5 Ways to Blast Off Your Freelance Writing Income Through Massive Action

You know how to reach success as a writer because you’ve heard it a million times: It’s all about the baby steps, baby.
Break down your goal into manageable chunks and take one tiny step at a time towards your vision so you don’t get overwhelmed — and you’ll make steady, if slow, progress.
Well, maybe that works for some people. But for me, taking teeny steps towards my goals is hugely demotivating.
Seriously, when I think about sending out a single email sales letter, making one cold call, or buying the supplies I need for my business one Post-it note at a time, it makes me want to just give up and binge-watch Project Runway instead of writing.
And I suspect a lot of writers and entrepreneurs are the same way.
For those of us who aren’t into the baby steps approach, a much more motivating way to create momentum in your business is to blast off towards your goals in grand style.
Do it up, do it big. Get the ball rolling so forcefully that it steamrolls right past obstacles and problems, and keeps on going with little extra effort.
Start Committing
I call it Committing. That’s right, with a capital C. Because I made it up.
I used this concept of Committing to start my own writing business in 1997.
Instead of sending out a few pitches here and there and then whining that I wasn’t landing any gigs — as most new writers do — I considered it my full-time

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Use Internal Cliffhangers So People Never Stop Reading

So your visitor loved your headline. Will she read the rest of the article? One of the best ways to increase your chances is by using internal cliffhangers.
A cliffhanger is a scene in a book, movie, newspaper story, or TV show that holds something back from the reader or viewer.
More than likely, you’re familiar with the cliffhanger on the macro level, which is designed to keep a person emotionally connected to the content until the next post or episode is shipped.
These cliffhangers are external to the content, like the buckle between two train cars. The promise is that if you keep reading or watching, you’ll eventually be rewarded with what you want to know.
And you can create this same kind of tension inside your content as well.
In this 7-minute episode of Rough Draft with Demian Farnworth, you’ll discover:

The two kinds of curiosity: the one that kills and the one that doesn’t
One thing you can do at the end of a paragraph to make people stick around
The internal cliffhanger that can backfire if you get it wrong
How to make your reader think, “Is she about to do what I think she’s about to do?”
The turn of phrase that people love to hear
And more!

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About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

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How Bestselling Author Ann Handley Writes

In this episode of The Writer Files, host Kelton Reid invited digital marketing pioneer Ann Handley to chat about her writing process. She’s a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, brilliant keynote speaker, the world’s first Chief Content Officer, and a prolific digital content creator.
Ann Handley appeared on The Writer Files written interview series on Copyblogger last year and stopped by again to share her methods of madness with us.
You can also see Ann live at Authority Rainmaker, a carefully designed live educational experience that presents a complete and effective online marketing strategy to help you immediately accelerate your business.
Ms. Handley will be speaking about creating content that makes a difference for your business objectives by showing you how to create content that is empathetic, useful, and inspired.
In addition to Ann, you’ll have the opportunity to see Dan Pink, Sally Hogshead, punk legend Henry Rollins, and many other incredible speakers live. Get all the details at rainmaker.fm/event, and we look forward to seeing you in Denver, Colorado, May 13–15, 2015.
In this 28-minute file, host Kelton Reid and Ann Handley discuss:

Everybody Writes: an “Elements of Style for the digital age”
The art of productive procrastination
Why your writer’s block may be a research problem
How hard deadlines help writers ship
Why you have to find a way to shape your ideas for sharing
The secret to what makes a good writer great
Why your audience is key to effective writing
Proof that paper books are pure writer porn
The value of patience

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Are You a Talented Professional Writer? Read This …

Copyblogger loves writers. We always have.
For more than nine years now, the writer has been the most important person we write for. Week in, week out.
I’ve written about making a living as a professional writer.
And I elaborated a bit on that, unpacking some of what it takes to move from “good writer” to “smart, well-paid content marketer.”
It’s why we created our list of Certified Content Marketers.
And it’s why we’re opening that program shortly to a new batch of writers.
This isn’t the biggest-selling training we offer, by any means. Because it’s made for a select group of people — strong, talented writers who want to make a better living.
Maybe it’s made for you.
If you’d like to take our Certified Content Marketer training, drop your email address in the form below. We’ll let you know how to get started.
I’ll also send you some of my own thoughts, tips, and experiences on how to become more successful in a very competitive setting.
(I was a freelance copywriter well before I joined the Copyblogger crew, and a professional writer for many years before that.)

Join the Copyblogger Writers List
Want to know more about the Certified Content Marketers program? We’ll be re-opening to new students very shortly.
Drop your email address in the box below, and, when we’re ready for you, I’ll let you know how to get into the program. I’ll also send you some of my favorite articles about the craft and career of the professional

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How the Perfect Article Is Framed by White Space

White space sounds like a design issue. So why should you, dear web writer, care? Because words matter.
Imagine a statue. An aged bronze sculpture of a young girl, possibly eight years old, in a long dress.
She stands about 50 inches … roughly four feet tall.
Her head is cocked to the left, a pensive, sad look on her face. Both elbows are pinned to her side and her forearms stretch upward, her palms open to the sky, a bowl in each hand.
As if she is feeding the birds. You probably recognize this statue.
Discover the name of this statue and what it can teach you about white space, web writing, and more in this episode of Rough Draft with Demian Farnworth. Plus:

Don’t make this mistake when thinking about white space
How web writers can improve their copy with white space
The problem with some print magazines, like Woman’s Day
The two books on web usability every web writer should read
A beautiful little essay by designer Mig Reyes about copywriters

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About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

The post How the Perfect Article Is Framed by White Space appeared first on Copyblogger.

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6 Beautiful Ways Artificial Constraints Can Improve Your Creativity and Life

Like accumulating capital, hard work has its own momentum. If you want to master digital media, then produce it often.
Maria Popova, the woman behind Brain Pickings, publishes three substantial blog posts every weekday, typically about substantial books she reads. Each post is an elegant display of her ornate knowledge and polished creativity.
And when I was asked to host a show for our digital marketing podcast network, I immediately jumped on the opportunity. Here was a chance to organize my work, tackle a new challenge, and consistently produce a new type of digital media.
Yet — I was warned — it was essential I dismissed any optimistic notions about the quality of my show.
During a kick-off call with the rest of the Rainmaker.FM podcasters, Robert Bruce, our overlord, said, “Your first 100 shows will be crap.”
It was meant to encourage us.
Of course, my first thoughts were, “I want to reach that 100 as soon as possible. I don’t want my show to be crap.”
And the best way to do that? Produce a short, daily show.
I did the math, and I knew I would reach 100 shows (four days a week equals 16 shows a month) in 6.25 months. If I’d gone the weekly route, reaching 100 shows would take me two years.
I can’t wait that long.
But with this aggressive schedule, I had my work cut out for me. Would I pull it off or be buried beneath the workload?
There was also another potential risk I was

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Jeff Goins on Creating Amidst Chaos

Today’s guest on Hack the Entrepreneur is a communicator, consultant, creator, and an entrepreneur. He is also a writer, speaker, and master audience builder.
Originally from Chicago, he then moved to Nashville after graduating from college and spending a year traveling with his band.
He has written four books, including his latest The Art of Work, and also teaches a popular online course called Tribe Writers.
Now, let’s hack …
Jeff Goins.
In this 30-minute episode of Hack the Entrepreneur, host Jon Nastor and Jeff Goins discuss:

Helping others become good writers
How to make yourself your smallest test market
The need to be authentic in your writing and work
Owning your identity and doing the work
Pivoting through obstacles and staying the course

Click Here to Listen toHack the Entrepreneur on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

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How Award-Winning Journalist Adam Skolnick Writes

Sometimes word nerds just need a place to talk shop, and that’s the intention of today’s episode of The Writer Files. Host Kelton Reid asked award-winning journalist Adam Skolnick to join him for a guest segment called “writer porn.”
Adam is an award-winning, globetrotting travel journalist, which is kind of a rare thing these days. He is the author and co‐author of 25 Lonely Planet guidebooks, and has written for publications as varied as the New York Times (for whom he won a big award from the Associated Press Sports Editors last year), ESPN, Wired, Men’s Health, Outside, the BBC, and Playboy.
He recently finished his first narrative nonfiction book based on his award-winning New York Times coverage of the death of the greatest American free diver of all time, titled One Breath (slated for publication in January).
Kelton and Adam talk about how a page-one New York Times story became a book, the secret literary legacy of Playboy magazine, debunking Jack Kerouac’s prolificness, and tips and tricks to staying focused when you’re working on multiple projects across multiple timezones.
In this 29-minute file, host Kelton Reid and Adam Skolnick discuss:

How a tragic New York Times story became a book
What a globetrotting journalist does to get a story
The secret literary legacy of Playboy magazine
What Mr. Skolnick has in common with Hunter S. Thompson
One great trick to stay focused on multiple deadlines
Busting the urban legend of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road
Why you shouldn’t compare yourself to other writers

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Solve Your Blank-Page Problem With This Visual, 3-Step Content Creation System

In the movie Amadeus, the creatively frustrated composer Antonio Salieri discovers pages of Mozart’s original, handwritten compositions and remarks, with utter anguish:
He had simply written down music already finished in his head. Page after page of it — as if he were just taking dictation.
When it comes to writing, do any of us know what that feels like?
Maybe once in a blue moon we are lucky enough to stumble into a Mozart-esque state of content creation — dropping perfectly formed prose into our blog or ebook without any struggle.
For most of us content marketers, this is not the case, even though we aren’t short of inspiration, ideas, or coherent thoughts.
Why? Because we’re writing backwards.
The problem with how we typically approach writing
The way most of us approach writing goes against how our brains are wired to think.
If you’ve ever stared at a blank page with that unforgiving cursor blinking-blinking-blinking in expectation, you might have already suspected this.
I had a complete “aha!” moment about this obstacle when I read Dan Roam’s excellent book, Blah Blah Blah: What To Do When Words Don’t Work.
Roam explains:
… throughout the eons of human development, our ability to think has evolved along two different paths. One path specialized in seeing the world as lots of little pieces, while the other path specialized in looking at the world as a whole.
Here’s where the light bulb really went on for me:
For words to express a thought, they had to be strung together in

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The Old Man and The Pen

Join host Robert Bruce for the first episode of Allegorical …
A simple story about a writer, the writing life, and how he ignored the one thing about his craft that would give him everything he truly wanted.
Listen to Allegorical No. 1 …
Click Here to Listen toAllegorical on iTunes
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About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital marketing and sales podcast network. Get on-demand business advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.

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