Blog Archives

This Will Help You Solve the Freelance Writing Puzzle

puzzleThe freelance writing game is a bit of a puzzle, isn’t it? One of those big, 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles that are half solid blue sky, I think.

There are a lot of different things to know — the lingo, the scams, who’s a good client. It’s hard to know your best way to break in. Or, if you’re already started, the best way to grow your income.

There are so many things you need to figure out to create a thriving freelance writing business. What niche should I be in? Why aren’t my query or pitch letters getting any response? How can I overcome my fears of rejection and move forward?

I’ve been doing a lot of jigsaw puzzles over the winter with my husband and kids, and as I sat pondering those frustrating little pieces, I started to think the puzzle-solving process is very similar to the process of putting together your freelance career.

Here are ten similarities I’ve found:

Tagged with: , , , , ,

So, What Exactly Does a Successful Freelance Writer DO?

Clueless freelance writer

Being a freelance writer sounds like a dream lifestyle to many people.

They think about the upside — “Yeah, working in my PJs, keeping my own hours, and not having a boss. Awesome!”

But most of the people I know who’re focused on those three things end up washing out as freelancers. They never take it seriously, don’t learn about how to run a business, and don’t take the steps needed to get their business going.

Soon, they’re broke and heading back to the day job world.

It takes a lot of work to be a successful freelance writer. And many people don’t even know what work is required.

Those of us who’ve been at this for (cough) decades tend to forget how boggling it can be, when you’ve been an employee all your life, to launch your own solo freelance biz.

Take this aspiring freelance writer, who recently wrote me:

“Basically, I don’t know anything about freelance writing. So, I guess I´d like to learn the basics. What does a freelance writer actually do?

“I know, write. But what about and who for, you know? Thanks!”–Marcia

What does a freelance writer need to do? Here’s my list of the essentials:

Tagged with: , , , ,

The Secret Behind Every Successful Writer

Freelance writer and her team

When I first got into writing, I imagined I’d be living alone in some tiny apartment above a little boutique in some rundown alley, scribbling and starving.

My life didn’t work out remotely like that. Instead, I’m a mom of three and married 30+ years! (Yes, thanks, I was a child bride.) And instead of writing alone in a garret somewhere, I wrote for editors at a string of publications, and later for businesses.

My point is, every successful writer I know has many people standing behind them — family members, personal friends, writer friends, editors, mentors, and more. If you’re a blogger, most of need tech helpers, too.

As we wind to the end of the year, I want to take a moment to recognize all the people who stand behind me, and who’ve helped me be a successful freelance writer and online entrepreneur.

Tagged with: , , ,

How I Wised Up After 8 Years and Got My First Freelance Writing Contract

Freelance writer signs contract

Eight years is a long time to not know what you’re doing as a freelance writer.

But that’s exactly how long it took me to figure out how to get serious and treat my freelance career as a business.

I hope my story helps you figure it out a lot faster than that.

Tagged with: , , , ,

Why Some Freelance Writers Earn Big Bucks While Most Slave for Peanuts

Well-paid freelance writer

Do you sometimes feel like an easily replaceable cog in the vast wheel that is the freelance writing marketplace?

If so, you’re not alone.

With all the $5 or $10-a-post writing gigs online, it’s easy to feel writing has simply become a cheap activity — and that clients don’t appreciate the work you do.

Here’s one email I got recently that perfectly sums up the problem many writers face:

“The thing I struggle with is that I am unable to land a gig where the client really values what I do. Since the clients I worked with have a number of writers on the rolls, they always treat each writer as just another disposable commodity. Which is worrying, because it means they will drop me any time they want.

“So how I do go about building a relationship where I’m not just another writer?”–Ryan

Great question! That’s exactly what you want to do if you’re going to become a successful, well-paid freelance writer. Here’s how:

Tagged with: , , , , ,

How I Got Magazine Writing Gigs From All 3 of My Dream Markets

Freelance writer dreams of great magazine writing gigs

Since I became a freelance writer, most of my work has been in my favorite niche — the equine industry.

Along with web copy, newsletters, tweets and Facebook posts for trainers, big horse shows, and venues, I write articles and blogs for a few regional horse magazines.

But I had a few dream magazine writing jobs on my bucket list. My dream was to write for the biggies, the national horse magazines that all horse people know. Three topped my bucket list: The Chronicle of the Horse, Dressage Today, and the United States Dressage Federation’s Connection. They’re the Triple Crown of a dressage geek’s reading list.

Fast forward a couple of months, and I’ve now sold articles to all three magazines — within a 10-day period. How did I move them from bucket list to client list?

It was actually a simple process. I followed four basic steps:

Tagged with: , , , , ,