Writing to Sell: Christmas is Coming

Writing to Sell: Christmas is Coming

When you’re writing to sell, Christmas comes early. Many businesses make the bulk of their income from October to January. If you’ve got clients, they have writing jobs for you NOW.

I’ve just updated this “get ready for Christmas NOW” article.  I wrote it in September last year, and it’s hugely relevant at this time of year.

We said:

Holiday season dollars: get into gear now

Start by opening your client list. You do have one, don’t you? If you don’t, make a list of everyone with whom you’ve worked in past 12 months. They ALL need something you can supply.

Pick up the phone and call your best clients. Ask… “Hi… What are you doing for the holiday sales season? If you’re running sales, I’d love to help you to get the news out about them.”


Get creative: make a LONG list of things you could do

Start by creating a cluster diagram.  Let yourself go. Write down everything you can think of that you could do for your clients. Then narrow it down. Remember, your clients and prospects are busy now. They’re open to anything which can get the word out about their holiday sales.  They need you. :-)

Remember what we said about your $250 hourly rate:

Stop worrying. Start doing. If you’re busy thinking, start tapping the keyboard. If you’re a new writer, and don’t have clients, it’s your job to get them. If you have three hours a day to write, those hours are spent getting clients. Use the phone, use email, use a loud hailer — get clients.

If you’re a new writer, take heart. Companies need content, and you’ve got the perfect reason to get in touch: “Hi, my name is _________. I’m a freelance writer, specializing in ________.  You’re gearing up for Christmas sales, and I’ve got a couple of openings in my schedule.”

If you find contacting prospects hard, check out Authentic Writing. You’ll discover how to unlock the writer you are, and sell. 

Professional writers LOVE Christmas. The pickings, so to speak, are rich. Start planning, and doing, and you and your loved ones will have the best holiday season ever.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Get Hired to Write: Skyword

Looking for writing jobs? You may have heard of Skyword.


What’s It Like Writing for Skyword? Writers Tell All


“Writers who have worked through Skyword agree that rates are much better than content mills. Charles Costa, who previously wrote for clients such as IBM, Kaspersky Labs, and Angie’s List through Skyword, reports that he made as little as $40 per post, although most were $75 or $100. In his most active months, he reports earning $2,500 from Skyword, writing 20 or more articles to earn that amount.”

If you want to get hired to write, here’s my take on Skyword and similar outsourcing websites… they’re good for research. You can see what clients are looking for. They’re also good to fill in gaps in your schedule. They’ll build your confidence so that you can approach prospects on your own — do that as much as you possibly can. The more you reach out, the more gigs you’ll get.


, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing For Money: Your $250 Hourly Rate

Writing For Money: Your $250 Hourly Rate

If you’re new to writing for money, you can get confused. All unknowing, you set a ceiling on your income. It never occurs to you than some writers are making ten times more than your pittance of $25 an hour.

Yes, you really can make $250 an hour. I’ve been pushing the “make more money writing” barrow for quite a few years now. If you’re a new writer, you may find it hard to believe that not only are clients out there who’ll pay you this much and more, they’re desperate for writers.

Here’s the challenge for you: realize that you can make MUCH more money than you’re making now, BUT you can’t make it without changing the way you’re getting gigs now.

For example, STOP quoting your hourly rate. Honestly, who cares? Your clients don’t care whether it takes you ten minutes or ten hours to write something. As Linda Formichelli suggests:

So, if you estimate a project will take you four hours, don’t tell the client you’re charging $250 per hour for four hours — just tell her that to write that case study on how her company’s banana slicer is more accurate than the competition’s, you’ll charge $1,000.

Linda offers some great advice in her article; read it.

Tips to help you to make $250 an hour

Here are some tips:

  • Plan, plan, PLAN… If you’re making $40 an hour now, realize that your biggest obstacle to $250 an hour is YOU. Spend time planning each month, and each week. It’s the first of the month, so you’ll read in my writing journal that I spent a couple of hours planning this morning.
  • Stop worrying. Start doing. If you’re busy thinking, start tapping the keyboard. If you’re a new writer, and don’t have clients, it’s your job to get them. If you have three hours a day to write, those hours are spent getting clients. Use the phone, use email, use a loud hailer — get clients.
  • Kick your website into gear. Start BLOGGING. Seriously.
  • Itemize your quotes. If you’ve quoted $3,500 on a project, and Writer X quotes $750, your prospect needs to see where the money’s going. In Linda’s article, she gives an example of a quote. (Just don’t mention your hourly rate. :-))
  • Keep your nerve. If a client suggests that you’re too expensive, smile sweetly. Consider this: the writer quoting $750 is probably working much harder than you are, and is making less money. Keep marketing.

Choose: $250 an hour, or $50 an hour?

It’s always your choice. Your biggest obstacle, as we’ve said, is YOU. Once you’ve won a couple of clients at $250 an hour, you’ll kick yourself for not aiming for high-value clients sooner.

Remember the old saying: if you think you can, and if you think you can’t, you’re right.

Think you can. You CAN make $250 an hour. Just change the way you’re getting gigs. Be brave. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

photo credit: emdot via photopin cc

Writing Ebooks: Get Educated, It’s Your Money and Your Life

Writing Ebooks: Get Educated, It's Your Money and Your Life

If you’re writing ebooks, you need to educate yourself about self publishing. It’s vital, because as I said in the title, it’s your money, and your life.

No one knows what will happen in publishing. Will books go the way of the CD? I have no idea. However, I do know this. Too many new authors imagine that getting a book contract from a major publishing house means something. It’s a validation – a stamp of approval, if you like.

Here’s the thing: if these authors understood how traditional publishing works, they’d run screaming in the opposite direction.

In The Opposite of Legacy, Passive Guy points out:

As Joe implies, the enthusiasm tradpub authors express for the legacy publishing business is in direct proportion to their ignorance of what is happening in self-publishing. To put it very directly, the dumber the author is about self-publishing, the more likely he/she is to be an ardent supporter of Big Publishing.

I coach many new authors to help them to write and market their books. At least half of them want help with traditional publishing – getting a literary agent and a publisher. That’s completely fine by me. If an author wants a publisher, we’ll get a publisher.

As the months go on, however, these authors become more curious about self publishing. Traditional publishing – getting an agent, getting a contract – takes forever. Slowly they become more receptive to self publishing, even if it’s simply for a little market research.

The big benefit of self publishing for me is that you don’t need to spend months writing a book, a year getting a publisher, and another year waiting for the book to appear on bookshelves… only to have it ripped from the shelves three months after that, because the publisher invested zero dollars in promotion.

When you self publish, you can do all the experimenting and market research you like.

As I said in Write a Novel, or a Short Story?,

Before I write a novel, I’ll test the market with a short story. If the short story gains NO interest, that’s useful to know. It’s never been possible for authors to figure out what will sell before they invest weeks and months in novels.

As you may know, I’m a keen blogger. I’ve been blogging forever, since 1999. I love blogging because it’s instant publishing. I look at self publishing on KDP the same way – as instant publishing.

Yes, I’ve been burned by traditional publishing. In my time, I’ve had three New York literary agents, and many editors at major publishing houses. Here’s what I know from that: I know more about myself, and publishing as it applies to me, than any of them ever did.

Take this to heart: no one cares as much about your writing as you do.

Big surprise, it’s all about the money

I just realized that the title of this post is a Freudian slip. “Your money and your life”, sounds like “your money or your life,” a demand commonly made by highwaymen of old.

Wikipedia reports:

The phrase “Your money or your life” is mentioned in trial reports from the mid–18th century.

Yep, it appears my subconscious mind considers traditional publishers to be thieves. :-)

When you sign a contract with a traditional publisher, they’re investing thousands of dollars in you and your work. But so are you. You’re investing time in your book. You could have spent that time writing something else, and getting paid much more quickly.

The big, big benefit of self publishing for any author is that you get to keep more of the money your writing makes. And if readers like your work, you’ll make much more money from self publishing than from traditional publishing.

Writing ebooks has never been easier. You can write your book, upload it to Amazon, and within a few hours, your ebook is available to the world.

So, the question is, how much are you willing to give up for a traditional publisher’s “stamp of approval” on your work?

If you want a publishing contract from a traditional publisher, that’s a worthwhile goal. Many writers need this validation, and you may be among them – at least until you decide to educate yourself on self publishing.

You owe it to yourself. If you want to write books, educate yourself on the vibrant new world of the self publishing industry.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Professional Writing: 3 Programs to Have Fun, Make Money

Professional Writing: 3 Programs to Have Fun, Make Money

You’re developing a professional writing career. There’s a lot to learn. As you may know, we’re clearing the decks of our bestselling writing programs. We’ve got more coming, so we’re withdrawing all the programs which we’re not actively promoting.

This week, we have three more programs which are closing. They’re perfect for you, if you want to quit your day job and write for money as a professional writer.

Kick off your professional writing career today

These three programs will be withdrawn on September 7.

1. The Piggyback Process: Piggyback Your Way To Success

You don’t need to do everything alone. You can piggyback. It’s time to learn that secret. Writers became unstoppable when they piggyback. Discover how to stop writing for a pittance: get hired to write by big companies. Expand your horizons. YOU can write for $1 a word. You’ll be motivated and guided. It’s time to get proactive, and take charge. Program includes 3 bonus PDFs on writing genre novels, selling and pitching. Includes coaching.

Read the full program description here.

2. Write and Sell Your Ebook in Just 8 Hours – 2nd Edition

Build multiple streams of income when you write ebooks FAST, for yourself, and others. When you ghostwrite ebooks, you can charge anywhere from $500 to $15,000 per ebook. This program shows you how to write fast, while writing well. Have fun, and make money: turn your words and your spare time into gold. My “eight hour” method is simple. Includes Kindle publishing course, and coaching.

Read the full program description here.

3.Memories: Writing and Selling Your Life Stories (Workbook and Videos)

Use your life to write and sell short stories, novels, nonfiction books: find the top-selling stories you want to tell. You’ll become a wellspring of creativity. Your writing will be totally original and universal. You’ll enjoy writing, maybe for the first time. This is a self-guided workshop, and includes coaching.

Read the full program description here.

We’re clearing the decks; you benefit

Over the past decade, we’ve help thousands of writers to build wonderful careers, via our blogs, the ezine, and our programs. We’ll go on doing that, of course. Want to know what’s coming up? I chat about upcoming programs on my daily writing journal.

Please take advantage of these offerings, and earn while you learn. ALL include coaching; you receive the full programs. Enjoy. :-)

These three programs will be withdrawn on September 7.

Questions? Please ask. Here’s a form you can use to get in touch quickly.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Kindle Fiction Bonanza: Write Yourself a Kindle Christmas

Kindle Fiction Bonanza: Write Yourself a Kindle Christmas

It’s almost September. If you’re writing Kindle fiction, it’s time to start thinking about Christmas. Actually, it’s time for all writers to be thinking about Christmas. Magazines are working on Christmas issues, companies are readying their Christmas sales, and within a month or so, Christmas goodies will start appearing in stores.

I wrote in my writing journal:

Writing fiction? Write your Christmas-themed stories NOW

A few months ago I outlined a series of Christmas-themed short stories and a novella that I want to get onto Amazon by the start of December. They’ll be published under a pen name. I’ve got three months to get them done, which is plenty of time, but I need to make a start now. Editing takes time, and so do revisions.

Tip: Start thinking about Valentine’s Day too, if you’re writing romance fiction – Valentine’s Day arrives within a few weeks of Christmas.

What Will You Write?

You can write short stories, novellas, and even a Christmas novel. Here’s the benefit: Christmas arrives every year, so your stories will get a little boost every December. If you visit Amazon now, you’ll find lots of Christmas-themed fiction which is due for release in the next few weeks.

One writer said she writes slowly, and mourned that she would be too late with her Christmas story. I assured her that she wouldn’t be. Good fiction sells at any time of the year, and she’ll have a head start on next Christmas.

Write Yourself a Kindle Christmas

Check Your Archives: Perhaps You’ve Got Fiction You Can Release

Most of my students have stories in their archives which they haven’t finished for one reason or another. Check your own archives. You may have a story which you could write into a Christmas story with little effort.

Alternatively, look at minor characters in the novels you’ve written. You may find one who’s begging to be the hero of his own Christmas story.


I’m looking at my Christmas Kindle fiction as a chance to experiment with genre, settings and character – and emotion. For example, under one of my pen names, I’m writing a Christmas collection of 25 stories, just to experiment with emotion. Christmas is about redemption, and redemption provides wonderful opportunities for conflict and emotion.

Start thinking about your Christmas fiction now. And then, start writing. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

photo credit: riptheskull via photopin cc

Simplify Your Writing Process: Write to Sell

Authentic Writing: Develop Your Writer's Voice, And Sell
Struggling with your writing? It’s time to simplify your writing process, so you can write to sell.

As you know, if you’ve been reading my blogs, and my writing journal, I’m all about process. Heaven knows, writing is challenging enough. We need all the help we can get with processes which are easy to use, yet have a powerful effect.

Authentic Writing teaches an old writing technique, clustering, and relates it to the writing you need to do every day.

Not only will you develop authentic goals, you’ll also find the specialties which are perfect for you.

If you’ve struggled with goal setting, it’s usually because you value short-term pleasure over commitment to something that’s way off in the future. What if you changed that? What if the journey to your goals could be as much (and more) fun than the arrival?

Specialist writers tend to earn more; depending on their specialties, of course. :-) Here’s the benefit of an authentic specialty: you’ll sell more. And because it’s authentically you, you’ll find the writing flows smoothly.

When you struggle…

I work with writers who are struggling with their writing every day. They want a quick fix. Here’s the thing. You don’t need to do anything. You merely need to stay right where you are — at your desk. In Authentic Writing, we look at how you can stay present for your writing, rather than running away. We discuss the various forms that “running away” takes, and how to deal with each one.

Develop your writer’s intuition

Your inspiration and creativity depend on your willingness to recognize, and to trust, your writer’s intuition. Your writing becomes easier when you trust your writer’s intuition. However, it’s not easy. I often talk about avoiding blogging, even though my intuition kept nudging me. This was way back in 1999, and other writers though I was crazy to write “for free.”

Thankfully, a real intuitive impulse won’t leave you alone. It will haunt you, until you pay attention.

They’re the big blasts of intuition, the ones you can’t ignore. We cheerfully ignore our daily writer’s intuition, which could make our writing so much easier.

In Authentic Writing, you’ll discover how to listen to yourself.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.