How Important are Creative Writing Degrees for Freelance Writers?

This morning I received the following question from Susan Brewer: “How important is it to have a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing in order to launch a writing job as a freelance writer? Or, I should say, “How helpful,” is it?” I told her the short answers are “not at all,” and “it depends what you want to do with it.” But let’s dig a

Want to be a Well-Paid Freelance Blogger? Do These 3 Things

Are you tired of competing with countless other bloggers for every advertised gig you find? Do you wish you could reliably earn $100, $200, $500, or even more per article as a freelance blogger? If you’re looking to build a more stable and higher-paying freelance blogging career, you can. Opportunities are practically endless, if you know how to look and how to make yourself stand out. Consider giving

Free Action Plan Template for Writers and Bloggers

For this week’s free resource for writers, I’m giving you an action plan template loosely based on my own action plan format (though mine are usually scribbled out on 5×8″ index cards). Here’s a bit of background on what an action plan is and how you can use this template. What is an Action Plan? We talk a lot about setting and reaching your goals

Quick Tip: Conduct an Author Website Audit

It’s not enough to simply have an author website. You need to make sure the website you have actually works for you. It has to reach whatever goals you set for it. And if it’s not currently doing that, you should consider making some changes. Not sure if your author website needs work? Conduct a simple website audit to find out. What is a Website Audit? A website audit

Interview with Michael Kwan, Freelance Writer and Author

Let’s welcome Michael Kwan, freelance writer and author of Beyond the Margins: An Indispensable Guide for First-Time Freelance Writers, Designers, and Other Work-From-Home Professionals. Michael sent me a copy of the e-book for review, and he graciously took the time to answer some of my questions. Beyond the Margins focuses on beginning freelancers and offers a well-rounded look at the choices to be made and the work involved in building a successful

7 Time Management Tools for Freelance Writers

As a freelance writer do you ever feel like you aren’t working to your full potential — that you could get more work done if you could just eliminate some distractions and improve your productivity a bit? Fortunately there are plenty of time management tools that can help you do that. Today I’d like to share some of my favorite types of time management tools

Freelance Blogging Pay Rates: Exposing Some Myths

This post was originally published on June 20, 2009. But I wanted to share it again today (and update it a bit) as the issue of blogging pay rates is hotter than ever as more and more freelance bloggers come onto the scene. As some background, this was originally written in response to Kevin Muldoon’s post, Bloggers Need to be Realistic About Blogging Rates. It

Should Writers be Responsible for a Client’s Bad Business Decisions?

It’s common for clients to overstep when hiring freelance writers these days. Writers are expected to wear multiple hats, and clients are rarely willing to pay more for these added services. The Northeast Ohio Media Group’s “zero-tolerance policy” on typos is an insane example; writers are expected to have their spouses edit their work after copyeditors were dismissed. Blog owners are an even more common example, expecting

Gamification: Make Freelance Writing More Fun

In the comments on a previous post about loving your work, Anne Wayman mentioned that she wanted to try to turn some of her marketing into a game. That’s something I try to do with my daily work as much as possible too. So I thought it might be fun to look at gamification and how you can gamify your freelance writing work. Gamification doesn’t have to

Scrivener for Blogging: Why Scrivener is the Ultimate Blogging Tool

A while back I mentioned that I was giving Scrivener a try. My hope was to use that writing software during last year’s NaNoWriMo instead of a standard word processor. That didn’t happen. I was still uncomfortable with the software at the time, and I worried it would slow me down. I’m still a Scrivener beginner by a long shot, but I’m finally putting it

5 Lucrative and In-Demand Writing Gigs

Digital marketing. Engagement. Online advertorials.  These aren’t just buzz words that marketers throw around to sound smart; they’re clear indicators of businesses’ growing needs in the digital age. Why am I bringing them up? Because over the past few years, I noticed a sharp increase in the demand for certain types of content. I’m getting fewer requests for physical flyers or brochures, and more pings

Fiction Author Platforms: Why You Need One and How to Build One

There is a common misconception out there about author platforms. Many fiction authors seem to think that author platforms don’t apply to them. There is this notion that platforms are only relevant to nonfiction authors. But that’s far from the truth. While the fiction author’s platform might be different than their nonfiction counterpart’s, an author platform will still help a novelist sell more books, and

Pick Your Perfect Blog Post Schedule

Your blog’s content strategy is about more than the type of content you plan to write. It also includes your blog post schedule — when you post, and how often you post. Should you post daily? Just on weekdays? Once per week? Monthly? There’s no right answer to cover all blogs. You have to find the right post frequency and schedule for your blog. Picking Your Blog Post

Can I Really Make Money From My Blog? – Reader Question

There are many reasons to start a blog. One popular reason is to make money. When you do that, you treat your blog as a business model in its own right. Many people try to earn money from their blogs. Some succeed. Others fail. And much of that comes down to your strategy, your niche specialty, and the plan you come up with to monetize

47 Things to Consider When Setting Freelance Writing Rates

Are you confident that you set the right freelance writing rates? Are they really helping you reach all of your financial goals? Or did you find out through trial and error that there were some factors you forgot to consider? Alicia Rades brought this topic up recently. She wanted to know how she can figure out what she should be making to reach her goals and meet her

Weekend Reading: Blog Revenue Streams

How would you like to earn your living as a professional blogger? If that sounds like an ideal career to you, there are three basic paths you can choose from: Get a full-time job as a blogger. Become a freelance blogger and blog for clients. Make money with your own blogs. Let’s focus on that last option — blogging as a business model. Here are

4 Elements of Effective Freelance Writing Websites

What are your goals for your freelance writing website? To be clear, we’re talking about your professional site — the one designed to attract clients, not your site or blog targeting other writers. Chances are that you’re hoping to attract not only clients, but the right clients. You know, they’re the ones who have a need in your specialty area and an adequate budget to hire a

Do You Have What it Takes to be a Profitable Freelancer?

As a freelancer, do you just scrape by month to month? Are you struggling to earn the kind of living that would leave you truly comfortable?  If so, you might want to check out this new website from a fellow freelance writer, a good friend, and my top pick if I ever need a partner in crime — Yolander Prinzel. Her new site is called

5 Great New Year’s Goals For Print Writers

Today we’re going to talk about setting some goals that relate directly to a career in writing for print. Starting the NY off right can set the tone for the entire year, so it pays off to do a little “leg work” on the front end of things. Here are five great goals to pencil into January that will help you get set up: 1.

2014 Freelance Writing and Publishing Goals

This week is my last work week of 2013. That means it’s time to take a look back at my progress this year — both my successes and failures. And it’s time to think about goals and resolutions for 2014. You can find mine below, and I hope you’ll share some of your own in the comments. Let’s start with some of my biggest goals

What Are Your 2013 Publishing Goals?

It’s that time of year again when goal-setting and dreams of new achievements fill people’s minds. I’m no exception, and that’s why I shared my overall writing resolutions previously on my freelance writing blog. For me those resolutions include freelance writing goals, Web publishing goals, and publishing goals for books and e-books. Today I’d like to share that last group of resolutions with you and

Magazine Writing Goals For 2013 And Beyond

Happy New Year all you writers out there! If you have already been published in print, I wish you more of the same in 2013, and if you haven’t yet made it in this arena, may this be your year to shine! Today we’re going to talk goal setting for all print writers. I know it sounds basic, but it really isn’t. Here are my

Financial Goals for 2013

This is one of my favorite times of year, not because it’s the holiday season (that part is actually more stressful than enjoyable), but because it’s the perfect time to reflect on the past year’s progress and make plans for the upcoming year. I like to start doing this earlier in December, that way I’m ready to put the plan into action at the start

Baby Step Your Way to Your Biggest Goals

Whether you’ve already set your freelance writing goals for the New Year or you’re still deciding what they should be, let’s focus on the big ones today. When you set major goals for your business, how can you keep yourself focused and working toward them all year long? One of my favorite tactics is to take baby steps. I’ll break down a large goal into

How to Save Up for Short-Term Goals

My daughter’s 3rd birthday is in March and I want to have one of those financially-irresponsible birthday parties that suburban housewife moms throw for their kids. And since I don’t have one of those executive six-figure-salary husbands to sponsor the party, I’m saving up for it. I started saving up for Christmas back in August. I save up for taxes and every other big expense

Setting 2011 Goals and Resolutions

We talked a lot about goals for your freelance writing career this week. And as promised I’m going to share my yearly list. Below you can find my preliminary list of goals and New Year’s resolutions for my business (freelancing as well as my own sites and projects). I may add to the list between now and the end of this year, and I might

Don't Meet Every Goal You Set? That's OK!

Recently I posted an evaluation of 2010 professional goals here, including which goals I’ve met, which I haven’t, and those that I might still reach by the end of the year. I always set a lot of goals for myself, and I mentioned in the discussion surrounding that post that I do so for a reason — I know I’ll fail at some. And that’s

2010 Goals and Resolutions: A Follow-up

We’re going to talk about goals this week. First, I want to take a look back on the goals we set for ourselves for 2010. In later posts we’ll discuss failure and why it’s sometimes okay, and then we’ll close out the week talking about how today’s reflections can help us set new goals for the coming year. Why look back on this year’s goals

One Writing Mom’s (Realistic) Goals for the New Year

It’s almost time to start another year! Parents and teachers know exactly what I’m talking about. They live in my universe where January is simply part of winter break and the REAL year starts in mid-August or early September when kids go back to school. In this family, I always go back to school and I’ll have one heading off to kindergarten *stifle sob* and

2010 Goals and Resolutions – How Far Have We Come?

Can you believe we’re already half-way through 2010? Wow! And you know what that means, right? It’s time to look back on the goals and resolutions we set for our freelance writing businesses, blogs, etc. and see how we’re coming along. Maybe we’ve met some of our goals already. Perhaps it’s time to let some go because we’ve made other goals along the way. And