Blog Archives

What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What Is Copywriting? The How-To Guide for Freelancers. Makealivingwriting.com

It’s a question so simple, you might think everyone already knows the answer: What is copywriting?

But in my decade-plus helping newbie writers launch their freelance careers, I’ve learned not to assume. People come from all walks of life into freelance writing, and aren’t born knowing the lingo.

When I researched this question, it got even more interesting. Because I disagreed with many of the most popular posts on the topic.

What I have for you isn’t your grandpa’s copywriting definition and description. It’s a rebel’s 21st Century copywriting definition — and a how-to guide on how to break in and do it.

How copywriting evolved

Old copy hacks will tell you copywriting is the art and science of crafting writing that sells.

They’ll tell you writing that overtly sells a product or service is copywriting — and everything else is ‘not copywriting.’

That was once true — but it isn’t any more. Because the Internet changed much of what we once knew about marketing.

I’ve got a new definition of copywriting for you, one I think is more accurate for the 21st Century marketing era we live in now.

Read on to learn what copywriting is today, how to do it — and how you can capitalize on the changes to earn well as a freelance writer.

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How to Become a Freelance Writer: The Ultimate Guide

The Ultimate Guide to How to Become a Freelance Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

Have you wondered how to become a freelance writer? This is the time of year when many writers who dream of earning their living doing what they love most finally stand up and shout, “I’m doing this!”

At the start of the year, my email inbox fills up with questions about how to get started in freelance writing. Rather than try to answer them one at a time, I’ve created an ultimate guide below, that walks you through all the common questions and gives you everything you need to know to get out there and start getting paid as a freelance writer.

Ready? This guide takes it step by step, with sections for each topic. It’s got a breezy, Q&A format, to make it easy to read through and quickly move forward with your freelancing goals.

If you’d like a copy of the whole answer sheet to keep, get a downloadable PDF by clicking here.

Ready? Let’s get you started in freelance writing:

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How U.S. Writers Can Fight AB5 and Save Independent Contractor Jobs

Fight to Save Independent Contractor Jobs. Makealivingwriting.com

Do new laws spell the end of independent contractor jobs in America — including our freelance-writing jobs?

This is the most frequently asked question I’ve had in the past few months, ever since California’s AB5 bill was passed, followed by similar proposed laws in other states.

If you’ve heard about new freelancer laws, but don’t know quite what’s going on — or wonder what you can do to protect your career and income — this post lays it out for you.

Quick version: New laws are coming online that place restrictions on who can freelance for what sort of company or organization. You need to understand what’s happening, so that you can thrive as a freelance writer.

I’ve got some action items that will help you move forward and stay in control of your freelance future. But first, let’s review what’s happened and why, so you understand the changes, and where your freelance writing biz fits into the picture.

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Freelance Writer Formula: How Simple Addition Lands Great Clients

The Freelance Writer Formula to Land Great Clients. Makealivingwriting.com

When you’re a freelance writer trying to break into a new niche, how do you solve the problem of not having the right samples?

Cry? Roll around on the floor? Host a personal pity party? Or maybe you think lamenting on social media could be the solution.
Don’t do that, OK? Those things won’t solve the problem.

Maybe you’re thinking about working for free to get a clip. That can be a calculated way to get a solid writing sample, a referral, and some additional work.

But let’s be honest, as a freelance writer you’d like to get paid for your work. Yes?
If you’ve already got some writing samples, you can totally score a gig, even if you don’t have that niche-specific experience or a similar project in your portfolio.

Seriously, you can do this. If you’re doubting yourself right now, you’re probably infected with Imposter Syndrome. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

There’s an easy way to get around the problem. I like to call it the Simple Addition Method. Here’s how it works:

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Content Writing for the Clueless: A Butt-Saving Downloadable Guide

Content Writing Guide for the Clueless. Makealivingwriting.com

You read about it everywhere, see tons of online ads for writing jobs doing it, and it’s all the buzz of the online-marketing world. But what is content writing, anyway?

If you’re new to freelance writing, you may be baffled by all the talk about ‘content marketing.’

You hear there’s lots of opportunity for content writers, but you hesitate to pitch or apply for content writing jobs, because you’re not sure you know exactly what people mean. That makes you worry you could get a content writing assignment, and then you won’t be able to pull it off.

Well, good news: This post is your content-writing primer. You should be able to go out and get content writing gigs — and confidently complete them — once you’ve read this post.

More good news: Content writing is easy, enjoyable, and can pay great. It can also be a good source of regular, ongoing writing jobs. So it’s well worth learning about the world of content marketing, and where you fit into it as a freelance writer.

Ready to learn all about it? Great!

I’m going to pull this term apart — content marketing — and train you up on each piece. So we’ll talk about content creation first, and then about the marketing side. (P.S. this post contains NO affiliate links.)

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Writing Headlines: 16 Wicked-Smart Ways to Attract More Readers

Writing Headlines the Wicked-Smart Way. Makealivingwriting.com

What’s the secret to writing headlines that engage readers, drive traffic, and get more clicks, likes, and shares?

It’s part art. It’s part science. It requires great writing skills. And if you have the ability to look inside the human psyche to figure out what keeps your readers up at night, even better.

Writing great headlines doesn’t happen by accident.

In fact, the smartest blogger in the world typically spends 2 to 3 hours writing a single headline, crafting up to 50 variations to get it right.

Ever struggle with writing headlines and just slap something together? Don’t do that, OK.

Learning to write better headlines is a valuable skill that can help you move up and earn more…a lot more.

For example: Smart Blogger CEO Jon Morrow can command $5,000 per blog post, because he knows how to write irresistible headlines that generate millions of views.

Want to learn how to write better headlines? Check out these 15 tips from the most wicked-smart blogger in the world:

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