Emergency Help for Freelance Writers: My Top 7 Answer Posts

Carol Tice

Urgent care help for freelance writers. Makealivingwriting.com

When you’ve created over 900 posts full of free help for freelance writers, it’s hard to remember every single post. Becomes a bit of a blur!

But a few posts stand out in my memory, because I keep sending their links out to struggling writers, week after week. They’re posts that address a writer’s critical need to understand some aspect of freelancing.

You’ve got urgent questions about how to make it as a freelance writer — and these are the posts that deliver the answers.

I can’t remember where I put my sweater half the time these days, but there are a few key posts that come easily to mind, because I find myself sending writers off to read them again and again.

After nearly a decade (!) writing this blog to provide help for freelance writers, these seven posts seem to address the most common problems freelancers face:

1. How to Figure Out Your Best Freelance Writing Niche

I often hear from writers who’ve spent a year staring at their bedroom wall, imagining themselves as freelance writers. They finally emerge and announce, “I’ve decided upon healthcare as my writing niche.” (Or finance, pets, parenting, real estate, or whatever.) And it makes me wanna scream.

That’s not how you find your most lucrative writing niche. This post describes how it really works.

2. The New Freelance Writer’s Quick-and-Simple Guide to Getting Started

Probably the top question I’m asked is, “How do I get started?” So I finally did a post to provide this kind of help for freelance writers. It outlines the basic time-saving steps that make for a rapid launch. Spoiler alert: Those steps don’t include joining UpWork or Fiverr.

3. The Deadly Math Mistake That Will Make Your Freelance Business Fail

Many freelance writers make bad assumptions about pay when they get into this line of work — and these errors can leave you broke and crawling back to take another hated day job. This post lays out the basics of how to calculate what you really need to earn as a freelance writer (a topic we delve into in detail in the first session of my upcoming Close the Sale bootcamp).

4. Earn Money Online: 92 Websites That Pay

My reader feedback tells me the #1 service I can provide on this blog is to connect writers directly with paying markets. That’s why we’ve been publishing a growing number of different lists of paying websites each year, including an annual ‘big list.’ This link is to the most recent one.

Stay tuned for another market list soon! I say, if you’re going to ‘guest post for exposure,’ why not also earn a paycheck for it?

5. Watch Out For This Income-Killing Online Writing Scam

Scam-busting is a regular feature here on the blog, which I consider a public service to the writer community. (See all the exposés here.)

This particular example goes out (almost daily) to prospective clients who email me each week, asking if I would take $50 or $100 to slip a link about them into a Forbes post. Or better yet, to write a whole post about them on a major site and pass it off as something I independently found interesting, as a reporter.

If you’re offered any of these career-ending ‘opportunities’ to torch your hard-won reputation for a pittance, you can send those gray-hat prospects to this link.

6. 3 Simple Ways to Find Better-Paying Freelance Writing Jobs

I wrote this one quite a long time ago. But it continues to offer my best basic primer on how to quickly leave the poverty mindset behind and discover where the real money is in freelance writing.

7. 5 Ways to Get Your Flaky Freelance Client to Pay

Next to death and taxes, nothing is so certain in freelance writing as that you’ll occasionally get a client who owes you a payment — and suddenly stops returning your calls. Recently, I’ve seen more than one writer use these tips to get their check.

More Get-Started Help for Freelance Writers

If you need more, I’ve organized a whole page of my top resources for new freelance writers. But these are the posts I use most often, to quickly fill writers in on the realities of freelancing.

What freelancing resources do you need? If these posts don’t cover it, leave me your question in the comments.

Start Here: Tips from 40 Freelance Writers



  1. Tina O'Reilly

    These were all great posts. 🙂 I’ve been following your blog for years and you’re such an inspiration for all writers. Thanks so much for helping other writers.

    • Manoj

      Thanks Carol for such great posts…

  2. Raquel

    Thanks Carol. I have been feeling discouraged and overwhelmed lately, so I am going to go through this list and learn learn learn.

    • Carol Tice

      Enjoy! It’s sort of a little primer on how to avoid some of the top problems.

  3. Amanda

    Thanks for this, Carol. Rereading the post on how to find your niche was really helpful to me. I feel like I need to have it all figured out before I start, but I know that isn’t how freelancing (or life, for that matter) actually works. I’m looking forward to the upcoming “guest post for exposure” list.

    • Carol Tice

      Hm? Not sure what you mean on guest post for exposure — I publish lists of blogs and websites that PAY. Not free guest posting opportunities.

      • Amanda

        I was referring to the upcoming post you mentioned in #4. Maybe I’m not understanding what you mean, though.

        • Carol Tice

          Oh wait, I get it now — reread the post. 😉 Just to clarify, all my lists ARE of markets that pay. Appearing on them definitely gives you good exposure, and I know writers who find those posts are a steady source of referrals. My point is, why not get paid for those guest posts? I encourage writers to not write for free if they could be getting paid for it.

  4. Kaitlin Morrison

    Thanks for this list, Carol! Really great tools here.

  5. Tanya

    This is a great list of helpful articles for any writing getting started! Thanks 🙂

  6. Neal Eckert

    What a clever idea to do a post like this. In my opinion, you could get away with a post with links to older ones at least once a month.

    It can be challenging on blogs with so much info to find what’s needed. I’ve read some of these in the past but they eventually got buried in the pile. Thanks for highlighting them again, Carol!

    I liked these articles (especially numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 🙂 ).

    • Carol Tice

      I actually don’t think of it as ‘getting away’ with anything — I think of these sorts of link roundups as a form of public service.

      When there are 900 posts, we know it’s getting harder and harder to wade through. That’s also why I’m building the cornerstone content pages under ‘Start Here’ — to help new visitors cut straight to my best stuff on a topic.

      Believe we’re currently doing one about every other month, but that may soon change…was just meeting with my team and considering doing more posts per month again. 😉

      • Neal Eckert

        Agreed, Carol. I know that would be helpful to a lot of people. 🙂

  7. Jordan Mitchell

    Thanks for the roundup, Carol! Posts like these are some of my faves because they put all the good stuff in one place.

    I remember post #1. It encouraged me to just jump in and write even though I didn’t quite know my niche. Since that article, I’ve changed niches 3-4 times. Some may say that’s fickle, but I’ve just been following the lucrative gigs and seeing what works (and pays)!

    Thanks again!

    • Carol Tice

      Hey — I’m a fan of following the money, so I love it. 😉

  8. Kevin Reid

    Thanks for the great roundup Carol, I have been wondering how to put myself on the right writing career path. This post made it all clear for me – thank you a lot!


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