More tips for success as a freelance writer

Freelance-WriterWhile there’s no magic formula for success as a freelance writer, there are specific things you need to do to succeed. Here are the key actions that have helped me to advance in my career, and should help you do the same:

1) Build relationships: Nearly every opportunity I’ve had came about because I knew someone who helped me get my foot in the door at publication X. From that point on it was up to me to prove myself — and I always did — but a relationship helped me get that first shot.

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Web, social media ‘connection’ is a double-edged sword

social-media-logosMy mind was wandering the other day and I got to thinking: What did people do before the Internet? And a question I had an even harder time answering: What did I do before the Internet?

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it became a central part of my life, when I started using my computer for something besides typing papers and playing Oregon Trail, when writing e-mails and visiting Web sites became new methods of procrastination.

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When will mainstream rap speak up about issues that matter?

Nelly, Sean "Diddy" Combs, & Jay ZBlood on the sidewalk. Flowers left where a parked car full of young women was sprayed with bullets. A young black boy murdered on Malcolm X Boulevard. These are the realities of the communities we live in.

So many of our communities are in crisis, but we’ve come to accept crisis mode as reality. Murder has become so commonplace that we don’t allow ourselves to fully feel the effects of it. We distance ourselves from the tragedy. We choose not to get involved. We choose instead to focus on the areas of the world we feel we can control – places where sitting in a parked car is not a death sentence, places where young men don’t bleed out as a city bus pulls away…continue reading at Rap Rehab.


Media relations 101: Tips for a successful interview with the press

microphones-interviewsGood publicity is literally something you can’t buy. And an interview with a member of the press is one of your main gateways to good publicity.

The problem? When conducting an interview, there’s always the risk that your words will be misconstrued, taken out of context, or used against you to mean something other than what you intended. Or you could just get yourself in trouble by saying really stupid things.

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Tips for getting published as a freelance writer

magazinesSo you’re ready to make the leap and get published in something besides your blog or church newsletter. You’re probably excited, anxious and slightly confused at the same time, overwhelmed by all of the possibilities and wondering where to begin. Having been one of those excited, anxious and slightly confused writers, I have lots of advice to offer. While I’ll save the mechanics of writing a pitch for another post, I do want to give you some general advice on getting published and building a thriving freelance writing career.

For starters, I’d suggest you buy Jenna Glatzer’s book “Make a Real Living as a Freelance Writer.” It covers all the basics of building a freelance writing business and has some excellent info on pitching. Read More

Where to find freelance writing work: Websites, job boards and newsletters

Freelance-writingIf you’re a freelance writer in search of work — and really, what freelance writer isn’t? — try these options:

Craigslist – The obvious source for freelance writing work, and just about anything else you can think of. Remember that when searching for writing/editing jobs in the city of your choice, also check out “Writing” under the “gigs” section for more writing work.

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9 things you need to succeed as a freelance writer

steps-to-freelance-writing-successTo make a successful living as a freelance writer, you’ll need some key basics in your arsenal. Some of them are tangible and others, not so much, but they’re all necessary to making a steady living in the independent, creative, and sometimes unpredictable world of freelance writing.

In no particular order, here’s what I’ve found you need to succeed as a freelance writer:

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Media Relations 101: A ridiculously detailed guide to writing a good press release

public-relationsChances are you probably understand the value of good press. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here trying to find out how to write a good press release.

It’s true — the press can be your best friend. Or, it can be that hot guy (or girl) in high school who ignored you. The difference depends largely on the quality of the press release you write. I’m here to tell you how to write a good one.

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The five types of Facebook likes

Facebook_like_thumbSo you’re on Facebook. Welcome to Earth. The social media giant has become the central hub for posting pictures, stalking acquaintances, ignoring event invites and boosting the self-esteem of members of our social circle by “liking” their posts.

“Likes” are Facebook’s social currency, and there’s plenty of them circulating. The only problem is that most of the time, we don’t actually like the things we “like” on Facebook. Instead, we click the thumbs up button for a variety of reasons that have little to do with legitimate interest, mostly because our society is kind of pathetic, and also because Facebook is that place where appearance has little to do with reality.

So in no particular order, here are the five types of likes you’re bound to come across on the book of Face…continue reading at Thought Catalog.

How to get a job writing for a newspaper

newspaper_stackOK, so you want to write for a newspaper. You’ve got your goal in sight. Now, here are the steps you’ll need to take to achieve it.

1. First you’ll have to amass some clips, or writing samples. Preferably these would be news clips, say from a college newspaper. So if you attend college, write for the college paper. If you’re not in college, see if you can write for the small, local paper that’s always looking for help, whether you send in something to the community page or offer to cover a local event.

If neither of these options is feasible, you can always create some “mock” news stories, writing as if your work was going to be published in a newspaper, as long as you make it clear your work wasn’t actually published. You can also use writing samples from school or other types of writing you’ve done. But for the purpose of getting a gig as a reporter, news clips work best.

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