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Curious Minds: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Freelance Journalist

How to Think Like a Freelance Journalist. to be a freelance journalist? It starts with one simple thing…curiosity.

It’s a skill that will help you get better at copywriting and content writing, not just hard-news reporting.

When you learn to think like a freelance journalist, you’ll also tap into skills to ask good questions, find fresh angles and ideas, understand your audience, and ultimately make more money from writing.

Can you really learn how to think like a freelance journalist? Or do you need a J-school degree, a stint as a cub reporter, and years of experience? Yes, you can. And no, you don’t.

It might take a little practice, but you can learn to think like a freelance journalist.

To help you out, we caught up two veteran journalists in a recent Freelance Writers Den podcast to talk about journalism skills and strategies for freelance writers.

Curious? Check out this Q&A to learn how to think like a journalist:

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Do This Right After You Get Your First Freelance Writing Job

Leverage Your First Freelance Writing Job. can still remember how excited I was to get my first freelance writing job. It was an essay for an alternative paper in Los Angeles that paid $200.

Over the moon! You know I ran right down to my nearest mini-mart, the hour those papers got delivered, to grab myself a few copies.

Then, I followed up on that by doing…nothing.

When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of seeing your name in print, or getting that client check after your first freelance writing job. And to be a bit in the dark about what to do next, to keep building career momentum.

There are some key moves to make right after getting that first gig that can help you build your career faster — steps that most newbies don’t take. (I know I didn’t!)

Want to get some real mileage out of your first freelance writing jobs? Here’s what to do right after your work gets published:

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Humor Writing: 15 Markets That Pay You to Make People Laugh

Humor Writing: Get Paid to Make People Laugh. a good laugh? Humor writing can serve up just the right dose of feel-good vibes to put a smile on your face.

If you’ve got a knack for telling funny stories, humor writing can also be a great way to make money as a freelancer.

Heard any good stories or had any crazy experiences that you could use to land a humor writing assignment? Or maybe you have a way of seeing the ordinary a little differently than others.

That’s usually where great story ideas in this niche begin.

Some consumer magazines still have a place carved out for humor writing, like the Reader’s Digest and The Saturday Evening Post.

A few markets like Cracked and The Funny Times, still exist that exclusively publish satirical and humor writing.

And there’s plenty of other markets that expect a mix of humor writing in every story to please their readers.

Have a funny story to tell? Or want to take a crack at humor writing?

Check out these 15 humor writing markets:

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How to Avoid Overwhelm and Launch Your Freelance Career

Overwhelmed? Tips to Launch Your Freelance Career. Fear and overwhelm might be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to building your freelance career. But it doesn’t have to be. Read this to find out how to finally get the ball rolling. Enjoy! —Carol.

The Internet has made some things about building a freelance career as a writer a lot easier.

You can investigate what a magazine has recently written, for instance. Or find an editor on LinkedIn.

But in other ways, our Information Age has caused problems for writers.

I know because I keep hearing comments from new freelance writers like this:

“There’s so much to know and the world of freelance writing is rapidly changing. I feel so behind and don’t know how I’ll ever catch up. Can you help?”

Wondering if you can really jump in and build a freelance career as a writer, even though you don’t know everything right now?

I do have a tip on that.

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Content Mills Make You Vomit? Remedies for a Healthy Writing Income

Sick of Content Mills Healthy Writing Income Remedies. scan through all the low-paying work in the content mills, and it makes you feel sick.

Ever done that?

Spend much time in the content mills, and you’ll soon feel the need to wash your hands, lather up with hand sanitizer, and spray your computer with Lysol, or you’ll spew disgust all over the place.

It’s not a healthy place to find clients or make a living writing.

Maybe you’ve already sold your soul and several hours of your life to write a blog post for five bucks. No doubt, the kind of mind-wasting gigs content mills are infested with.

When one writer I talked to told me he did this 399 times, I threw up in my mouth a little.

If you want to be a successful freelance writer, you can’t hang around the content mills. It’s a toxic environment that will siphon creativity, confidence, your bank account…and make you feel like blowing chunks.

Sick of content mills? Take these four healthy writing income remedies:

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Freelance Marketing Famine? 4 Ways to Find Hungry Clients

Freelance Marketing Menu to Find Hungry Clients. I first started out as a freelance content writer, I almost didn’t make it. My lack of freelance marketing focus was largely to blame.

But there were other reasons I nearly starved, too.

I quit my day job before I had steady clients. My portfolio was slim. And my savings? Ahem, what savings?

I also had bad habits. I squandered way too much of my time on freelance marketing strategies that didn’t work. If you’re nodding your head, I totally understand.

Fortunately, I realized that if I was going to survive, I needed a better freelance marketing menu of strategies to find clients that were already hungry and ready to hire me.

Worried about how you’re going to find great clients? I know I was.

To turn my freelance marketing famine around, I had to figure out better ways to reach out and make connections. These four tactics will help you find clients eager to throw you some work:

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