Category: improve your writing

3 Crucial Copywriting Tips to Stand Out in a Crowded Field

3 Crucial Copywriting Tips to Stand Out in a Crowded Field

3 Keen Copywriting Tips to Create Better Content. Makealivingwriting.com.

If I had a copywriting tips guide to follow when I landed my first job, it would have saved me a lot of suffering.

Mum, dad… please look away now.

I’m afraid that my expensive university education and a degree in English didn’t prepare me to write words that sell.

When I finished school in 2001, I was lucky enough to land a copywriting job at a huge media company. And to be perfectly honest, I thought that I’d find the job pretty straightforward.

But it wasn’t. Making the transition from writing academic papers to crafting commercial copy was really hard.

The truth: I used to be quite a horrible copywriter. And I don’t mind admitting it now.

I had to learn to write differently. I studied pro writers, copywriting tips, and the best ad copy. I tested and evaluated copywriting strategies to see what worked and what didn’t. I learned how to write words that sell.

And I’m keen on helping others make a living writing. These three copywriting tips will help you create better content:

Business Writing: 11 Smart-Professor Lessons to Write Better

Business Writing: 11 Smart-Professor Lessons to Write Better

Business Writing Lessons for Freelance. Makealivingwriting.com

How do you get better at business writing?

You know…your new freelance client gives you a brief. You chat a few minutes about the project, ask questions, and get to work.

And then you have more questions, self doubt, maybe even writer’s block…

  • How do you write faster?
  • What software should you use?
  • How do you submit error-free copy?
  • Business formal or conversational style?

So many questions, your head starts to spin. Sound familiar?

How do you walk away from that client conversation with confidence you can handle their business writing project, deliver great content, and land more assignments?

The truth: It doesn’t happen overnight.

Think about it like learning to ride a bike. At first, it’s hard. Especially if you’re trying to figure it out on your own.

But you can dramatically speed up the process.

How? By learning from someone who knows the ropes, like a mentor, successful freelancer, and business writing professor.

Want to get better at business writing? Check out these smart lessons to move up and earn more.

Grammar Rules for Freelancers: An English Teacher’s Dirty Little Secret

Grammar Rules for Freelancers: An English Teacher’s Dirty Little Secret

The Dirty Little Secret About Grammar Rules

Do you ever feel conflicted about grammar rules?

I do. When I teach university English and when I write for freelance clients.

I’m torn between the need to follow all the grammar rules taught in school, and the need to break them. It’s like I’m living a double life.

On one hand, it feels like being a concert violinist, sitting stiffly in a black tuxedo on a black metal chair, violin wedged against a black bowtie, playing full concertos in the key of E minor. It’s lovely…

But I’d rather be down at the pub. Fiddling hornpipes, reels, and jigs. Stomping my foot. Jammin’ with mates on guitar. Mandolin. And whistle.

Expressive. Emotional. And free.

But if you’re always stuck on grammar rules that hold you back, you’ll never be that kind of freelance writer.

I may be a university English teacher, but if you want to be a better freelance writer, you need to know this dirty little secret about grammar rules:

Try These 7 Smart Rewrite Tricks To Build Epic Writing Skills

Try These 7 Smart Rewrite Tricks To Build Epic Writing Skills

Rewrite Tricks to Build Epic Writing Skills. Makealivingwriting.com

It’s been said that great writing isn’t about the writing — the magic is in the rewriting. None of us write a perfect first draft, so the buffing-and-polishing stage is where your piece goes from ‘yawn’ to fascinating. Over my 12 years as a staff writer, I learned some basic editing steps to take with my writing that reliably improve my work. Applying these to my articles over and over is really how I built my writing skills.

When you correct a writing error over and over in the rewrite phase, you get tired of having to make that effort, right? So you start incorporating the fix into your first draft. Soon, your work needs less rewriting. You get faster at knocking out your draft — and your hourly rate goes up.

Recently, one of my mastermind graduates asked to use her coaching time for a writing critique. Going over her draft with her reminded me of how many simple rewrite tricks I’ve picked up over the years.

It’s actually easy to spot and fix common writing errors in your own work, once you know how.

So, here’s a guide to seven ways to improve your writing with second-draft fixes:

Freelance Writing Lessons From a Rude Editor: 7 Takeaways

Freelance writing lessons from a rude editor. Makealivingwriting.com

For a while, I had a large client that hired many writers. My contact was an editor who managed the freelance staff. He was an abrupt man who spared no feelings.

At the time, I had only worked directly with clients. I could meet their goals, but my writing lacked force. I over-wrote, dismissed structure, and indulged my narcissism with unnecessary wit. I wasn’t bad, but I had that collegiate write-everything-you-can-think-of mentality.

My first experience working with a professional editor was heart-wrenching. It was a trial by fire: get better to get paid. But those lessons stuck with me and made me a better writer.

Want to improve your writing?

Avoid making the same mistakes as I did, and check out the seven hardest lessons this editor taught me:

Why I Won’t Say Whether Your Writing Is Any Good

Have you wondered if your writing is good enough to earn a living from? Many writers have emailed me asking this question. They'd like my evaluation of whether they've got what it takes. They want to know what books they should read about the craft of writing, or what...

7 Simple Fixes for the Writing Mistakes that Brand You an Amateur

Often, writers ask me if I can recommend a course for improving your writing. Most of the ones I've seen are pretty pricey. It seems like few writers want to use the method I employed to improve my writing -- writing at least three articles a week on deadline for 12...

How to Use Words

"Would you take a look at my writing and tell me if I'm good enough to do this professionally?" I got this question last week, during my marathon 5-hour free mentoring call for my blog subscribers. (Sorry to the 100+ people who couldn't get through!) I always feel...

How to Shape up Your Flabby Writing in 5 Simple Steps

The new year is finally here -- a time when many people create resolutions about losing weight. For freelance writers, it's a good time to think about a different kind of weight-loss program: One to trim flab from your writing. If you're not getting visitors to your...

Looking for writing courses & community support?

Our online community, Freelance Writers Den, was founded in 2011. Since then, we’ve helped 14,000+ writers connect with peers, improve their skills, and grow their freelance writing income.

Our lively community is stuffed with useful tools and career-building resources. Use our 24/7 forums to get your questions answered by pros. Tap our 300+ hours of self-study trainings to learn new skills.

The Den has live events and multi-week bootcamps where you can tap experts’ knowledge, an exclusive job board, accountability buddies, live chats, and more. Also, if you want feedback on your writer website, LinkedIn profile, or article draft, we’ve got you.

Visit the Freelance Writers Den site to see if we’re open for new members right now. Sign up on the waiting list if we’re not, and you’ll be first to join when we reopen (plus, you’ll get useful free resources in the meanwhile).