Want to be a freelance writer? Act like one

Magazine rack.

Image by Randy Weiner Photography via Flickr

The secret to making a living out of writing does not lie in job boards and content mills.

You gotta HUSTLE.

Maybe you don’t know anything about the journalism industry. That’s fine. But you do need good ideas, to put yourself out there, and pitch.┬áTo magazines. To big blogs. To corporates whose websites need a revamp. Whatever. It’s not enough to be creative; you need to get business savvy. In other words, targeting better-paying markets. Real markets. Scary, I know.

Writing is a profession. If you want to make a living from it, treat it as such. Professionals take their business very seriously. They cultivate and maintain relationships with editors. They spend a lot of time on marketing as well as admin (invoicing is probably half a job in itself), and they’re organised enough to juggle multiple projects, multiple deadlines and multiple clients. They carve out niches for themselves; while a broad base is important, specialising is often where the bucks are.

You can bet they wouldn’t waste time writing for eHow.


5 thoughts on “Want to be a freelance writer? Act like one

  • Reply Financial Samurai July 20, 2011 at 18:06

    I see Miranda M out there a lot. I think she said she makes over six figures freelance writing, so I think it’s doable!

  • Reply Jessie's Money July 21, 2011 at 03:25

    I feel like this is a bit of a steal from ING’s slogan – and i love it…it really applies to so many things. Don’t want to pay banking fees? Then Don’t.

    • Reply eemusings July 21, 2011 at 20:19

      Ha, we don’t have ING here, so I didn’t plagiarise, promise!

  • Reply Confession of an Author and Freelance Writer Addicted to That- Rebecca Sebek – Creative, Ghost, and Freelance Writer July 24, 2011 at 00:02

    […] Want to be a freelance writer? Act like one (eemusings.wordpress.com) […]

  • Reply Paula @ AffordAnything.org September 18, 2011 at 08:22

    I love this post! I’m a freelance writer and I agree — you can get paid well if you’re constantly pitching AND if you’re selective about only writing for publications that pay enough to be worth your time.

    My early mistake was accepting any/all work. These days I know what my “floor” price is — the absolute bottom hourly rate I’ll accept — and I won’t work for less than that, UNLESS I believe that the assignment is a “stepping stone” to more lucrative opportunities.

    Ehow.com is NOT a stepping stone. It will not open you up to more opportunities later in life.

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