Business and MarketingAvoid ‘All-or-Nothing’ Advice to Get Smarter about Your Business and Marketing

Most sites that teach digital business and marketing have absolutist prescriptions.

But the web is a complicated place. And rigid, black-and-white advice will only take you so far. This week, we talked about three ways to navigate the subtleties of conducting business online.

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10 time-saving apps to boost productivity for freelance writers and more

10 Time-Saving Apps to Boost Productivity for Freelance Writers10 Time-Saving Apps to Boost Productivity for Freelance Writers

Are you one of those freelance writers who is always short on time, scrambles to get stuff done, and lives in a constant state of procrastination? It happens. Shiny Object Syndrome is a real thing when you’re sitting in front of a computer all day.

In the perfect world, you spend all your working hours writing for clients, marketing your services, and making lots of money.

But it doesn’t always work like that. Right?

Check out these 10 time-saving apps to help you move up and earn more:

 

The Definitive Guide To Leveraging Social Media for Online Sales

The Definitive Guide To Leveraging Social Media for Online Sales71% of Internet users in the United States actively use social media networks.

That means (almost) three out of four people can potentially be reached, interacted with, and persuaded through social media.

Marketers everywhere are trying to harness social media to improve customer experience, boost brand awareness, and increase sales.

A women’s online clothing store supporting a non-profit wildlife conservation organization saw a 192% increase in social media sales with Facebook leading to new customer acquisition.

So, to help you increase sales for your business, I’m going to show you how to use social media to drive sales.

To begin, you have to use the right social channels to reach the right people.

Want Better Results? Ask Better Questions. Here’s How

Want Better Results? Ask Better Questions. Here’s HowFirst things first: Our workshop on effective selling with Tim Paige is back on the schedule!

We had to adjust the calendar, but we’ve got Tim set to teach us his low-pressure but effective techniques for sales. We’ll host the workshop (it’s free) on Tuesday, June 26 at 12:00 Noon Eastern U.S. Time.

I’ve had a sneak peek at Tim’s presentation, and I think it’s going to be very, very useful. And you don’t need to somehow get a “sales personality” to make it work.

You can get signed up here.

 

 

How I grew CoSchedule into a $5MM+ SaaS company using this frameworkHow I grew CoSchedule into a $5MM+ SaaS company using this framework

I was half a decade into an agency job I was supposed to love.On paper, that job was a great fit.

But in reality, there was this problem:

I didn’t fit in. Today, I’m the cofounder and CEO of CoSchedule.

We’re a SaaS startup with users in 100+ countries around the world. In fewer than 4 years, we went from night-owl jam sessions to 8,000+ customers.

I share this so you know we didn’t go from zeroes across the board to thousands of customers by magic. (Or by dipping into the fat wallets of VC money.)

This is your inside look at how I grew CoSchedule with the One Metric That Matters (1MTM) framework, which is made up of two things:

  1. Focus
  2. Discipline

6 Tips for Building Your Marketing Career

6 Tips for Building Your Marketing CareerYou’ve read the books. You’ve watched the videos.

You’re convinced that you belong in marketing.

Now, all you have to do is put that resume out there and wait, right?

Unfortunately, that won’t cut it anymore. Getting into marketing is easy. But how do you make it big?

Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to get the edge on your competition.

Here’s a peek into my rulebook for crushing it in marketing. Use these strategies to boost your marketing career and leave the competition behind.

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Master meta descriptions with snippet trick, paid to write poetry and more

How to Master Meta Descriptions With the Google Snippet TrickHow to Master Meta Descriptions With the Google Snippet Trick

Last week, I came across a Yoast article discussing Google’s longer meta descriptions (Google doubled the room we have for meta descriptions last year — from 160 characters with spaces to 320.) Basically, the author is saying that Google will often disregard our submitted meta descriptions and use a snippet of text from the landing page, instead.

(For those new to snippets, you’ll find the meta description snippet underneath the clickable link on the search engine results page — and the search term — or close variations — are typically bolded.) Is this true? Is Google doing a meta description switcheroo?

Yes. But, here’s the deal… When you write your page copy, try to include a benefit statement or call-to-action near the first instance of your main keyphrase (which is typically in the first paragraph.)

Get Paid to Write Poetry: 14 Markets for Freelance WritersGet Paid to Write Poetry: 14 Markets for Freelance Writers

 

Want to get paid to write poetry? If that sounds like a far-fetched idea, you’re not the first writer to think poetry is a low-paying dead end. But it’s not impossible to get paid for your prose, and get a byline for publishing poetry.

If you want to tap into your more creative side, write poetry, and get paid for your musings, check out these poetry markets:

 

Stop Targeting Keywords and Start Targeting Customers

Stop Targeting Keywords and Start Targeting CustomersFor years we’ve all been taught that the first step to creating content that ranks is to target keywords. For years, the ability to rank high in SERPs seemed to rely heavily on two things. First, pick keywords that are high traffic and low competition. Then, practice keyword density.

This is no longer true.In fact, Google views too high of a density as keyword stuffing, which they will punish. Keyword research is still important, but the way we should be implementing it has changed.Google’s algorithm has become more sophisticated. It’s now smart enough that it no longer has to rely on simple keywords to tell it what your content is about.

If you want to be rank high in SERPs in 2018, you’re going to need to start targeting your customers and not just keywords.

4 Vital Elements of an Appealing Offer4 Vital Elements of an Appealing Offer

If you’ve got something to sell, at some point you’re going to need to present an offer. Sounds simple, and it is. There’s just one problem. Too often, we get caught up in how much our prospect should want what we’re feeding them. And then we get surprised when they respond like a toddler faced with a bowl full of broccoli ice cream.

When you get your job and their job confused, you create a lot of problems. When you’re asking for a sale from a potential customer, you’re working with the same equation. It’s your job to create an attractive offer. It’s the prospect’s job to say “yes” or “no.”

How to Fix 5 Conversion-Killing Copywriting Mistakes

How to Fix 5 Conversion-Killing Copywriting MistakesA sales page lies at the end of the conversion path. When a prospect arrives on that page, it’s the result of a lot of planning and hard work. So the next part really sucks.

Because most of those visitors will leave the page without buying anything. Fortunately — a small silver lining — there are ways to reduce the number of leavers. Some of those people leave as a result of totally avoidable mistakes we’ve made when writing the sales page. Let’s go through five of these mistakes, one by one, and figure out how to correct them…

SEO Isn’t the Only Way to Drive Traffic. Here Are 6 Alternative Strategies

SEO Isn’t the Only Way to Drive Traffic. Here Are 6 Alternative Strategies.As marketers, we invest a lot of our time and energy into SEO. Considering that Google receives over 66,000 searches every second, we’d be stupid not to. But when it comes down to it, Google and other search engines are just one of the many ways you can drive traffic to your website.

In fact, depending on your target audience and competition, Google may not even be your best traffic source. To prove that you don’t need Google to drive traffic to your website, here are six alternatives that can help boost your visits.

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Overcoming procrastination, the future of digital marketing and sales and more

Overcoming Procrastination: 7 Useless Activities Writers Can Skip

Overcoming Procrastination: 7 Useless Activities Writers Can Skip

 

Want to know the solution to overcoming procrastination? If you’re feeling unproductive, as a freelance writer, you’re not alone. Writers all seem to suspect other writers are super-productive, while they struggle to write a single paragraph. We’re all, ‘Stop wasting time, lady! Write more!’ Overcomingprocrastination is easily the […]

 

 

 

Why Live Video Is Your Next Big Win (and How to Start Dominating Today)

Why Live Video Is Your Next Big Win (and How to Start Dominating Today)Live video commands the attention of the business world. Projections show that live streaming will be worth a staggering $70.05 billion by 2021. Unlike ever before, people have a means of interacting with their favorite brands. They can do this at the exact moment that those brands are reaching out.

You can use live video to engage your customers at the starting price of $0. If you’re like most beginners, you’re stuck on choosing which platform is best for your needs. Luckily, live video is versatile, and most platforms are quick and easy to set up. You can use Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Periscope, or a variety of other platforms.

And I’m happy to teach you how. But first, you need to understand a little bit about how live video works.

Web Personalization: The Future of Digital Marketing and Sales Is Now

Web Personalization: The Future of Digital Marketing and Sales Is NowIn the beginning, the business website was a mere brochure. Around 2005, a big shift happened thanks to content. Cutting-edge business websites became educational resources with valuable content that ranked well in search engines and benefited from the sharing functionality of emerging social media.

We’re on the cusp of another big shift. One that will quickly become the expected norm for all websites, and yet will again provide a huge competitive advantage to early adopters. In other words, the concept of what a website should be has changed dramatically once again. Here’s how to get a jump on it.

On Thursday, May 24, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern / 11:00 a.m. Pacific, I’m co-hosting a live webinar with Ricardo Bueno from RightMessage (Remember Ricardo? He used to work with us back in the day), called: How to Double Your List Size (and Sales) by Personalizing Your Landing Pages.

What’s Your Version of ‘Autosave?’

What’s Your Version of ‘Autosave?’I remember when autosave didn’t exist in writing software. In the old days, if your computer temporarily borked, you might have lost some important text if you didn’t recently save your work … I still compulsively click “Save” out of habit when I write and edit.

Luckily, if you’re working online today, such as in your WordPress website, the autosave feature frequently backs up your work-in-progress — making it not only a feature, but also a benefit. Autosave is a “feature-benefit” that provides peace of mind, but it’s easy to forget about and take for granted. Let’s start with this idea of a “feature-benefit” to help you pinpoint your USP.

Convert someone looking for exactly what you do

7 Reasons Why Nobody is Reading Your Content and How to Grab Their Attention

7 Reasons Why Nobody is Reading Your Content and How to Grab Their AttentionIt seems like content is the only thing anyone can talk about these days. However, despite your best efforts, you can’t seem to see what the content hype is all about. You’re creating content, but it’s not getting you very far.

In fact, 20% of business owners believe content marketing will have the largest impact on their business in 2018. If you’re not getting results from the content you’re creating, it typically means you’re doing something wrong. If you want to market your business successfully, you need to find your errors, shape up your content, and start getting conversions.

To help you improve your content marketing strategy, here are seven of the biggest mistakes you might be making – and what you can do to turn your results around.

1. You have no strategy…

Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Sleazy: 5 Real-World Examples

Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Sleazy: 5 Real-World ExamplesIn my youth, a former coworker once told me, “I’d never date anyone who works in marketing.” When I inquired about his reasoning, he replied:

“It’s just so sleazy. Choosing that line of work says a lot about a person.”

When people who have legal, safe, useful offerings don’t want to be associated with those who use unethical practices, they often don’t fully market their products or services the best they can. My services deserved to be marketed, and the same is true for your writing business. Any remarkable product or service you offer deserves stellar marketing.

Here are five real-world examples of marketing and advertising that help educate prospects about their options in the marketplace.

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Rank for multiple keywords with one piece of content and more

 

How to rank for searchKeyword targeting is dead. Algorithm changes such as Google’s RankBrain have all but killed your ability to rank well using keyword targeting. I bet you’re wondering why I’m about to talk about ranking for keywords then, right? Well, there’s a difference between using keywords and targeting keywords. Keywords are […]

In other words, matching the exact phrase is becoming irrelevant, and it’s much more important to match intent.

Announcing: The Copyblogger Book Club!Announcing: The Copyblogger Book Club!

Now that we’ve started the Killers and Poets Facebook group for our community, we have the perfect venue!

I hope you’ll join us inside the group to talk about our first book club selection: Steering the Craft: A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula Le Guin

Steering the Craft is all about narrative — whether that’s creative nonfiction, a novel or play, or even a well-crafted case study from a smart content marketer.

Earn 900% More With This Experimental Formula for Freelance Writing RatesEarn 900% More With This Experimental Formula for Freelance Writing Rates

Ever wonder what the formula is for earning higher freelance writing rates? But if you’re just starting out, that’s seems about as realistic as finding a pot of gold or a magic potion to turn back the clock so you can start over.

Fortunately, there’s a simple formula you can follow to boost your freelance writing rates (mine jumped by 900 percent). Want the formula to grow your freelance writing business?

 

 

Forget Guest Posting. Here’s Why Guest Podcasting is King.Forget Guest Posting. Here’s Why Guest Podcasting is King.

You’ve probably heard the benefits of guest posting so many times you could rattle them off right now. But guest posting isn’t always the best way to expand your reach or improve your authority. To truly expand your reach, you want to dip into new content forms – such as podcasting.

Appearing as a guest on another individual’s podcast can bring serious benefits to your marketing. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you should consider bringing guest podcasting into your content marketing mix.

Freelance Copywriter Mistakes: 3 Reasons You’re Not Landing High-Paying ClientsFreelance Copywriter Mistakes: 3 Reasons You’re Not Landing High-Paying Clients

If you’re a new freelance copywriter, sending a quote can be fraught with anxiety:

  • Will they think you’re professional?
  • They know you’re not a content mill writer, don’t they?
  • Did you cover everything they mentioned?
  • Are they going to accept your price or try and haggle over freelance copywriter rates?
  • Did you include an upsell?
  • Are they going to say no?It’s enough to distract you from your paying clients, get frustrated, and start second guessing your career as a freelance copywriter. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to find out, fix the problem, and earn more:

    What Ethical, Effective Selling Looks LikeWhat Ethical, Effective Selling Looks Like

There’s a well-loved myth out there that if you do something reasonably remarkable and distribute passionate content, you’ll automatically have an audience who will support you in style for the rest of your life. You don’t have to do anything scary. Like sell, for example. Now if that works for you, that’s terrific. So does it?

The painful truth is that there are lots of trusted, loved, and wildly influential smart people out there who are working like maniacs creating amazing content. And who are nonetheless still broke. It’s easy to think that if your audience loves you, all that love will translate automatically into paying customers. But if one of your goals is a financial payoff from your content, you still have some work to do.

You have to offer something they want.There’s no such thing as a product that sells itself. Answer the conversation going on in their heads. Resolve objections in a social context. Why you don’t have to be a “great salesperson” to do this…

Is Twitter Worth Your Time? Here’s What New 2018 Data Says About Twitter for MarketingIs Twitter Worth Your Time? Here’s What New 2018 Data Says About Twitter for Marketing

Misinformation is spreading like wildfire. On Twitter, it’s no different. Numerous spam accounts and bots plague Twitter. They share false and misleading information, which has negatively impacted user experience.

To effectively use Twitter and see a return on your efforts, you need to understand how to best use the network for your long-term gain. But before deploying your 2018 strategy, you need to understand how Twitter has changed in recent months, so you don’t make the same mistakes you’ve likely made in the past.

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9 Reasons Why You’re Losing Freelance Writing Gigs and more

9 Reasons Why You’re Losing Freelance Writing GigsWhat are the most frustrating words you can hear (or read) after spending hours writing a proposal? “You’re too expensive. We’re going to go in another direction.” ARGH! But, here’s the thing… We’ve all gone beyond our budget and spent more than we’ve expected. We buy a slightly more […]

 

Writing a Pitch: Use These Tools to Build Your Freelance BusinessWriting a Pitch: Use These Tools to Build Your Freelance Business

How do you go about writing a pitch? If you’ve been slaving away in content mills or spending all your time replying to job ads, you might be a bit confused about what writing a pitch actually means.

So you ask Google. One writer-guru claims that if you master the art of cold pitching, you can land your dream clients. Another recommends sending letters of introduction, or LOIs, so you can build relationships for ongoing work. And yet another touts the advantages of writing a pitch to an editor as the way to land an assignment. So, which of these should you use to build your freelance writing business?

The answer: All of them.

How to Run an E-Commerce Business As Your Side Hustle With Just 15 Hours a Week

How to Run an E-Commerce Business As Your Side Hustle With Just 15 Hours a Week44 million Americans reportedly have a side hustle. It seems like just about everyone is looking to get a piece of the gig-economy action.

And it’s no surprise why. In fact, you can run a successful e-commerce business in as little as 15 hours a week.

Here’s how…

Aggressive Sell, Soft Sell … What Works?

Aggressive Sell, Soft Sell … What Works?Recently, a student of ours asked whether “we” (content-based marketers who might prefer a more subtle approach) can learn anything from “those” marketers who use somewhat obvious tactics like silly quizzes or hyped-up headlines.

 

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Productivity for Freelancers and more

Here is our latest writing news roundup.

Productivity for Freelancers: Could Binge-Watching Help?

Productivity for Freelancers: Could Binge-Watching Help?

 

 

The best part of freelance writing—and the worst part—is being your own boss. There’s nobody else standing over you, forcing you to calculate every minute to measure productivity. It’s up to you to stay motivated and disciplined, even on days when you’d rather scoop the litter box than finish […]

 

 

Why Understanding Your Customers is the Only Marketing Strategy You Need

Why Understanding Your Customers is the Only Marketing Strategy You NeedWe all want to be “successful” marketers. But what does success in marketing even mean?Sure, we can track analytics. We can count how many social followers we have. But how do we know what is really successful?When it comes down to it, there is only one judge for a successful marketing campaign.

The customers.

But the truth of the matter is, if your audience doesn’t connect with it, it doesn’t matter how successful it was for another company or brand. Customer-centric marketing uses personalized messages, products, content, and more to ensure the consumer is getting exactly what they’re looking for.But a customer-centric approach needs to go beyond just your marketing.

Having Trouble Reaching Your Audience? It’s Time to Get Radically Relevant

Having Trouble Reaching Your Audience? It’s Time to Get Radically RelevantOne reason that alternative communication options are attractive is that email inboxes are cluttered. For some people (like me), they’re wildly cluttered. The answer isn’t: “Never send another email.” It’s great to be able to diversify our connection options, but we also need to recognize that we’ll run into hiccups, like the one we’re seeing now with Facebook Messenger.

What’s the answer?

To earn our audiences’ attention, we need to declare war on content clutter. Send fewer email messages, but make the ones we send radically relevant. Now, for a long time, that was fairly hard to do on the fly. To be able to creatively and dynamically switch messages so that different people went down different paths depending on what they found interesting — that took some significant resources to set up, both in time and money.

That is changing really fast.

To that end, we’re hosting a live workshop on simple but smart ways to use segmentation and automation, so you can lower the overwhelm factor and start declaring your own war on content clutter.

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7 unusual signs on the path to a breakthrough, getting your teeth kicked in and more

Here is a round up in writing news from around the web…

7 Unusual Signs on the Path to a Breakthrough7 Unusual Signs on the Path to a Breakthrough

It’s easy to envision that other people’s paths (career or otherwise) are somehow smoother than yours. Have you ever had thoughts like that? Notions that everyone else who has some form of success achieved it by taking smart, consecutive steps that always led them forward, while you: Take two […]

When Getting Your Teeth Kicked In Is A Good ThingWhen Getting Your Teeth Kicked In Is A Good Thing

Here’s some hard advice I’ll bet you haven’t heard before: Mentors who are active and successful in the real world…

I do my best to give the students in the SWS a taste of what worked for me, back in the days when I was desperate (with zero alternative plans if I failed at this copywriting gig) to learn the tricks of the trade.

In my first days with every real mentor I’ve ever had (notably Jay Abraham and Gary Halbert) I had my teeth metaphorically kicked in.It was humiliating, humbling, and almost cruel. None of those guys had any time to waste with someone who couldn’t take the pressure of working in the entrepreneurial war zone. Here’s just two small pieces of advice that raises eyebrows with some students:

First: Read copiously, and put what you learn to the test immediately.

And Second: Here’s my best advice for copywriters:

Writers write…

… and great writers write with consequences.

How to Avoid Overwhelm and Launch Your Freelance CareerHow to Avoid Overwhelm and Launch Your Freelance Career

The Internet has made some things about building a freelance career as a writer a lot easier. You can investigate what a magazine has recently written, for instance. Or find an editor on LinkedIn. But in other ways, our Information Age has caused problems for writers. I know because I keep hearing comments from new freelance writers like this:

“There’s so much to know and the world of freelance writing is rapidly changing. I feel so behind and don’t know how I’ll ever catch up. Can you help?”

Wondering if can really jump in and build a freelance career as a writer, even though you don’t know everything right now? I do have a tip on that.

The Growth Hacking Cheat Sheet for BeginnersThe Growth Hacking Cheat Sheet for Beginners

Growth hacking is the mother of all marketing buzzwords. You’ve probably seen it in articles online touting that “growth hacking” as the primary way to succeed.And that’s the problem:

Marketers use the term “growth hacking” so much that it has become impossible to define or narrow down.

But despite this, real growth hacking beyond the buzzword is critical to taking a company from ten users to ten million. Sean Ellis is the inventor of the term “growth hacker” and the founder and CEO of GrowthHackers.com.

In a blog post that Sean published back in 2010, he wrote that a growth hacker is “a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.” Growth hacking can come in many shapes, sizes, and approaches. Let’s recap. Here are the key points about what exactly goes into growth hacking:

  • Growth hacking creates sustainable, scalable growth.
  • Growth hacking involves copious testing, continual tweaking, and iteration of the product, sales, and marketing strategy.
  • Growth hacking involves all teams in your company working as one system to increase growth.With that in mind, here is a checklist for your business to ensure that you are focusing on creating sustainable profits through growth hacking.

How to avoid research overwhelmHow to avoid research overwhelm

Here’s the first in a series of posts on how to research your next writing project. In it you’ll discover:

Content Mills Make You Vomit? Remedies for a Healthy Writing IncomeContent Mills Make You Vomit? Remedies for a Healthy Writing Income

You scan through all the low-paying work in the content mills, and it makes you feel sick. Spend much time in the content mills, and you’ll soon feel the need to wash your hands, lather up with hand sanitizer, and spray your computer with Lysol, or you’ll spew disgust all over the place. It’s not a healthy place to find clients or make a living writing.

If you want to be a successful freelance writer, you can’t hang around the content mills. It’s a toxic environment that will siphon creativity, confidence, your bank account…and make you feel like blowing chunks. I interviewed three other writers and asked them how they make mega moolah without using content mills or job boards. Not surprisingly, their answers shared a few common threads. If you’re sick of content mills, dose up on these healthy writing income remedies:

How to tell if your copy is any goodHow to tell if your copy is any good

You’ve just finished writing something. It reads well to you. There are lines that have you nodding in appreciation. But you’re not the target audience.So will the copy work? This checklist will help you review the copy objectively, so you can see if the words on screen or page will result in reader action.

 

 

 

 

How I Learned to Love (Ruthless) EditingHow I Learned to Love (Ruthless) Editing

I love editing. It is, by far, my most favorite part of writing.Most writers seem to have a tenuous relationship with editing. And I get it: Becoming a serious editor, one who can pinpoint deep weaknesses in a piece of writing, is hard. Especially when that piece of writing is yours.Although editing can sometimes feel heartless, it’s one of a writer’s most powerful tools. By embracing a practice of “Ruthless Editing,” you can actually become a more creative, productive, and empathetic writer. Now, I’ve learned, to be a good writer you have to be both an artist and a craftsman, both a moody, brooding poet and a ruthless, cunning killer.Every piece of writing needs to have a goal.Balancing prolific writing and solid editing…

Want More Traffic? Deindex Your Pages. Here’s Why.Want More Traffic? Deindex Your Pages. Here’s Why

Most people are worried about how to get Google to index their pages, not deindex them. In fact, most folks try and avoid getting deindexed like the plague. If you’re trying to increase your authority on search engine results pages, it can be tempting to index as many pages on your website as possible. And most of the time, it works. But this might not always help you get the most amount of traffic possible.

However, it can actually be more helpful for your rankings to keep some of your site’s pages out of a search engine’s index. This directs traffic to relevant pages instead and keeps unimportant pages from coming up when users search for content on your site using Google. Here’s why (and how) you should deindex your pages to get more traffic.

Who Are You Writing For? (Really?)Who Are You Writing For? (Really?)

Far, far better to write something simple. No. Make that devastatingly simple. Something that your reader “gets” without even having to “understand”.

“I bet you’ve sat in the pub some nights or chatted on a forum, moaning about cowboys who waltz in, charge a stupidly low price and then muck up the job.” It isn’t a particularly “clever” line. But what it is, what it does, is talk to the reader in their own language. Now that’s smart.

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Moves Writers Should Make Now

here is our latest find of what is happening in the writing world this week.

Free HuffPo is Dead: 7 Moves Writers Should Make NowFree HuffPo is Dead: 7 Moves Writers Should Make Now

If you missed the big news this past week: The Huffington Post (now officially known as HuffPo) ended its free-contributor channel , which had over 100,000 participating writers. Many writers online have bemoaned the death of free HuffPo posts, but I have a different reaction. The end of unpaid […]

 

 

 

 

Free HuffPo is Dead: 7 Moves Writers Should Make Now13 Writers Speak Out About Life Down on the Content Farm

They’ve been called content mills, content farms, bid sites, broker platforms, and many other less kind names, too. But whatever you call them, websites that pit loads of writers against each other in a race to the bottom on price have been around nearly since the birth of the internet. Historically, rates were rock-bottom low and writers were unhappy.

I wanted to check in on the content farm scene again now, because a lot has changed in this neck of the freelance-writing woods. It’s been exactly 4 years since Google’s Matt Cutts declared junk content dead. Google began actively penalizing sites that used the sort of short, semi-literate, SEO-focused ‘articles’ that have long been content farms’ most common product. That change was like a Category 5 hurricane for content farms.

 

Free HuffPo is Dead: 7 Moves Writers Should Make NowA ‘Big Blog’ Strategy Anyone Can Use for More (and Better) Traffic

Do you get all the traffic you’d like for your site? Do visitors just keep pouring in, letting you meet all of your business goals with ease?

Getting new people to your site can be tricky, and changes in Google and Facebook algorithms don’t make it any simpler.

As it happens, there’s one traffic strategy that virtually all “big blogs” use.

It works, no matter what’s going on with the big search engines or social platforms. It doesn’t cost anything. It gets more effective in cluttered, noisy environments with “too much” content.

And you definitely do not need to be “big” to implement it effectively.

This miracle strategy is optimizing your content for social sharing — making it irresistible for readers and influencers to get the word out about the work you’re doing.

 

 

 

 

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Freelance Writing Forecast for 2018

Grab the latest advise from writers around the web on where we are at and where the market is going this year in freelance writing.

Freelance Writing Forecast for 2018: 12 Experts Weigh In

Freelance Writing Forecast for 2018: 12 Experts Weigh InReady to prepare for a great year of freelance writing? It’s time for makealivingwriting.com’s  annual freelance forecast, with all-new predictions on the trends that smart writers will capitalize on in the coming year. They feel pretty good about how their 2017 predictions worked out. But this year, they decided […]

 

 

 

 

Earn Money Online: Monster List of 161 Markets for Freelance Writers

Freelance Writing Forecast for 2018: 12 Experts Weigh InWant to earn money online as a freelance writer? Forget low-paying bid sites and content mills. And pitch magazines, websites, trade pubs, agencies, and businesses to move up and earn more. To help you start the New Year strong, we’ve put together a monster list of publications that pay competitive rates for your original content.Most publications featured here pay at least $50 per assignment. We’ve also included a few “move-up markets” that pay less but allow room for negotiation.

Comb through the list, and you’ll find writing jobs in variety of niches like business, finance, family, parenting, lifestyle, travel, technology, and others. We’ve even included a list of markets that publish content about the business and craft of freelance writing.

 

7 Ways for Thoughtful Writers to Wow Their Editors, Clients, and Bosses

Freelance Writing Forecast for 2018: 12 Experts Weigh InIt’s common for non-writers to have trouble understanding how writing for a living actually works. They imagine bespectacled introverts pounding away at their keyboards, detached from social settings and business transactions. Writing is solitary work, but professional writers know publishing is a collaborative process.And in-demand writers know how the seven practices below foster the solid relationships they have with their editors, clients, and bosses that enable their thriving careers.