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Writing Etc.: How to Land Paying Assignments

~~~ Notes from Minnesota ~~~

Hey Freelancer!

It’s March… 2017 is almost ¼ complete. How’s the freelancing going? Are you nearing the 25 percent mark towards your yearly income goals? How about your release goals?

It’s amazing how time flies.

Thing is, freelancing isn’t difficult. However, it’s a persistent, darn daily endeavor. Skip a few days and you can set yourself back more than you expected.

I speak from experience.

Writing daily is your most important task. Marketing and networking are two more important activities. Do these two daily and boom… you’ve got some momentum that only gets better.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll talk more about that next time. I’ll probably even share some interesting numbers…

Onward and upward,

Beth 🙂

P.S. If you feel like you’re wrestling a creative block, take heart! My newest nonfiction is in the queue and… well… it could transform how you view obstacles to your creative tasks. Watch this space for more. :O


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If you want to be a freelance writer who snags paying assignments, this book’s for you.

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Get The Word Out!

Lately, some Writing Etc. subscribers asked, “OK. I love writing. But how do I get PAYING assignments!?!?”

Depending on where you live, landing those paying jobs may not be as hard as you think. The secret is to start small and build from there.

As many of you already 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 your local clips, you can start approaching bigger markets. Markets like small and mid-sized magazines that are 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 also 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 $40 – $75 per hour as a beginner.

So how do you pick up commercial clients? Easy. Good writers are in demand, especially as the economy softens. Business clients need writers that get results. And if your copywriting pulls in responses, you’ll get work.

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 clients.” I don’t have nerves of steel and have never done that – yet. I don’t rule anything out until I’ve tried it once. If you have nerves of steel, go for it and let me know how it goes. I’ve heard this is the best way to get clients but I couldn’t say one way or another. I’m a weenie when it comes to cold calling.

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.

Assignment: write about ways you can start generating business.


This article was an excerpt from Jumpstart Your Writing Career and Snag Paying Assignments. With dozens of immediately actionable techniques to… well… jumpstart your writing career, this little tome is a fun way to get your career humming. Check it out here:

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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.”



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Published inWriting Etc.