Blog

Home / Blog
How Do I Become a Freelance Writer?

How Do I Become a Freelance Writer?

Productivity
  If you've always dreamed of seeing your name in lights, or at least a byline in a magazine, but have no idea where to begin, this post is for you. Some folks just start writing stories and sending them to editors, hoping for a bite. But that is putting the cart before the horse. Magazines don't accept already-written stories. Others email editors expressing interest in writing for them but offer no ideas for stories. While this might work for a small startup publication, it's probably a long shot. If you want to break into the magazine industry, you need to have your ducks in a row before you begin communicating with editors. Let me rabbit trail a bit.   I hate using a GPS app on my phone when…
Read More
3 New Year Planning Tips for Freelance Writers

3 New Year Planning Tips for Freelance Writers

Productivity
  If you've read this blog for a little while, you know that I am a planner addict. I have lived my life making lists and taking notes on little slips of paper. I've used planners, notebooks, 3x5 cards, Post-It notes, you name it, to organize my thoughts. I've tried digital and analog tools. I spend way too much money in the stationery aisle of any store! Thing is, none of those tools and trinkets are worth a dime if they aren't helping me to focus, get things done, or plan for the future. Generally, this time of year, folks are making resolutions of one sort or another. I don't make New Years Resolutions. But I do plan for the future. I schedule my time. I create content calendars for myself.…
Read More
A Mega List of Resources for Writers

A Mega List of Resources for Writers

Finding Markets and Soliciting Work, Portfolio
  When I started my freelance career, I got most of my information from Writer's Digest magazine. With no money for a subscription, I borrowed copies from the public library. When the library sold back issues for $2 a bundle, I bought up several years' worth. I read those things until they were falling apart. Then, just this year, I gifted them to another budding freelancer. Beginners have a lot of questions and often don't know where to turn. They wonder things like how to charge for their work, where to look for clients, how to write query letters, how to format a blog post, and more. That is why I've put together this mega list of resources for writers.     These resources are not just my favorites. I've…
Read More
5 Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Freelance Writing Business

5 Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Freelance Writing Business

Productivity
  I recently attended a training event for a direct sales company I represent in my very spare time. My upline was speaking about growing your business and he said, "You know how some folks sign up, tell their friends about the product, they try it and love it and tell their friends, and the next thing you know that new rep is hitting platinum level? Well, that's not how it happened for us." Well, that's not how it happened for me, either, in my freelance writing. I started off very part-time. I was homeschooling the older of my six kids and my baby was only 4. We also lived a homesteading lifestyle which required many hours of gardening, animal tending, harvesting, food preservation, and property management. But I would write stories…
Read More
How to Charge for Your Writing

How to Charge for Your Writing

Marketing
  If you are entering the freelance world from a typical job, you may think of your pay as an hourly wage. Maybe, you are a salaried employee that earns so much per month or a salesperson that earns a percentage of each sale. Before reading further, I want you to take a deep breath and let go of all those ideas. You cannot survive in a freelance environment attaching your worth to a dollar per hour figure. Even though I want you to clear your head of previously held ideas about pay rates, your prospective clients will still ask what your rates are. They will want to know how much you charge per word, page, or hour. And when they do, the best answer to their question is... Nothing! Yes,…
Read More
How to Earn More Money with Your Writing

How to Earn More Money with Your Writing

Portfolio
  I'm super excited to be presenting again in January at the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. The topic for my 2018 workshop is How to Earn More Money with Your Writing. I pitched this topic to the conference coordinator because, at this particular conference, most of the writers seem to be novelists wanting to leave their day jobs. Getting a novel published, and making a living as a fiction writer, takes time. In the meantime, a writer could earn money writing other things. And if you get good at it, you could make a great living.   How to Earn More Money with Your Writing When I first started freelancing, I ran into a fellow homeschool mom who I had not seen for a few years at a local festival. When…
Read More
The Time Management Myth–Busted

The Time Management Myth–Busted

Productivity
    When it comes to productivity, there is one myth that needs busting—the idea that you can manage your time. Everyone is given the same number of hours in a day—24. Oh, we all wish for more but that ain't gonna happen. So, folks think they need to manage the hours in their days better. Makes sense, yes? No. Oh, sure, you can quit wasting time. Stay off Facebook and do the work, yes. And you can organize the time—my work hours are 9-5 Monday through Friday. And, you can even work longer hours and quit taking vacations. But that isn't managing time; that is making a decision about what you are going to do with your time. What you can manage is your energy. And the more energy…
Read More
Where to Find Story Ideas

Where to Find Story Ideas

Uncategorized
  If you have been a freelance writer for any length of time, you know that your power lies in your ability to generate ideas. When you have no ideas to pitch to editors, you have no stories to write and, therefore, no money coming in. In the last ten years, I have found story ideas in many places. But the most prolific place for ideas has been my own life. I once had a large note taped to the wall next to my desk. It read:     Following that advice, I've published stories on: How to use a wringer washer (because I was using one to save water during a drought!) How to can peaches What I've learned mothering boys Treating seasonal allergies naturally Grinding your own wheat to make…
Read More
What To Do When You Lose a Writing Client

What To Do When You Lose a Writing Client

Finding Markets and Soliciting Work
    A freelance writer needs a couple gigs she can depend on. That is why I write for and edit blogs. When the back and forth of the query process with magazines slows, my blog gigs cover the bills. Sometimes, you lose a regular gig. Several years ago, the owners of a site I wrote for every week said they were “hit by Google's algorithm change” and could no longer afford to keep me. I learned a few things from that experience I’d like to share with you.   What To Do When You Lose a Writing Client   Always have a back-up plan I wanted to despair about losing my blogging job—for about an hour. Then I remembered another project I struggled to make time for. Boy was…
Read More
Where to Sell Reprint Articles

Where to Sell Reprint Articles

Finding Markets and Soliciting Work
    Some years, selling reprints has made up to a third of my income. When you look at it one story at a time, it hardly sounds worth the effort. But if you have a well-written article on a popular topic, you can easily triple your rate from the initial publication. And considering I have stories that have sold 8-12 times, it could be even more. How to Sell Reprint Articles I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty of how to sell reprint articles in this post because I wrote that for Make a Living Writing a couple years ago. Rather, the purpose of this post is to share some places to look for reprint markets.  Where to Find Reprint Markets The best place to find publications…
Read More