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Top 3 Ways to Get Started In Freelance Writing

Get Started Freelance Writing With These Three Tips

"How do I get started as a freelance writer?" is probably the question I get the most often. It's also the most repeated question in our forum. I think people are looking either for a secret or for reassurance.

I've written about the three secrets to successful freelance writing; let me assure you that the world does need more good freelance writers. There is plenty of room for beginning writers to break into the field. That said, if you focus on the following three methods of breaking into writing, you'll probably save yourself some grief.

  1. Approach your local small newspaper about writing

    Community newspapers, small weekly newspapers and special interest newspapers almost always need new writers. The reason is simple; they pay almost nothing. Ten to $25 per article is typical.

    Read the newspaper(s) you're targeting for a couple of weeks, then call the editor with a couple of ideas. Don't be surprised if your ideas are rejected and you're given a totally different assignment. Be sure you know the length required, the deadline and the method of submission. This first assignment will be a test. Assuming you meet your deadline, word count and the article is reasonably well written, you're likely to get more assignments.

  1. Try writing for a trade magazine in your current industry

    Are you a beautician, back-hoe operator or accountant who longs for a freelance writing career? Whatever your job, the chances are there's a trade magazine or several that address that industry. Trade magazines need articles by people with experience in that trade or industry. As a general rule, trade magazines are more open to beginning writers than most of the well established consumer magazines. There just isn't as much competition for the trades, and some of them pay surprisingly well.

    Locate trade magazine through your place of work and through the annual Writer's Market or WritersMarket.com.

    Study an issue or two then submit either a query or a complete article for consideration.

  1. Master the query letter

    The query letter is the lifeblood of many freelance writers. Good query letters will land you all the assignments you could possibly want. But, writing a successful query is a skill and it often takes some time to learn how to write them.

    You'll also find a Sample Query Letter. There is also an article called How to Query by Email.

    Once you have some sense of how queries work, write and send some. If you get a rejection, and it's likely in the beginning, re-read your query and see what you'd do differently now. If you get an assignment go for it.

It will probably take several attempts to make a sale in each of these three writing markets, but once you do you'll be on your way.



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Email Anne: Anne@AboutFreelanceWriting.com

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