The Best Freelance Writing Advice I Heard All Year

Carol Tice

Heard any great writing advice lately? Makealivingwriting.comHeard any useful writing advice lately? I have.

Since July, I’ve been holding weekly live events for members of Freelance Writers Den. Each week, I invite a writing pro to guest on the podcast and share their knowledge.

This has quickly shaped up to be my favorite part of being Den Mother! I’ve gotten to chat with some of the top authors of freelance-writing advice — people I’ve long admired and thought were super-smart. They didn’t disappoint live, either — we’ve had inspiring, informational, interesting talks.

Out of more than 20 hours of chat with experts, what stands out? Here are a few snippets of the best writing advice I heard:

Sean Platt of Ghostwriter Dad on why now is the best time to be a freelance writer:

[hana-flv-player video=”http://media.makealivingwriting.com/MALWblog-Plattexcerpt.mp4″ width=”175″ height=”25″ description=”” player=”2″ autoload=”true” autoplay=”false” loop=”false” autorewind=”false” /]

(Or click here.)

Co-author of  and International Freelancers Academy’s Ed Gandia on how to make a real connection with prospects that gets you hired:

[hana-flv-player video=”http://media.makealivingwriting.com/DenOpen-warmconnect-Gandia.mp4″ width=”175″ height=”25″ description=”” player=”2″ autoload=”true” autoplay=”false” loop=”false” autorewind=”false” /]

(Or click here.)

And hot off the press from yesterday’s call, Peter Bowerman of The Well-Fed Writer on the essential elements you need to be a successful commercial freelance writer today:

[hana-flv-player video=”http://media.makealivingwriting.com/Denopen-Bowerman-cut.mp4″ width=”175″ height=”25″ description=”” player=”2″ autoload=”true” autoplay=”false” loop=”false” autorewind=”true” /]

(Or click here.)

What’s the best writing advice you’ve heard lately? Leave a comment and let us know.

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16 Comments

  1. Jasmine Evans

    I’m very new to freelance writing but I read somewhere that freelance writing takes “focus, commitment and desire.” Those three words really resonated with me and I wrote it on my white board to remind myself everyday.

    Sean Platt mentioned that become familiar with copywriting is important. How does a new writer go about doing that? Is it necessary to take online courses?

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Jasmine —

      Business writing is a huge field. If you want to focus on a specialty such as writing direct-mail marketing letters, you might want to take a class — I know AWAI does one. I have a guest post from them about what it takes to be a copywriter.

      Personally, most of what I’ve written for businesses is articles and blog posts, so I just use the journalism skills I already had.

      But I know Peter Bowerman started out in copywriting with no previous writing experience at all and just learned as he went. You can do that, too.

    • Sean

      Hi Jasmine,

      Really, the best thing to do is hit Amazon. You can learn a lot from a handful of books.

      I would start with:

      Influence by Robert Cialdini
      AdWeek by Joe Sugarman
      The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy
      Anything by David Ogilvy

      • Carol Tice

        Thanks for the book recommends, Sean! And for the great advice of your own on the podcast.

  2. Shalani

    Opening our mind especially our ear’s in every advice we might encounter in every day’s life is a better way to conduct or decide a wise decision.

    • Carol Tice

      That’s a great post from Seth I hadn’t seen before…thanks for sharing it!

  3. Marla Markman

    That was a good roundup of advice. One thing that Peter Bowerman said that really resonated with me as an editor was that if you don’t have a specialty niche but can be a writer to who turnarounds their assignments quickly–by or before the deadline–and turns in quality work that doesn’t have to go back for rewrites, that’s a niche in itself. As an editor, I always go back to the writers who possess these qualities, because those writers are few and far between.

  4. Lilla Folsom

    I was told by a very smart person that I could spend my entire life getting perfectly ready to be a writer and when I died I would still be “sharpening my pencils.” I had to prepare as well as possible (with alot of help from you guys!) and then just do it.

    • Carol Tice

      Amen to that!

  5. Elizabeth

    I think the best advice I was given was not to sit around and wait for your dream client to find you but get out there and find your dream clients!

    • Carol Tice

      Right on! I call that strategy “waiting for the luck fairy to bring you a client.” Ain’t gonna happen.

  6. Katherine Swarts

    Best advice I’ve heard recently came from Linda Formichelli’s Getting Unstuck e-book: keep trimming your to-do list. Ask yourself what you can afford NOT to do, then don’t do it.

    My own #1 time suck? All those “check this out” articles, blog links, and clip links that turn up in my e-mailbox!!! Keep in mind the Voltaire quote: “The good is the enemy of the best,” and remember that one person’s best is another’s (merely) good.

  7. Josh Sarz

    These are some really helpful recordings Carol. Thanks for sharing these.

  8. Tyler Vince

    I love Ed Gandia’s secret sauce. Heh

    • Carol Tice

      It really works — I’ve been doing something similar with my marketing emails for years, and it definitely ups your response rate.

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