If you want to find more writing jobs, you need to set yourself apart as a writer! (And keep improving your writing skills.)
These five ways to set yourself apart are from Vancouver based publication coach, Daphne Gray-Grant.
“If anything is clear about writing these days, it’s that the ‘traditional’ routes to success are badly blocked,” says Gray-Grant. “The faltering economy has made corporate writing jobs hard to find. The book publishing industry – which was never an easy nut to crack – is in even more chaos than usual as it works to deal with the impact of digital readers. How can anyone make money at this business?”
Her advice is to stop standing in front of the same door as everyone else. Here, she offers five ways for writers to find more writing jobs by setting themselves apart…
5 Ways to Find More Writing Jobs
This is a guest post, courtesy of Daphne Gray-Grant.
Specialize in one niche
There are lots of writers around. But there are fewer who specialize in writing about financial services, applied sciences or other “niche” areas. You may hesitate to make this choice because you fear it will limit your choices of writing jobs. Paradoxically, it will widen them! You’ll not only be competing against a smaller number of people but you’ll also likely to earn more money. Remember, a brain surgeon makes more money than a GP. To find more writing jobs, find your niche (such as writing for trade magazines) and stick to it.
Take some writing jobs for free (or low pay)
I charge healthy fees but I also do a lot of writing for which I don’t earn a nickel. My publication coach newsletter is but one example — I also write for other websites and blogs simply to get my work in front of as many eyeballs as possible. It’s time consuming to take writing jobs that don’t pay but, ultimately, it pays off — for me, in terms of book sales and reaching potential customers.
Self-publish your books or e-books
In the old days, self-publishing was an expensive, risky proposition for writers who weren’t quite good enough to get published in the traditional way. Now it’s a thoroughly respectable business. Funnily enough it can also lead to traditional publishing. In fact, blogger Brunonia Barry initially self-published her novel The Lace Reader, and then William Morrow picked it up. The book turned into a bestseller. Remember that self-publishing can lead to more writing gigs.
Write faster – be a more efficient writer
Make sure your writing skills are well honed and fast. If you’re paid by the word (as I am, by some of my clients) you can double your money by producing articles or copy twice as quickly! Even if you’re not paid by the word, a fast writing speed will impress most clients. If you want more writing jobs, you need to learn to write efficiently.
Sell yourself as a writer by marketing your skills
I know, I know, writers want only to write. But as I’ve said before, the best writers don’t always get the most work. Writing jobs go to the people who know how to sell it. So, to find more writing jobs, teach yourself to become a better salesperson. Take a marketing course, read a PR book and most of all, practice!
While you might not want to be knock knock knockin’ on heaven’s door, you do want to try a place that everyone else isn’t attempting to squeeze through. Choose a door with fewer people behind it and you’ll increase your chances of success.
If you’re starting your career (or if your career has stalled), read Jenna Glatzer’s Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer: How to Win Top Writing Assignments.
What do you think of these tips for finding more writing jobs? Comments welcome below!
For more ways to set yourself apart as a writer, read 5 Traits of Top Writers – What Makes Good Writers Good?
Daphne Gray-Grant is a writing and editing coach and the author of the popular book 8½ Steps to Writing Faster, Better. She offers a brief and free weekly newsletter on her website. Subscribe by going to the Publication Coach.
Gray-Grant also contributed 10 Common Writing Mistakes, and 10 Remedies for Writers, here on Quips and Tips for Successful Writers.