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In my last update here I let you know that the All Freelance Writing blog would no longer be updated regularly but that the site as a whole would continue to serve as a resource through more frequent updates to the freelance writing job board and writers' market database, as well as the freelance writer directory. And I'll also be updating older content in the near future and releasing more resources for freelancers, both free and premium ones planned.

While I'm still behind on one e-book release and another e-book's update, I've been busy working on some backend changes that will hopefully make some of these resources easier for you to use. Today I want to go over some of those changes.

General Changes

Here are some of the most general changes you might come across:

  • The forums are finally gone. You might remember I closed them months ago, but it took quite some time to migrate everything out of the forum plugin and into the post system for archiving (and by "everything" I mean threads I deemed worthy of archiving; maintenance updates and the like were removed). Here's a link to the new writing forum archives.
  • Most user accounts were removed. As mentioned in my last post, all user accounts that were not from premium writer profile holders or past authors (which includes those who started old forum threads that were kept in the archives) were deleted. That means over 7000 user accounts are gone. If you aren't in one of those two groups, you won't be able to log in here any longer, and there is no longer a reason for you to. No accounts or email subscriptions are required to download any of the resources here.
  • Open registrations have been closed.  New registrations are only open to advertisers (job posters or writers posting premium profiles) or new authors who might contribute. These accounts are set up by an admin only, and the forms for job ad and profile submissions allow people to request their desired username at the time of posting.
  • The user dashboard has been updated. This will only affect those of you who have accounts tied to job ads or a profile in the freelance writer directory. It's now easier to access and edit your paid listings.
The Freelance Writing Job Board

Several recent changes were made to the job board. For example:

  • Job posters can now log in to manage listings. This was based on an advertiser request, and allows job posters to manage multiple listings during their 30-day live period on the site.
  • Featured (premium) job listings were added. This was also based on an advertiser request. It means for a premium fee, advertisers can get more visibility for certain ads. Featured listings appear at the top of the job board page, and the most recent five featured listings appear on the home page. That won't affect most of you directly, but note it changes the display order of jobs. All of the most recent jobs will appear on the main job board page, but won't necessarily appear on the home page. And when you're on the main job board page, you'll find the regular listings in white below the featured ones in a highlighted box.
  • The job board should be displaying better on mobile devices now. While most of the site was displaying well on mobiles, the job board didn't in some circumstances. That should be fixed now.
  • Job ads can be marked as filled and be hidden by the person posting them. If advertisers hire someone and want to stop receiving applications, they can now choose to hide those ads for their remaining days, or they can temporarily take them down while making edits. Note: This only applies to advertisers who choose to have an account created and who are logged in when they post their ad. Accounts are not required.
  • Job ads should now show up in Google's job listings. This is something I'd been meaning to set up for a while. It shouldn't affect users directly other than that you might find the listings there. But it's extra visibility for those posting job ads.
  • Email confirmations have (finally) been set up. The job board was run in a very simple classified style before. And it didn't feature email notifications which occasionally left folks confused until ads were approved. Now you'll get an email to let you know your job ad is approved and goes live on the site. (There will be another minor update to this setup coming shortly.)
The Writers' Market Database

There's also one key change so far in the writers' market collection:

  • Broken links in listings can now be reported from the market list. When viewing the list of markets in the directory (or in dynamic posts like Websites & Blogs That Pay Writers $100 & More), you'll now find a "report link" link below each listing. If you try to visit a publication's guidelines page and that link is broken, or if the pay info detailed here is outdated and has been changed in their official guidelines, you can click that link to report it to me. It's just two clicks: click the link, then hit send in your email. The message is pre-populated for you. Note: Please do not change the email subject line. If you do, it won't get to the right place, and it might be missed.
The Freelance Writer Directory

There are also several updates for the premium freelance writer directory:

  • The directory is now sortable. Listings, by default, display with the newest submission first. This meant people who have had profiles for years were buried and harder to find. The table can now be sorted by name alphabetically, or it can be sorted by category (what kind of writing they do). This should give more profiles greater visibility.
  • The directory search and browse options were fixed. Other recent changes caused issues with the sort and browse capabilities in the writer directory, so they were removed temporarily. They are now fixed and working even better than before. The directory can be searched by name, project type, or whatever you'd like. It now works by seeking exact phrases (so searching for "white paper" to find a white paper writer will no longer turn up things like newspaper writers or someone whose last name happens to be "White"). The browse drop-down also makes it easier to limit views by category -- rather than sorting by them alphabetically you can limit your view to the category you're interested in. Again, this should give more profiles greater visibility.
  • You can now hide your profile. If you take a break from freelancing or otherwise want to temporarily remove your profile from the writer directory, you can now do that if your profile is attached to a user account. This enables you to make your profile live again in the future because its status as being paid and approved remains tied to it.
  • Email confirmations have been added. This is similar to the job board change. You'll receive an email when your profile is approved and posted.
  • The writer directory is now broken down into pages. The number of listings as the directory grows made a single listing page unfeasible moving forward. Currently, 25 listings are displayed per page. This is another reason the new or improved sorting, searching, and browsing capabilities were so important.

Note: If you have a profile in the directory and you didn't choose to tie it to an existing account when you posted it, you cannot pause or edit your profile. But if you email me from the email address you included in that profile, I can get an account set up for you and associate it with your premium profile so you can edit it in the future.

There have been several other changes that hopefully you won't even see or notice:

  • The way logins here work has been changed to simplify the process.
  • A known issue where some e-book buyers weren't getting emails from the 3rd party distribution service should (hopefully!) be resolved now.
  • There have been quite a few optimization and security updates on the back-end.
  • The majority of plugins have been removed with custom solutions coded in their place (I'll talk about this in a post at Kiss My Biz probably next month, but in short a lot of bloat on the backend was cut).

These updates will continue in coming weeks as a developer and I work to clean up and optimize things on the backend to make sure the site keeps running well for you on the front-end while I spend more time on other projects, including several for writers (more on them in the hopefully near-ish future).

The two e-books are still coming. Then older posts will begin to be updated. So you will see new content here on the blog moving forward from time to time while that happens. Some content will also be moving away from this site (more on that later). Many of the downloadable resources will also be updated to bring them in line with the site's branding. Those will be announced via the newsletter and the site's Twitter account.

Hopefully some of these changes will make things a bit easier for you here. And if you have other suggestions, I can't make promises but I'm happy to consider them if you contact me.

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I haven't blogged much here this year. That's no secret. Neither was my reason for needing time away from this site -- I talked about it in-depth back in May during Lori Widmer's Writers' Worth Month. At the time, I thought I'd need a few months, and then I'd be able and willing to get things back to normal.

That didn't happen though. What I thought would feel better with time has instead gotten progressively worse.

I said in the spring I wasn't going to shut down the site or sell it. And that was put to the test over the summer when I was contacted by an interested buyer. Ultimately, I decided then not to let the site go... not to lose something else as a result of the hell of the past couple of years. I've lost enough.

But that opportunity did make me think much harder about what All Freelance Writing was going to look like if I didn't walk away completely when it's not something that can be a part of my daily life anymore. And I've made some decisions in the past several weeks that I think will be best all-around. I'd like to share those plans with you -- what I've recently changed, and what's still to come in the New Year.

No More Regular Blogging

For years now, I've been fed up with people referring to All Freelance Writing as just a "blog" when its blog was a relatively small part of the site. It was a collection of resources -- tools, templates, a job board, a market directory, a podcast, e-books, and then yes, the blog.

Blogging is one of the most regular and time-consuming aspects of the site, and the part that I most want (no, need) to distance myself from. I've been telling myself for far too long that I'll get back to it regularly. But I've come to accept that I simply don't want to. All that time here is too much of a reminder of things I desperately wish I could forget.

So, the "blog" portion of All Freelance Writing is no more. 

You'll notice the blog link in the navigation is already removed. The archives will remain, and you can find them in the article archives ("Articles" link in the main navigation now). I've created a new article directory page that features some new categories and hand-picked featured articles from each of them, followed by links where you can read similar archived content.

Part of this has to do with the things I shared on Lori's blog last May. But there's more to it...

There are over 1800 posts on this blog, and that's after many were cut in past site changes. Frankly, if there's something beginners need to know, it's already here. And I don't want to waste my time, or yours, being one of those bloggers who keeps parroting the same old crap to appeal to the few folks who are too lazy to search. Instead, I'd rather make it easier for you to find what's here.

That said, there will still be some new content, especially between now and the end of the year. For example:

  • I'll be sharing some updates about the 3-month experiment that ended in July (though that might be shared via the newsletter).
  • I'll still answer occasional reader questions if people ask things not already answered on the site and I feel my response will help more than just the person asking.
  • I'll still occasionally (rarely) post reviews, mostly when asked by colleagues I've long known and trusted (not random crap to keep new affiliate links flowing). I have one of these planned as of now and have no intention of actively seeking out more unless I find something I truly love and feel compelled to share.

You'll still be notified of that new content if you subscribe to the site's RSS feed or if you're subscribed via email. I'll also be adding a few sections to the article directory page including one near the top for the latest update, so you'll still see the newest material there. I expect to have that finished this week along with some technical fixes brought to my attention by a reader recently.

So, that's that. The blog is dead. The content is not. And while I'll be taking a broader blogging break (other than smaller ones I keep my name off of), I will be blogging about freelance writing more regularly again in the future. It just won't be here. And it won't be focused on beginners.

The Future Focus of All Freelance Writing

Despite stepping back from the blog, All Freelance Writing will remain an active resource for new freelance writers -- even more than it's been in recent months when I was unsure of how to proceed.

For example:

  • Starting in January (because I always take off at least half of December), the freelance writing job board will feature more curated listings on a more regular basis. I'll be setting the rhythm of things for the first 3-6 months, at which point I might bring someone else in to handle that so I can step back a bit further.
  • The writers' market directory will continue to expand, and at a more rapid clip in the New Year.

Those will become the primary focus moving forward -- helping beginner freelance writers find gigs quickly while they're building their professional platform.

Even when I put those things in someone else's hands, you won't be rid of me here. I'll be keeping most of my own attention semi-off-site by:

  • Sinking more time into creating larger resources like e-books and templates (both free and premium);
  • Finishing my Query-Free Freelancer book (finally), which I've just recently finished a round of revisions on;
  • Sharing more regular newsletters.

The newsletter is where I'll chime in on things like timely industry issues, warnings to help newer writers protect themselves, and anything else appropriate. Like I mentioned earlier, the blog will be reserved more for occasional reviews and reader questions.

I'm most excited to free up the time to work off-site on new resources for you. And some of those resources and other projects I'll finally have time to pursue will help me work toward something else important to me.

One thing I talked about in May's post was how absolutely fed up I am with insta-expert con artists that have been saturating the freelance writing community in recent years. They're a big reason I wouldn't walk away from the site completely.

My life has been impacted by liars, thieves, and frauds over the past several years to a degree I can't even put into words -- from someone I trusted doing irreparable damage personally to recently discovering a colleague I've known for at least 8 years (and also trusted) ripped off material from this very site. And the plan moving forward will let me deal with bullshit artists like those more head-on than I've been able to for a long time.

That's something someone needs to keep doing for the benefit of new writers who don't know their history, but it's also something I need to do for me.

So anyway, that's the gist of what's happening. Some of the changes have already been made. I was holding off on some others on the technical end until the WordPress 5.0 updates, but they've been delayed, so I'll take care of those before year's end. You'll also get a few more posts I've been holding off on before I go on vacation later this month.

Oh, and around the end of this year, you can expect a new freebie. I've had a nearly-finished e-book on setting and increasing your rates effectively, and it's just been waiting on me to put the final touches on and release it. But I didn't want to release anything until I knew where this site stood in my plans.

Rather than releasing it as a premium e-book, I'm going to give it to you for free as a thank you for the last 12 years (I can hardly believe this site's been around that long). So keep an eye on your inbox if you're subscribed. Or watch the site's Twitter account. I'll announce its release toward the end of this month.

User Account Changes

One technical change you should know about is the future elimination of user accounts here.

I'll soon be removing the join link from the header of the site. And the only place to sign up will be during the advertising process such as users of the writer directory. And on the very rare occasion I allow a guest post here, I'll still set up accounts for those authors. But with the forum closing months ago, and the constant influx of new registrations that have no real purpose anymore, I'm shutting down general membership.

What does this mean?

In January, I'll be deleting thousands of user accounts from this site. The only accounts that will remain are:

  • admin and developer accounts;
  • accounts tied to an approved profile in the freelance writer directory;
  • author accounts tied to older blog posts or tied to old forum posts that are retained in the archives.

So, if you signed up but you never used your account to publish anything publicly on the site, it will be gone in the New Year. I'll be going through any new registrations every few months moving forward to delete those as well if necessary. If you do have an account tied to any of those things, you don't need to worry about any changes. You'll retain the same access to your account.

One final thought -- don't expect me to be absent from the broader freelance writing community because of these changes. I've had multiple new projects in the works for freelance writers that I simply haven't had time to finalize. Now I will. And I fully intend to be active elsewhere. If anything, you'll probably see me around even more.

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With the newly re-launched writers' markets directory here at All Freelance Writing, I have the ability to create and share specialized markets with you that will automatically update when markets are added, removed, or changed in the database.

For example, if you're looking for freelance writing assignments in magazines or higher-competition online publications, this is an updated list of markets that pay $1000 (and more) for some types of assignments.

Remember to check back occasionally, as this list of freelance writing markets will automatically update as I add new markets to the broader database.

Adirondack Life

Adirondack Life is a regional magazine serving readers in areas surrounding the Adirondack Mountains. The magazine accepts freelance submissions for the following departments: Special Places, Watercraft, Barkeater, Kitchen, Profile, Historic Preservation, North Country, Sporting Scene, Home, Wilderness, Wildlife, Working, and Yesteryears. At the time of inclusion, Adirondack Life pays $.30 per published word (around 30 days after publication). Departments run from 1000-1800 words and features are 1500-3500 words.

Air & Space (Smithsonian)

The Smithsonian's Air & Space Magazine accepts freelance submissions for book reviews and the following departments: Soundings (300-1000 words), Above & Beyond (1500 words), Flights & Fancy (800-1000 words), Reviews & Previews (200-450 words), and feature articles (averaging 2500 words). This is a paying market, though rates vary widely and aren't disclosed in the guidelines.

Backpacker

Backpacker magazine covers hiking, backpacking, North American destinations, and advice for improving the backcountry experience. All articles and photos must appear to Leave No Trace's ecologically friendly practices. Destination features run 1500-5000 words. They also accept personality, technique, and gear features as well as freelance-friendly departments (Life List: 300-400 words; Done in a Day: 500 words, Weekend; Skills; and Gear). They also publish web-only content from freelancers based on each month's theme. They pay on acceptance and buy all rights. Payments run $.40 - over $1.00 per word.

British Columbia Magazine

British Columbia Magazine is a Canadian regional magazine covering the province of BC. The magazine works with freelance writers both on spec and on assignment. Freelancers can sent queries for the following departments: Due West, Echoes, Destination, Outdoor Advisor, and Wild FilePay is $.50 per word for first worldwide print rights.

Central Coast Farm & Ranch

Central Coast Farm & Ranch is a quarterly magazine covering the agricultural community in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in California. They cover local food, agriculture, edible gardening, agri-tourism, and more. Pay is $.50 - $1.00 per word for features, and $350 for departments.

CICADA

CICADA is a YA/teen literary magazine that accepts fiction, poetry, comics, and essays. Fiction (up to 9000 words) pays up to $.10 / word; nonfiction (up to 5000 words) pays up to $.25 / word; poems pay up to $3.00 per line with a $25 minimum payment.

Clarkesworld Magazine

This magazine is devoted to science fiction, fantasy, and horror. They purchase both fiction and nonfiction writing. Payment for nonfiction is 10 cents per word up to their 2500 word limit. Payment for fiction (1000-16,000 words) is 10 cents per word for the first 5000 words (and 8 cents per word over that limit).

Earth Island Journal

Earth Island Journal covers environmental issues such as wildlife conservation,land conversation,public policy, climate and energy, and more. Contributors are paid $.25 per word for print stories (around $750-1000 for an in-depth 4000-word feature). Online reports pay $50-100 and are a good way for new writers to break into the market.

Gray's Sporting Journal

Gray's Sporting Journal accepts freelance submissions on sporting topics such as shooting / hunting and angling / fishing. They publish seven times per year, with four themed issues covering fly fishing, upland bird hunting, big game hunting, and their "Expeditions and Guides Annual." They're open to a wide range of word counts, but prefer shorter to too long (12,000 is okay if necessary, but 3000 is preferable, and 1500 words preferable even to that). In addition to articles and yarns (750-1500 word campfire tales -- can be factual or fiction), they also accept poetry up to 1000 words. They pay $600-1250 for features, $600 average for yarns, and $100 for poems.

High Country News

High Country News is a nonprofit news magazine covering the Western U.S. They pay $.50 - 1.50 per word, with a kill fee of 25%. They accept in-depth news and analyses from 800-1200 words, features of 2800+ words, and shorter 800-1500 word reviews, criticism, and short essays.

Model Railroad Hobbyist

Model Railroad Hobbyist publishes articles and videos "on all aspects of model railroading and on prototype (real) railroading as a subject for modeling." Articles typically run around 3000 words with 10 photos and a short video clip (payments being $230 for these). $200-600 per feature is typical, though they've paid over $1000 for longer articles as well (such as through their website where length isn't an issue).

Northern Virginia Magazine

Northern Virginia Magazine looks for profiles and interviews with prominent and influential individuals in the region. They also accept submissions on topics such as regional getaways, art, fashion, and education. Pay varies from $50 - $1000 per story depending on research and complexity. Half the fee is paid on submission and half upon publication. They do not reimburse expenses.

Sierra

Sierra is a bimonthly national magazine from the Sierra Club. They accept freelance submissions for both features and departments on conservation and other environmental issues. Features range from 2000-4000 words with payments starting at $1.00 / word (and going to $1.50 / word for well-known writers). Departments run 250-1000 words and pay $250-1000 unless otherwise noted in the guidelines.

Teaching Tolerance

Teaching Tolerance accepts both magazine articles and online contributions for K-12 educators "interested in social justice and anti-bias topics." Features run 800-1600 words. Why I Teach pieces run 600 words or less. Story Corner features student-facing short stories and nonfiction. Short articles for the website should run 500-700 words. They pay $1.00 per word for magazine contributions and $100 for short online articles.

The Sun Magazine

The Sun publishes essays, fiction, and poetry on political and cultural issues. Payment for nonfiction is $300-2000. Payment for fiction is $300-2000. Payment for poetry is $100-250. They purchase one-time rights.

If you're looking for more freelance writing opportunities for your pitch list, you can search or browse the full collection of writers' markets.

If you're an owner or editor of a publication paying freelance writers (on an ongoing basis -- not one-off gigs, which you can find here on the freelance writing job board instead), you can submit your market for consideration.

This is a 2018 update of a market list originally published on August 31, 2010.

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How would you like to earn $100 per blog post? You can earn that and more writing online if you know where to look. While I often point out that the best gigs are rarely advertised, that doesn't mean you can't find some public gems out there for newer freelance writers -- websites and blogs that pay writers $100 and more.

That's where this list comes in. Updated in May 2018, it features online writers' markets where you can earn $100 per post or article. Some even pay significantly more than that, so check them out even if you aren't just getting started.

Why These Markets Were Chosen

My requirements for inclusion in this list were simple:

  • It had to be an online writer's market (blog, website, web version of a magazine, etc.).
  • Guidelines, or at least payment info, had to be available publicly online (and not just from third party reports).
  • The $100 mark had to fall within the market's pay range for at least one type of writing (for example, some might start at $100, and others might pay "up to" $100).
Share This List

Tell your readers or fellow writers about this updated list of freelance blogging markets and other online markets that pay writers $100 per article and more. Click any of the links below to spread the word on Twitter.

Websites & Blogs Paying $100 per Article

Explore these paying blogs and other online markets to see if any are a good fit for you. And don't forget to keep an eye on the writer's market directory where I periodically add new listings.

NOTE: As of May 2018, the writer's market directory was moved to a new system on the backend of the site. This allows posts like this one to be automatically updated as new markets meeting the pay requirements are added to the broader directory. So check back periodically for new and updated markets.

Backpacker Magazine

Backpacker magazine pays anywhere from $.40 to more than $1.00 per word for articles, depending on their complexity. Features range from 1500 - 5000 words, and departments range from 100 - 1200 words. Topics include things like backpacking destinations, gear, and nature. Freelancers can also be assigned web-only content.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Beneath Ceaseless Skies seeks short stories of up to 14,000 words. They publish "literary adventure fantasy" with second-world settings. They pay 6 cents per word.

BigGreyHorse.com

Big Grey Horse Media accepts contributions from Texas freelance writers for travel writing pieces and destination reviews (restaurants, hotels, bars, etc.). Articles should be 600-1000 words and pay $125-200.

Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor is a daily newspaper covering US and international news. The paper accepts freelance news submissions. In general freelance writers submit only on spec when new to the publication, and writers grant the newspaper 90 day exclusive rights. Pay for a typical story is $250.

Clarkesworld Magazine

This magazine is devoted to science fiction, fantasy, and horror. They purchase both fiction and nonfiction writing. Payment for nonfiction is 10 cents per word up to their 2500 word limit. Payment for fiction (1000-16,000 words) is 10 cents per word for the first 5000 words (and 8 cents per word over that limit).

Coastal Review Online

Coastal Review Online is published by the North Carolina Coastal Federation. They accept freelance submissions of 800-2000 words. Pay varies from $75-200, and they pay within 10 days of acceptance.

Cooking Detective

CookingDetective.com is a cooking, recipe, and food blog. They pay $120-160 for "ultimate guide" articles of 3000-4000 words, and $75 for articles of 2000+ words.

Cosmopolitan.com

Cosmopolitan.com, tied to Cosmopolitan magazine, is looking for online contributors to submit essays about "a memorable, crazy, hilarious, or touching college experience." These should be up to 800 words and can focus on friends, dating, partying, classes, working, internships, and more. Pay is $100 for a published essay.

Daily Science Fiction

Daily Science Fiction publishes original short works of speculative fiction. They pay 8 cents per word for first worldwide rights and nonexclusive reprint rights. They accept stories, including flash fiction, from 100-1500 words.

Earth Island Journal

Earth Island Journal covers environmental issues such as wildlife conservation,land conversation,public policy, climate and energy, and more. Contributors are paid $.25 per word for print stories (around $750-1000 for an in-depth 4000-word feature). Online reports pay $50-100 and are a good way for new writers to break into the market.

Income Diary

IncomeDiary accepts online submissions about web development, web and blog design, SEO, driving traffic, social media, content creation, and making money online. Payments are up to $200 per article.

iWorkWell.com

iWorkWell accepts contributions from HR professionals / consultants / academics and employment or labor attorneys with HR expertise. They're looking for instructional articles related to HR professionals. They accept both edit offers for existing content on the site (up to $75 depending on the level of improvements) as well as new contributions paying anywhere from $115 - 195 per article. Articles are generally 1500 - 3500 words.

Knitty.com

Knitty.com accepts freelance submissions of knitting articles / tutorials / patterns. Pay attention to the writer's guidelines for notes on when to submit season-specific tutorials. Payments are $150-200 per submission.

Linode.com

Linode hires freelance technical writers to write tutorials about Linux, Linode, and cloud infrastructure. They pay up to $300.

Listverse

Listverse publishes list-based posts covering topics ranging from the bizarre to entertainment to science. They pay $100 per accepted post via Paypal. Posts must include at least ten list items.

Metro Parent

This parenting magazine for southeast Michigan also publishes online (including some online-only articles). For the print magazine, pay starts at $50 for short 600-word "Kids 101" submissions to $200+ for 1200-2500 word features. They also accept 50-word blurbs and pay $25 for those. For MetroParent.com, they pay $40+ for general and breaking posts of 600-800 words or resource round-ups. They also accept freelance submissions for their ancillary magazines -- Fun Guide, Big Book of Schools, and Pink + Blue.

Midwest Living

This lifestyle magazine focuses on the Midwest region of the U.S. They often test new freelancers with local scouting assignments or 300-600 word articles for their website. Pay varies, but they state a first-time writer working with them could generally earn around $150 for one of these scouting or online content assignments.

Model Railroad Hobbyist

Model Railroad Hobbyist publishes articles and videos "on all aspects of model railroading and on prototype (real) railroading as a subject for modeling." Articles typically run around 3000 words with 10 photos and a short video clip (payments being $230 for these). $200-600 per feature is typical, though they've paid over $1000 for longer articles as well (such as through their website where length isn't an issue).

Nevada Magazine

Nevada Magazine is the state of Nevada's official tourism magazine. They accept stories in the 500-1500 word range, and payments are up to $250. Payments for stories on their website, NevadaMagazine.com, are $100-200. They pay on publication and they don't pay expenses.

Photoshop Tutorials

PhotoshopTutorials.ws accepts Photoshop design tutorials and quick-tips. You must submit a picture of your final Photoshop project (and can do so for consideration before writing the tutorial itself). The site pays $50 for quick-tips and $150-300 for full tutorials.

Pseudopod

Pseudopod is an "audio magazine" in the horror genre. Writers can submit their stories to have them read and recorded by voice actors. They pay $20 for flash fiction reprints and $100 for short story reprints, or $.06 per word for original fiction.

Sitepoint

SitePoint.com accepts tutorials covering HTML and CSS. Pay is $150-200 per tutorial of average length, and $300 or more for articles and tutorials that are longer. They're also open to content covering Sass, developer tools, open source, performance, browser stats and trends, and task runners.

Slick WP

Slick WP accepts posts that help readers get the most out of the WordPress platform and the Genesis Theme Framework. Articles and tutorials should be 1250-2000 words long. Pay is $100 per published post.

Strange Horizons

Strange Horizons is a magazine that publishes speculative fiction as well as poetry, interviews and reviews. The pay is $0.08/word for fiction and stories must be less than 10,000 words, though below 5,000 is preferred.

The Introspectionist

The Introspectionist is a "digital magazine for the intelligent woman." Different themes are covered every month through a series of thought-provoking articles. Topics include family issues, dating, health and beauty, and other current topics of interest (such as an upcoming issue on social networking). Pay is $25 for departments (100 to 500 words), $100 for features up to 2000 words, and $200 for features up to 5000 words. Poetry and fiction pay $25.

The Motley Fool

The Motley Fool accepts freelance contributions from financial writers / analysts, paying $100 per article.

TheTravelWritersLife.com

This site doesn't publish traditional travel pieces for the general public, but rather focuses on content that teaches people how to get paid to travel (travel writing, photography, etc.). They pay $50-75 for articles they request for the website, $100-150 for interviews and personal stories, and $150-200 for articles with specific advice on how readers can earn money while traveling.

Transitions Abroad

TransitionsAbroad.com accepts freelance contractions for its Web magazine. Examples of topics covered include working abroad, teaching English abroad, studying abroad, and cultural immersion travel. They pay on acceptance, and payments range from $50 to $150 for articles in the 1250-2000+ word range.

Tutorial Board

TutorialBoard accepts submissions of tutorials related to Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, and other design software. Tutorials must include downloadable .psd files. Pay is up to $150 per tutorial.

Webloggerz.com

Web Loggerz accepts articles, screencasts, and infographics from freelance contributors. Content should be related to the WordPress platform. Guidelines note this is a paying market (at the time of inclusion, the owner confirmed they pay $30-100 per contribution).

Zift

Zift is looking for parenting guest bloggers, particularly parenting & technology bloggers or parents who can speak to technology topics, and paying $100 per accepted post.

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Over the past couple of months we've talked a lot about freelance writer sites -- 5 great freelance writer sites as inspiration, what your freelance writer site should include, why I think you should include rates on your freelance site, and more. Today let's look at another feature you might be considering adding to yours -- an email list.

Now some marketers will tell you it's always a good idea to build an email list for any kind of business. But is it actually necessary when it comes to freelance writing services?

Well, it depends.

Why Freelance Writers Don't Need Email Marketing Lists

When it comes to adding an email list to my own freelance writer website, I've batted the idea around for years. And I've opted against it for two reasons:

  1. In my own case it's never been necessary. I get plenty of inquiries without it.
  2. It's an extra commitment I'd have to make (when again, I don't really need to right now).

And those are precisely the reasons you don't necessarily need an email list either.

First there's the issue of supply and demand. You aren't selling products. You're selling services that rely on your time. And you only have so many available billable hours.

That's one of the perks of freelance writing.

As long as you're charging professional rates, you don't need that many clients to keep your schedule full.

If you were selling products, it makes total sense to build a list so you can maximize sales. But with freelancing, you need to reach far fewer people to reach your sales goals. Building a list of thousands of subscribers sounds great. But it takes work. And you don't need thousands of prospects to keep yourself fully-booked.

This alone means freelancers don't really need email lists. They're about two main things: relationships and scale. There are plenty of ways to build relationships though. And freelancing isn't a game of scale.

The other issue is the time commitment. 

One thing I frequently remind newer freelancers of is this -- it doesn't matter if a marketing tactic works; it matters if it works better than your other options.

Just as you have a limited number of billable hours, you also have a limited amount of time to devote to marketing your freelance writing services. So you want to get the most out of that time by focusing on the most effective tactics and tools available to you.

Think about how you already market your services. What works? What doesn't? Are you already filling your billable hours? Or do you need to add a new tactic or change things up?

If you do need to attract more clients, an email list might work. But will it work better than all other options available to you?

That depends what you're already doing. And who your target market is. And what kinds of services you're selling. And how you intend to use that email list (such as simply for direct promotions versus using it as a thought leadership tool to position yourself in a competitive market).

Managing an email list requires not only time, but consistency. 

So before deciding whether or not an email list is a smart move for your business, ask yourself the following:

  • How do you plan to use the email list?
  • How often do you plan to send emails?
  • How long will that content be (how long will it take you to write the content or copy)?
  • How will you build the email list, and how much time can you devote to that?

Think about the time investment, not just in setting up a list and getting a form added to your freelance writer website, but also the ongoing time commitment.

Then think about other promotional tools and tactics available to you. Then ask yourself a few more questions:

  • Which of those marketing tactics, including managing an email list, is likely to bring in the most paying work?
  • How long will it likely take to see a return on your time investment for each marketing tactic you're considering?
  • Would investing more time in an already-successful marketing tactic potentially yield better, or faster, results?

It can easily turn out that managing a new email marketing list will require a bigger time investment than other tactics that could bring about similar, or better, returns.

Combine this with the fact that freelancing isn't a matter of scale like so many businesses are, and email lists simply aren't a necessity for many writers. And doing it just because people like to promote email marketing as a must-have for everyone could leave you wasting time on something you don't ultimately stick with.

Finally, there's the issue of conversions.

What do you want visitors of your professional site to do? Do you want to convert them into subscribers so maybe they'll buy something later? Or do you want to convert them into clients by getting them to contact you directly right now?

You can't count on converting site visitors in multiple ways on any given visit. So what do you want your site's copy focused on -- promoting your email list or promoting your services?

Every page should have a goal. So for every page you'll have to choose.

Splitting your visitors' attention between multiple calls-to-action could hurt more than it helps (this is something I've seen with my own blogs that offer both email sign-ups and sales-directed CTAs -- it's a balance you'll need to figure out for your own market).

Frankly, one of the biggest issues I've seen in reviewing freelancers' websites is the lack of CTAs to begin with. Check your own site, and start with adding or improving ones directed at making sales before directing visitors toward other actions.

When Email Lists Make More Sense

While I'd consider email lists far from a necessity for most freelance writers, there are cases where they can make sense in your marketing mix.

For example, you might not maintain a public list where you try to attract sign-ups, but you might keep a more private email list of past clients you've worked with for the sake of traditional relationship marketing and staying fresh on the mind of previous and current clients. Because relationships are so vital in freelancing, this kind of list might work very well for you.

You also might not sell only writing services. For example, if you also offer consulting of some kind, then thought leadership and promoting your authority status in your specialty area becomes more important. In that case, having some kind of ongoing publication can be a good idea, such as a newsletter or blog (where you make posts available via email).

Or perhaps you sell a product to freelance prospects -- a lower price point buy-in to acquaint them with your expertise and style. In this case you have a product to sell, and an email list could be a good way to promote those sales. Examples might be an e-book or a course.

And then, of course, there's the case where your current marketing isn't working and you do have reason to believe email marketing could be a more effective use of your time than other options available to you.

In any of those cases, adding an email list sign-up to your freelance writer website might make sense.

As with any kind of marketing tactic, don't follow generic marketing advice that doesn't account for the realities of running a freelance business. What works for other kinds of companies isn't always the most effective use of time for freelance writers.

Evaluate your options. Figure out what you are, and aren't, comfortable trying. Decide if you're willing to invest the time long-term. And only then can you decide if adding email marketing to your mix is the right decision for your business.

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All Indie Writers by Jennifer Mattern - 1y ago

Recently I sent out newsletters to subscribers inviting them to apply for an upcoming freelance writing experiment where I'll work with a writer one-on-one for a few months to improve or revitalize their career.

Today I was pouring over those applications, and the stories these writers shared, as I tried to narrow down my options. And I noticed a trend through most of these applications as writers told me about their common challenge -- a lack of confidence.

That might have been a lack of confidence in pitching. Or following up with prospects. Or asking for more than beginner-level rates even when they had nearly five years of experience behind them. Or networking more. Or simply taking a leap to try something new.

Confidence is one of those topics I don't think we can talk about enough.

I consider it incredibly important for newer freelancers in particular to know that they aren't alone if they deal with fears and doubts and struggles with confidence.

What was refreshing about these writers though was they've already pushed past the first hurdle. They've engaged in honest self-reflection, they've admitted what their issue is, and they asked for help where they needed it.

  • Maybe you're in a similar place.
  • Maybe you're still neck-deep in doubts and fears and impostor syndrome and you can't bring yourself to ask for help.
  • Or maybe you struggle with these things, but you're still in denial about what's holding you back.

That's all natural. And as long as you keep working towards the acknowledgement and ability to seek help or work on the underlying issues like these other writers have, you will be okay.

Lori Widmer asked me to write a post for this year's Writer's Worth Month (in May) over at her Words on the Page blog. More specifically she asked me to talk about the role fear has played in my freelance writing career. So I'll wait until that post to share some of my own story with you (though you'll certainly find plenty of it tucked away here in the archives too).

If you want to be a fly on the wall hearing two writers talk about fear and confidence about writing (fiction and freelance), listen to this podcast I recorded with Princess Jones.

Episode 19: Fear and Confidence Issues for Writers (with Princess Jones) - SoundCloud
(3788 secs long)Play in SoundCloud

Until then, that's really all I want you to know: We all have a story. And you aren't alone.

Our struggles might look different, but they can be as debilitating. And they can all be overcome in their own ways. If you feel like a lack of confidence is holding you back in business, take some time for the kind of honest self-reflection your colleagues did when sending me their applications.

Think about the specific ways your career has suffered because of issues of confidence. Then, if you can't bring yourself to push past it just yet, look for ways to work around it. If you're afraid to cold call clients, turn to email instead. If you're lacking the confidence to pitch, focus on inbound marketing. If surrounding yourself with colleagues intimidates you, focus your time and energy on networking with potential clients rather than other writers.

There is no single perfect career plan for freelancers. The beauty of a freelance writing career is that we get to tailor it to our own preferences, as long as those choices drive us in the right direction. That doesn't only mean focusing our strategy on our strengths, but also around our weaknesses.

If the road you're on is blocked... take a detour.

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Every week I curate ads for the freelance writing job board here at All Freelance Writing. That means digging through a lot of garbage to find a few gems. And one type of ad I sometimes see deserves a bit of attention -- those with pay based on location.

What do I mean exactly?

These are the ads that either outright say your pay as a freelance writer will depend on your location, or they list specific rates for one group of writers and another set of rates for writers in a different geographic area.

Now, you might think this only happens internationally -- such as a US company paying US-based freelance writers more than, say, a writer in Asia for the same work. But I've more often seen this stated regionally.

For example, a company based in NYC, or LA, or some other large city where the cost of living is high will offer higher pay for local writers than they offer for writers in more rural or suburban areas of the country (even though the work is the same and all of those writers work remotely).

What's Wrong with Freelance Pay Based on Location?

On the surface, this might not sound like a bad thing. It's just an urban company understanding local writers struggle with a higher cost of living, and they want to support those local freelancers. Right?

That might be the intention in some cases. But it's a largely illogical way to determine pay rates, and it has the potential to be destructive.

Let's pretend we're talking about a NYC client looking to hire US-based writers to create content for their blog. They offer $150 per post for local writers and $100 per post for writers based in lower cost of living areas, attributing the difference to cost of living.

The Issue of Value

Tell me something.

What's the difference in the value of each blog post in the above scenario? Assuming the writers have equal talent and credentials making them good fits for this gig, why is a post from Writer A worth more than a similar post from Writer B?

It isn't. Not in the sense of the client's business.

And freelancing is not an employer-employee proposition. Your location should only ever be factored into your rates if you choose to do that (and we'll get to why you shouldn't in many cases shortly).

As a freelancer, the value you provide should affect the rate you earn (among other things).

Further Reading: 47 Things to Consider When Setting Your Freelance Writing Rates

If the value of your work is $150 per post to that client, then that's what you should be paid, as long as that rates fits your own target. You can be paid less if you're less experienced, if your writing isn't as strong, if you don't bring specialized knowledge to a gig... but all else equal, you should not be paid less simply because of where you live.

Clients Don't Know Your Cost of Living

Another issue with pay based on location citing cost of living as the reason is clients don't actually know your cost of living.

Tell me. Do you think you'd have a higher cost of living if you're a 20-something living in NYC, single, no kids, living with your parents or a couple of roommates... or if you're a 20-something, married, with two kids, and a homeowner a couple of hours outside that city?

Why should Writer A be paid more than Writer B just because a client makes stupid assumptions about each writer's situation? (And for the record, most assumptions are stupid, and often wrong.)

Writer A may or may not need as much as Writer B to support themselves. But the client assumes an increase in value (which doesn't exist) because they're also assuming a cost of living they know little to nothing about.

Should a freelance writer in the suburbs automatically be paid less than one who does choose to rent in the city instead? Of course not. It has nothing to do with value and everything to do with cost of living assumptions which are irrelevant anyway.

Your Situation Isn't Static

Let's say you're that suburban or rural Writer B clients assume are worth less because you have a lower cost of living. That lower cost of living isn't necessarily permanent.

What if you're in the suburbs now, but you're planning a move to a higher cost of living area? Would the value of your work suddenly change after a move? No. And why shouldn't you earn what your work is actually worth so you can set more aside and make that move you want to make sooner rather than later? (You should.)

Creating Unfair Competition

Now put on your business owner hat for a moment. If you can get the same value out of the work of two different freelancers, but you can pay one 33% less than the other (increasing your profits or decreasing your cost for other benefits you're seeking), who are you going to hire?

Business owners don't pay more just because they can. Again, we're assuming all other things are equal between these two freelance writers vying for the same gig.

So here's a buyer acting as though they care about local freelance writers by offering to pay them more. But then they immediately put them at a disadvantage by making them less cost-competitive than other applicants for the very same gig.

That helps no one. It means the lower cost of living writers don't get paid what their work as been deemed to be worth. It means the higher cost of living writer has less of a chance of landing the gig because it becomes more expensive to hire them. And the client puts themselves at risk of not choosing the best freelancer for the job because suddenly cost becomes a significant deciding factor where it shouldn't.

There's no need for any of that.

Location as a Factor in Setting Your Own Freelance Writing Rates

There's no good reason for any client to advertise a gig with pay based on location rather than skills, credentials, and value. But what about when you set your own freelance writing rates?

This is something I see more with freelancers working in international markets.

Let's say you're a freelance writer in India for example, but you mostly work with UK clients. You might be inclined to set low rates because you perhaps have a lower cost of living. You figure it's a selling advantage that will attract more clients because it's cheaper for them to work with you.

That might be true. But let me ask you:

  • Assuming your writing is equal to, or better than, those local UK writers, does your work offer less value just because of where you live? (And while I'm well aware of the stereotype and know not all overseas writers write fluently in English, I know more than a few whose English is better than most Americans and Brits I know.)
  • If you could be paid a fair market rate for what your work is worth, rather than what you think your location entitles you to, would you be happier hitting your income goals while having to take on far fewer projects?
  • If a client's primary concern is cost-cutting, are those the kinds of clients you really want to cater to in the first place?

If you're okay being paid less than you're worth, working harder than you have to, and catering to clients who don't respect the value you bring to the table, by all means do whatever you want. It's your career.

But you don't have to put up with any of that.

Think back to what I said using the US regional example too. Is your situation static? Or would you maybe like to move overseas someday? Do you want to travel more and embrace the digital nomad lifestyle? Will charging those lower rates help you do that?

Probably not.

More likely, you'll end up stuck in a rut of working with low-paying clients. And if you do ultimately decide to change your living situation, you'll have to start over in a new market targeting better clients who pay you more.

Having a low cost of living isn't something any freelance writer should be punished for. It's a benefit. Yes. Those in higher cost of living areas should be able to earn a living wage. But the benefit of a low cost of living is that you can earn as much freelancing and squirrel more away -- as an emergency fund, to travel, for retirement, or whatever you please. If you wanted location to influence your pay, you'd have settled for an ordinary day job with a local company.

And remember, undercharging can hurt your overall professional reputation. I talked about this when I explained why you should publish your freelance writing rates on your business website.

Low rates tells prospects you don't value your work as highly. And that... wait for it... leads to more stupid assumptions. They might assume your English isn't strong. Or they might think you're a beginner when you really have 10 years of experience. Or they might assume you simply can't write and will need your hand held more than most (potentially costing you gigs in the first place).

Know what they won't assume? Your value suddenly increases just because you later decide to move to a higher cost of living area.

To sum this up, the only time your cost of living or location should affect the rates you charge is when you need to charge enough to cover those costs and earn a livable wage. Anything beyond that is based on your actual income needs, your experience and credentials, and frankly what you want to earn.

Don't let clients assign you lower worth based on where you live. And don't treat yourself that shabbily either.

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Every year I try to share my business and writing goals with you here on the blog. And every quarter I post updates about what's going well (and what's not). My hope is that it will inspire some of you to focus more on planning and reflection in your own freelance writing businesses.

It's that time again.

If nothing else, know this:

Sometimes things go according to plan. Sometimes they don't. You learn. You adapt. You grow. You change. And as long as it's for the better, you're going to be just fine, no matter how disappointing short-term progress might feel. And you are not alone. You are never alone. From beginners to experienced pros alike, we all have ups and downs. And things are usually a mixed bag.

Now, to the updates...

First Quarter Summary

If you've been following the blog over the last year, it's not exactly a secret that I've been struggling with some things. What they are is irrelevant. But it's been a difficult, depressing, hell of a time. And I thought the start of 2018 would be a positive thing, leaving certain things behind.

Instead it was filled with more pain, more struggles, and an apathy unlike anything I've ever felt.

So, it's not been a great quarter. I find it difficult to care about much at all other than client projects (deadlines and someone else relying on me still do that thankfully).

Still, all wasn't lost. I got off to a good start early in January at least. And I've been withdrawn a bit lately working on some bigger things both for the sake of progress and distraction.

I'd give this quarter... a 6 out of 10? Sure, let's go with that.

Freelance Writing

Here were the main goals for the freelance writing side of my business:

  • Have client work be no more than half my working hours by the end of the first quarter.
  • Get my professional site back up to snuff.
  • Hit 80%+ my highest year's income just from client work (despite the more limited hours).

Here's what happened towards those goals:

  • I'm pretty close to the first goal. It shifts a bit week-to-week depending on new clients and any one-off work I take on.
  • I'm about 40% of the way through my site fixes as of today. The blog's on a regular schedule. Rates were adjusted. Some issues were fixed. I mostly just need to work on more copy updates. Most of it's scheduled in this week and next, so it won't be much longer.
  • Tough to tell on the last goal as it's an annual one. With me cutting client hours more later this year (if I stay on-plan), it's not as simple as estimating month-to-month. But it's certainly doable. On the plus side I'm in talks for a few big projects that should be a lot of fun (and pay well), so if even half of those pan out, it'll get me well on-track.
Web Publishing & Blogging

Here were the goals for the blogging and other web publishing I do:

  • Get to spending half my working hours on my site by year's end.
  • Finish All Freelance Writing improvements to polish off the rebranding effort.
  • Launch FreelanceWritingPros.com.
  • Finish a site split from my old small business blog (BizAmmo.com).
  • Launch / re-launch a few other blogs this year (NakedPR.com, my genealogy blog by the spring, two new "quiet" sites, and a spin-off blog related to All Freelance Writing).

Here's where things stand:

  • Again, the working hours fluctuate a bit. Earlier in the year I was close. Now I'm a little less than half, mostly because I took a week off from my sites. But it's getting there, especially since I don't need to hit the goal until the end of the year.
  • Not much progress at all on the back-end and design things for this site. I need to light a fire under me on that. Once this post goes up I'll go schedule some of these tasks in. If it's not in Todoist or my bullet journal, it just doesn't get done. (The bullet journals have been absolute lifesavers for the record. Without them, I'd probably have let that apathy overrun everything. Committing to things in pen and then not doing them makes me rather grumpy it seems, so I've taken to committing more to pen.)
  • The Freelance Writing Pros launch was delayed. I spent the better part of a month-and-a-half sick around the time I should have been finishing the launch. And I'm struggling to work that in around everything else already planned. But again, at least there's progress. A good bit of the content is ready. I mostly need to update the copy (since I'm launching it solo and it was originally a project with a partner). And I may develop a short course.
  • I did get the first launch done -- the site split from BizAmmo. You can see the new site at KissMyBiz.com. I've been wanting to do something with that older site for years, so I'm thrilled about this at least.
  • The genealogy blog re-launched but is still in desperate need of design changes. The others I haven't yet. Once FWP launches I'll work on the spin-off. Then NakedPR's resurrection. I may drop the "quiet" sites or go with others. These ones A) remind me of what's had me feeling so awfully lately so I don't much want to spend time on them, and B) aren't niches I care enough about to stay interested.
Indie Publishing / Creative Writing

Finally, here were my goals for the indie publishing and more creative side of my business:

  • Publish at least 6 short nonfiction e-books (some through All Freelance Writing) this year.
  • Get at least one poem published (in print or in a reputable online journal or magazine).
  • Get a horror story published.
  • Release one nonfiction book in print.
  • Release at least one novel (preferably in print).
  • Earn a bare minimum of $10k from e-book sales.

Here's the progress, or lack thereof:

  • I haven't put out any of the e-books yet. One is nearly finished, but it keeps getting longer on every revision round, so it's less "short" than I'd originally planned. I have a second in the works for this site as well. So you'll get a minimum of two second quarter. A short one will release when Freelance Writing Pros launches as well. So I'm a bit behind schedule but not enough that it's worrying me.
  • I've been a bit slack about poetry. Again, it's a reminder of things I try not to remember. But I don't want to let anyone or anything ruin it for me either when it's taken over 15 years to get back into writing it at all. I've only submitted one so far. I promised myself I'd do weekly submissions, but I broke that promise almost as soon as I made it. Given that it's National Poetry Month (and I'm doing a poem-a-day personal challenge for that), it seems as good a time as any to start keeping that promise to myself.
  • I haven't submitted any horror stories yet. But I'm currently revising one that I'm submitting at the end of this month for an HWA anthology. While it would be awesome to have a story chosen for it, I'm certainly not getting hopes up. I'm just going to do my best, submit, take what comes (or doesn't), and keep submitting until I get the right story in the right hands.
  • The nonfiction print book I haven't done much with yet. The thing is though, I wrote one years ago that I didn't publish. So I'm thinking my goal here will be to do extensive revisions of that (some updates are needed though most is evergreen). So it's doable by year's end for sure.
  • As for finally publishing a novel (of which I've written several), this is an area where I've been pretty happy with my progress. A lot of what I've done while keeping quieter and withdrawing has been throwing myself into a murder mystery I'd written that was in desperate need of revisions. They turned into much heavier revisions than expected -- I wrote out two characters (including the intended killer), and I'm working on improving character development for the rest. I'm still having doubts about the murder method, so another key element might change. In spite of that, I feel pretty good about how things are coming together. I don't have a great feel on timing yet because I don't know how many more revision rounds I'll need. But with a lot of hard work and a little luck, I think there's a good chance of hitting this goal as of now.
  • Finally, the $10k income goal... I guess it would help if I actually released a new e-book, huh? I'll have to get on that. I'm not worried about this goal. If I publish even half the planned e-books, this will be an easy target for me to hit, and if anything I probably set much too low of a goal. So this goal might change mid-year.

And, that is that. As awful as I feel about this first quarter, going through the list here actually helped me realize I wasn't as off-course as I thought. That is something to celebrate. And even if you aren't quite where you hoped to be after the first quarter, I hope you found some progress worth celebrating as well. Don't give up on your goals. Use this opportunity (and every quarter) to evaluate your progress and tweak your plans as necessary. There's still plenty of time to make something amazing of this year.

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If you blog on your professional site, chances are you're hoping to land more writing gigs from your blog. And you're not alone. The marketing benefits of blogging aren't exactly a secret.

That said, I often see freelancers start a professional blog only to give it up after a few months.

Part of the problem seems to be a matter of instant gratification -- we're so used to it (especially online) that if something doesn't provide near-immediate results, we can find it easy to walk away and try something else. It's human nature I suppose -- walking away from something as soon as it's no longer all fun and new and living up to our unrealistic expectations.

That's rarely smart. It holds us back from better things (which we only find when we put the work in).

Plus, it's a downright foolish way to run a business. 

Rather than hanging up your blogging boots because you aren't seeing those immediate results you were hoping for, why not work to improve your blog instead? You'll build something stronger and more valuable from a marketing perspective. And you can bring in enough prospects to keep you busy, even without traditional pitching if that doesn't suit you (it certainly isn't how I prefer to land gigs).

The first step? Be realistic about what a blog can do. 

For example, you can't expect to write a handful of posts and have dozens of prospects beating down a path to your door immediately as a result.

Blogging is a cumulative marketing tool. And while every post is a promotional opportunity in its own right, the longer you stick with it the harder your collective blog will work for you. But if you want to get there, you need to take it on a post-by-post basis and make the most of everything you write.

You can improve your freelance writer blog and its ability to attract and convert prospects with five simple steps.

1. Have a goal for every post.

Remember that your professional blog is about clients and prospects -- not you. So while it's okay to occasionally post promotions or news, a blog that brings in freelance writing clients should be focused more on helpful content, giving your target clients something they want to read.

One of the best, and easiest, ways to do this is to make sure every post addresses either:

  • a problem;
  • an opportunity.

These are two sides of the same coin.

A problem is simply a negative situation your target clients are facing -- something getting between them and their goals. Your blog posts should help them overcome those problems.

An opportunity is a chance for your readers to see a benefit they currently aren't realizing. And your blog posts will help them take advantage of those circumstances.

When you give each post on your professional blog a goal that addresses one of these two things, you turn them into resources. You also get to showcase your expertise in a way that makes you not only look more authoritative, but also more trustworthy -- exactly the kind of writer clients are happy to pay good money to work with.

This often involves teaching your readers something in each post. It might also mean offering tips or advice. Or it can even mean writing informative "explainer" posts to help prospects understand blogging / copywriting / research / etc. fundamentals or certain project types.

2. Speak to your prospects.

It's not enough to teach or explain or solve a problem though. If you want your blog posts to help you land freelance writing gigs, it helps to put a bit of yourself into them.

What I mean by that is write like you speak (at least to some degree). Write as if you're speaking directly to your prospects -- to that one individual reader in the moment.

Why?

It's about building trust by giving potential clients a glimpse of what you might be like to interact with one-on-one if they decide to work with you.

Not used to writing in this style? Here's an easy way to give it a try:

Pretend the problem or opportunity your post tackles came to you in the form of a prospect's question via email. Write as if you were responding to that email. It can help you get the POV and tone down quickly in the way you would actually speak to clients. Then you can expand upon that and format the post in revisions.

3. Include a call-to-action (CTA).

Now let's say you've written an amazing blog post. It solves a very real problem your freelance writing prospects face. It's written in a style that speaks to them and that they find appealing.

Does that mean your reader is going to be left thinking about hiring you?

No.

Leave readers hanging after giving them the content they came for in the moment, and they might just close the page and move on to the next thing they wanted to do, or read, or look up.

If you want prospects to hire you after reading a blog post, tell them what you want them to do.

Ask them to contact you. Offer to give them a quote on a service related to that post (ideally every post will be related to a specific service you offer). Tell them you're the writer to carry out the solution you proposed in your article.

Close your posts by prompting your reader to take action. That's how you go from having a casual reader or passerby and end up with a warm lead ready to reach out and hire you.

4. Optimize your post.

Maybe you have the perfect post. It solves a problem or helps the reader explore a rewarding opportunity. Your style is right-on for your target market. You have a CTA that you're confident will drive conversions.

So what?

How valuable is that post if you don't get eyes on it?

No. Scratch that.

How valuable is that post if you don't the the right eyes on it?

That's where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in. And it's one of the places where I often see freelancers stall. But if you write posts, and you don't get that post in front of people looking to hire writers like you, then why are you wasting your time?

A professional blog isn't an exercise in ego. It's a tool. And one of the best ways to use that tool is to target every post to a different keyword phrase potential clients might use when searching for a writer. This way, when they search Google looking for a copywriter / blogger / whatever-kind-of-writer-you-are in their industry, there you'll be.

When you optimize your posts and get them ranking well in Google, they won't provide immediate traffic. Those rankings can take time. But once you do earn them, they'll continually bring in new leads.

Now multiply that by a post per week for a year.

Sometimes ranking for a single keyword phrase will bring in more leads than you could even take on (what happened with my site for years). And sometimes you'll target more keywords that only bring in a lead or two per month (and yes, some will flop).

But when you have a dozen or so posts all bringing in a lead or two each month for pro-level projects (not piddly one-off gigs), that can also work out to more leads than you can take on. And that not only leaves you in a comfortable place, but it gives you the ability to be even more choosy about the projects you want to take on and the people you want to work with.

Optimize your posts for search engines. Every one of them.

5. Promote your post.

If you can get your professional blog posts ranking well in search results, that's great. But like I said earlier, it can also take time. And this is the other place where I see writers give up too soon on their business blogs.

Sometimes optimizing posts is all a freelancer does, expecting leads to start flowing in. And in time they might. But that isn't the only kind of promotion you can (or should) do.

Again, you have to get your blog posts in front of the eyes of potential clients if you want that blog to be an effective marketing tool. So after you've written and published a helpful, informative, appealing, high-converting blog post, get out there and actively promote it.

If your social media profiles are focused on your professional network (with potential clients, not colleagues), promote your post there.

You can have an email subscription option available to put your posts in your prospects' inboxes (just convince them to subscribe on your site).

If you can do so tastefully, you could even use a particular blog post as a reason to reconnect with a former client (share something you think they'd love), or you could do similar by including custom content recommendations in email pitches to new potential clients.

Your blog goes hand-in-hand with your overall network and visibility. The more you put into building a network and connecting with potential clients, the more prospects you can get each post in front of. And the better your blog, the more it can do to help you expand that network and, ultimately, convert those prospects into paying clients. But don't think of it as a Catch-22 where you need one to build the other. Think of them as two tools at their best when you build them concurrently.

It can sound like a lot to think about -- what each post should revolve around, having a direct call-to-action for every one, optimizing your content, and actively promoting it for the quickest returns. But once you put together a system that works for you, and you get in the habit of sticking to it on a regular basis, it'll start to feel like second nature.

That's the gist of what each blog post on your professional blog needs to do. Are yours?

Do you have any additional steps you include to land more writing gigs from your blog? Tell me about them in the comments.

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