Making money as a freelance writer is possible, even for new writers, even in a struggling economy! These tips for supporting yourself as a writer from professiona, experienced, employed writers, and they can catapult you from struggling wordsmith to professional writer!
Before the tips, a quip:
“In baseball, you get only three swings and you’re out,” says playwright Neil Simon. “In rewriting, you get almost as many swings as you want and you know that, sooner or later, you’ll hit the ball.”
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It’s the same with freelance writing, fellow scribes. Keep pitching and swinging – stay in the game – and your articles will sell faster than beer at a Mets game. Click the Writer’s Digest Handbook of Making Money Freelance Writing for more info, and read on for tips from working writers…
Making Money Freelance Writing – 5 Ways to Support Yourself as a Writer
1. Hone your online marketing skills. “Pick a couple hours a day to do nothing but market yourself online,” says part-time writer and published author Gary Unger. “You need to get those writing gigs. If you don’t set aside time to market yourself as a writer, you’ll get too busy with one writing project, and when you’re done you won’t have anything in the ‘next’ pile to work on. That makes your time from article pitch to sale longer. I usually spend the first part of my morning marketing. I scan all the sites I’m on, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, looking for ways to insert what I do into the conversation.”
2. Think strategically about how to earn money writing. “Analyze your revenue performance periodically to see what’s working, what’s not, and where the opportunities are,” says full-time writer Iyna Bort Caruso. “Then adjust your business plan accordingly. Market aggressively. Send out queries and LOIs, get your URL on as many relevant Web site directories as possible, network with other writers and be generous with leads/advice, and experiment with joining organizations to see where the returns are.
3. Bid article bidding websites adieu. “Invest in a good website and online portfolio and then network, network, network!” says Robin Noelle, travel writer & PR specialist. “Not just online but getting out there and meeting people face to face. Forget those online bidding websites!”
4. Be innovative, imaginative, and multi-faceted as a freelance writer. “Look outside your niche for a new one, such as a Twitter, book, or nonfiction group,” says freelancer and editor Nick Belardes. “Constantly create, write, and seek promotional connections that are lucrative. Be imaginative and multifaceted when you’re freelance writing. And be aware that Twitter is perfect for quoting. You never know when some news outlet is going to look at what you’re saying on Twitter as newsworthy.”
5. Find your writing brand or image. “Writers must find their ‘Nike swoosh’,” says lifestyle and humor writer Ron Doyle. “A rejection letter still increases your overall brand salience. That said, flashing your brand alone isn’t enough-editors aren’t swayed easily by subliminal messaging. ‘Gentle pressure relentlessly applied’ seems to work best. Writers must recognize that a masterful grasp of the English language does not guarantee a career as a writer, but a masterful grasp of sales and marketing can. Of course I’m a rookie and don’t make close to $45,000 a year freelance writing, so I’m speaking from a modicum of experience.”
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If you have any questions or thoughts on supporting yourself as a writer, I welcome you below…