While 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.
Blood 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.
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.
So 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
To 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:
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.
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.