What are some resources for freelance writers

30 Best Resources to Get started with freelance writers

Are you thinking of a career as a freelance writer? Congratulations. It's a great lifestyle where you can control your own schedule, set your own tariffs, and work for a wide variety of clients.

That is, if you can figure out how to make enough cash from your writing not to starve.

Many new authors write for content works such as Demand Studios or Constant Content. In my experience, which has overseen hundreds of writers, this type of writing concert will rarely result in a living wage.

To make a decent living as a freelance writer, you need to be proactive in finding well-paying clients, whether they are in print, online or in business.

Here's how you can get your freelance writing business up and running and make real money.

Present yourself professionally

To apply for high-paying freelance assignments, you need a simple writer website that prospects can learn about you. You don't have to hire a designer and spend a fortune, but you do need a basic website that displays your writing skills and contact information. As your career progresses, you can also post your completed work and customer testimonials here.

Without a writer website, you will feel like an amateur, especially when trying to write for online markets.

There are five easy ways to get a Writer website up to date quickly and inexpensively:

  1. Take part in NAIWE. The National Association of Independent Writers & Editors offers a $ 99 annual membership that comes with a WordPress blog hosted. You can use the Pages feature to create a bio, portfolio, and blog if you want. It's a website-only and you can style it however you want. The big advantage here is that you are bringing all of the resources of a professional writing support organization into your website. Your blog posts will also appear in the organization's blogroll, and you can often get them retweeted by NAIWE. So there are also a few advertising aids.
  2. Use ZoomInfo. ZoomInfo automatically compiles information about everyone on the Internet. You can claim your profile and then shape it to add your resume, lifestyle and other details. Bonus here: if you get writing assignments, your article links should automatically be published when they are published online. There are free and paid levels.
  3. Use your LinkedIn profile. Thanks to the Behance plugin, you can place your portfolio of clips directly on LinkedIn and easily direct prospects to your LI page.
  4. Be visible with Labels.io. This free website, currently in beta, allows you to create a visual portfolio where each market you write for is given a box the size of which depends on the work you have done for them. Labels.io is a new, creative alternative to boring resumes and lists of clips
    could help you get noticed.
  5. Use a free platform. Of course, you can always use Weebly, Yola, or any of the other free platforms to make a quick website. You will face site design restrictions in most situations with free sites, but it is a place to start.

What to add to your Writer website

If you want a quick crash course in designing your Writer site, you can watch this short video of how I updated my Writer site.

Find support

When you do freelance writing in a vacuum, you are likely to lose a lot of time and make a lot of mistakes, especially under-stress because you are unfamiliar with the prevailing rates. Therefore, it makes sense to get in touch with other freelance writers so that you can ask questions and potentially receive referenced work from other writers who may be overflowing.

There are many useful support groups for writers - including NAIWE, which I mentioned earlier. Support can range from a free chat forum to paid mentors, ecourses, and more. Here you will find five free and paid support offers:

  1. LinkedIn author groups. There are a ton of writers out there who chat on LinkedIn for free. The largest group are LinkedIn Editors & Writers, but there is a lot more.
  2. Media Bistro. This group of authors has a job board, live events, and more. Media Bistro has both free and paid levels.
  3. Freelance Success. This virtual networking group enables you to meet designers and other freelancers who you may refer to your company or to writers. Freelance achievement is $ 99 per year.
  4. Freelance Writer Cave. Full Disclosure - Freelance Writers Den is my own support and learning community for Freelance Writers. This includes forums, weekly live training courses, e-courses, a junk-free job board and much more. It's $ 25 a month.

First clips received

How can you get hired if you have not yet published a work? In this scenario, the first task is to get some clips. Don't worry about what you are getting paid at this point. Just get some samples and then you can get paid work. Here are my three favorite strategies:

  1. Try the alternative press. Many old newspapers are very open to accepting new authors. Whenever you're attending a new play, demonstration, town hall meeting, or eating out at a new restaurant, give me a call to see if they'd like to write about it. For information on waste paper, please contact the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN).
  2. Ask friends and family. If someone you know has a business, ask if you could volunteer to write a few pages for their website or make a brochure.
  3. Nonprofit Organizations. Small, local charities are always happy to help out. Start with known and supportive causes or you can research nonprofits at Guidestar. For example, when I was moving to a new town and wanted some local clips, I wrote several pieces for my regional library system's daily newspaper.

Here's an important point to keep in mind when writing: Working of one kind tends to lead to working of the same kind. So choose the type of writing and topics that you enjoy. That way, you'll build your writing business in the right direction from the start.

Where to look for jobs

Once you have a website, a support network, and some samples, it's time to get started looking for paid work.

Depending on your interests, suggest your article ideas to newspapers and magazines, or companies that may use a copywriter - or both.

Here are eight quality sources for identifying publications and connecting with editors:

  1. Inquiry letters that rocked. Linda Formichelli, co-author of The Renegade writer, is offering her blog subscribers a package with ten successful magazine inquiry letters.
  2. The writer's market. The most comprehensive list of writing markets of any kind. The writer's market lists online and print magazines, specialist journals (such as Daily variety for the entertainment industry), competitions and book publishers. With the online version you can search the extensive database by payment level and keywords.
  3. Database for wooden horse magazines. Wooden Horse offers inexpensive access to its database as well as a free newsletter with news about publisher and publication changes.
  4. Journalism jobs is a job board that lists many full-time positions as well as some freelance positions.
  5. Media Bistro publishes job vacancies and provides AvantGuild-level paying members with "How to Pitch" guides in many major magazines.
  6. Yahoo! Magazine directory. This search engine has created a compendium of magazine markets.
  7. Commercial publications. Tradepub.com has information on hundreds of trade journals and magazines. The trade focuses exclusively on one industry, such as Age of the ad for those responsible for advertising and marketing. If you already have work experience in a particular field, you may find a specialist publication that may be receptive to your pitches.
  8. Custom publications. Custom pubs are magazines and newspaper supplements created by corporations, charities, and governments. These are often handled by a professional publisher and not created in-house. You can find custom publications through the Custom Content Council industry group.

Here are nine resources to learn how to pitch and write for businesses and government agencies:

  1. The book of lists. These annual compendia of the largest and fastest growing public and private companies in many different industries are available for more than 60 markets in the United States. They are a treasure trove of marketing leads.
  2. Your local business newspaper or the division of your daily newspaper. If you know that most of the companies you see in these publications were marketing to get the editor's attention, they are good targets for your marketing efforts.
  3. The wealthy writer by Peter Bowerman is one of the most famous recent books on how to become a successful commercial freelance writer. It is especially good to learn how to cold-face companies and win their business.
  4. The wealthy freelancer by Steve Slaunwhite, Peter Savage, and Ed Gandia share many tips for building a successful freelance business.
  5. Secrets of a Freelance Writer by Bob Bly remains one of the classic guides for writers looking to build a six figure business.
  6. How to become a government contractor: Governments can be a lucrative niche source of business. Here's a guide to hiring a federal government.
  7. Finding government appearances: At FedBizOpps, you can search for available ways to enter into contracts with federal agencies. Onvia is a paid service for state, county, city, and other municipalities.
  8. AWAI copywriting courses - If you are interested in sales copy writing, AWAI offers a variety of courses including "Become a Six-Figure Freelance Copywriter".
  9. The Urban Muse Guide to Online Writing Markets lists more than 50 paying websites.

Put everything together

Once you have identified the type of writing you like and some likely markets for your work, it is time to market your writing services. When you start, marketing will take most of your time.

There are numerous marketing strategies to choose from, including sending query letters and introductory letters, cold calling, sending marketing emails, personal networking, reaching out to social networks, and more. You have to try a few methods and see what works for you. Find out about marketing ideas and potential customers in your network.

Additional resources

If you're new to freelance writing, we recommend a series of introductory tutorials to get you up to speed:

  • 10 Effective Marketing Strategies For New Freelance Writers - Guide To Getting Started Your Freelance Writing Marketing.
  • Tips To Stay One Step Ahead Of Your Freelance Paperwork - Quick Productivity Tips To Stay On The Freelance Writing.

If you're interested in a writing project, Envato Studio has great content writing and copywriting professionals who offer services you might want to learn more about.

Photo credit: Palto holds some rights.