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…]


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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