writing samplesOften ads and market listings for magazines and other publications will call for writing samples. These are also known as ‘clips’ and as ‘tear sheets’ which is spelled both as one word and two.

No matter what you call it, the writing sample is just that – a sample of your writing.

Ideally it’s a sample that is on the same topic or similar topic that your prospective editor or client is interested in.

So if you want to apply for a job about organic writing about organic farming, your best clip would be one on some aspect of raising food organically.

If you don’t have that but you’ve written other articles about organics or food those will certainly work too.

And if you haven’t written anything along these lines a sample or two of your best writing in the style you imagine is appropriate will often do the trick.

Writing samples offer proof

The reason potential clients and editors ask for samples is they want to be assured you can write. Advertisements for good writing jobs get hundreds sometimes even thousands of applicants many of which have no samples or very poor ones. Reading samples is one way to screen applicants. [click to continue…]

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Attitude Is Key To Successful MarketingWhen I look at my own writing career, and when I talk to other freelance writers, it becomes apparent that there really is a single secret to successful marketing.

It’s not the deathless prose of your marketing materials, nor the cleverness of their design.

Nor is it that your writing must equal or exceed, oh say, Shakespeare or Hemingway or Louisa May Alcott, Dorothy Parker… or any other of your favorite writers, or even those who are best sellers.

You don’t need to have the best ideas or even the most unique ideas.

True, you must write well or at least better than many, which isn’t that hard to do. If you write in English that generally means complete sentences, properly punctuated. Your ideas must be reasonably good, whatever that means and you must be able to write about them with some coherence.

What really counts

Assuming the marketing you’re doing is putting you in touch with potential clients and that you’re not making promises you can’t keep or trying to scam anyone, the real secret to the success of that marketing is your own self-confidence. In other words, your attitude is key to successful marketing.

Here’s what I mean. Suppose it says on your website that you write articles for the health industry. You get a call and the person asks you what kind of health articles your best at. [click to continue…]

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How Successful Writers Follow Up With Clients & Editors

March 19, 2015

In comments, I got this question: An editor gets back to you, sounding interested and suggesting tweaks to your idea. Within 24 hours you get back to them with more research and a fresh outline, incorporating their feedback. Then you don’t hear from them for over a week. Is it worth following up at this […]

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Finding Freelance Writing Work: Luck or Strategy?

March 17, 2015

By Allison VanNest, of Grammarly.com The luck of the freelancer is a fickle thing. Before you throw in the towel and start filling out job applications, try changing your freelance strategy instead. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here are six ways to make your own luck when it comes to finding freelance writing work! […]

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5 Ways To Sell Your Writing Without Selling Out

March 12, 2015

Freelance writers often worry that if they market their writing and themselves they may be selling out. When I hear this, I’m always quick to ask what they actually mean by selling out and I get answers like this: When I pitch my writing I feel like I’m compromising. My samples should be enough – why do […]

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How To Answer A Freelance Writing Wanted Ad And Get The Gig

March 10, 2015

Ever wonder why there are so many freelance writing jobs posted? It’s simply because companies of all sizes need freelance writers and don’t know any other way to find them. Not only that, if you follow any of the better freelance writing job lists, over time you’ll see the same companies advertising again and again […]

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How Perfectionism Stops Some Freelance Writers Cold

March 5, 2015

I was talking with another writer several days ago and they told me in a somewhat confessional manner that they had not finished their website yet. The problem seem to be they didn’t know how to do a good About Me page. There’s something about writing about ourselves that is difficult. But I’ve heard the […]

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Are You Embarrassed to Market Yourself and Your Writing?

March 3, 2015

I was talking with a colleagues the other day and we started exchanging tales of how we were had both been embarrassed to market our writing. I was glad to be reminded because I’m not embarrassed any longer. Apparently being embarrassed to step out there is something we can all get over. I suspect you know […]

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Author Platforms and Authority Sites – Writer’s Jargon or Necessity?

February 26, 2015

There are two terms bandied about in the freelance writing game that are fairly recent and subject to all hype and confusion. They are author platforms and authority sites. Author platform The term, author platform, most often refers to people who are writing books – both fiction and nonfiction. The author platform is a recent creation […]

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Email Sig – One Simple Marketing Idea Freelance Writers Can Do In 10 Min.

February 24, 2015

I’m still surprised at how many emails I get from writers that give me no way to contact them other than by replying to the email.What if I want to call them? Or look at their website? I’m stuck. Creating an email sig or signature is a simple marketing idea that you can complete in 10 minutes […]

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