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10 Tips for Successful Freelance Writing

Understanding the world of freelance writing can bring encouragement when work seems scarce. Follow these tips to find success.

It is quite possible to make a living by writing from home but it may be a difficult process to build up the right contacts and openings. Use these tips to develop a successful writing career.

Writing

Qualities Needed

A freelance writer needs to be self motivated. Although there may be deadlines, there is no boss in the next room to enforce them. Perseverance is also important as contacts and opportunities are built step by step. This especially applies to those who don’t have journalistic backgrounds.

Working for Free

Write letters to newspapers and magazines and work for free where appropriate. The exposure can provide published clips to refer to and may lead to paid work somewhere down the line.

Internet

The internet has transformed the writer’s world and understanding it is essential for success. Many writers submit the majority of their work by email and also communicate through the computer. The web has also opened up incredible avenues for research.

Articles on the Internet

There are dozens of sites that accept articles from writers and pay them per number of page views. This is a number game but can be built up into a lucrative passive income. The key words are patience and quantity.

Contacts

Networking is important for writers working from home. Attend writers’ conferences and make an effort to link up with like-minded people on the internet and locally. Although there will always be a natural competitiveness, a fellow writer can be a great set of eyes for picking up errors and weaknesses in a piece of work.

Competitions

At any given time, there are hundreds of writing competitions on offer. Some give free critiques and others can lead to publication in anthologies. Work that doesn’t place can often be adapted into a newspaper article or a short story for a magazine.

Training

It is important to be familiar with industry standards for the presentation of work. Read guidelines from various publications and be careful to adhere to them. Basic graphics skills can also be useful, especially when the writer is responsible for the layout of a piece of work. Read library books and attend courses to brush up on these skills.

Photography

This skill goes hand in hand with writing. Invest in a digital camera and practice taking all kinds of shots with it. Publications often pay extra when images accompany a piece of work.

Opportunities

Actively search out stories and watch people diligently. Learn how to conduct interviews and be prepared at all times. If possible, carry a camera. Opportunities are everywhere, waiting to be recognized.

Equipment Needed

A freelance writer needs a dedicated area to work in and some basic technology. A computer/laptop, printer, camera, broadband connection, handheld recorder and office supplies should be enough to get by with.

Freelance writing can be a very satisfying career. Embrace the challenges and keep working at it day by day until the successes start to flow in thick and fast.

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