A Guest Post by Kristy Robinson who blogs at International Criminal Justice.
After arriving home from vacation I received the October announcement that there would no longer be a plethora of eHow articles available from Demand Media and it was uncertain that there would be any topics available at all.
I wasn’t sure where to go but I knew I needed to work hard on finding new writing outlets somewhere else. I took a couple of days to think things through and I set up a game plan for starting a whole new writing career.
I spent the first month reading blogs, gathering information on how to start and develop a freelance writing career. Moving Past Demand Media was particularly helpful.
I learned there was a completely different world outside of content mills. During this time I also began developing a new blog, devoted to showcasing my professional writing skills and writing about the topics I wanted to write about professionally. No more how to articles or random assignments about simple topics.Randomly throughout the month I began to discipline myself to looking through the job listings. I quickly found visiting several websites too much work and instead set up the RSS feeds in my Google Reader. I soon found that even this became too much and I searched for ways to tailor the search results to reduce the number I was receiving. I used the available feed generators on the websites that allowed you to generate RSS for specific searches and managed to narrow down my job listings quite a bit.
Still, disciplining myself some days seemed overwhelming because there are so many jobs out there and most were not good. That’s when I read on a series of blogs posted online aimed at helping those of us left behind by Demand Media and for anyone stuck in content mills. They helped me with being able to skip over many more job listings that were not what I was looking for and provided vital information about freelancing that I did not know. I also learned some writing lingo including the various names for types of projects so that I could more easily recognize the ones I did not want and I learned some ways to cope with rejection.
It is imperative to know what types of writing jobs you will and will not do. Don’t let desperation and fear lead you to take on jobs that you cannot do well at or that will cause you too much stress.
Finally I just had a little mini breakdown. It seemed like a lot to learn and I was scared I couldn’t do it. I kept questioning myself and second guessing everything. I just gave it all up. I would click my job listings every day and “mark all as read.” I did this for about a week before I finally felt the motivation to look again and this time I had a fresh set of eyes. It made a world of difference.
I only found one job to apply for that day out of about 500. It was in my price range, they were willing to pay what the job was worth and they wanted someone who knew what they were doing and it just so happened I felt like I did.
I landed that job! My very first client and I got it in less than 24 hours! They closed the listing after my sales pitch.
Now let me assure you, the sales pitch is where I have the most trouble. I’m a very realistic, straight-forward person so twisting a job ad to turn it into a sales pitch is not my thing. Instead I write my pitch with information about my background and how I know I can do a good job. This job ad wanted to know what I would do to make the newsletter the client wanted more interesting so I indicated something I thought would add interest but not bulk. They loved it.
I’m now one client happier and I no longer have the fear that I can’t make it. What makes this even better is that this job requires much less research and pays almost twice as much as Demand Media. Sticking to my plan of not compromising the value of my time and waiting for a realistic and clear job paid off. It took me 6 weeks total to land this first job because I let my own stress get in the way. It’s possible I could have done it sooner but I’m happy with the way things worked out and you can be too!
How do you go about finding clients and markets for your writing?
Kristy Robinson is a criminal justice writer enthusiast who specializes in writing sales letters, humorous blog posts and informative articles aimed at protecting internet users. Her blogs can be found at International Criminal Justice and White Bhabi.