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3 Productivity Secrets to Supercharge Your Day

3 Productivity Secrets to Supercharge Your Day

Productivity
Many writers struggle with productivity. No wonder. Distractions come at us from every angle, every hour of the day. If you're searching for productivity secrets to supercharge your day, I understand. At home, children or pets vie for your attention. If you work online, Facebook disguises itself as a chocolate bar--tempting, tempting, tempting. Business coaches have seemingly bred like rabbits, all eager to tell us how to spend our time. Yet the activities they promise will "move our business forward" don't actually get our work done. Writers need to write. Putting pen to paper, so to speak, is what generates income. Posting to social media channels, writing our own blog posts, live streaming on social media, creating freemiums to build our email list, researching markets, while all worthwhile activities, do…
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6 Proofreading Tips from Professional Proofreaders

6 Proofreading Tips from Professional Proofreaders

Craft, Productivity
You slave away on your content, whether for yourself or a client, only to find an error after it's published. Or, you see a typo in a query letter after you hit send. Then you spend the rest of the day praying the editor doesn't notice. Sound familiar? Not anymore. With these top proofreading tips from professional proofreaders, prepare to have error-free copy from this day forward. Professional Proofreading Tips Let it Sit The best way to guarantee error-free copy is to put some time between each editing session. When I write a magazine feature, I try to finish it a week or more before the deadline. When I think it's the best I can make it, I put it away and don't look at it again for several days.…
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The Freelance Feast or Famine Cycle–Come Out on Top

The Freelance Feast or Famine Cycle–Come Out on Top

Business
A major concern of beginning freelancers is how to budget fluctuating income. Things are wonderful when you have a $5,000 month but when you only bring in $1,500 the next month, you start to panic. This post is a step-by-step tutorial to help you get out of the freelance feast or famine cycle. 7 Steps out of the Freelance Feast or Famine Cycle Step 1--Open bank accounts Open three checking accounts and one savings account. You could have more accounts, and likely will down the road. But for the purpose of this post, we're going to stick with four. Name one checking account Operations, another Taxes, and the third, Personal. The savings account is for, of course, Savings. Step 2--Set your salary Decide how much money you need to make,…
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6 Practical Ways to Get More Writing Done

6 Practical Ways to Get More Writing Done

Productivity
New freelance writers often think of veteran writers as superheroes. I know I did. I would spend months writing a magazine feature and look at those actually making a living writing and wonder how I, too, could get more writing done. Whether you think you're slow, distracted, or just disorganized, there are a lot of things I've learned along the way to up my game. If you want to learn how to get more writing done, read on for some top tips. How to Get More Writing Done Stop trying to learn everything Are you a webinar junkie? Do you feel like you need to learn just one more thing before you can transition from journalism to content marketing? Or, maybe, you have a thirst for knowledge that never seems…
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A Surefire Way to Find an Email Address

A Surefire Way to Find an Email Address

Finding Markets and Soliciting Work
One of the biggest obstacles freelance writers face is keeping their pitches out of the slush pile. But when you're sending your query to editor@domain.com you're competing with hundreds of other folks who do the same thing. If you want to find an email address for an editor that she's sure to check, follow this surefire method from beginning to success. Maybe you don't write for publications but are pitching the marketing directors of large businesses. The same process will work for you. No matter who you are trying to find an email address for, this will work. In fact, just this week an editor sent me the contact information for a few sources he wanted interviewed. Several of the emails were info@ or sales@. I just knew those weren't…
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5 Places to Find Content Marketing Clients

5 Places to Find Content Marketing Clients

Finding Markets and Soliciting Work
I began freelancing with magazines. And that's a logical choice for new freelance writers. But if you want a regular income, it makes sense to reach out to businesses that use content in their marketing. When the magazines you write for pay on publication, and that could be months before getting a check in the mail, securing regular content marketing gigs certainly helps with the budget. Where do you find businesses in your niche? Surprisingly, there're five places to find content marketing clients that you probably haven't thought of and I'm going to share them with you here. 10 Places to Find Content Marketing Clients in Your Niche The magazines you already write for or read If you're already writing for magazines, the best place to find businesses in the…
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How to Easily Write with Kids at Home

How to Easily Write with Kids at Home

Productivity
  Sitting at the kitchen table with my laptop, I finally hit “print” for the article I’d been struggling with for days. But nothing happened. Then the message appeared: “The printer is out of paper.” “Not again,” I mumbled as I hoofed it to the next room, tripping over my six-year-old sprawled on the floor with crayons and paper spread about. “Like my pictures, Mommy?” "That’s where my paper went, again," I thought. This happened 10 years ago. That little boy, the baby of six children, turned 16 last week. Many moms wait until the day their child gets on the school bus for the first time before they begin a home business. As a homeschooling parent for over 25 years, I never had that option. Consequently, I learned many…
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Does a Freelance Writer Need a Contract?

Does a Freelance Writer Need a Contract?

Business, Marketing
The first time a magazine sent me a freelance writer's contract, I was a nervous wreck. The editor of a different national publication was a friend of a friend, so I sent him a copy and asked him to decipher it for me. I've since become more comfortable with signing on the dotted line and wish more freelancers were, too. Does a freelance writer need a contract? I hear this question all the time on social media. A freelance writer agreement doesn't just protect the publication, it's also important for the writer. Let me tell you a story, then you decide. Freelance Writer's Contract Why a writer needs one My first regular writing gig was a natural health blog. Then next, I started writing for a personal finance blog. Several…
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4 Digital Tools for Writers to Keep You On Track

4 Digital Tools for Writers to Keep You On Track

Productivity
I'm a paper and pencil gal. No two ways about it, I love my paper planner, colored file folders, and 4-color pen. I even have a collection of Flair markers that I use for color-coding or just...coloring. But, when it comes to staying organized in my business, I use what works best--paper or not. As a matter of fact, I've found four digital tools for writers that have revolutionized my productivity and helped me to be better at what I do. Digital Tools for Writers Have you met Trello? O.M.G. I LOVE Trello! I've tried many digital tools for writers like Evernote or OneNote and by the time I figure them out, I'm dropping them like a bad date. But not Trello. Trello's like that beach blonde, blue-eyed dreamboat at…
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3 Amazing Ways to Create a Story Hook for Your Articles

3 Amazing Ways to Create a Story Hook for Your Articles

Craft
Have you ever started reading a story in the newspaper or a magazine and turned the page after the first paragraph? I have. But wait a minute. Why did you do that? After all, the headline captured your attention, right? Yes, but unfortunately, the writer failed to create a story hook to keep you reading. Similar to a fishing hook, a story hook holds bait that grabs a readers attention and a barb that pulls them through the rest of the story. If you've been struggling to break into your favorite publication, take a look at your query letters and see if you've created a story hook that attracts and grabs the editor. Create a Story Hook in 1 of 3 Ways When your editor reads your query (and if…
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