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Write Now: Get Paid for Your Freelance Writing

Updated on January 27, 2013
I was featured in Atlanta Business Magazine
I was featured in Atlanta Business Magazine

You can Write and Get Paid

Imagine earning thousands of dollars for one freelance article, getting paid $1 per word. Imagine earning a full-time living writing and editing a single corporate newsletter. For me, the dream of becoming a freelance writer became a reality. I am actually a freelance travel writer. You can become a paid freelance writer, too. Here are some lessons that I've learned along the way.

Hone your writing. Write extensively for blogs or websites. Edit your writing and edit it again. Ask someone you trust to be a critical reader. Take a freelance writing class online or at your local community college. I took a magazine writing class at a local university; that was probably one of the best investments that I had made. Writing courses help you expand your writing, develop your tone, and stretch your vocabulary.

Know Your Market

Some top Amercian glossy newstand magazines pay $1 per word or more. Be warned, that most of the markets ask for all rights, meaning that you can't sell the same article again because you no longer own it. If you want to write for one of these magazines, you have got to study the publication. In fact, you must study several issues of the publications. My low-budget research method includes visiting Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, B. Dalton or the mega bookstore of your choice. Read the magazines that you would like to crack. Pay close attention to the tone and word choices in the articles. Write down the article titles and departments included in the magazines. Get a copy of the Writer's Market. This invaluable guide will help you determine which publications are open to freelancers. The Writer's Market will give you a great synopsis of dozens of publications, editor contact information, and the amount of money paid to freelancers.

Visit the library and ask for access to the research databases like ArticlesFirst and Proquest. Plug in various made-up article titles and subjects to see if they have been recently covered. I think that most writers fall short because they solicit to write about topics that have already been covered.

Become a Freelance Writer
Become a Freelance Writer

Write for the Web

When you for web sites or other publications, you may have to start small and work your way up to landing the big gigs. You should start your own blog to get the feel for writing articles consistently. Select some web sites that hire writers, research the types of articles on the site; think up some original article ideas, and make your pitch. E-mail your story idea rather than the full article, in most cases. That's called a query. Sometimes you will not get a response from your queries. Sometimes you will get accepted. Most times your query will be rejected. Don't give up. All writers have been rejected over and over again. We can wallpaper our bedrooms with rejection letters and e-mails.

Make Writing Contacts

I got my first break writing an article for Essence Magazine after meeting an editor at an association meeting. The editor was the guest speaker. I made sure that I went up to her and introduced myself after the meeting. I don't think that I mentioned that I wanted to write for her. I simply told her that I enjoyed her speech. Later that night, I sent her a query letter, pitching an article idea. I mentioned some of the remarks that she made in the speech. I remember that she stated that she loved Lemonhead candies. I sent a box of Lemonheads with the query! I got a phone call within a few weeks! My query (and the Lemonheads) got her attention. I had made a connection.

I have landed writing gigs by cold calling advertising and marketing agencies listed in the phone book. I called dozens of companies until I found one that was willing to give me a chance. At the time, I had samples of advertisements that I'd written. If I did not have samples, I would have made some up (telling the company that they were made-up samples, of course). For example, if I saw an ad for a fitness writer, and I didn't have any examples of fitness writing, I'd get to work writing some! Good writers are versatile. You may not have all of the answers, but you know how to research and communicate thoughts.

Look for Freelance Writing Jobs

As freelance writer, you need to search for jobs almost daily. There are certain job boards that you should frequent. Here are some places where you should look for work.

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    • profile image

      Erica 11 months ago

      Great info! I am currently a teacher, but would love to write. My passion is poetry. Thanks again for the great information.

    • camdjohnston12 profile image

      camdjohnston12 6 years ago

      Wonderful hub. Easy to understand.

    • profile image

      Get Paid to Write 6 years ago

      Thanks for posting this! I think that this profession is becoming exceedingly more desirable for many Americans that have recently lost their day jobs. Great post!

    • profile image

      Deborah cone 7 years ago

      I AM WRITING A MEMOIR BOOK ABOUT MY LIFE AND IT WILL BE PUBLISHED HOPEFULLY APRIL.I HAVE A SHORT STORY THAT I WROTE AND IT IS A MYSTERY AND ITS ALMOST FINISHED.I AM ENJOYING WRITING AND NEED TO DO THIS.

    • profile image

      Denizee 7 years ago

      I appreciated this Hub for the information you've posted, and the effort you put forth to enlighten all writers on how to begin with freelance writing. Thank you so much.

    • profile image

      kassay 7 years ago

      hi ya all I am from Wa state and Im always up for good ideas, to mangnifiy my learning skills. I do that by trying something new every day. I will read a new word or go on the web even out door things just to expand my mind. so when I came across this article I was looking mainly for fresh writing ideas. so thank

    • create a page profile image

      create a page 8 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Hi, I enjoyed reading your informative hub. You do know much about freelance writing, and I can see you have been very busy writing, since you have only written four hubs in 2 years. Regardless, keep sharing with hubpages if you are able to.

    • Williamjordan profile image

      Williamjordan 8 years ago from Houston TX

      Great Hub thank for the tips.

    • jxb7076 profile image

      James Brown 8 years ago from United States of America

      Thanks for the tips, I really enjoy your hubs. Take care .

    • profile image

      macmission 8 years ago

      Your so sweet

    • profile image

      ArticleWriter101 9 years ago

      Great information in this hub!

    • sunnyseth profile image

      sunnyseth 9 years ago from Toronto

      hope this is all true!! i write some sports stuff for an online magazine, check out my hub its all listed there, trying to get some recognition. im in a journalism school so this was very helpful thanks and check out my hub to read my work!

    • profile image

      Annika Wan 9 years ago

      This is so inspiring! You're an excellent writer and your positive attitude will bring you far.

    • kashifmahmood profile image

      kashifmahmood 9 years ago from Web

      Thanks for share these useful links.This is indeed a very nice hub ! Hope to see more of these here .

      https://hubpages.com/business/Work-Online-from-hom

    • profile image

      czecho 9 years ago

      Some great tips for those looking into freelance writing. Thanks...

    • taylorblue profile image

      taylorblue 9 years ago from Canada

      what great tips and links you have here...I wish I would have read this about a month ago!! GetaFreelancer is an awesome place to look for jobs. I have found about 95% of my freelance work there!

    • caspar profile image

      caspar 9 years ago from UK

      Great hub, Claudine, with some very useful links.

    • Matt Maresca profile image

      Matt Maresca 9 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you, Claudine. This hub gave me some great ideas. I love when I read things that give me great ideas. Thanks.

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      This is great! Thank you for sharing! Have bookmarked your article to read again.

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 9 years ago from Portugal

      Thank you MM del Rosario, seeing your comment in hubtivity made me come here and found out this great hub!

      Thank you Claudine for sharing all this information with us :-)

    • Claudine Williams profile image
      Author

      Claudine Williams 9 years ago from Atlanta

      You are right, MM Del Rosario, writing takes a lot of time, and the library is a great place to conduct research. It's important to note that if you are a novice, you should consider writing as an extra source of income. Most professional freelance writers have full time jobs or a spouse who helps support the family.

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 9 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Hi Claudine,

      Great tips you have given here, writing takes up a lot of time researching, the library is really a good place to start finding good tool for the research... thanks for this. MM

    • Claudine Williams profile image
      Author

      Claudine Williams 9 years ago from Atlanta

      You all are too sweet! I really appreciate the comments.

    • profile image

      Wehzo 9 years ago

      Great hub Claudine. This is something I need to look into seriously. A change in careers is needed. Thank you.

    • djtphn1 profile image

      djtphn1 9 years ago from Riverside County, California

      Great info, thanks, I might just use some of those links....

    • Peter M. Lopez profile image

      Peter M. Lopez 9 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

      Great tips. Excellent hub.

    • profile image

      ang3lz 9 years ago

      excellent hub girl...nice and very informative with great advise.

    • nicheblogs profile image

      nicheblogs 9 years ago from Australia

      There's some great writers resources here and I'll be checking back cos so there's so many places to go to. Great Hub!

    • Francis Moran profile image

      Francis Moran 9 years ago from Paramount, CA

      very informative indeed!

      simply great!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 9 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Great tips, Claudine! I have always used Writers Market, myself. Nice addition with all the links. Super hub. Steph

    • TalentManager profile image

      TalentManager 9 years ago from Suisun City, Calif.

      Claudine:

      Thanks for all the information you provided in your article.

      Lynne

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

      An excellent hub.

      Look forward to reading some more.

      Thank you

    • coolbreeze profile image

      Rik Rodriguez 9 years ago from Hawaii

      NIce hub Really helpful Thank you

    • Claudine Williams profile image
      Author

      Claudine Williams 9 years ago from Atlanta

      Thanks so much for your comment.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 9 years ago

      You go girl!! Thank you so much Claudine for sharing these wonderful tips with all of us!! Your writing is first-rate!! I will be looking forward to many more Hubs from you!! Blessings to you and yours!! Earth Angel!!