Spread Your Skills and Markets By Abby Williams

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Six months ago, the credit crunch seriously hit my writing income. I’d made the fatal mistake of ‘putting all my eggs in one basket’. That ‘basket’ – a women’s weekly – changed its format and no longer needed the well researched features I’d been supplying.

I was forced to go outside my comfort zone and do some ‘cold calling’ to find writing work. I started local, and rang one of the monthly county magazines. To my amazement the editor was seeking fresh talent to write articles on interesting local people. I gave her my website details; she gave me the freelance job!

Three months later, the editor asked if I’d ever written an advertorial – a piece that is half advertisement, half editorial. I hadn’t, but accepted the assignment anyway. I then panicked, hastily scoured the internet, found several good articles on how to write these sales pieces, and have now written five of them. Much to my surprise, I really enjoy it. Not only do I get to go out and interview local business owners – writing can be rather solitary after all – but I still get to do background research, which I love. I’m then able to write up news/human interest stories to sell that company’s service or products.

I’ve now been asked to write the monthly beauty page. too. which seems to involve creatively summarizing beauty product press releases. Again, I’m not sure I can do it but, hey, I’ll give it a go. It feels good to be stretching myself in directions I never considered before.

An extra bonus has been that, since honing my interviewing skills, I now find local people with fascinating ‘real-life’ stories to tell and get to sell them to various magazines. I’ve learned my lesson not to get caught again with all my eggs in that one basket!

Abby Williams is a published freelance writer living in the UK. For more information, please visit http://www.abbywilliamsfreelancewriter.com.

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