The 10 Best Articles for Writers (and Bloggers!) – November 2011

Carol Tice

I’m apparently in a practical mood this month — large number of “how-to” posts here for freelance writers and bloggers looking to learn more about their craft. Our winners this month are a tasty mix of well-known masters and fresh faces.


  1. The 3-Step Cure for No-Sales Syndrome by Sonia Simone on Copyblogger. Some of the advice in this great post, I find myself saying to people all the time. I recently had a prospect with a 12,000-person email list ask me what they should be blogging about. “Have you asked your audience what they want from you?” I said. They hadn’t. Shoulda read this post. Read it now, and think about how it applies to pitching your freelance writing services.
  2. A New Way to Use Guest Blogging to Grow Your Blog by Onibalusi Bamidele of YoungPrePro, on Bloggingtips. If you don’t know Oni yet, he’s a very sharp teenage African blogger — just check out his Top 10 Blogs for Writers nominations over on Write to Done (see below for more info on that). Here, Oni documents the results of a guest post-a-thon he did recently.
  3. First, ten by Seth Godin on Seth’s blog. I’m not sure I’ve had Seth on my top 10 lists yet — what an oversight! I love the conciseness of Seth’s posts…still working on getting my own wordcount down. This post sums up pretty much all you need to know about product development in nine paragraphs.
  4. How to Change from a Social Media User Into a Social Media Leader by Dave Larson, @TweetSmarter, on KISSMetrics. Now that I’ve just finished up a social-media basics Webinar to conclude my How to Make Good Money Writing Online bootcamp, this post looks even more helpful than when I first read it. A great, quick advanced course on how to make your social media time truly productive.
  5. How to Create an Immersive Blog Experience by Marko Saric on How to Make My Blog. Here’s a new site (to me, anyway) that I discovered recently. I loved this post — there’s even demo videos that show you his blogging practices in action. NOTE: This post is no longer live.
  6. How to Show (Not Tell) – a Writing Lesson from John LeCarré by Mary Jaksch on Write to Done. I was browsing all the wonderful nominations for Top 10 Blogs for Writers 2012 this blog got (thanks all — and feel free to add yours, if you haven’t nominated yet!), when this post arrived on top of it. I think I don’t talk enough about writing skill and writing style around here, and reading this post will go a long way to make up that deficit. This post is also a great example of how we can draw ideas from whatever we’re doing in our personal lives to create a great post.
  7. How to Work From Home Without Going Insane by David Tate on Lifehacker. We can’t laugh enough in our precious, short time here on Earth, so I always love great, funny posts. This one outlines all the rewards and problems of being a home-based solopreneur in a sharp comedic style. I don’t write funny all that well or often, so I’m particular to posts that really pull it off.
  8. Most Freelance Writers Suck – 52 Ways to Make Sure That You Don’t! by Ruth Zive on The Freelance Writing Blog. Ruth’s been hanging around this blog, and in Freelance Writers Den, and learning tons about what makes a rippingly useful blog post and a sharp blog headline — read the results here. NOTE: The Freelance Writing Blog is no longer active.
  9. Need to Create? Get a Constraint by Jonah Lehrer on This fascinating post delves into the science behind a syndrome I discovered myself, both as a staff writer and a freelancer: Nothing concentrates the mind like a limit say, like, a deadline. Without that, your 500-word article could take two months to get done, hmm? Sort of explains how it is that some of us freelancers with three kids and a range of other responsibilities can still end up more productive than the rest of our writer friends.
  10. One Big Reason Why Commercial Writing Pays Better and Resists “Off-Shoring” (and Why this Other Kind of Writing Doesn’t…) by Peter Bowerman on The Well-Fed Writer. Fascinating dissection of what writing types will continue to earn American writers big money, and exactly why. A roadmap for anyone wondering how to keep earning well as the downturn drags on…and on…and on.

Read any good articles for writers lately? Feel free to add more links in the comments.

Tune in next month, when I unveil my first-ever Best Articles for Writers of the Year post, where I’ll pick the best articles from all my monthly compendiums — plus maybe a pick or two from December — to create one best-of-the-best list. If you don’t already, subscribe and you won’t miss it.



  1. Annabel Candy, Successful Blogging

    Thanks for the round up Carol:)

    I haven’t read any of those which is crazy as I’m constantly reading blogs. I know the first six authors and blogs though. I love writing tips by Jeff Goins and am also inspired by writers Leo Babauta, Johnathan Fields and Penelope Trunk.

    The very best writing tips I had this year came from Anne Patchett at an author talk I went to. I wrote about in on my blog but one of her top tips was “don’t have children.”

    Lol, too late for me I’m afraid but that’s not going to stop me:)

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Annabel! Thanks for visiting my blog. There’s so much out there to learn from online, it’s hard to get to it all. No doubt I might have made some other choices if I had time to get through my 150+ newsletter backlog that’s sitting in one of my email folders right now 😉

      I just learned about Jeff Goins this week looking through the Top 10 Blogs for Writers nominees…seems like he’s got good stuff! I just saw Jonathan Fields recently at SOBCon and always find his advice super-useful.

      That warning is 3x too late for me!

  2. Kiesha

    Hi Carol,

    These are definitely some timely articles – especially “Need to Create? Get a Constraint.” I was just talking to someone yesterday about how when it seems like I get more accomplished when I have too much to do and a limited about of time. When I have no deadline, not much gets done. It’s weird – you think if you have more time, you’d more not less, right?

    Thanks for sharing these great articles.

    • Carol Tice

      I consider it a law of physics — “The time required to complete an assignment expands to fill all the available time.” You have less available time, and it gets done faster.

  3. Ruth Zive

    Carol, thanks for including my post – indeed, I’ve learned so much from you!

    I can’t wait to check out the other posts on this list (that I haven’t read already) – especially #7! I’ve been feeling a bit insane lately!

  4. Onibalusi Bamidele

    These are some awesome lists of articles, and somehow, I haven’t read a lot of them!

    I’ll be adding them to my reading list, and I’m sure I’ll learn a great deal from them all.

    Thanks also for linking to my article on BloggingTips! I really appreciate it 🙂

    • Carol Tice

      Thanks Oni! I can’t wait to do the year-end compilation — should be a killer list.

  5. Jeanne H

    #7 reminded me of this funny post from The Oatmeal.

    All of his work is funny, but this post is about running ultramarathons (50+ miles) in order to combat “computer guy” shape.

    • Jeanne H

      I should mention there is some “blue” language, but only to illustrate a hilarious point. I hope it’s ok!

      • Carol Tice

        As a reader of Toy With Me and other risque-humor sites, I am certainly not going to object!

  6. Josh Sarz

    Thanks for the great collection there Carol. These will definitely help writers on their way to awesomeness.

  7. Terri Forehand

    Great list of articles, some blogs I follow, others I didn’t know about. I think it is the most challenging to find more followers to your blog and then to keep them coming back with fresh content. Thanks for sharing.

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