Just over a year ago, I walked away from a well-paying marketing job to launch a freelance writing career, working primarily in the business to business sector. Within two months, my freelance income was paying the bills. In this first year of writing self-employment, I learned many things that improved my business savvy and monthly income. Here are 10 tips I wish someone had given me before I launched my freelance writing business.
How do you use WritersWeekly.com’s paying markets section? Does the magazine’s title and your knowledge (or lack of) of a particular niche determine whether or not you read the guidelines? If you’ve never lived on a ranch and don’t know any cowboys, do you bypass the guidelines for RANGE magazine? Do you dissect and ruminate over every word in Purposeful Women? Sure you do; you’re human.
We all like to write about our areas of expertise, and some of us refuse to tackle anything beyond. What’s the payoff for never leaving our comfort zone? Less challenge, fewer writing assignments, and smaller income. I know what I’m talking about because I’ve been there, done that.
There are a few steps you can take which will turn your great idea into a fantastic query letter, and, hopefully, a well-written, attention-grabbing article.
On the WritersWeekly.com Freelance Job Listings, I found a link to the CBC Radio Freelancer Forum. As a print writer, radio was a BIG stretch, but a little desperate for paying markets, I registered for the CBC forum and newsletter. In one of the newsletters was a request for “consumer” pitches requiring freelancers to test several products and tell which gave consumers the best bang for their buck. The finished pieces were only 3 or 4 minutes long and I knew that this was something I could do.
The phone rang this morning and I realized for perhaps the first time that I Am A Writer. It was my friend, Jen. We used to work at the same TV station.
DAY TWO – Your Master List What should writers do? With so many ideas floating around in their minds, it’s impossible to keep them all organized, right? Maybe not. Today we’ll take a major organizing leap, and create a cheat sheet of the types of information you use. The Master List, your organizing bible, drives […]
When I quit my day job two years ago to jump into the perilous pool of freelance writing, my co-workers gave me retirement cards. Little did they know how many 50- and 60-hour weeks I would spend at the keyboard, searching for markets and taking on-spec assignments. I had no idea, either, which explains why I was so excited at the prospect of making a living as a writer.