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Write Now: Get Paid for Your Freelance Writing
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.
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.
- Journalism Jobs
Those of you who are little more experienced will find journalism jobs listed here. There are sometimes freelance opportunities.
- Freelance Writing
Freelance writing jobs categorzied by the amount you are paid are listed here.
- Online Writing Jobs
There are a variety of online jobs on this site.
- Freelance Blogger Jobs
Get a freelance writing job as a blogger.
- Craig's List
Look for freelance jobs in your city. Telecommuting freelance writing jobs are also posted. Search daily!
Bid on freelance writing jobs.
- Freelance BBS
You can post an ad, stating that you are searching for work as well as look for open gigs on this site.
- Media Bistro
Awesome freelance and staff jobs from across the United States. Most of the jobs are in New York.