• freelance life

    Freelance Life: The 9 Best Gifts for Writers

    What do you get for the writer who could put you in her novel and have you murdered? maggiemarton.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.  Our Recommendations: The 9 Best Gifts for Writers An Inspiring and Motivating Read I was sent a review copy of this book, and I’m SO glad I was! In Creative Economy Entrepreneurs: From Startup to Success: How Startups in the Creative Industries are Transforming the Global Economy, the authors share advice and case studies that emphasize just how important creative entrepreneurs…

  • freelance life

    What I’m Working On…

    Confession time: I’m working on taking a break. I’m not very good at it. In fact, I’d say I have a lot to learn around this particular skill. See, here’s the thing: My job with BlogPaws ended at the close of April. My goal was to take the first week of May completely, entirely, 100% off. But–and here’s the confession–I couldn’t figure out how. Like, what do I do with myself? What if people send me messages? What if there’s some sort of digital content emergency that needs my particular set of skills? (erm, OK, maybe not that last one…) In truth, I want to take a break. I really want…

  • freelance life

    What I’m working on…

    Somehow we’re well into 2018 Q2. I know I say this every year–every month, really–but the time is just slipping past. In part, it’s because things have been so busy! I say “busy,” by the way, as a positive thing. Productive. Full. Purposeful. I’m never anyone who would subscribe to the “busyness as a badge” mentality, so when I say it’s been busy, I mean full. Happy! So, here’s what’s kept me full and happy: West Paw: Oh, man. I love this brand. I’m so stoked to contribute to their blog, The Scoop. Watch Twitter where I’ll share my posts as they publish! Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food:…

  • freelance life

    How to Land a Guest Blogging Pitch

    In my former role as Director of Content for a digital media company, I received countless pitches for guest blogging. I would estimate–conservatively–that for every 15 pitches, one was worth pursuing. And of those, roughly half fall apart because the writer never replies to my response, the writer submits shitty copy that’s unsalvageable, or because the writer misses the deadline. All the rest of the pitches–14 out of 15 or so–never made it far enough to have the chance to fall apart. I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this, you know that if you pitch a website, part of being a successful freelancer includes finishing the assignment, doing…

  • freelance life

    5 Steps to More Authentic Writing

    How often have you, as a blogger, been told to write authentically? How frequently have you read the advice to be authentic and your audience will find you? Sure, you should absolutely write authentically. Yes, if you are authentic, the right people will find you. But… How do you do that? How do you write authentically? How do you balance all the social media dos and don’ts with being your true self? Here are my 5 steps to authenticity that apply to anyone creating content: Write like you speak. Nothing makes your work sound weirder faster than trying to write in a way that you think sounds “smart” or, really, anything…

  • freelance life

    Writer’s Block Is a Myth

    The New York Times obituary of Joseph Mitchell heralded his work writing about average and eccentric folks, which he did well… until he didn’t. According to the obit: If his name is not as widely known as it might have been, that is mostly because for the last three decades of his life, he wrote nary a word that anybody got to see. For years, he would show up at his tiny office at The New Yorker every day and assure his colleagues that he was working on something, but that it was not quite ready…. Whatever it was, nothing of any substance emerged from his typewriter after 1965 and his friends came…

  • freelance life

    Dear Freelancers, Stop writing on spec. Please.

    I had a disappointing experience recently. Long story short, an editor asked if I’d be interested in writing for them and, by the way, their rate is x. I said sure. I asked if he had assignments lined up or needed pitches. Pitches. So, I pitched. We went back and forth and ultimately decided on two stories. Then, the assistant editor emailed to say… write and submit them both, they’ll see what works, and pay me for/if they want one of the stories. Nope. I imagine that same assistant editor would balk at the prospect of doing her job all day, showing her boss what she accomplished at the end…

  • freelance life

    Confessions of a planner addict

    Hi. My name is Maggie, and I’m a planner addict. (This is a safe space for those sorts of confessions, yes?) It’s all because I love setting goals. Okay. That isn’t entirely true. If we’re being confessional, I might as well let my Type-A, hyper-competitive colors shine: It’s not that I love setting goals. Nope. It’s that I love achieving goals. But, you can’t achieve anything unless you’ve defined it first. Hence, my planner addiction. This is on the top of my mind right now for two reasons. First, I recently joined a planning group on Facebook (yep, there are more of us!). Second, I start setting the next year’s goals…

  • freelance life

    What’s on my plate this week?

    I love my job! My work centers around two topics: pets and women’s lifestyle. And this week I have an awesome mix of projects spread between those topics. First up: Shoptopia.com! I’m lucky to be the pet product curator for this site, which delivers content to shopping malls across the US while maintaining its own hub. I’m pulling products for September right now, and it’s so exciting to be thinking fall! Next: I just wrapped two feature articles for Weddings in Houston magazine. The publication is a gorgeous glossy full of stunning photography and top-notch editorial for Texas brides. It was a ton of fun to work on stories about…

  • freelance life

    The importance of conferencing

    When you work from home, it’s easy to get stuck in a particular mindset. You’re already your own boss (if you freelance), so you lose the benefit of being exposed to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Which is why I make it a point to attend conferences and trade shows at least twice a year. And I’m thrilled to be heading to BarkWorld this Thursday! I can’t wait to meet other influencers in the pet sphere. I’m excited to learn new social media strategies, to interact with fresh brands, and to talk shop with other writers and bloggers. Headed to BarkWorld? Hope to meet you there!