I’m from the UK. I live in a town in the Midlands. I have started to write for a living. I have been researching about freelance writing on the web for a number of months now. Then I decided that it was time I did something about it.
What Did I Find Out?
I found a lot of great websites out there. Many are helpful. Some just want to sell you something. In there, however there are some gems that will help you learn to take on freelance writing as a job.
Where can I find jobs?
There is the traditional way of writing a letter to an Editor of a publication which is known as a ‘query letter’. You are selling yourself through words – something you need to learn to do when you want to make a living that way.
The law of averages says that if you send out enough of them, then you must get a job eventually. You will also get a lot of rejection letters too. It helps you to develop a thick skin but does not necessarily pay the bills.
You can apply to become a member of a content mill. The name says it all: writers churn out a high volume of articles of mixed quality which are then put up on the web usually alongside lucrative targeted advertising which makes the company that owns them money.
Most offer writers some of the advertising proceeds, some will pay writers a nominal sum, still others pay a little more. The process is not perfect and you are not adequately compensated for your time. They could be considered a way to learn your craft.
There are websites out there that offer jobs and a way to apply for them on email. They offer free memberships which are restricted as to the number of jobs you can apply for, or paid memberships which offer better access to jobs. Taking a free membership is a great way to see what is out there.
If you have a strong sense of what you are good at: if you can write well and are confident in what you can do, then ask around companies by you and see what jobs you might be able to do for them. This is the best way to find a job that will pay the bills, but it can also be the most scary.
If you want to put a query to a magazine, then find out the person you need to write to. You can do this online. You might also like to check if the magazine has any guidelines that need to be adhered to before submitting.
Bear in mind that magazines usually work at least six months ahead, so seasonal material will need to be submitted well in advance of the actual holiday.
Content Mills are places like Demand Studios, Associated Content, Suite101 among others. You need to check up on them, read through what they require before deciding to submit to them.
Jobs Boards include www.Elance.com and www.guru.com
They will give you an idea of the kinds of jobs out there, but don’t bid for peanuts just to land a job. That is not the way to get a career going.
I will cover these subjects in more detail over time.