5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Getting Started

One of the questions that people ask me most is, “How did you get started as a freelance writer?” My answer is always the same, “The hard way.” I knew what I wanted to do, but I wasn’t sure how to accomplish it. I am going to make things easier for you by sharing some things I know now that I wish I knew then.

Backup Your Work

My first experience writing for money was with a website called Print N’ Post. The payment structure wasn’t what I was hoping for, so I moved on to other projects. A few months later, I tried to visit the website and it was gone…along with all of my articles! I made the naïve mistake of assuming the website would always be around and it cost me dozens of articles that I could have reused elsewhere. I now make it a point to keep all my original Word documents.

Know Your Rights

Associated Content, now known as the Yahoo! Contributors Network, offers an up-front payment depending on whether or not you allow them exclusive or non-exclusive rights plus royalties based on page views. I foolishly gave them exclusive rights to most of my work believing that I was getting paid more for it. The truth is that after I did some experimenting, the difference between the two was often less than $1.00. For that little difference, I should have kept my rights to republish the content elsewhere. [Read more...]

Why Every Freelance Writer Should Have a Blog

It seems that everyone has a blog these days – actors, musicians, salespeople, politicians, writers . . . and even people who claim to not have a writing bone in their body.  Blogs are an effective and fun medium for spreading ideas and expanding your social circle.  But what you, the freelancer, may not realize is that a blog is not only a novel way of sharing your creative talents, but that it can actually be a powerful marketing tool to help you grow your freelance career.  As a matter of fact, I’d even venture to say that a freelancer without a blog is like a job applicant without a resume.  Here are my reasons for why every freelance writer should have a blog:

Global Opportunity

The Internet is home to well over two billion users – users from every corner of the globe.  In this day and age, it is possible to reach people you’ll never have a chance to meet in person with just a few mouse clicks, and employers know that.  The web is rich with writing talent.  That’s why many people who are looking to hire a writer search online for prospects.  Where do you think they look, and what do you think they’re looking at?  You guessed it.  Blogs.  Not only will potential clients find you through your blog, but you can also exponentially increase your fan base (and, as a result, your chances of accomplishing your writing goals) by creating a blog that people like to read. [Read more...]