Nothing thrills a freelance non-fiction writer as much as a new sale. Chocolate may make me happy, but a new sale makes me positively ecstatic. It generally causes me to run around the house jumping up and down for a while, while my family smiles and then joins in the excitement. They know what’s causing such euphoria. The name of the game for a freelance writer is, of course, to sell their product. What many newcomers don’t know is how effectively they can re-work a previously published piece for publication elsewhere.
Let’s say you wrote a piece on the dangers of night driving, and how to reduce the risks associated with it. You were able to place that piece with a well-known automobile magazine. Think you’re done? Think again. That piece can use the “Re-Work It, Re-Write It, Re-Sell It” system for extra sales.
With just slight changes to the original material, you could adjust the focus of the article to one for motorcyclists. They need the advice just as much as car drivers. How about RV owners? Long treks across the country can stretch far into the night, and so they too could benefit from such knowledge. Or, again re-work the article just slightly and market the article to magazines for retired persons. Focus on how, as one ages, night vision becomes even trickier. Or, again re-work the article with a slant towards teens this time, and market to teenage magazines. New drivers particularly need to know such specific driving skills.
There! One sale could possibly be turned into a total of five sales. And that was for an article that seemed rather vague and topic-specific. Nearly any topic can be re-worked or rearranged to suit a new market. Learning the tips on how to do so will earn you more profits per article than you ever thought possible.
5 Steps to Re-Work, Re-Write and Re-Sell
1. Find all your old articles, print them out, and create a new file for Resale opportunities.
2. Come up with a lengthy list of topics that interest you, but that you may not have already written. Brainstorm and come up with as many ideas as possible. At this point, don’t edit yourself – just let the ideas flow down on the paper. You’ll use these ideas in addition to completed articles.
3. Take each old article or individual idea and come up with at LEAST three new ways to use the basic information in that article for a brand new piece. Some general articles could be re-worked ten ways or more, so don’t limit your imagination.
4. Find appropriate markets for your re-worked ideas. Don’t worry about writing or re-writing the articles just yet. Once you have an editor interested, then you can begin to write.
5. Query, query and query some more! You won’t sell any kind of article, let alone a re-worked one, if you don’t contact as many editors as you can. Don’t let your quantity crush your quality though. Make sure each query is well written and will catch the attention of the editor.
In the future, as you finish an article, photocopy it and place it in your Resale file. Jot down on a sticky note some ideas on how to re-work, re-write and re-sell this piece. You’ll find that as you use this method, you’ll start to come up with new ideas even as you’re writing the original piece!
A finished article that is sold once is exciting. But, that one article turned into three or more sales is downright thrilling! By looking at each article as a starting point for additional ones, you can make two or three times the money on each piece. And what freelancer wouldn’t love to do just that?
Christina is a full-time freelance writer who has published in a variety of different magazines, websites, newsletters and newspapers. To purchase her full-length booklet How I Became a Published Writer in Less Than a Week (including a markets list), please contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org