Writing Contest: Tell Us What You’ve Learned to Win

Evan Jensen

It’s time for a writing contest. Want to win some awesome prizes?

It all started more than a decade ago. The economy sucked. Newspaper layoffs were a regular thing. And many freelance writers were struggling to make a living writing. Sound familiar?

As a longtime business reporter, Carol Tice got hit with one of those pink slips, too. But she wasn’t about to let her writing career go down in flames.

She hustled. She pitched editors and marketing directors. She grew her network online and offline. She juggled freelancing with taking care of kids. Even the uneasiness of using new tech tools and software couldn’t stop her.

She woke up every day to this reminder: “Take the attitude that you are an unstoppable force of nature, and you won’t give up until you’ve got your freelance writing biz earning what you need.”

And you know what happened? All that hustle helped her become a six-figure freelancer.

But she noticed other writers were falling for scams, or getting stuck writing for peanuts for content mills. And that made her M A D.

Then, Carol launched this blog, to help other writers move up and earn more. And after publishing more than 1,200 blog posts, Make a Living Writing has helped thousands of writers achieve success.

What have you learned from Make a Living Writing? Read on for writing contest details and prizes.

Enter to win the Make a Living Writing contest

Whether you’re new to Make a Living Writing, or you’ve been reading the blog for a while. you can enter the writing contest. We want to know how the blog has helped you.

Or if you’re here looking for help, and you’re…

Ready to enter the writing contest?

We want to know how Make a Living Writing has helped you win at freelancing, land clients, make more money, maybe even quit your day job.

  • Is there a specific blog post that helped you get started, move up or earn more?
  • What piece of advice from the blog has helped you the most?
  • Is the blog a source of motivation to help you be a better freelancer?
  • How has Make a Living writing changed your freelance career?

Here’s an example:

I made an ugly exit from newspapers after my publisher refused to raise my $38K salary as an editor and general manager of a community newspaper.

It was bad. I even swore off writing for a while. I thought newspaper journalism was my career path, and now it seemed to be over. But if you really want to be a writer, you’ll find a way.

When I came back to writing, I wasn’t having a lot of success landing assignments that paid decent rates. And that’s when I found Make a Living Writing and Carol’s e-book How to Get Great Freelance Clients.

I had the writing skills. But I didn’t have the marketing skills. Carol’s advice from the blog, and inside the Freelance Writers Den, showed me how it’s done.

Make a Living Writing and other resources opened my eyes to what’s possible, changed the way I was pitching, improved my response rate dramatically, and help me start landing better-paying clients. I’ve even been able to use those skills to help other writers. And about a year and a half ago, I quit my day job as a health and marketing writer for full-time freelancing.”

-Evan Jensen

Writing contest rules: Share your success story

  • Tell us what you’ve learned from Make a Living Writing for a chance to win
  • Only one entry per person.
  • Contest ends Wednesday, May 12, at 11:59 p.m.
  • We’ll review all the submissions and announce the winners on the blog and by email by May 20.

Prizes for the best writing contest submission

  • Grand prize: Two, 40-minute 1:1 coaching sessions with Carol Tice: $500 value
  • Runner up 1: A 20-minute flash-coaching session with Carol Tice + Pitching 101: $200 value
  • Runner up 2: A copy of 11 freelance writing e-books by Carol Tice + One FREE month in the Freelance Writers Den: $125 value

Let’s go! Can’t wait to hear how this blog has helped your career.

What have you learned from Make a Living Writing? Share your story in the comments below for a chance to win.

Free E-Book for Writers: Recession-Proof Freelancer: A 12-Point Plan for Thriving in Hard Times. MakeaLivingWriting.com

28 Comments

  1. Sheryl Williams

    Here’s what I learned from the Make A Living Writing blog:

    Carol Tice is a genius!

    And it doesn’t pay to be a lone wolf. In other words, it pays actual money to be part of a writing community (provided that you also put in the work and make an effort to connect with peers).

    There is something in the way the material is presented in the “Get Your First Freelance Writing Jobs” self-study course, it finally clicked for me — working alone in isolation [pun intended] is not the way to become a successful freelance writer.

    I made my way to the Make A Living Writing blog from inside the Freelance Writer’s Den. So this is not my first time as a cub in “the den” (I remember “cartoon Carol”, can’t say that I’m sorry to see her go). I’m loving the new look!

    When I saw the offer to join “the den” for a free week, I restarted my membership. It was a no-brainer, the offer was like accepting an open extended hand. I have committed to making the most of my time on lock-down during the COVID crisis. And I’m finding the Make A Living Writing blog is the guidance that will keep me out of the “race to the bottom” in the Fivver/Upwork scene.

    Carol’s voice resonates with me. I couldn’t have been more surprised when I sat down and read The Recession-Proof Freelancer in one sitting!

    I too lost my job in the financial sector when the economy melted down in 2008. So I have a great deal of confidence in the fact that I’m learning from someone who has gone through a crisis before and came out to thrive on the other side of it. She’s got the footsteps that I want to follow.

    Unlike my previous membership this time I’ve introduced myself in the writing community and I will be way more active in the forums! I’m doing my “homework” on picking a niche. Another light bulb moment, “riches in the niches” now, I get it and feel hopeful about my copywriting future.

    Reply
  2. Patricia Salem

    Carol’s website, Make a Living Writing, was my guidebook when I first transitioned to freelance writing nearly eight years ago. I was living in Mexico, so I could afford to work for myself with the low cost of living there, after bottoming out in the recession. I had a business in the horse industry that involved commuting back and forth over the border, and the drive time and border waits were killing me, so I slowly picked up writing work to eventually go full time working from home. Carol’s website was instrumental in helping me navigate those early days as a writer.

    It’s hard to nail down just one key lesson I’ve learned from her; there are three I come back to again and again. The first is you can’t settle for too much low-paying work, or you get on a hamster wheel where you’re spending so many hours every day doing mill assignments that you have no time or energy left to go after bigger fish. So, you have to figure out how to make time for moving up the ladder.

    As you get better clients, you can let go of those that don’t meet your revenue goals. Yes, you do need to start somewhere, especially if you’re new to writing and you’re the sole breadwinner in your household or don’t have a big financial cushion. But balancing on the tightrope of earning a living and advancing your career has to be accomplished. If you, say, work extra one week, you can create a bit of leeway to spend the next week pursuing more lucrative work.

    This leads to the second essential bit of wisdom I’ve gleaned from Carol, which is that you need to put in the time and creativity to pitch potential clients. Here is where Carol’s website and courses over the years have really helped me. I’ve learned how to make better use of LinkedIn, how to write client proposals, and what types of content customers might need that I hadn’t explored yet. Figure out clients’ pain points, offer a solution, and you can often pick up new work.

    As Carol always reminds writers, it’s a numbers game, so the more you pitch, the better your chances of ultimately getting a yes. I hit a bad patch a couple of years ago where a big client lost their VC funding, leaving me without about half my income (I know, too many eggs in one basket). I worked connections furiously, as well as did a lot of uncomfortable cold pitching. It paid off: I picked up some small but loyal private clients, got more work through a reliable broker that pays way above mill rates, and landed a spot with a major NYC ghostwriting agency that has given me several four- and five-figure book writing gigs.

    Finally–and this is crucial right now during the pandemic–Carol has been inspirational in helping me realize that there are always writing opportunities out there, even during economic downturns. There are businesses that continue to thrive or capitalize on the economy. A smart writer can identify those and figure out how to get hired when everyone else is moaning about the loss of work.

    I highly recommend reading her book “The Recession-Proof Freelancer” for tips and motivation on how to be more enterprising during a challenging period. I’m once again having to replace some lost income, as the sports journalism work I do for part of my revenue is on hold during coronavirus restrictions. This time, though, instead of panicking like I’ve done in the past, I feel confident I can not only replace that income but increase my earnings with new clients and larger projects. Just since a quick Facebook session with Carol two weeks ago, I got invited to pitch an editor at the NYT, after connecting with her on social media. I don’t know if anything will come of it yet, but the experience tells me I’m heading in the right direction and that this is the year to deepen my portfolio and build my bank account.

    Thanks, Carol, for all your help over the years and for leading by example!

    Reply

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