Saturday, September 30, 2006

Get Noticed!

A few days ago, I spoke about rejection -- and wanted to know how fellow writers handled it. In an even earlier post, I wrote about how to overcome rejection. Now, I'm going to share with you my tips to improve your chances of getting an editor or publisher to notice your work. In order to avoid rejection, you must have something that stands out from among a pool of hopeful would-be writers. Hopefully, these tips will inspire you to continue writing!

Because freelance writing remains a highly competitive market, oftentimes being a "good" writer isn't enough. In many cases, you can be a highly articulate, wonderful writer but still end up being rejected by an editor. Why? Because in order to compete, you have to showcase your particular talent -- a talent that makes your writing the best it can be. In other words, you have to grab an editor's attention and keep it.

In order to do this, you have to forgo all efforts and modesty and let it all out there for an editor to see. Don't be afraid to show them you have what it takes! You can be a great writer, but unless you stand out from all the rest of the great writers, you're chances of impressing an editor significantly decrease. Additionally, if you care about what you're writing, that will show through to an editor and make your piece that much better.

If you have any additional tips about how to get noticed by an editor or publisher, please feel free to leave them in the comments. I hope you have a terriffic weekend!


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Increasing Your Rates

Whew, I've finally managed to fix the internet problems I've been having lately. Well, okay -- the Cox Cable men fixed it, but at least the problem has been solved. Hopefully, I'll be able to start updating this blog regularly again. I've hated letting it go like this!

Moving right along, today I'm going to talk about writing rates. I know, I know -- this topic has been done to death, and I've actually blogged about it before. However, I have a question for you, my fellow freelancers and I'm hoping you'll be eager to share your experiences.

As writers, we value our time, skills, and experience -- and charge for our services accordingly. My question to you: When did you decide it was time for a rate increase? Furthermore, how did you notify your long-term clients that your rates had changed? This is a question I run into surprisingly often in the freelance writing community, and I'd be pleased if you provide some insight into this matter.

Feel free to leave a comment or send an e-mail whizzing my way.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


Monday, September 25, 2006

How Do You Handle Rejection?

The world of freelance writing often comes with rejection, so I feel today's question is quite appropriate. How do YOU handle that dreaded rejection letter? Even if you're not a writer, but your career involves contract or freelance work, I'd like to know how you handle being turned down.

For people new to the field, rejection can be quite a blow. While it may lower your self esteem and make you feel worthless, cheer up! Rejection is not the end of the world -- as a matter of fact, rejection can be shown in a positive light and actually make you work harder to please your client next time.

Please leave your comments below, and tell me how you usually end up handling rejection. I'm very curious to hear your thoughts on the matter!

Warm Regards,


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Return from the Deep

Phew! Well, I've returned for the time being. Hopefully, this means regular updates can start again -- I know this blog has been sitting idle, of late. Sometimes, life just throws you for a loop and you have no choice but to deal with it head on. Unfortunately, this means oftentimes leaving little side projects (like this blog) in the lurch.

However, I do have a question for you, my fellow freelancers. What are some of your favorite websites to look for jobs? I've shared several links with you since the advent of this journal, and now I'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Are there any favorite places you just have to visit every day for new leads? Any websites you've managed to obtain long-term clients from?

Leave your thoughts in the comments. I'm eager to get back into the swing of things after my absence!

Best Wishes,


Friday, September 15, 2006

VERY Temporary Hiatus

As you've undoubtedly noticed, I haven't updated in quite some time. Life is quite hectic right now, and unfortunately I've let this blog go by the wayside. I promise, frequent updates will return! I just wanted you to know that for now, updates to this blog will cease to exist until I can get a few things sorted out.

Peace to you all, and have a fabulous weekend!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

News and Magazine Writing Tips

In starting your freelance career, you probably wrote for a few internet publications at first. You dabbled in a variety of topics, maybe even found your niche through them. Now that you have a fair amount of experience under your belt, you figure it's time to move up the career ladder into the world of newspaper and magazine writing.

Hold it right there! Before you can jump the gun into the news and magazine writing world, there are a few general guidelines you need to follow to be at the head of your game.

If you are planning to interview a subject for a newspaper or magazine article, it's imperative that you engage in a little activity referred to as "pre-reporting." All you're really doing is obtaining background information on your subject(s) prior to interviewing them. As a writer, you have to do this sort of work in order to turn an ordinary story into a great article.

Additionally, you'll want to prepare a list of questions you plan to ask prior to the interview. This way, you have a general guideline to follow when interviewing your subject and give yourself an outline of the things you want to cover.

Whether you're doing a story for a newspaper or a magazine, remember to show, rather than tell, the key points in your story. Rather than merely describe something, find a way to show the reader why what you're discussing is important. It's probably the most difficult step to follow, but encourages the reader to keep following the story until the end.

These are just a few general guidelines to keep in mind when you've graduated from content writing and are now targeting the market of newspapers and magazines. If you have any additional tips to add here, please do so!

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Billable Expenses as a Freelance Writer

Oftentimes, it can be tough to eke out a living as a freelance writer. Many people manage to make their career a lucrative success, but without the drive and determination you will never succeed. Additionally, it's important as a writer to account for every cent you spend on a particular project.

While what you can bill for will vary depending on the type of publication you're working for, there are general guidelines you'll want to observe to understand the basics behind what you can bill for and what you can't.

First and foremost, if you know prior to taking on a job that there will be certain expenses involved, talk to your editor about these purchases beforehand. It's wise not to spend money on anything until you have a conversation with your editor, because he or she will be able to advise you on the publication's policy about billable expenses and what's covered.

Remember to keep your receipts to show the publication once it comes time to bill them. An editor will not take your word for it, so it's important to keep thorough track of how much you've spent, and what you've spent money on. If it's pertinent to the assignment, it's almost always a good idea to purchase whatever you deem necessary.

By spending only the amount of money you absolutely need to spend, you can use this as a valuable tool to ensure you're paid for your time as adequately as possible.

Best Wishes,


Monday, September 04, 2006

Deducting Writing Expenses During Tax Time

Happy Monday, fellow freelancers! I hope you all had a terriffic Labor Day Weekend. This week, I'm going to introduce a series of short, informative articles relating to various aspects of freelance writing that I haven't covered before. Whether it's a definition you may never have heard of before that pertains to freelance writing, or an informative article about self publishing, you'll find in here this week.

So, how do you deduct your writing expenses when it comes time to prepare your taxes? Whether you're an experienced professional or just embarking on your career, a qualified tax consultant will be able to help you with everything you need to do to ensure your taxes are filed correctly. Usually, there's a specific form you'll need to fill out to list your deductions.

It's also important that you keep all of your receipts to give to your tax consultant, because these will serve as proof of your various deductions. Additionally, if you run your business out of a home office, you can include office supplies and other necessities as business expenses and may be able to deduct those. What's more, travel time, research, and any other act that directly influences your career as a freelance writer can be deducted on your taxes.

Check back during the rest of this week for more information you can use as a freelance writer! Leave your thoughts below, or drop me a line. I'm always interested to hear your opinions.

Warm Regards,


Friday, September 01, 2006

Write More, Write Faster

The competition among freelance writers today is crazy. As such, it's imperative that you learn to write more on a regular basis and write faster so you can churn out even more work if you hope to compete with the top dogs in the industry. You have to write a lot, and if you're anything like me there are some days where you just don't have the creative juices flowing to do so. I've compiled the following tips to help you write more and write faster, as well as a few tricks to getting things done.

1. Plan out your writing schedule! This is possibly one of the most important things you can do as a freelance writer. Not only does planning your writing day enable you to have a clear understanding of the tasks you need to complete, but it gives you a guideline to follow so you don't get lost among everthing you have to accomplish.

2. In the beginning stages, eliminate your need for perfection. Editing and revising are key parts of the writing process, and rather than pore over each sentence you write as they're written, concentrate on producing an article quickly with all the important parts included. Spelling errors, grammatical goofs and sentence structure can be taken care of later!

3. If you want to reduce boredom and create more quality work at a faster rate, I've found it's quite helpful to have a number of projects going simultaneously. Working on several projects at a time will help to keep you writing on a consistent basis, and you can possibly avoid the doldrums altogether by having something new and fresh to work on when another project gets stale.

These are just a few tips that have helped my career as a freelance writer. If you have any of your own tips to add, please leave a comment or e-mail me. I'm always eager to hear your thoughts!

Warm Regards,