Did you know that your writing can turn into a profitable profession? If you play your cards right, your writing can lead to consulting, speaking, and coaching jobs. In theory, anyone can call themselves a freelance writer because there are no rules or qualifications for entry. It does not require a university education, and there is no certificate or degree which qualifies someone to be a freelance writer.
If you’re new to freelancing, be sure to find out how to get ahead. Approach businesses or individuals that you feel would benefit from your services and ask them how you could provide them with a sample of your work. Cite your ability to improve efficiency or quality through the use of your work, and if you haven’t already, seek some mentoring from a professional writer. One of our readers is a successful professional freelancer; you can read his web site here: Beyond The Rhetoric.
With the advent of the internet, is has become easier than ever before to take on freelance projects. Thanks to instant messaging and e-mail, you can easily approach dozens of people in a single day and receive an almost instantaneous reply.
If you’re having a hard time finding a venue that could utilize your writing, try:
- Magazines. These are typically the most lucrative. There are thousands of magazines, so try getting your work published in once that matches your interests. If you are skilled with computers, try writing for a computer magazine.
- Literary magazines. These generally don’t pay well, but they get your work in front of thousands of people who may want to use the services of a quality content writer. Lots of academic professionals and business associates read magazines like this, so submit your best work.
- Trade journals. Though pay varies greatly, it is sure to get you noticed.
- E-zines. These online magazines may pay well, or not at all. They require the least amount of work to get involved with, as rather than dealing with an editor or publisher, most e-zines are privately run.
When looking for venues to submit your work, stay away from websites that charge fees or “membership premiums”. Though they may seem tempting, a bit of logic tells you that they are probably illegitimate. After all, if you’re providing them with content, shouldn’t they be paying you?
If you are currently attending a university, or have recently graduated, approach the careers services department and see if they are able to offer you any assistance. Often, employers will offer positions or contract work to these offices as a way of bettering the community. These freelance positions, though not necessarily long term, give you valuable experience that you can show a prospective employer. The more experience that you acquire, the easier it will be for you to acquire permanent employment.
- If you do contact publications to do freelance writing, be sure you have your own set of business cards for a professional appearance. You can get 250 free business cards here. As you know, we encourage all entrepreneurs and professionals to have their own business cards.
16 thoughts on “Put Your Career In Your Own Hands – Freelance Writing Tips”
As someone who has bought and sold articles for magazines, newspapers and websites, I would add that it’s crucial to consider your audience when writing something you want to submit; keep the publication’s demographic in mind and their typical article length. And check, check and re-check your spelling and grammar. Some writers are shocking at this and the sub who is editing your article will remember you if you make their job easier (possibly recommending you to the editor when other opportunities arise).
Taking decent photographs can also help you get your article published, especially if it’s something that requires visuals, like a travel article. You get paid more, too!
I’m a freelancer and a coach of writers and entrepreneurs.
I’d add some resources to this, like picking up the “Writer’s Market.” Also, read the publication that you’re wanting to submit to & learn how to craft a professional query letter – the usual requirement for being given a writing assignment.
Hmmm… I LOVE it when a comment on one blog, prompts a post on MINE. Watch for the trackback & thanks for the inspiration.
Author & founder of the Center of Muse
There are some sites online that offers to pay you to write too (I’m planning on starting my own too at FYIwriter.com :). Anyway, here’re two at the top of my head: AssociatedContent.com and Helium.com–this one appears as Adsense on many of my sites =P.
Yeah Helium must be spending a fortune on adsense, I see their adds all over the place, and not small ones either, large animated blocks… nice adds!
Having been on both the editorial and writing side of student publications, I know they are always on the look out for good original content. If you are a university student or recent graduate, these can be a great way to start in the freelance writing business. Beware of money issues here, especially when working with independent commercial publications aimed at students. They can be a bit un-professional at times because they are dealing with “just students”.
Another great place to begin can actually be small trade publications. They often pay nothing, but it’s a great way to get exposure if you have even the slightest expertise in a given area.
Thanks for the link. I got into freelance writing via the web and 99% of my continues to be online. It’s the easiest to get in and get paid immediately.
I’d have to be more confident in my writing before I even think about venturing out into freelance writing!
I would just get in there, doing is often the best way to learn. If you are writing online it is relatively risk free, as I see it the worst that can happen is that you dont get paid for some of the stuff you write, even then, the feedback would be valuable….
Yes I agree. I am writing for my blog too.
Writing can be good source of income if you like to read and write.
I have outsourced articles to be written too. There are places where you can sign up to write for others and be paid as well.
These include elance.com, rentacoder.com
Guess what if you do not like to write but have lots of content, you can get this software which you speak to it then it transcribes it for you. It is called Dragon Naturally Speaking Version 9.
It cost about US$200-300 on the internet.
However, I got it in a retail shop in singapore for only S$165 or about US$110. Good deal right?
Get a free copy of the Attraction Accelerator report by Bob Proctor at http://www.visualizationexercise.com/rights
Great advice. I enjoy your site.
The Internet and blogs has made everyone a potential professional writer.
My background is advertising, and I can attest to the fact that the best writers I have worked with over the years have had no writing credentials…they were just interesting people with wonderful ideas, or a certain amount of life experience.
Just to remember a few, one was a fork lift driver, another a Jesuit, and another a former stockbroker.
I am happy to say that I do get paid for writing, and pretty much always have, whether as an entrepreneur or freelancer.
So, now I are one, but it is not always easy.
I agree with everything you say. I’m a successful flash fiction writer and I do e-mail tutoring for aspiring short story writers.
My previous strategy was wrong. I’m a Turkish blogger. But i am experienced at DotNetNuke ASP.NET AJAX Framework. Usually writing about DNN and its structure. I have popular how to articles for DNN users. But i was publishing them at my Turkish website. Now i will draw a new strategy for publishing my articles. Your advices are really helpful if i can apply.
I started out doing freelance work to get my foot in the game industry door. It’s been a few years now but I have one game published and another set to be published this summer!
You also can start your own blog and if the idea is good, you can doo as well as Jane
If you have a blog you can write open source content for Ezine’s with your backlink in the bottom, if you submit a good article you can scrounge a few backlinks from relevant sites….