The Freelance Writers Den is a top community for freelance writers; with over 1,200 members, it’s not surprising that we’ve been asked over and over again if this community is worth it. Is the Freelance Writers Den a valuable freelance writing community, or another time-suck and waste of money? Here’s what we think:
Making a living as a freelance writer isn’t easy.
Global competition, content mills, unreliable clients, etc.
Is it any wonder that so many writers end up working for pennies while struggling to make ends meet?
Interestingly, there are also writers who command high rates, work on exciting projects, and get the respect they deserve. What are these writers doing differently? Would you like to become one of them?
Today, I want to show you something that can help you get there: The Freelance Writers Den!
Freelance Writers Den Review
Freelance Writers Den is a paid membership website and community dedicated to helping freelance writers make more money. It was launched in 2011 by Carol Tice, a six-figure freelance writer who runs a popular “Make a Living Writing” blog. The site has since grown into a thriving community of over 1,200 writers. Freelance Writers Den access costs $25.00 monthly.
What is included in a Freelance Writers Den membership?
Carol, who is also known as “The Den Mother” (and her team) puts an incredible amount of work into the Den — and it shows. There’s so much value in the Den that it will make your head spin when you log in for the first time. So what exactly do you get for the $25.00 per month membership fee?
These are mini-courses on various aspects of freelance writing.
Carol recommends you start with “The Step by Step Guide to Freelancing Success”, “How to Get Great Clients” and “Build a Writer Website That Works” bootcamps, so let’s take a closer look at one of them.
“Build a Writer Website That Works” is all about creating a portfolio website that will help you get clients.
It’s made up of four video sessions. Each session is about one hour long, and sessions are led by Carol Tice and Keira Dooley. If you’re not a video person, there are transcripts available for you.
- Session 1 . This session is about getting your website up and running. Carol and Keira explain the basics of WordPress, SEO, the difference between blog-based websites and static websites, etc. Homework? Get your website up!
- Session 2. This session is about web design, or – to be more precise – the usability of your website. Carol and Keira go over the 7 most common design fails that you should avoid, and they explain 7 design rules you should follow. Homework? Improve the design and usability of your website.
- Session 3. This session is about copywriting and portfolios. Carol is joined by Chris Marlow, who is a Den moderator and a copywriting coach. They explain how to write a great copy for your home page and your “About” page. They also give advice on how to handle your portfolio, testimonials and contact pages. Homework? Sort out your home page and ‘About’ page copies, choose a portfolio approach and get testimonials.
- Session 4. In this last session, Carol and Keira review student websites, so you can see how other writers applied what they learned in the bootcamp. Want your website reviewed? You can post the link in the Forums and get feedback from other writers.
Wow, that’s a lot of content to go through, right? And this is only one bootcamp. At the time of writing this, membership includes access to 15, yes, 15 of these bootcamps.
Members also have access to an informative forum, where they can discuss the bootcamp material, or ask for advice on anything related to freelance writing. Carol and the moderators are incredibly active there. Since 2011, they have answered over 65,000 forum questions, of which over 9,000 were answered by Carol herself!
Let’s take a closer look at each of the main categories:
- Bootcamps. Each bootcamp has its own sub-forum where members can post their homework, get feedback and ask questions.
- Suggestions/Problems/Resources/Questions. In this sub-forum, members post their suggestions for the Den, report technical problems, read announcements from the Den’s staff, and so on. There’s also an “Ask an Editor” sub-forum where members can ask questions about pitching editors (for example, the latest thread there at the time of this review is about approaching Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, etc, to which Carol replied with her own experience writing for Forbes).
- Get started/Participate/Get support. This is where members socialize with other writers and get support. Sub-forums include “Blogger-to-Blogger Support”, “Introduce yourself”, “Water cooler”, “Productivity and time management”, “Non-US writer concerns and support” and more.
- Get feedback and critique. Members use this area to get feedback. Sub-forums include “Query/letter of introduction reviews”, “Writer website reviews”, “Article and short-story critics’ circle” and “Writing rants”.
- Writing. This sub-forum allows members to ask questions about writing. Sections include “Writing for consumer magazines”, “Writing for business/commercial writing/copy-writing”, “Book and e-Book publishing” and more.
- Marketing & the Writing Biz. This is where writers talk business. Sub-forums include “How to Break Into Freelance Writing”, “Marketing – general questions”, “Move up and earn more”, “Negotiations and contracts”, “The business of freelancing” and more.
Again, this forum is incredibly active, so whenever you need support, advice, or a simple chat with fellow writers, you have it at your fingertips. Freelancers know that the value of having a community that you can turn to can’t be overstated.
#3 Resource library
The “Resource Library” is a collection of various resources that might come in handy in your writing career. The library includes information on sample queries, contract templates, writing tools, and more.
#4 Job board
Den’s job board is like most other job boards, except that it only features jobs that pay decent rates.
For example, here are some of the recent ads:
- Technical copywriter (3-month freelance project, $40-45 an hour, based in Broomsfield, CO. United States).
- Content writer for a dental marketing website (freelance, $500-1,000 per month or more based on performance. Remote, but applicants must be based in United States.)
- Copywriter for Forever 21 (3 month contract, based in Los Angeles, CA. United States).
- News writer at CBS (part-time, Fort Worth, TX. United States).
Honestly, though, while the job board is a great addition, there’s a lot about it that could be improved. The main issue is that it’s not updated frequently enough to give you the best shot at these jobs (most of which are aggregated from around the web). You see, if a job has been posted somewhere else, and then re-posted on the Den, say, 2-3 days later, that means that your application is likely to be late. Plus, as you can see, most ads are aimed at writers in the US, so if you are from somewhere else, you probably won’t have much luck. Still, it doesn’t hurt to check the job board every once in a while.You never know!
#5 Live events
Each month there are several live events that feature various experts and focus on topics related to freelance writing.
For example, at the time of writing this review, the next three events on the schedule are:
Freelance Writer Den events provide a unique opportunity to learn from a wide variety of experts. It’s best to join them live because this gives you a chance to ask questions. However, if you can’t make it, there’s always a recording available.
This is an organized collection of ALL the Den’s podcasts and webinars.
For example, here are some of the most recent audios:
- “Setting Goals for 2016” followed by “Committing in 2016”. Carol (joined by Linda Formichelli for “Committing in 2016″) discusses goal setting, actions steps, and getting results.
- “Interviewing Influencers.” M. Sharon Baker hosts podcasters Leanne Regalla and Anthony Metivier to talk about how they connect with, and interview some of the biggest names in their fields.
- “Getting Organized and Productive.” M. Sharon Baker hosts organizing trainer Jennifer Hoffman and creator of the Freelance Planner, Michelle Nickolaisen, so they can share their best advice with their fellow freelance writers.
The recording section is a gold-mine for all you people out there who love to listen to podcasts while commuting, exercising, or doing chores. Who knew you could learn to negotiate better rates while washing the dishes?
Is Freelance Writers Den for you?
Freelance Writers Den is one of the best resources for freelance writers out there.
Sure, it costs $25.00 per month, but frankly, that price tag is such a bargain, given the quality of content, courses, forums, live events and support you get for it. Saying that it pays for itself is a massive understatement.
So ask yourself if you are ready to get serious about your career. Yes? Then Freelance Writer’s Den is probably the best place to start.
Click here to Join The Freelance Writers Den