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How Do I Break In? – Ask Anne, the Pro Writer

Hi, Anne,

I’m trying valiantly to “break into” the wide, wide world of online freelance writing but without a resume, have not yet been able to actually get any jobs. I do subscribe to your newsletter and one other; they help supply information on finding jobs.
Thanks very much,
Susan M.

Hello Susan,

Frist, be sure you read and maybe reread How To Land A Writing Job. It really does cover the basics, particularly about landing writing gigs online.

Next, get your own website. Websites don’t have to be expensive or complicated. See You’re a Writer – You Need a Website or Better Yet, Your Own Blog. Having a site or blog to showcase your work is, today, the mark of a professional freelance writer.

Try your local weekly newspaper. If you’ve got a community newspaper, you’re in luck. They always need writers and often pay $10 or $20, even a bit more if you can provide a picture. Don’t query in writing. Instead go to their offices or call. Ask the person who answers the phone if you can talk to the editor briefly. When you get her on the phone, present briefly two or three ideas you could write about – new businesses, local events and school events are good topics. You’ll probably come away with at least one assignment. Do your best, get it in on time or early and you’re likely to have a byline.

Those newspaper articles then can be used to build your creditability.

Often it’s simply a matter of persistence. Keep applying for as many writing gigs as you think you possibly qualify for. Vary your approach. Once you get your first job from an online listing it will be easier to get the next.

Don’t expect an answer from anyone unless they are interested in your resume. And don’t waste time trying to ask questions before they are interested; it just doesn’t work.

Looking for writing jobs online can be discouraging, but every day writers all over the world are finding writing gigs this way. If you’ve got any talent at all, and I suspect you do, you can too.

Write well and often,

Two newsletters:
Abundant Freelance Writing – a resource for freelance writers including 3x a week job postings.
Writing With Vision – for those who want to get a book written.

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

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