Want More Writing Jobs? 5 Ways to Set Yourself Apart as a Writer

Ways to Set Yourself Apart as a Writer

Why Do Some Writers Find Writing Jobs, and Others Sit Idle?

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!

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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.

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6 thoughts on “Want More Writing Jobs? 5 Ways to Set Yourself Apart as a Writer

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Thanks for your comments!

    I think the best tip for new and established freelancer writers is that different things work for different people. Some writers set themselves apart and find more writing jobs by specializing in one niche, while others succeed through their voice and style.

  • Catz MG

    Thanks for providing this useful article for those who want to go full time freelance writing job. I’m vying for this but due to limited time, it was set to the sideline but I’m still researching for the pros and cons for future references. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  • Erik van Geest

    Thanks for the tips! I agree, it’s not always the most talented people who get the paid jobs but those who work at them and can sell themselves! I write on my own blog, where I write every day on topics about social networks, people, customers, commerce and news. I try to write every day. As the site grows, so does my writer network and at some point no doubt I will run into some paid work. But I write for the love of writing, and I think that has to be a first for any sort of success in this business. Best regards, Erik van Geest

  • Bani

    @Zahnarzt you’re wrong here:) you know, the key to success is to be the best in your field. so try to be the best in one domain that you’re good at. so, instead of writing mediocre articles about 100 topics, from programming, to parenting, better be an ace in one field and be known as an authority

  • Zahnarzt

    hm… I agree with all the other tips, except the first one. if you specialize in one niche, you’re limited. what happens if you don’t find a job in that field? what if what you like writing about isn’t that requested. you spend a lot of time specializing in that domain and then..?

  • Michelle Oeltjen

    Great tips! Do you have any specific PR books you would recommend or do you feel the ones you have listed are comprehensive?