Writing Etc.: Become a Writer for Hire
May 20, 2015
~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~
Sorry for the late issue of Writing Etc. You see, I just finished my second cancervcersary tests. What a trip.
To say this time of year is a tad stressful would be an understatement. Good grief, I’ve been scanned, smooshed, gouged, snipped, poked, punctured, questioned, peeled, and much more. It’s not as fun as it sounds.
That said, a few interesting developments unfolded this year.
First, the powers that be have reviewed and revised treatment protocols for my type of cancer. This means…
- My original plan of action has changed. Gone are the yearly CT scans. In are regular, twice yearly blood tests. Much less testing, much less stress.
- My odds of living cancer free five years from diagnosis has gone from 80 percent to 87 percent. (Incredible news.)
In other words, my upcoming cancerversaries are about to become a LOT easier and I have fewer reasons to stress out.
Wow. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.
To make matters even better, there’s a slight possibility that I may have more colon than originally thought. I should receive information on that within the next few months. In the mean time, I’m still learning what I can eat, but my chances of a long healthy life has increased.
Cool, eh? Guess you get to put up with me a bit longer.
In the mean time, I suggest you do something that makes you feel real good… like write.
Onward and upward,
- How do I land writing assignments?
- How do I get published?
- How do I gain a readership?
- What makes an effective query?
- How do I sell my writing?
All these questions (and many more) answered here: “Advice to Freelance Writers: Insider Secrets to Effective Shoestring Marketing, Managing a Winning Mindset, and Thriving in Any Economy, Volumes 1 – 3.” Get the scoop here: http://filbertpublishing.com/Advice13.html
Get the Word Out
Beth Ann Erickson
Writing Etc. subscribers often write, “OK. I love writing. But how do I get paying assignments?”
Depending on where you live, landing paying gigs may not be as hard as you think. The secret is to start small and build from there.
As many of you know, I began my illustrious writing career covering local city council and school board meetings. That job alone gave me more clips than I knew what to do with.
Armed with local clips, you can start approaching bigger markets. Small and mid-sized magazines are often hungry for new articles. With the good name you’ve cultivated in your community, (you did get a byline for your city council articles, right?) you can start writing for local businesses.
Writing for businesses (otherwise known as copywriting) is one of the best ways to make a living wage as a writer. Depending on the market, you can reasonably expect to earn $30 – $50 per hour as a beginner.
So how do you pick up commercial clients? Easy. Good writers are in demand, especially as the economy softens.
To start attracting commercial clients, you can run a small ad in your local paper. As your expertise increases, place more ads in surrounding papers. Maybe you’ll want to write a snappy classified ad in the business section.
Another way to get business clients is to join your Chamber of Commerce. You’ll meet the movers and shakers in your community and make invaluable contacts.
Send out a direct mail piece. I use a quarterly newsletter and it never fails to turn up something. You can write a snappy sales letter complete with reply form and buckslip, or you can keep it simple.
If you have nerves of steel, you can call prospective clients – otherwise known as “cold calling.” I don’t have nerves of steel and have never done it. Ever.
Another technique to keep the money rolling in as a freelance writer is to have lots of irons in the fire. Along with the magazine queries, and copywriting, I always have a book in the works and am busy sending out proposals for it.
Make goals each day. Decide how many queries you’ll send out. Decide how many sales letters you’ll mail. How many words are you going to write in your book?
The possibilities are endless. That’s why this job is so great. Find out what works for you and then run with it. You just may find yourself making a nice living.
You can use any of these articles free of charge on your own website or zine. Just don’t make any changes and be sure to include this byline:
This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.” http://filbertpublishing.com
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