Back in 2011, when I started writing car museum articles for an automobile magazine, I purchased three thick books about classic cars from a Seattle secondhand bookstore. These heavy encyclopedic tomes would, over the years, provide me with valuable background information for my articles. Between them, these books cost $35. Considering that I’ve made $21,600 from my automobile museum series, I’d say these were excellent investments.
Forward thinking journalists don’t hesitate to spend money on resource materials like books or eBooks that they’ll use over and over when researching their topics.
Likewise, subscribing to appropriate writing magazines like Writer’s Forum (U.K) and Writer’s Digest (U.S), and buying “how to” books about freelance writing is money well spent. And, you should subscribe to one or two top magazines in your writing genres that resonate with you. They’ll give you quality stories, written by the top players, so you can learn from their writing styles, and they’ll also help you percolate more story ideas to pitch.
Certainly for the Do-It-Yourself writer, there’s plenty of free information about breaking into freelance writing and increasing our income floating around on the Internet. But, this relentless flood of fragmented data comes at us piecemeal, making it difficult to absorb in a meaningful, linear way. We learn best when new information is presented sequentially, in a way that builds upon itself. I know this because I was a teacher from 1976 to 2009 at the high school, technical college, and university levels.
If you want to rapidly boost your knowledge, catch up on the latest freelance writing trends, get enthused and excited, and meet kindred writing spirits, you should also be attending writing classes, workshops, and conferences. Several conference allow writers and high end magazine editors to “speed date,’ where the writers have 10 minutes to introduce themselves to each editor, and pitch them a story idea or two. If you snag one story at an event like this, you may have paid for your trip and conference fees, and probably got your foot in the door for future assignments.
Participating in classes, workshops, and conference helps you continue to improve, and stay motivated. And, you get to learn from the top writing experts. You’ll find that most professional writers are happy to talk shop with you at these events because everyone’s got their buzz on.
Membership in a reputable writing organization is also money well spent, provided the organization offers you real substance. Ignore the over-hyped vanity “coffee clubs” that just provide a place for sub-standard writing wannabes to showcase their cliché-ridden stories. You’re not going to learn anything of value there. Look for professional organizations that have regular communications with their members, host conferences and workshops, and keep their members updated on new developments.
And, if you really want to fast track your writing career, hiring a successful and proven writing coach can rocket you to the front of the line. Just make sure your coach has an impeccable track record, and has been well published. There are plenty of writing coaches out there with wafer-thin resumes. Avoid those.
These investments pay off in so many ways! As your knowledge, experience, and networking contacts increase, so will your writing income. Do your due diligence, put in your time, and be prepared to spend some money to make exponentially more money as a freelancer.
When A Writer Turns To Research, Profitable Nuggets Can Be Uncovered! By Peter Garland
Make Your Research Work for You – Over and Over Again By Jill Pertler
Using RELIABLE Sources Can Increase Your Freelance Writing Income! – by Charlotte Grainer
I’ve Never Stopped Learning By Pamela Moeng
Listen, Learn and Publish By Lisa Tiffin
Freelance writer Roy Stevenson is the author of The Complete Guide to Query Letters for Travel Writers. He has had more than 1,000 articles published in 200+ regional, national, and international magazines, newspapers, trade journals, custom publications, specialty magazines, in-flights, on-boards, and online travel magazines. He’s considered one of the most prolific travel writers in the U.S.A. You can read Roy’s bio and see some samples of his work at his writer’s website, www.Roy-Stevenson.com. He produces a free weekly newsletter for aspiring travel writers. It’s considered one of the most informative e-zines in the travel writing business. Subscribe here: http://www.pitchtravelwrite.com/pitchtravelwrite-ezine.html
TRAVEL WRITING 2.0: Earning Money from your Travels in the New Media Landscape - SECOND EDITION
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The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing
Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.
The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.
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QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED! Real Queries That Landed $2K+ Writing Assignments
Peek over the shoulders of highly successful freelance writers to see how they earn thousands per article! The query letter is the key!
In these pages, you'll find real query letters that landed real assignments for national magazines, websites, and corporations.
- Abbi Perrets' form letter that brings in $30,000-$45,000 annually
- Sample phone query from Christine Greeley
- The Six Golden Rules of Queries and Submissions...and How I Broke Them! by Bob Freiday
- Your Rights As a "Freelancer"
- and ANGELA HOY'S SECRET for finding ongoing freelance work from companies that have a stable of freelancers, yet never run ads for them!
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy
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Great article. Very informative, engaging and substantive.
I totally agree; investing in our career as writers is crucial to longevity and success.