40+ Writing Websites and Resources For Freelance Writers Serious About Making a Professional Income While Still Having a Life
by Carol Wiley
“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”
- Samuel Johnson (Essayist, Biographer, Poet)
The first thing you need to know as a freelance writer serious about making a professional income is that you have to go out and find your own writing gigs. Rarely will you find high-paying writing opportunities on Craigslist and other job boards.
Among all the noise on the web are some writing websites that support writers in earning a good living. The ones listed here are the ones I know about and think are the best.
The Business of Writing
All Freelance Writing
This site positions itself as “Just serious advice for serious freelance writers.” The site is managed by Jennifer Mattern, a freelance business & PR writer, professional blogger, e-book author, and web developer.
About Freelance Writing
Anne Wayman has been a freelance writer for over thirty years. On her site, she shares how she became successful, how she remains successful, and how she continues to increase her income. Anne, along with Lori Widmer of Words on the Page, also runs the 5 Buck Forum for writers.
Dollars and Deadlines
Kelly James-Enger is author of Ready, Aim, Specialize!: Create Your Own Writing Specialty and Make More Money!
Freelance Folder (for all types of freelancing, not just writing)
International Freelancer Academy
This site offers lots of good information, including a free 9-video course that shows you how to increase and stabilize your freelance income. It’s run by the people who wrote The Wealthy Freelancer.
Make a Living Writing
This site, run by Carol Tice, is probably my favorite. It has lots of practical advice. She’s highly vocal about the responsibility of writers to go out and find their own clients and outspoken against low-paying clients. She also runs the Freelance Writer’s Den.
This site focuses on journalistic writing for magazines, newspapers, and similar outlets.
Men With Pens
James Chartrand’s writing advice.
John Soares offers tips on freelance writing, productivity, and time management.
Emily Suess has a series on the ABCs of Freelance Writing, including “N is for Negotiaton” and “U is for Upfront Payment.”
The Business of Freelance Writing for Periodicals and for Corporate Markets
Paul Lima, a Canadian freelance writer, offers a lot of good information.
The Urban Muse
Susan Johnston offers tips on writing, working with clients, marketing a freelance business, and more
The Renegade Writer
Linda Formichelli says that her site is “all about how to develop a querying style that works for you, overcome freelancing fear, get motivated, figure out your own systems for getting and doing work, earn more money as a freelancer, and basically boost your freelance writing career and reach your writing dreams.”
The Well-Fed Writer
Peter Bowerman is a freelance business writer and the author of the book Peter Bowerman is a freelance business writer and the author of the book The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less.
Setting Freelance Writing Rates
Editorial Rates from the Editorial Freelancers Association
How Much Should I Charge? from NJ Creatives Network
How Much to Charge for Web Copy Projects at Wealthy Web Writer
Support for Writing Well
Daily Writing Tips
Daily articles on grammar, spelling, misused words, punctuation, fiction writing, freelance writing, and more.
Heather Lloyd-Martin provides advice on good copywriting for the web.
Write to Done
Mary Jaksch, Chief Editor, brings you a variety of information on improving your writing and your writing life.
Writing Tips Handbook
The Writers’ Workshop at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign provides advice on the writing process.
THE writer’s magazine from long before the Internet.
Writing tips from a professional editor.
Specific Articles for Freelance Writers
Here are some specific articles at other websites not already mentioned:
10 Ways to Make a 6-Figure Income as a Freelance Writer at Freelance Writing Success
40+ Tips to Improve your Grammar and Punctuation at Little Dumb Man
How to Create Multiple Income Streams at Freelance Switch
Tips for Freelance Contracts at Ink Thinker
Content Marketing for Freelance Writers
For marketing writing in general, see the Marketing Words Copywriting Blog.
Use the Research Resources that Your Tax Dollars Support
Research is important for writers, and the United States government is the largest publisher of information in the world. The information is free, amd all information prodeuced by the Federal government is in the public domain.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a treasure trove of information for health and medical writers! NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and conducts and supports medical research. Find the complete NIH list of more than 15 institutes here.
The NIH, in conjunction with the U.S. National Library of Medicine, also publishes the encyclopedia-like Medline Plus The entries usually contain basic information about a topic with links to lots of other reputable sites for more detailed information.
Other useful research websites include:
CIA World Factbook: Information about the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities.
U.S. Census Bureau: Demographic and economic information about people, business, geography, and more. Check out the “Facts for Features & Special Editions” page, which provides collections of statistics for anniversaries or observances, such as Grandparent’s Day and Women’s History Month.
U.S. Small Business Administration: Information on starting, managing, and growing a small business.
To find even more government information sources, see the U.S. government’s official web portal.
Do you have any recommended writing websites for professional writers?
by Carol Wiley
For chocolate-lovers, the Northwest Chocolate Festival held September 29-30, 2012, in Seattle was an opportunity not onlyÂ to taste a wide variety of artisan chocolate but also to attend educational talks about all aspects of chocolate. I attended the second day of the festival and hereâ€™s some of what I saw and learned.
Chocolatier vs. Chocolate Maker
A chocolatier makes the chocolates that you eat. A chocolate maker buys and roasts cacao beans and grinds them into the chocolate that the chocolatier uses. Making chocolate is a difficult, costly process that requires specialized equipment and knowledge, so there are far fewer chocolate makers than chocolatiers. Some companies are bean-to-bar chocolate makers, meaning they start with the cacao bean and produce finished chocolate that you eat.
Chocolate is made using cacao beans, which are the seeds of the fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree. Quality beans with good genetics are essential to making the best chocolate.
Cacao trees grow only 20 degrees north and south of the equator. Seventy percent of cacao comes from Africa, with 40 percent from the Ivory Coast. However, Ivory Coast cacao is used only by industrial, bulk chocolate makers, not by those making artisan chocolate.
(As side note, the Ivory Coast has been accused of appalling conditions on cacao farms, including the use of child and slave labor, although the big chocolate companies claim they are addressing the problems. If you want to be sure you arenâ€™t supporting this kind of thing, leave that mass-produced candy bar on the grocery store shelf.)
Basics of Chocolate Production
Cacao beans are removed from their pods and allowed to ferment, and then they are dried. The quality of the fermenting and drying processes affects the quality of the final chocolate.
Beans are then roasted (except for raw chocolate) and cracked open to remove the nibs that contain the cocoa solids and cocoa butter (a process called winnowing). The nibs are ground into a thick, rich paste called chocolate liquor. Some, not all, chocolate makers then conch the chocolate liquor using a machine sort of like a rotating pestle and mortar. The chocolate is now ready for use in producing a product for you to eat.
- The variety of cacao bean
- Slow farming and production techniques that enhance the flavor of the bean
- Minimal quality ingredients
- Terrior – a unique sense of place that comes from geography, geology, climate, and farming practices
Tasting chocolate is aÂ bit like tasting wine. You take a small piece of chocolate and you:
- See: How does the chocolate look?
- Touch: How does the chocolate feel?
- Hear: Break the chocolate into two pieces. Quality chocolate makes a clear, crisp snap.
- Smell: Rub the chocolate between your fingers to release its aroma.
- Taste: Let the chocolate melt on your tongue. What do you perceive? Is the taste simple or complex? Smooth or gritty? Fruity or some other taste? What flavor lingers in your mouth.
For a much more detailed description of chocolate tasting, see How to Taste Chocolate at The Nibble.
I tasted a lot of chocolate, and it all started to run together. But I did come away from the NW Chocolate Festival with these observations:
- Chocolate made from Madagascar cacao tends to have red fruit and citrus notes, and this chocolate is not my favorite.
- Taza makes a stone-ground, unconched chocolate that has almost a powdery taste that I like but wouldnâ€™t want to eat all the time.
- Generally, I prefer between 60% and 80% dark chocolate, either plain or with nuts, but not with other added ingredients such as chilis or blueberries.
- In Seattle, Chocolopolis, located at 1527 Queen Anne Ave N has a free chocolate happy hour every Thursday from 5pm to 9pm. Now, I have an opportunity to become more of a chocolate connoisseur.
For premium chocolate ratings, reviews, and information, visit The C-Spot.
Recently, Good Greens sent me the six flavors (wildberry, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate coconut, chocolate chunk, chocolate raspberry, chocolate mint) of the company’s nutrition bar to try. The company bills the bars as highly nutritious and delicious.
The bars are certainly nutritious. Here’s what you get in a Good Greens bar:
- 12 grams protein (dairy-free and vegan)
- 100% of daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables with antioxidants and greens, including wheatgrass and barley grass
- Cold pressed with 72% organic ingredients and 90% raw
- Low glycemic index of 51 – OK for people with diabetes
- (The bars do contain soy.)
You can find a complete description of all the ingredients at the Good Greens site.
As for taste, well, it’s a bit better than the average nutrition bar. The dark chocolate coating is a nice touch (I love dark chocolate). If you eat nutrition bars, these are worth a try.
by Carol Wiley
The fastest and most complex reactions known in the human body result from a panic attack, according to Reid Wilson, Ph.D., author of Don’t Panic: Taking Control of Anxiety Attacks. This book shows you how you can stop panic attacks.
During panic, many of the changes in your body are the same as those that happen during an emergency. However, panic is an exaggerated emergency response and the variety of physical panic attack symptoms feels overwhelming.
Role of the Brain
Panic disrupts your body’s natural balance by sending false emergency signals to the brain, leading you to doubt your natural abilities. Why does the brain select inappropriate emergency responses? There are two possible reasons:
- Something is preventing the brain from gathering relevant information in the moment. “If you suffer from panic attacks, it means that a faulty belief prevents your brain from receiving a critical message.”
- The brain doesn’t know another, more appropriate response.
Wilson writes that “Left on its own, the unconscious mind will seek health. But social learning and certain traumatic experience tend to override the unconscious mind.” Once you have one panic attack, the mind stops working creatively in your favor and begins focusing on the problem rather than the solution.
Thoughts and beliefs are the keys to your brain’s activity. Your beliefs and values develop mostly out of life experiences and your memories of them. Strong beliefs can block natural protective mechanisms of the brain and mind.
According to Wilson, to stop panic attacks when they happen, you need to know and believe:
- You can trust your body and unconscious mind to perform essential roles in an emergency, because the body has an emergency response.
- When panic activates the emergency response, you can consciously turn it off.
- You can learn to consciously stop panic before it takes control.
You have the intellectual and psychological abilities to reverse the emergency response, and Donâ€™t Panic gives you strategies to identify these abilities, master them, and use them to control panic.
The most effective way to take control and stop panic attacks, according to Wilson, is to be willing to face doubt and discomfort and to believe you can deal with any consequences of your actions.
The first step is to change your interpretation of events, a key component in cognitive behavioral therapy for panic attacks. Wilson provides detailed strategies for:
- Changing your attitude
- Looking for opportunities to embrace discomfort, so that you can learn from experience
- Letting go of coping strategies (for example, asking a friend to accompany you someplace) that serve as safety crutches but also prevent you from living a full, strong life
- Becoming an objective observer of your negative thoughts and reactions by mentally stepping back and using your observations to develop skills to override the negative and support the positive.
If you are looking to take control and stop panic attacks, this book provides a lot of good information. Of course, panic attacks are a serious and multifaceted medical event that may require professional help. For someone who wants to gain more professional knowledge, one option is to pursue a public health masters online to properly understand and work with medical issues such as panic attacks.
by Carol Wiley
How often has someone made a suggestion (or you had a thought) to which you responded, “Yes, but”? Have you considered that every “yes, but” stops the flow of creativity and energy? By simply changing your default mindset to “yes, and,” you can expand the possibilities in your life, according to Avish Parashar, author of Say “Yes, And!”: 2 Little Words That Will Transform Your Career, Organization, and Life!
“Yes, but” is a negative mindset that puts up walls when you say it to someone (or even to yourself). “Yes, but” is a safe response that maintains the status quo. “Yes, and” is an exploratory mindset that means you are willing to stay open to options that might work.
The book gives a number of examples for both personal and business relationships. I particularly like these examples:
Bill Gates: “Yes, And everyone will benefit from having a computer,” as opposed to “yes, but no one will ever need a home computer” (as several of his contemporaries said).
Gandhi: “Yes, And we can have our freedom without resorting to violence,” as opposed to, “yes, but we will never gain our freedom if we donâ€™t fight our oppressors!”
Copernicus: “Yes, And my tests show that the Earth revolves around the sun not the other way around,” as opposed to, “yes, but everyone knows that the Earth is the center of the universe!”
Having the mindset of “yes, and” lets you see all options and therefore present a more perspective-oriented solution to issues. People with this point of view succeed in professions such as that of human resource manager, where you would have to have a masters in human resource management to enter the field.
Parashar emphasizes that “yes, and” isn’t about always agreeing with people, but it is a mindset that helps you stay open-minded, giving you the ability to search for options that might work. “Yes, but” tends to arise out of fear, short-term thinking, habit, and similar factors.
This short book is a quick and easy read and shows you ways to incorporate the “yes, and” mindset into your life, while still maintaining boundaries. The process is simple:
- Make “yes, and” your default mindset.
- Say “yes, and” whenever you can.
- Only “yes, but” after you have tried to say, “yes, and.”
Say “Yes, And!” is a good read that could just change the way you approach life for the better.