Getting Re-Started In Freelance Writing – Ask Anne The Pro Writer

by Anne Wayman

Hi Anne,

I’m one of your loyal jobs readers, and I have a link to your site on my blog. Here’s a question for you. I hope you haven’t already answered it.

How does one get re-started in the freelance writing business? Here’s my situation. I’m not a newbie, but I never really got established. I’ve had a few big clients here and there, and I think I have a rather impressive website and blog (though I haven’t written on my blog recently).

My problem may be lack of confidence (why would they hire a writer, let alone me?) or a lack of belief (it’s a “recession,” so no one needs writers now), or a lack of marketing (due to the first two issues).

Any thoughts? Maybe you can write a post about not giving up, that times aren’t really that tough, that people still need writers, and that yes, you can do it. Or just write all that in your reply to me. J


Any advice about how to get myself out there again? I’m working a full-time job now, but I really want to make at least $2000 a month to start as a freelance writer. Is that too ambitious for a short-term goal, in your opinion?

Finally, if this falls too much under the category of consulting, I won’t be upset if you ask me to pay for your advice first.

Thanks for reading/listening!

TKR

Hi TKR,

Well, you might want to hire me as a writing coach – being accountable to a writing coach can help break through lots of barriers. But maybe you won’t need to.

Start updating your blog daily. Even short posts. The goal here is to get back in the habit of writing – sort of a daily page approach. Okay, write five or six days a week.


If you’re watching the job postings you know that the so-called recession (I’m not participating thank you) means more freelance opportunities not less. Organizations of all sorts need writers, always.

As far as why would they hire you? Why not? After all, you’ve got solid experience and even newbies are getting hired.

I’m wondering if you’ve been writing your passion or just writing to get paid. I don’t know about you, but if I’m only writing to get paid, I burn out; if, however, I combine the need to get paid with my passion it generally flows.

So figure out what you really want to write about and start submitting queries to publishers along those lines and see what happens. Two grand a month is certainly possible, but focus on what you have to offer first.

Make sense?

[askanne]

[sig]

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane November 22, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Good advice, as always. I write for Demand Studios and after a few months I felt burned out. Then I decided to only take topics that interested me. Their new search feature made that easy, so now I enjoy writing about gardening and personal finance.

Maybe TKR would want to mix upfront pay with residual earnings until she builds up her article library. The combination of the two does make $2000-3000 a month possible. If she writes 6 articles a day for DS at $15 each, Monday through Friday only, that is $450 a week. At one hour per DS article, she would still have plenty of time to add to her residual library.

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annew November 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm

The trick, of course, is to get articles up that actually generate residuals… can you tell us how that works?

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Diane November 23, 2010 at 7:38 pm

First, choose topics that solve a problem. People type a query in the search engine when they need an answer.

Then go to the Google search tool (free) and type in your keywords. Limit the selections to “Local”, which is USA only. These are the customers who will click on the ad. Look at the price for your keywords and the related ones that Google displays. Choose the middle paying ones ($1 – $10 per click) rather than the 5 cent or $20 keywords. The five cent ones will never repay your time and research while the $20 keywords target expensive products that are hard to sell. There is plenty of money right in the middle.

Place your main keyword as part of your title, one time in the intro, and another time in the final paragraph. Sprinkle related keywords in the other parts of the article. Don’t overdo it – everything must flow naturally and be genuinely informative.

Publish the article on a website with a PR of 4 or above. The clout of the website helps to push your article higher in the search engines.

You will hear pros and cons about the different websites. Write for several of them because you never know when one will shut down – the old story about not having all of your eggs in one basket.

Aim to publish as least 100 articles on each of your chosen sites, on a variety of topics, so you can see which topics do best on which sites. I write a lot of personal finance topics on Hubpages but wedding and social topics on Associated Content. Be flexible and go with the flow.

Don’t waste time on social bookmarking. People go to social sites to gab, not buy. Your views may increase but views don’t pay the bills. Bookmark on topic-specific websites that relate to your article.

One last tip: if an article is earning really well on the site where it is published, rewrite it entirely and place it on your other sites. A popular topic can earn $100 or more. One article, completely rewritten 3 times (a total of 4 published articles) is earning for me on all 4 writing platforms.

My best wishes to TKR in her writing career.

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admin March 24, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Joseph… we used to say the same thing about real estate agents when in what now seems a different lifetime the market would slump… roughly half or more of the agents would get out.

Re self-worth. Amen!

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admin March 24, 2009 at 6:30 pm

The thing I like about these sites is it’s possible residual income… small income, but enough of it adds up nicely.

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Associated Content March 24, 2009 at 2:44 pm

I agree! Networking is key. I am a writer for Associated Content and often network with other writers. In fact, I’ve gotten advice and tips from the writers at AC and have earned a nice supplemental income as a freelance contributor for them. Just another resource to consider. Good luck!

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Joseph Hayes March 23, 2009 at 5:35 pm

It’s exactly during hard economic times that two things happen: writers with poor self-esteem drop out – leaving more work for us, so thanks – and companies realize that bad writing isn’t making them any money. So good writers are needed more than ever. About the self-worth part … if you don’t believe in your work, why would anyone else?

Writing is a job.
Marketing is part of the job.
What you’re marketing is yourself. Not your brilliant prose, not your encyclopedic knowledge of sprockets, not blogging about what you had for dinner. You.

Once you get that straight, there’s only two choices. Do the Work, or stop.

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Isaac March 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Solid advice as always. Good luck to TKR. Do you have TKR’s blog? Always interested in networking.

Isaac’s last blog post..Attract Freelance Clients (even during a recession)

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