Why You Might Be Losing Gigs without Even Knowing It and What to Do to Fix It

©iStock.com/feedough

©iStock.com/feedough

Are you getting enough freelance writing work? Do you apply for gig after gig, but never receive an answer?

If you can relate, you could be alienating your prospective clients without realizing it. (Don’t worry. Most freelance writers face this problem sooner or later.)

The sad truth is that a prospect who passes you by generally won’t explain what turned them away. As a writer, you’re left scratching your head and trying to figure out what you’ve done wrong.

In this post, I address over seven reasons a prospective client might pass you by.

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Learn How to Write Story Ideas that Don’t Suck… For Free

Register Now for Our Free Event for Writers

Are your pitches to editors getting the attention they deserve?

If they aren’t, the problem could be your ideas. If you don’t have a great idea, you won’t get the gig. Period.

Fortunately, you can improve your story ideas and learn to write better pitches.

When I learned that writers could listen in to the first session of The Freelance Writer’s Pitch Clinic for free (affiliate link), I was excited. I know this clinic is just what many writers need to take their writing business to the next level. Now you can hear the first session at no cost.

The free session is just the first part of a special clinic on how to write effective pitches from Carol Tice and Linda Formacelli. I’m very familiar with Carol’s courses and ebooks. So, I can recommend this free event (and the rest of the pitch clinic) without reservation.

Disclosures: I am an affiliate for Useful Writing Courses. This post has affiliate links. I was not paid to write this post and the post reflects my honest opinion. I have previously worked on an ebook and a webinar with Carol Tice.

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How to Grab and Hold Your Reader’s Attention Online

Hold Attention

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Mere seconds. That’s all it takes to lose the attention of someone who comes to your website. Remember, your competitor is just a mouse click away.

You see, we online readers are a fickle bunch. And we’re in a hurry. It takes a lot to grab and hold our attention.

Reading something online is a lot different than picking up a book, magazine, or a newspaper.

Unlike with traditional media, the Internet literally puts a wealth of information at a reader’s fingertips. That’s why I stated earlier that your competitor is just a mouse click away.

It takes a special kind of writing to grab and hold your reader’s attention when you publish your information online. In this post, I share five elements that will help you keep your readers focused on your story.

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What Is Scannable Content and How to Write It If You Publish Online

scannable copy

©Laura Spencer

Do your posts and articles look like college term papers? If they do, you’re making a big mistake (and your web traffic probably shows it).

Not writing scannable content just may be the number one rookie writer mistake new writers make.

Don’t worry. If you’re making this mistake, you’re not alone. I made it myself years ago when I transitioned from technical writing to web writing.

Learning how to make your articles and posts scannable is not difficult.

In this post, I share ten elements that will help make your online posts and articles more scannable.

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Why You Should Get Out of Your Pajamas and Out of Your House Today

©iStock.com/erikreis

©iStock.com/erikreis

Ahh, the freelance writer.

Bleary eyed, day after day he or she sits at home staring at the computer, clad only in a pair of scruffy (and somewhat smelly) pajamas. Alone.

If the freelancer is a guy, it’s been at least a week since he shaved. And of course, a female freelancer wears no makeup.

That is the stereotype anyway. Everyone knows that freelance writers rarely leave home and have poor personal hygiene, right?

If truth be told, there have been days when I’ve worked in my pajamas. But I don’t do that often, do you know why?

I’ve found that I feel more professional and do better work when I dress for my workday–even when I work from home. My guess is that the same is true for you.

(By dressing for my day, I don’t mean formal attire. Most days I don a clean tee-shirt and a pair of jeans. I’m still all about comfort.)

In this post, I share three reasons why you should get out of your pajamas and out of your home office.

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What Is the Difference Between an Article and a Blog Post? (Revisited)

article-blog-posts

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Do you write articles, blog posts, or both?

Many writers and their clients don’t know how to answer this question. That’s because the line between an article and a blog post has become blurry over the past decade.

Some online publications started as blogs and some publish blog posts and articles side by side. No wonder there’s such confusion.

If writers and publishers don’t fully understand the difference between the two, imagine the confusion in the mind of the average consumer.

As writers, we need to understand which type of piece we are being asked to write.

I first explored the difference between articles and blog posts four years ago. Since I first wrote about the topic, the line between the two types of writing has become even more blurry.

In this post, I’ll take another look at the differences between an article and a blog post. I’ll also share my opinion on what that difference means for writers and what writers should do about it.

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10 Freelance Writing Money Traps and How to Avoid Them

Freelance Money Traps

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What causes a freelance writer to go out of business?

There are many answers to that question, but money problems are high on the list. Lots of freelance writers struggle with their finances.

Freelancing is different than working for an employer. Those differences take many freelancers by surprise. They can lead to some unpleasant financial situations.

I call those unpleasant financial surprises money traps. A freelancer experiencing financial difficulty can feel trapped.

In this post, I share ten common freelance writing money traps and explain how freelance writers can avoid them.

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6 Steps for Managing Your Time as a Writer

Writer Time Management

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Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day.

So why do some writers accomplish so much more than others?

The answer is better time management.

If you’re a new freelance writer, the demands on your time may surprise you. You expect to have more time as freelancer. What you don’t expect is that you have to manage your time well to achieve that goal.

Of course, if you’ve been a freelance writer for a while you already understand the demands freelancing can place on your time.

Freelance writing is about more than just writing all day. It’s also about running a business.

In this post, I provide six easy steps for writers to manage their time.

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Has Your Content Strategy Lost Its Focus? Here’s How to Tell

content-focus

©Laura Spencer

You used to have a great blog. You received several thousand views every day and dozens of comments on every post.

But something happened. Your audience has left. And so has your enthusiasm for your blog.

I’ve seen this happen time and time again. Great blogs become good blogs, then okay blogs, and then fade away. That’s one of the reasons I publish blogging tips here on WritingThoughts.

I’m sure you can think of a few blogs that you once loved, but now no longer exist. It’s sad, because it doesn’t have to happen.

The reason blogs decline is often a lack of focus in content strategy. (Yes, your blog needs a content strategy.)

In this post, I’ll share eight of the ways that a blog’s content strategy can go wrong.

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