Fri, 23 December 2016
This is my favorite time of year.
Not just because of the holiday cheer, festive mood and time spent together as a family. But also because of the opportunity to look back at the year.
This is a great time to pause and reflect. To take stock of where I am. What went right. What didn’t go the way I expected (and why).
As part of my planning process for 2017, I’m doing something a little different.
I’m asking myself 21 tough questions.
I’m using these questions as journal entry starters. And what I’ve uncovered so far by thinking about (and answering) these questions in detail is ... well, eye-opening!
That’s the topic of this week’s podcast episode. Join me to see if you find these as helpful as I have...
Fri, 25 November 2016
We all have one.
A nagging inner critic that won’t go away.
The one who keeps telling us we can’t. Or we shouldn’t. Or we’re not good enough. Or we don’t know enough (or have enough experience).
She has a name...
And the secret is NOT to try and silence her for good (not going to happen!).
The key is to learn how to tame her.
Fri, 11 November 2016
According to a recent comment on our Facebook page, it’s impossible to earn a great living as a writer. Unless, of course, you get lucky and publish a bestselling novel.
I don’t bother arguing with people like him. They just don’t get it. But I also recognize that there are doubters everywhere. And there are doubters who want to believe. But they have good reason to be skeptical.
If you’ve been freelancing for years and never come close to reaching six figures in annual full-time income, I can understand why you may have given up on this high-income idea.
Trouble is, I know too many people who make a high income doing this work. So while I understand and respect your doubt and skepticism, I have to tell you — this high-income thing is entirely possible.
My guest this week is a perfect example. Her name is Chelsea Baldwin, and she started freelancing on the side six years ago. But it wasn’t until two years ago that she quit her day job and went completely solo.
This past July, Chelsea had her first five figure month...
Fri, 28 October 2016
There’s a pattern I’ve seen in virtually every freelance success story.
It goes like this: As you begin to move steadily in the direction of your goals, all kinds of serendipitous events begin to happen.
(Side note: When I say “begin to move steadily,” I don’t mean casual activity. I mean steady, deliberate, persistent and laser-focused action. Even when you don’t feel like it. And even when you think all hope is lost!)
Of course, those synchronicities don’t always happen immediately. And they’re not always obvious.
But as you look back at your success, it all starts to make sense. And you realize that taking steady and massive action despite the odds (and despite the obstacles) really paid off.
That’s why I love the story I’m about to share with you. Because it’s yet one more example of this fascinating pattern of success...
Fri, 14 October 2016
Need more clients? It helps to get exposure to your business via publications your audience consumes.
In today’s episode you’ll hear from Marcie Hill, a freelancer writer, blogger and author. Marcie explains how she landed a guest post in Forbes.com to drive a steady stream of qualified clients to her business.
And how that traffic continues two years after the publication of that post...
Fri, 30 September 2016
In this episode, we’re going to focus on an industry and a market opportunity you may not have previously considered: copywriting for eCommerce companies.
Full disclosure: My guest has a company that hires freelance copywriters and places them with eCommerce clients. His name is Nathan Hirsch, and he’s the founder of Freeeup.com. (Note: I have NO affiliate relationship with Nathan or his company.)
This opportunity is NOT for everyone. And frankly, it’s not the path I would recommend if you’re trying to follow the “smarter freelancing” objectives of earning more in less time doing work you love for better clients.
However, if you’re a good copywriter and have some experience with this type of writing, this might be a good way to either kick start your freelance business or to fill a temporary gap in project work...
Fri, 16 September 2016
Most of us view freelancing as a way to make a living.
It’s a way to pay the bills by doing work we enjoy — and doing it on our own schedule and on our own terms.
And that’s pretty much where it ends.
Nothing wrong with that. But there are some professionals who look at freelancing a little differently.
They see it as means to fund exciting adventures. They choose this work model because it enables them to travel the world and create life-changing experiences.
These folks don’t live to work. They work to live.
My guest this week is a great example of this mindset and approach to freelancing. His name is Kevin Casey. He’s a freelance copywriter based in Australia who travels for four to five months every year. And he uses his freelance income to fund every dollar of these experiences.
Whether or not you enjoy traveling the world, I think you’ll find Kevin’s approach to work and leisure inspiring and thought-provoking.
Fri, 2 September 2016
If you have a day job, what would you do if you got downsized?
Would you look for another job? Or would you use the opportunity to launch your freelance business?
That’s exactly what happened to Tanya Brody a few months ago.
Tanya has been a copywriter for years. But until recently, she was traditionally employed as a copywriter — she wasn’t a freelancer.
In today’s episode she explains how she got started as a copywriter, why she decided to work for someone else, why she chose the solo path when she lost her job... and what she’s learned so far in her freelance journey.
Fri, 19 August 2016
This is the most common question I get from new freelance writers and copywriters:
“Where do I start, Ed?”
In today’s podcast episode, I give you my detailed answer to that question.
I reveal my big-picture checklist for getting your business off the ground faster and more safely.
If you’re struggling to get your B2B / commercial writing business off the ground, this episode is for you.
Fri, 5 August 2016
I’m always looking for different and clever ideas to land clients, earn more for the work we do and enjoy more time off.
So when I heard from Mojca Mars about the Twitter strategy she used to build her freelance social media marketing business, I knew I wanted her on the show.
I met Mojca last year at the Double Your Freelance Conference in Norfolk, Va. I was very impressed with how quickly she grew her solo business after getting laid off. It’s a great example of being resourceful and putting in the work, even when you experience occasional setbacks.
In this episode, Mojca talks specifically about the Twitter strategy she used to get her business off the ground and into extremely profitable territory. This is something you can easily replicate IF you’re willing to put in the work and maintain the discipline necessary to develop momentum...
Fri, 22 July 2016
I don’t enjoy having difficult conversations with clients.
I bet you don’t either!
But just because it’s not a fun pastime doesn’t mean we should always avoid these conversations.
Very often the way to solve (or even avoid) big problems with clients is to do what we fear: confront the issues head on.
And to do that effectively and with confidence, you need to be prepared to handle these situations.
In this week’s show you’ll hear from Mele Williams. Mele specializes in writing scripts for sensitive business and personal conversations, such as delivering bad news and saying no.
She’s a real pro at this. And in this interview she shares some very practical techniques for handling these difficult situations with grace.
Fri, 8 July 2016
Most copywriters understand the power of storytelling and humor in copy.
But how do you use these elements appropriately?
My guest this week explains how to do this right. His name is Kevin Rogers.
Kevin is one of the top copywriters in the biz. He’s the Amazon best-selling author of The 60-Second Sales Hook and founder of Copy Chief, a thriving community of the world’s top online marketers.
Kevin spent years traveling the country as a dead-broke stand-up comedian until he discovered how a simple joke formula could be used as a powerful marketing hook. He began to teach that formula to marketers. And these days, entrepreneurs and business owners all over the world use Kevin’s techniques to grow their profits and their businesses at record pace.
Today he’s is one of the most in-demand sales consultants online, working closely with high-volume information marketers, corporations and local brick and mortar businesses alike to turn around sluggish ad campaigns.
And in this interview, he reveals the formula he uses to inject humor and storytelling effectively in copy.
Fri, 24 June 2016
I always assumed that food and travel writing didn’t pay well.
It just seemed crowded with writers. And as media companies started to fold, this category felt like a starving artist’s (no pun intended) worst nightmare.
But I recently met someone who challenged these assumptions. Her name is Kate Kordsmeier and she’s my guest in this week’s show.
In this interview Kate will explain why there’s still a very good income opportunity in food and travel writing...
Fri, 10 June 2016
For a long time, it seemed like WordPress was the only way to go.
It certainly wasn’t the only option for freelancers who needed a website. But it seemed as if it was the only practical option.
And then suddenly a whole group of website builder platforms started gaining serious steam. Platforms such as Squarespace, Strikingly, Weebly, Wix and others.
At first I thought it was a passing fad. Or maybe an option for people who were dabbling or needed an extremely simple, one-page website.
But the more I looked into these options, the more I realized that there was something to this movement.
My guest this week is Lisa Mullis. Lisa is a principal and director of marketing and outreach at Blue Marble Creative, a design communications firm. I’m not an expert in this area, so I wanted to bring in someone who works with both options every day.
There’s a lot of passion in each camp—the Wordpress camp and the website builder camp. So I suspect this episode will create some controversy...
Fri, 27 May 2016
North Carolina–based freelance writer Jennifer Gregory has had quite a ride over the past 18 months.
She took her business to the six-figure level in 2015. But then shortly after, she lost some of her anchor clients. And things started to fall apart.
Jennifer didn’t sit around for very long. She quickly went back to the drawing board, drafted a turnaround plan and took massive action.
Within weeks she was booked solid. And 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year for her.
In this interview, Jennifer details her wild journey to the $100,000 income level. She reveals the 6 things she did that enabled her to get there. And she walks us through the plan she executed to replace her lost anchor clients.
Fri, 13 May 2016
I believe there’s a big spiritual component to succeeding in any endeavor. It’s not all about brute force, or persistence, or hard work and long hours.
At the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do. You can’t do it alone. And when you’re trying to go after something big, you need the help of a higher power (call it God, the Universe, the Divine or whatever you feel comfortable with) to help you get there.
If you believe that there’s a connection between the spiritual and the physical—even if you don’t fully understand it—then I urge you to give this a listen...
Fri, 29 April 2016
When I launched the High-Income Business Writing podcast in April 2013, I was stepping into the unknown.
I was excited. And I was nervous.
I was excited because I’d successfully launched other services and products, such as the International Freelancers Academy and a bestselling book. Not to mention my own freelance writing business. So I knew I could do this.
But I was still nervous for many reasons.
On the occasion of our 101st episode, I'm thrilled to report on the response to the High-Income Business Writing podcast...
Fri, 15 April 2016
The most serious problem facing U.S. taxpayers is the complexity of the Internal Revenue Code.
That’s not just my opinion. It’s an actual statement from the IRS!
According to the same IRS report where I found that statement, an analysis of IRS data uncovered that U.S. taxpayers and businesses spend about 7.6 billion hours a year complying with the filing requirements of the Internal Revenue Code.
And that figure does not even include the millions of additional hours that taxpayers must spend when they are required to respond to an IRS notice or an audit...
Since we’re stuck with the system we currently have (for now!), we have to figure out how to navigate the ins and outs.
My guest is Trevor McKendrick. Trevor started Salem Software, and just recently created an accounting essentials course for entrepreneurs and freelancers.
Fri, 1 April 2016
I’m all for efficiency. And I’m all for tools and systems that help us become more efficient.
The problem is that it’s too easy to get caught up in the efficiency game and lose sight of the end goal: to get better clients, higher fees, more rewarding work.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to become more efficient at getting crappy results!
In this interview, Kai Davis, a business development coach for freelancers and consultants, shares his step-by-step system for managing prospecting in a way that saves time and yields better-quality prospects.
Fri, 18 March 2016
One of the biggest fears/concerns of new freelance writers: “Who’s going to hire me?”
That fear is based on the following assumption: that you need to impress “IBM.” But that’s an incorrect assumption. You can’t be everything to everyone.
I’ve met very few successful freelancers who got a very impressive start and didn’t struggle to get to where they are today. Most success stories are messy! The hero spent most of their journey getting “No’s” and barely scraping by. But all we hear is the end result.
So who’s a good prospect for you right now...?
Fri, 4 March 2016
Self-employment is both a blessing and a curse.
It's a blessing because we get to chart our own course. We get to pursue projects and clients that are interesting to us. And we can adjust our workload and schedule however we want.
But that kind of freedom can also lead to lack of discipline and motivation if we're not careful.
How do we stay on track? How do we find the motivation to do the work we know we have to do, even when we don't feel like doing it...?
Fri, 19 February 2016
#096: James Chartrand on Freelance Copywriting Trends, Simple Ways to Improve Your Writing and the 200-Word Story Challenge
James Chartrand is the owner of Men With Pens, a web design and copywriting company.
She's also the creator of "Damn Fine Words," one of the best and most popular writing courses in the business.
Yes, I said "she."
If you're not familiar with James, he's actually a she. The story behind that is pretty interesting. So is the story of how she came clean.
In this episode, James and I talk shop about the latest trends in freelance copywriting... different ways you can improve your craft... practical business tips for introverts...
And a simple, 200-word-a-day exercise that will improve your copywriting muscle.
Thu, 4 February 2016
Are Elance, Upwork and other online job boards a good place to land freelance work?
Yes and no. It really depends on a number of important factors. And it's certainly not for everyone. But there's no denying that some people have figured out a way to launch their freelance business with these platforms.
My guest for this episode is one of these people. Her name is Laura Pennington, and she has a great story about how she used Elance to kickstart her freelance business—despite the fact that she had little work experience, no samples, no ratings or reviews and no clear guidance on how to make it work.
Fri, 22 January 2016
This week's episode is shorter than usual.
It's also different.
I take you on a random journey of what I'm doing, what I've been up to, what I'm currently enjoying ... and a few things I'm planning this year.
Follow along at your own risk...
Thu, 7 January 2016
This is part two of a two-part series on money and freelancing.
In part one Dianna Huff talked about how to manage cash flow more effectively when you have a variable income.
Today's episode is a bit different. We get into the mindset of earning more as a freelance professional.
My guest is Rhonda Page. Rhonda is an ideator, clarifier and forward thinker. She’s worked at top graphic design and branding firms for 25 years, and brought them hundreds of thousands of dollars in new business along the way.