Are you tired of trying to draft a 1,000-word article, only to find your first draft clocks in at 3,000 words? Then it’s time to gain some new writing skills and learn how to write to length.
A reader recently asked me if I had a resource on how to hit your word count, and I realized I didn’t.
Which is silly, because I had to write to assigned length on 3-4 print stories a week for 12 years, as a staff writer. Not to mention the hundreds of short blog posts I’ve written for clients since I got back into freelancing in 2005.
And then there was that one hard-ass editor at Entrepreneur who would refuse to read my draft if it was more than 10% over assigned length. Period. THAT schooled me, for sure!
Got some writing tips to share with you on how to avoid time-wasting and overwriting in your writing process.
Ready for a simple system to avoid overwriting? Let’s go! Here are 10 key steps to cut the blather and make sure your first draft is close to target length.
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Are you struggling to boost your writing speed?
You’re not alone. Cranking out a first draft is agony for many freelance writers. It can kill your productivity and suck the joy out of your work. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I used to hate first drafts, too. I could sweat for hours over one paragraph. Hours! My writing speed was so terrible, I even quit freelance writing for a while. Don’t do that, OK?
When I came back to freelance writing after a long break, I had a new attitude—and a new skill set. I learned how to triple my writing speed. I’m happier, I’m a better writer, and I make more money in less time.
No matter how slow, scared, and perfectionistic you are, you can light up your first-draft writing speed.
It’s not a mysterious, magical gift. It’s a skill, just like knowing where to put the commas or how to pitch an editor. And the better you get at it, the more you can earn.
Ready to fire up your first-draft writing speed? Check out these ten tips to write faster.
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You take the time to write a solid pitch letter, send it off, and then you wait…and wait some more.
It kind of feels like you’re in the boxing ring, circling, waiting for some action, or a reply.
Maybe nothing happens. What’s your next move? Was there something wrong with your pitch? Should you pitch again? What can you do to engage an editor or marketing director to land an assignment or get a new client?
Long before you step into the ring and hit send, you’ve got to get your pitch letter right.
And that doesn’t happen overnight. You’ve got to learn how to dodge and weave, jab and move, and deliver the kind of punch in your pitch letter that rings a bell for your editor.
If you’re new to freelancing, or you keep getting knocked around when you send a pitch letter, it’s time for a little help.
Want to know how to punch up your pitch letter? Go to your corner and check out this advice from a pro editor trained to show you the ropes.
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If you’ve just stepped into the “freelance writing for beginners” adventure, you’re probably wondering where to find all the action.
You know…clients in your niche ready and willing to pay you money for writing articles, blog posts, case studies, white papers…anything really. Right?
Here’s the thing when you’re new at this…Freelance writing for beginners can feel kind of like stepping into total darkness without a flashlight, flaming torch, or even a tiny wooden match to light the way.
Where do you go and what should you do to find freelance writing clients?
It’s kind of like Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride uttering the words: “I need you to guide my sword, please.”
You need a little help. You’re willing to do the work, even chase down the Six-Fingered Man if you have to. But you need to know where to look.
Wondering how to jump-start your freelance writing career and get clients? Check out these tips to shine some light on how it’s done:
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Find emails…when you’ve got the perfect story idea for a magazine or want to reach out to a marketing director, you need their email address.
That single piece of information is your lifeline to success if you want to pitch prospects, land assignments, and make a living writing.
Your first stop should always be the magazine masthead or the company website to find emails. But that doesn’t always pan out.
So do you throw in the towel, shake your fist at the sky, and spend the afternoon crying about how hard it is to find emails?
Stop. Right. There. Skip the pity party and follow Carol’s advice: “Take the attitude that you are an unstoppable force of nature, and you won’t give up…”
If you want to find emails for editors, marketing directors, or sources, you can. Wondering if your pitch email got read? There’s a way to find that out, too.
Check out these tools you can use as a freelance writer to dig up contact info and find emails:
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