Friday, August 5, 2011

Get the Word Out

Get The Word Out!

This past week, dozens of Writing Etc. subscribers asked, "OK. I
love writing. But how do I get PAYING assignments!?!?"

Depending on where you live, landing those paying jobs may not be
as hard as you think. The secret is to start small and build from

As many of you already know, I began my illustrious writing career
covering local city council and school board meetings. That job
alone gave me more clips than I knew what to do with. And earning
$50 to $75 for an evening's work wasn't bad for either. (Read
"Clipless" in the Writing Etc. archives for a complete article
about how to break into this local market.)

Armed with your local clips, you can start approaching bigger
markets. Markets like small and mid-sized magazines that are
hungry for new articles. With the good name you've cultivated in
your community, (you did get a byline for your city council
articles, right?) you can also start writing for local businesses.

Writing for businesses (otherwise known as copywriting) is one of
the best ways to make a living wage as a writer. Depending on the
market, you can reasonably expect to earn $30 - $50 per hour as a

So how do you pick up commercial clients? Easy. Good writers are
in demand, especially as the economy softens. Business clients
need writers that get results. And if your copywriting pulls in
responses, you'll get work.

To start attracting commercial clients, you can run a small ad in
your local paper. As your expertise increases, place more ads in
surrounding papers. Maybe you'll want to write a snappy classified
ad in the business section.

Another way to get business clients is to join your Chamber of
Commerce. You'll meet the movers and shakers in your community and
make invaluable contacts.

Send out a direct mail piece. I use a quarterly newsletter and it
never fails to turn up something. You can write a snappy sales
letter complete with reply form and buckslip, or you can keep it

If you have nerves of steel, you can call perspective clients -
otherwise known as "cold calling clients." I don't have nerves of
steel and have never done that - yet. I don't rule anything out
until I've tried it once. If you have nerves of steel, go for it
and let me know how it goes. I've heard this is the best way to
get clients but I couldn't say one way or another. I'm a weenie
when it comes to cold calling....

Another technique to keep the money rolling in as a freelance
writer is to have lots of irons in the fire. Along with the
magazine queries, and copywriting, I always have a book in the
works and am busy sending out proposals for it.

Make goals each day. Decide how many queries you'll send out.
Decide how many sales letters you'll mail. How many words are you
going to write in your book?

The possibilities are endless. That's why this job is so great.
Find out what works for you and then run with it. You just may
find yourself making a nice living.


Want more info on promoting your writing and making a living as a
writer? Go here:


This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing
sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing
Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book "Power

No comments: