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. Bonnie Chamberlain

    For more than twenty years, I worked for various companies overseeing operations and managing teams as large as 20 employees. I’ve always taken pride in my ability to be flexible and acclimate to an array of professional environments, having started in the real estate industry and later progressing to non-profit, dental, and medical organizations. Of course, while I greatly enjoy making use of my interpersonal and managerial skills, it didn’t take me long to realize that writing is where my true passion lies.

    Through the years, I created and sold multiple eBooks on Amazon, but with four daughters to support, I never felt comfortable taking the risk of venturing into the world of freelance writing full-time. However, things finally came to fruition about a year ago when my employer of six years merged with another company. Unfortunately, with that merger also went the morals and values that had made me a proud member of the team and, not willing to compromise on my ethics, I resigned.

    I left without a plan in place and, having devoted so much of my life to office work, I was truly at a loss as to how I should proceed. I was beyond excited to have the opportunity to finally pursue freelance writing, but I still questioned the financial viability of it all, especially since I had no inkling of where to even begin.

    In need of income, I quickly pursued platforms where I could begin taking work immediately. Unfortunately, that meant sacrificing large portions of the small amount I was charging to cover exorbitant platform fees while also dealing with unreasonable clients who wanted their projects completed for pennies on the dollar.

    While such platforms help pay the bills, my morale fell quickly and I was beyond discouraged when I began calculating the amount of time I would have to devote in order to meet my family’s financial needs if I continued down this path. It didn’t take but a few days to realize this wasn’t a long term solution.

    When considering the low pay after fees and the many hours I had to devote, not only to writing but to revising beyond clients’ initial requests, I found that the monetary payoff was neither sustainable nor rewarding for the amount of stress I was experiencing. Yet, with all that said, I was still incredibly grateful for the opportunity to hone my writing skills. Such platforms have ultimately given me the opportunity to gain experience with several hundred clients and learn about a multitude of topics in the process.

    These days, I no longer question my writing skills, but finding the confidence to customize a marketing plan and pitch to clients one-on-one was a whole new territory to me when I finally took the leap and left the uncertainty of other platforms behind. I was eventually introduced to Make A Living Writing, and I truly resonated with Carol’s article entitled “Escape Content Mills: 12 Practical Posts for Moving Up.”

    All of the resources within the Freelance Writer’s Den are simply phenomenal and, because of them, I have left content mills behind. Last year, I started my own freelance writing business and I now have a host of clients that I get to work with directly, covering projects I truly am passionate about while making a comfortable living at the same time.

    -Bonnie Chamberlain

    Reply
    • Judi Shimel

      Bonnie,
      It was a pleasure to read your entry.

  2. Abdul Rauf

    I’m writing from another part of the world, Pakistan. And I am a big fan of Make A Living Writing for several reasons I will discuss later in this post. For now, let me take my story off the ground by telling you the fact that in my country, almost 25% of the population lives below the poverty line. Yes, that’s where I started dreaming about not just seven-figure income but building an online business that could help more people achieve their dreams. And that’s where I started googling and stumbled upon Make A Living Writing. 

    I always wondered what distinguishes those top-notch, well-paid content writers in the industry. Carol Tice in her “Ultimate Guide to Become a Freelance Writer” at her blog Make A Living Writing cleared such questions for me. In the second part of the guide titled ‘Mindset First’, her answer to the first question explained that lack of freelance content marketing is the reason some content writers are paid less. It sorted a lot of confusion going on in my mind. She explains everything with evidence and logic in a friendly way. And that’s what makes her more trustworthy. 

    Another blog post that helped me to dream big in my content writing career, despite being extremely underpaid, was “Get Paid to Write: 26 Sites That Pay Freelancers $100+”. No, I have not used those websites to make bucks. But the post by Carol Tice gave me a brain bomb about the potential income I could earn as a content writer. Make A Living Writing helped me to boost my positivity and get inspired by the millennial writer out there. If I can get unique and practical help from her free insight on Make A Living Writing, then how would the paid and premium insight impact my life. I wonder that with fast circulating blood in my body. 

    I have been following and reading posts on Make A Living Writing regularly. It’s not just about those two posts described above, I get unique guidance from the blog continuously. I have learned that I need to work on content marketing and be a part of a thriving support community of pro content writers. The blog of Carol Tice has become my ‘go-to’ source of inspiration, productivity, and positivity. It’s not just an entry to the contest but an homage to the blog I pay! 

    Thank you, Carol, for glowing my life even in a poverty-stricken country. 

    Reply
  3. Uchenna Duru

    Writing, as old as it may be, shall remain with time and eternity; leaving one wondering as to the fate of the world without it. This thesis statement dawned on me most strongly in 2018 when I started my journey into freelance writing. Since then, I have been on and off with one content mill or the other – in the words of Carol Tice (laughs) – until the most recent experience. This involves writing assignments undercover on behalf of under-graduates in either the US or Australia. Of course, something kept feeling improper about this inside of me!

    In my quest to liberalize my options, I began another determined search to discover other ethical opportunities. While scrubbing through the options popping up on the search engine, some force I could not tell made me click on Make a Living Writing. This was how my destiny crossed paths with the Den Mother, Carol Tice.

    The Hard Lessons
    While reading her blogs, I stumbled upon a profound statement by Carol questioning the ethicality of writing someone else’s assignments. This made my mind ‘stammer’ like the good old record player stylus encountering a crack. It was a bit hard to manage the import of that statement for a few days. Then, I was finally compelled by conscience to confront my editorial manager with the ethicality question over jobs done on the platform – extracting an explanation from him in the process.

    In that singular read, the den mother opened my eyes to wonderful but untapped opportunities for freelance writers. My interest became overly rekindled and I scratched the more for mind-blowing revelations.

    I can’t possibly recall at once all the lessons I have learned in so short a time. I do, however, remember prompters like ‘How can Freelancers Position Themselves for Success?’, ‘Pitching Profitable Companies’, ‘How to do Social Media Outreach’, etc.

    As it stands, there’s hardly a day that I won’t learn stuff from Make a Living Writing. And I just hit the climax recently by signing up for the Writer’s Den. The sweetest lesson I have learned so far is that freelance writing is not doomed with penny-type rewards. It can be highly rewarding if armed with great skills as well as the right clues and ideas.

    In Conclusion
    Writing is arguably the oldest tradition that has stuck with mankind while delivering soothing rewards for highly skilled and informed writers. Many freelance writers are giving up on writing prospects simply because they have been dealing with the wrong assignments from exploiting clients and/or employers.

    Fortunately, Make a Living Writing (MLW) has come to the rescue. MLW has got all the keys and magic to successful and enriching freelance writing; what with the possibility that one can reach their zenith as a freelance writer while writing with scruples.

    Thanks to the ingenuity and forthrightness of Carol Tice, freelance writers can now make writing a full-time business by joining the Writer’s Den, an offshoot of Make a Living Writing.

    Reply
    • Molly Miller

      Uchenna… OMGosh what a wonderful lift to read the spirit of writing in your words… and your post follows all the guidelines I consider tops for a freelance writer. You wrote for this contest–clearly listing specific concepts and posts and how they have marketedly changed you, given you a positive and experienced view of a freelance writer’s life, and divided into three clear readable sections. Kudos. Sincerely, Molly

    • Uchenna Duru

      Many thanks Molly. Your comments are highly appreciated.

  4. Mary

    (If you want the links to the specific blogs I’ve referenced, I can send those; your system wouldn’t let me add them here!)

    I had this great 5-year plan to transition to full-time writing. Unfortunately, 18 months into my beautiful plan, I learned that my job would be disappearing.

    Well! Move forward with ‘the plan’ much too soon, or find a new FT job, undoubtedly delaying the plan for even longer?

    I was so scared, and so unprepared, but I couldn’t face more delay, so I leaped into writing for a living, running a business, and trying to figure out how to do both well enough to pay the bills.

    – I tried to find a SCORE mentor, but no one knew quite what to do with me.
    – I took dozens of SBA webinars.
    – I read reams of articles, posts, and books.
    They … helped. A bit. But I was still confused, concerned, and failing to add new clients.

    I ran into Carol’s How to Be a Freelance Writer: 25 Amazing Break-In Stories (I just checked my EverNote; it was on 31 August 2018!). It gave me some practical tips for building my business, but more importantly at that moment, it gave me a much-needed shot of hope.

    Before long, I noticed that MOST of the truly helpful material I was finding was coming from Make A Living Writing, so I focused more of my precious time there.
    I absorbed the rudiments of covering the week’s groceries and rent, identifying my best niches, and what making this life sustainable looks like.

    Then, having come to trust Carol’s advice and experience, I joined the Freelance Writer’s Den, and took a few bootcamps. I’m still using the skills those taught, today.

    But FAR more importantly, every bootcamp reinforced the most valuable piece of advice I’ve gotten: We are writers, not waiters. I learned to market as much as I can, as frequently as I can, to follow up on a regular schedule, and to NOT wait, worry, or wring my hands over any one letter of interest or prospect – to just get on with the work.

    Then … COVID-19. Pandemic. CRASH! Would all I’d learned be enough?

    Okay, sure, it’s still an open question, but I’ve got to tell you, The Recession-Proof Freelancer was another of those shot-of-hope moments, and the perfect ‘checklist’ of everything I need to hold onto, to make it through even this.

    And I’m going to make it through!

    Stay safe and well, Mary

    Reply
    • Carol Tice

      So glad you found the ebook helpful, Mary!

  5. Megan

    I’ve wanted to quit my day job and launch into freelancing ever since I graduated from high school. Instead, I’ve spent the past five years telling myself that I’m too young, that the market was too saturated, that I didn’t have enough experience. Excuse after excuse after excuse.
    Then I read the post Professional Writing Win: How A Young Writer Ramped to $5K a Month on this blog, and I had to kick myself. Hailey had started freelancing after she graduated high school, and here I’d made excuses for five years. I could’ve been working my dream job all along.
    So I convinced (very easily, lol) my mother-in-law to watch my son for the day, and I went to the library and sent out cold pitches the entire day. Thanks to Carol and this amazing blog, I realized that I wasn’t working at my dream job because I’d been making excuses. When I stopped making excuses and worked toward my goals, I was able to quit my day job and launch as a freelancer editor and writer. THANK YOU, CAROL!

    Reply
    • Mary

      It’s so cool that you realised that so early, Megan! I know you feel like you’ve ‘wasted time’, but a lot of us waste decades before we circle back around to lives that we really want to live. You are way ahead of the game!

    • Molly Miller

      Megan… Congrats on sending pitches for a day. I’m a sucker for good example–that means it speaks loudly to me and I do it. Thanks. BTW I have told myself that I’m too old, that my experience is too far in the past. But, just like you, I am challenging that. You hit a grand slam when you sent out those pitches. Molly

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