How to Start Blogging Later in Life

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

So, you’re interested in blogging? You’ve never written anything before…and you are no longer considered young. How’s that going for you? Tough isn’t it?

Brain Ache

‘When I get older losing my hair, Many years from now’ …so goes the opening line of The Beatles song, ‘When I’m 64’.

Though I’m not quite 64; even though it sometimes feel like it; no seriously, being middle-aged everything hurts or creaks, and I mean everything – even my brain at times, entering the ‘Blogging Arena’ later in life can be hard work.

You need to get the right head on. 

Millennials VS. Generation X

It’s a young persons game isn’t it? All that technology and stuff that never existed until the late 1990s – by which time some of us were already fully-formed adults with kids of our own and probably set in our ways.

“In my day…” comes the desperate, confused and, quite frankly, moany response from the non ‘Millennials.’ I’m Generation X; post Baby Boomer, pre Millennial; what was once described as the ‘alienated youth’.

Well I’ll be damned if I’ll be alienated in later life! Read more ›

Posted in Blogging

Six Tips to Keep You Productive When Working from Home

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Staying productive and on task when you work from home can be super challenging, but, if you’re a freelancer and your home is also your office you absolutely need to nail this if you want to succeed.

Getting everything done just as you want it and on time can be one of the hardest things to get right when transitioning from office life to working for yourself at home.

When I first started working from home I’d get up just before I needed to be at my desk and then spend the morning working in my pyjamas.

I’d make regular trips to the kettle, potter around the kitchen, and, before I knew it, it was 11am which meant time for a break. I’d eat biscuits, stick on Netflix then sit at my PC to work without focusing on anything in particular.

Soon enough it’d be 3pm and I’d done pretty much nothing.

I did this for two weeks before realising I was getting nowhere and would be back in a ludicrous 9-5 office job in no time if I didn’t get my act together, pronto!

Now I successfully work from home as a freelancer and here I share my top tips for how to stay on task and be sure the job gets done when your office is also your living space. Read more ›

Posted in Freelance Life, Productivity

How to Discover Your Writing Passions

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

You like to write, you like to explain yourself, you like to describe things, but you just don’t know what to write about or how to write about it.

You continuously struggle with not being able to grasp what you are truly passionate about because you are just following what everyone around you does – what all the “big name” writers write about.

I’ve been there. And I can help.

It’s time stop living – and writing — like that. You have to discover what YOU are passionate about!

If you’ve been searching for meaning in your writing, and longing to find your perfect niche, but have always been too scared to take the next step: now is the time to take it.

Don’t worry. I’ll guide you through it! Read more ›

Posted in Blogging, Writing

4 Types of Toxic Client Behavior (And How to Avoid Them!)

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Freelance writing is a big, bold, exciting world full of possibilities. You can find success beyond your wildest dreams — if you know where to look and have the right work ethic.

In this sense, working online is similar to working in the “real world.” However, like the real world, people can be toxic jerks — specifically, new “clients.”

If you are a doe-eyed newbie freelancer, hopefully, you haven’t encountered a client with a toxic attitude. If you HAVE, I’m sorry, and I hope this piece helps you avoid people like that in the future. You deserve payment for your hard work — never let a so-called “client” convince you otherwise.

We are going to go through four different types of behavior that toxic clients possess, and why they are hurting you. Afterward, we will dive in deep and figure out how to avoid them altogether.

These examples are based on my personal experiences and horror stories from freelancing friends. Read more ›

Posted in Freelance Life

BIG Changes at LittleZotz Writing!

Hi, Everyone!

I usually save the personal posts for my other blog, but I thought I owed all you LittleZotz Writing readers an explanation…

I haven’t written a post here since last October. And, as you could probably tell from my tone in that post, I was feeling very frustrated.

After eight years of writing about the same topic(s) again and again, I felt stuck in a rut. Like I had nothing new/good to say. So I just stopped updating.

Then the awards started coming in… LittleZotz Writing was named one of The Write Life‘s Top 100 Blogs for Writers and one of Positive Writer‘s Top 50! I was honored. And I felt like I had to continue! But…I still had nothing to say.

I became deeply depressed. Read more ›

Posted in Uncategorized

How to Be a Perfect Guest Writer

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Imagine for a moment that a friend has invited you over for lunch.

When you get to your friend’s house, you not only eat their food, but you take a shower in their bathroom and sleep in their bed. Then, you put their indoor-only cat outside, take their paintings off the walls, sell their car to a man down the street, and smoke a cigar over their baby’s crib.

Is that any way for a lunch guest to behave?

Of course not!

Now imagine that you’ve been asked to be a GUEST writer. Would you walk into the publication like you owned the place?

You’d be surprised how many writers do! In fact, I get hundreds of e-mails every month from writers who do just that.

I’m the Head Editor of Be a Freelance Blogger and 133T, two online publications that depend on guest writers for content. However, despite the extremely clear guidelines on both publications, an overwhelming amount of writers don’t seem to know what guest writing is.

Let’s clear that up once and for all, shall we? Read more ›

Posted in Blogging, Freelance Life, My Favorites, Writing

Write About Any Tough Topic in Two “Easy” Steps

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

As freelance writers, sometimes we get hired to write about tough topics. I’ve written about mental health issues, domestic violence, rape, and any number of other negative issues. And it can be rough to get through!

However, writing about depressing topics doesn’t have to depress you.

If you stay positive, you can write about any topic — and get paid for it! — without having it affect your day-to-day life. Read more ›

Posted in Blogging, Writing

Know the Difference: Pitching, Querying, and LOIs

Illustration by Ramiro Roman.

This is one of the most important blog posts on this site if you’re serious about freelance writing. Every writer – whether you write fiction or non-fiction – needs to learn how to pitch to editors. Or query them. Or send them a letter of introduction.

So let’s talk a bit about what each of those terms means.

Letter of Introduction (LOI)

This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It’s a letter in which you introduce yourself to the editor/publication. And…that’s about it. You say who you are and mention that you have an interest in writing for them, but you leave it at that. In my experience, LOIs are much less wanted than they used to be – most editors would rather jump straight to the query/pitch. (Though most modern queries/pitches have elements of a LOI in them).

Query

Traditionally, this is a letter written to an editor/publication regarding whether or not it’s acceptable to send in a pitch. However, recently, the term “query” and “pitch” can be pretty much interchangeable (with the meaning more focused on the latter).

Pitch

This is a letter written to an editor/publication essentially attempting to sell your idea for an article/post/book. You say who you are (the LOI element), and offer up a brief outline of what you intend to write. Most importantly, a pitch should cover why the idea at hand is perfect for the publication you’re writing to. (Editors want to know that their readers are going to be happy with what they’re reading).

The most important thing to remember is to follow the pitching guidelines for whatever publication you’re writing to. If they want a LOI, send them a LOI; if they want a pitch, send them a pitch.

But, in general, you’ll be sending in something that looks a bit like this template: Read more ›

Posted in Blogging, My Favorites, Writing

Yours FREE! The Writernomicon: 50+ Blogs That Pay $50 or More for Guest Posts

The Writernomicon is a list of 50+ publications that pay writers $50 USD or more for writing blog posts as guest writers.

Why Writernomicon?

Well, clearly, it’s based on the classic Necronomicon by H.P. Lovecraft. Even the cover design – by the talented Ramiro Roman – harkens back to potential designs for that fictional tome. And that makes me laugh. And things that make me laugh are awesome, and; therefore, worthy of publication.

However, the “nomicon” suffix that Lovecraft used, once translated as “Book of Names,” seemed fitting for this book as well – since it’s essentially a list of publishers’ names. A book of names…for writers. Writernomicon.

The way you use this “mystical” e-book is entirely up to you. Personally, I like to look up a publisher that seems interesting and then pitch them an article idea. But you could also think of an article idea first and then look up which publisher seems like a good home for it. Up to you!

The Writernomicon is in your hands now.

Use it wisely.

Download the FREE PDF here!

Need Help Using This Book?

Do you need help using The Writernomicon to your advantage? Are you wondering how to write the perfect pitch? Or how to create your freelance blogging website?

I now have a class up on SkillShare that covers everything you need to know to get started as a freelance blogger — and it’s only $10! (Normally a mentoring session with me costs $97/hour, so that’s quite a deal!).

In the class, I cover topics like:

  • How to get over your freelance blogging fears
  • How to find your area of blogging expertise
  • How to write the perfect pitch
  • How to set up your freelance blogging website
  • What NOT to do
  • How to get testimonials…

…and more!

Go check it out by clicking HERE! (affiliate link).

Love the Writernomicon Cover? Get the Shirt!

Available now on Society 6!

Posted in Blogging, Writing

EXACTLY What It Takes to Be a Managing Editor

Illustration by Ramiro Roman

Last week, I asked you, the readers, what you’d like me to write about next. The response I got most often was “What are the duties of a Managing Editor?”

That’s a great choice! But, boy – this is going to be a LONG post.

I’m the Managing Editor of both a news site and Be a Freelance Blogger. So I have some personal experience in this particular area. I’ve also seen the Managing Editors of the publications I’ve written for in action.

The basic duties of a Managing Editor in today’s online world boil down to this:

Accepting and rejecting pitches. Some publications hire a separate Pitching Editor for these duties but, most of the time, they fall onto the shoulders of the ME.

Editing writers’ posts. As a Managing Editor, you’ll not only be looking for typos and grammatical errors in the posts you intend to publish, you’ll also be making minor rewrites to get the “tone” of the overall article correct, and you’ll also be keeping an eye out for a Call to Action (CTA) at the end so that the post’s final goal is fulfilled (getting shared/getting comments/selling something/whatever).

Uploading and formatting posts. It’s your job to make the posts look pretty before they’re published. This means adding in headers, enhancing certain sentences, adding in a photo or video, etc.

Writing posts yourself. As a Managing Editor you’ll often be called upon to write certain posts yourself. Generally, when something needs to be done RIGHT – and is “too hard” for your stable of writers – you’ll have to take on the task of writing the post yourself. Or, if you’re a publication that accepts guest posts and your buffer has run dry, it could be up to you to fill in the gap in the schedule. So don’t think your writing skills are going to go to waste just because you’re an editor now!

Maintaining a uniform social media presence. Again, some publications hire a separate person to take on the duties of updating the publication’s social media accounts. But, as the Managing Editor, it’ll be your duty – if not to write the updates yourself – to at least take a peek at what’s being written to make sure it’s “on target” with the publication’s overall branding/message. You may also have to edit copy before it’s sent out.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten the “basics” out of the way, I’m going to share some helpful tips to get all you aspiring Managing Editors out there on the path to success! 🙂 Read more ›

Posted in Blogging, Freelance Life, Productivity, Writing

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