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How to break into the freelance writing business

Five tips on how to make money doing what you love

by Lekhika  |  6167 views  |  1 comment  |        Rate this now! 

So, you want a job freelance writing. You love to write, you're always scribbling in your spare time and you think you could maybe make this into a fruitful venture for you. After all, what's not to love about freelance writing? You get to work from home, you make money, and you get to fulfill your creative side. If you're ready to make a commitment, you too can break into this field.

Here are a few tips on getting started:

1. The first thing to do is purchase a book on the subject. My favorite is Getting Started As A Freelance Writer by Robert Bly. It's practical, chock-full of tips and is broken down into easily readable sections.

2. Peruse a website on writing articles specifically for magazines. Although you may be a great fiction writer, writing articles is an art form all by itself. It takes studying and honing to truly get it down. A good website to start with is Right Writing.

3. Visit websites like that list magazines that are looking for writers to submit unsolicited work. The website also lists writer's guidelines, deadlines and pay.

4. Don't be afraid to start small. You have more of a chance of getting published at a small trade magazine than at a major publication like Lucky or Seventeen. You can build up your portfolio and experience by writing for smaller publications first. You can even check out your local county newspaper - they often welcome articles from residents.

5. Make a plan and stick to it. Tell yourself you'll write and send out a target number of articles a week, and then get it done. Don't be deterred by rejections - if you are persistent enough, chances are, you'll get published sooner or later.

Good luck, and write on!

1 comment so far...

  • I would add that you should start a blog and use it to showcase the kind of writing you want to do -- real, reported pieces if you're aiming to be a magazine/newspaper freelancer. That means calling people up and interviewing them for the posts, hunting down data and the like. I love being a freelance writer -- have been doing this professionally for almost a decade -- but it's not an easy business to break into. It helps to have some prior journalism experience in a newsroom as well.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by lvanderkam on 27th March 2009