3 Steps to making more money as a freelance content writer.

Integrated content marketing

Go to Freelancer.com and you’ll find hundreds of thousands of freelancers competing for millions of projects.

It’s a free-for-all marketplace, and there is a lot of downward pressure on pricing.

Companies know there will be a lot of people wanting to work on the projects they post, so they can sit back and wait for the right writer at the right price.

In many categories this becomes a race to the bottom, because freelancers know the only way they can compete is to keep their prices low.

One of the categories hit hardest by this downward pressure is content writing. And this pressure to write for peanuts isn’t confined just to sites like Freelancer.com. It’s industry-wide.

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Monday Spark: It’s good to feel self-doubt.

freelancer feeling self-doubtMany freelancers struggle to grow their business because they doubt themselves and their abilities. They feel they aren’t good enough in some way.

I have come across this numerous times when talking with or working with freelancers. Some are just starting out, while others have been freelancing for some time. But they all doubt themselves and feel they are not yet ready to get started, or not ready to approach larger clients, or not ready to charge more for their services.

If that sounds a little like you, I have some good news. (Or bad news, depending on your perspective.)

If you struggle with insecurity, you’re not alone.

Accomplished people in all walks of life feel self-doubt.

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Monday Spark: Why working is like sleeping [VIDEO]

deep sleep deep workWorking is like sleeping? Absolutely.

I wish I could take credit for the insight, but I can’t. This is one of the observations shared by Jason Fried in the video below.

Incidentally, Jason is one of the people I really pay attention to when thinking about business. He is one of the founders of 37Signals.com. He is also the co-author of Rework, one of my favorite business books. And he is the co-author of a second book, Remote: Office Not Required, which I have pre-ordered and is slated for publication later this year.

In the video he makes a number of points about getting work done. But the point I want to share with you is the one he makes about comparing sleep to work.

When you nod off, you don’t instantly arrive in a state of deep, blissful, restorative sleep. You move through different stages of sleep. And to get to the really good part, you have to move through the parts that precede it. And as Jason points out, if you wake up several times during the night, for whatever reason, you can’t immediately get back to that place of deep restorative sleep. You have to go down through all the stages again.

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Monday Spark: Stop worrying about bad news.

sign of bad newsWhen you watch the news on TV or browse your favorite news websites, it’s guaranteed you’ll find some really bad news on page one.

The news media put a lot of emphasis on bad, scary and generally depressing news.

Right now you can take your pick from rising gas and food prices, the looming “fiscal cliff”, riots in Europe, nuclear weapons in Iran and so on.

And if world news doesn’t do it for you, there are plenty of depressing stories you can find closer to home – about bullying in schools, people losing their homes, and whole communities being washed away by hurricanes.

One way or another, whichever news source you look at, you can be guaranteed to be overwhelmed with bad news.

Before you go hide under the bed for the next 10 years, here are a couple of things to consider.

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Monday Spark: Eating chocolate makes you smarter!

eating chocolate makes you smartI do love to be the bearer of good news.

Anyway, it’s official. Chocolate makes you smarter. It really does.

In a recent research study, just published by The New England Journal of Medicine, it was shown that there is a direct correlation between a country’s chocolate consumption and the number of Nobel prize winners it produces.

That’s right. The more chocolate you eat, the more likely you are to become a Nobel laureate.

Here is a quote for you, from the study.

“The principal finding of this study is a surprisingly powerful correlation between chocolate intake per capita and the number of Nobel laureates in various countries. Of course, a correlation between X and Y does not prove causation but indicates that either X influences Y, Y influences X, or X and Y are influenced by a common underlying mechanism.”

Never mind the X and Y stuff. Just focus on the chocolate.

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Monday Spark: Dogs like treats, and so do we.

freelancer treat yourselfAfter lunch each day we give our two dogs a small treat. Just a small dog cookie each.

It’s not much, but it makes their day. They look forward to their cookie at the first sign that lunch time is approaching.

Afterwards, they get into some serious playacting, trying to persuade us that we had, in fact, forgotten to give them their cookie five minutes before. One time in a hundred this actually works. I can only imagine the level of satisfaction this gives them. Two cookies, and fooling the man, both on the same day.

The point is, it doesn’t take much to make their day.

And I think the same is true for us.

A small treat can turn an OK day into a great day. Or a rough day into an OK day.

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