Tips For The Freelance Writer
Tips for the freelance writer: to sell more articles and earn more money, you need to write more. However, there are only 24 hours in a day, so you are limited in the amount of hours you can work. Learn how to optimize your writing time.
To sell more articles and earn more money, you need to write more. However, there are only 24 hours in a day, so you are limited in the amount of hours you can work. Here are a few suggestions which will help you work smarter, not harder:
Write about subjects you already know about
You will find that when you research a subject you’re familiar with, you can streamline the work: you know what information you require, who your sources are and where you can find them. You can translate the data you receive easily, and you can write with authority.
Write about what interests you
The more fascinated you are with the subject, the faster you will work. When you choose an article subject to write about, consider your hobbies, your job, what you and your friends do, what makes you angry or sad, what your children do and so on. Do you go to the gym everyday? Do you own a small business? Do you have neighbors from hell and have been thinking of ways to get rid of them? Write about it.
Find your voice
One of the mistakes new freelancers make is to try to write for publications they don’t read. They read writer’s guidelines, and then struggle hard to make their writing fit that mold. The truth is that different people have different voices, and there are publications whose requirements you may never meet. To increase your chances of success, look for the publications that fit your voice.
Organize your research
When you research a subject you will find that there is a lot of material that cannot be used in your current project. Use that material for something else- perhaps a related piece on the subject. The piece need not be long, but the extra dollar or two it brings in is more money that you had the day before.
Keep organized clippings on all subject areas you write about
Keeping your sources close at hand will save you time on searching for the information, and thus enable you to write faster. When you see an interesting article, clip it, and jot down the source. You don’t want to spend hours trying to find the source for the information you already have at your fingertips.
Write shorter pieces
Many editors prefer short, succinct and entertaining pieces. So, unless a piece really cries for you to go to town, keep it short.
Recycle your work
If you are a feature writer and do enormous research for some of your pieces, don’t let your hard work go to waste. A few months after publication, take the piece apart, and find out exactly what it was all about. Be creative and use different words to make the same point to a different audience. For example, let’s say you write about small business management. Your original feature provided strategies to manage a hairdressing salon effectively. Yes, some of the information used would be relevant to hairdressing salons only. But given a bit of creativity and a bit of research, don’t you think the piece can be rewritten for the nail salons, clothing shops, health product distributors and so on? Small business people in various industries have needs in common, and you can cater for those needs, in a language that is relevant to them.
Its true that many writers prefer to work alone. It’s even truer that collaboration is not an easy process, and if you don’t choose wisely, you may spend more time fighting with your co-writer than you would doing the actual writing. However, working with a co-author brings a fresh perspective to your writing, and you are not solely responsible for the finished product. So you can work on the joint project even while you carry on with your solo work, and thus, produce a larger body of work.
Manage your time
Write when you have the most energy, and do your errands when your creative juices start to deplete. That way, you produce your best work, and will need to do less editing. Also, manage your time effectively. Yes, it may be more exciting to drive 100 miles to go interview someone for your piece. However, is this person’s input crucial to your piece? Is it possible that you could have received the same information if you interviewed her by phone, or even by e-mail? Another advantage of a telephone interview is that you can’t type up your notes directly into your computer. Or if it’s by e-mail, your source has already put it down for you.