Freelance Writing Jobs for June 6, 2011

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Happy Monday, FWJ friends! I hope that you are all feeling refreshed from the weekend and that you’ll hit the ground running today. I think we have a pretty good list today, so I hope that you find some gigs that will work for you. Have a great week ahead! Freelance Writing Jobs Content Writing Freelance Writers – Business Website (DC) Article Writer – Natural Health/Holistic Medicine (Work from Home) Content Experts (Virtual) Web Content Writer (Offsite) Writer Needed with SEM/SEO/Social Media Experience (USA) Quick and Fun Article Writers (West LA) Writer for Urban Website (LA) Country/Honky Tonk Music Article [Read more…]

Freelance Writing – Turning “No” into “Yes”

Rejection Letter

No. Every new writer is afraid of hearing it. Seasoned writers are used to it, but still wouldn’t invite it over for dinner. The good news is there is life and success after being rejected. Sometimes that success comes from the same publication that just rejected you. Why? Every “no” is not rock solid. In fact, many have a little wiggle room if you look and listen closely. Absolutely Not “Not in this lifetime.” “Hell no.” “Your writing makes me weep for the educational system.” These are firm, but why dwell? Let’s move on… Not right for us. Ah, this [Read more…]

When a Freelance Writing Job Doesn’t Pay

There is perhaps no other topic in the freelance writing world that generates more controversy than the concept of writers writing for free. Bring it up and lines in invisible sand are drawn, commenting spikes and in the case of Harlan Ellison, a few F-bombs are dropped. It’s understandable. Shady publishers and editors prey on vunerable writers who want to see their names in print. Writers are constantly burned by “write for free now and earn later” promises in which “later” never comes. However, in the angry buzz of the debate something gets lost. Choice and education. There will always [Read more…]

The Best of FWJ February

February brought most of us in the States snow storm after snow storm, Valentine’s Day and some really informative posts from the FWJ crew. Here are a few of the most popular: Applying for a Freelance Writing Gig Without Looking Desperate by Jodee Redmond In this post Jodee cautions against oversharing when looking for writing gigs. Is Your Blog Dressed For Success? by Gayla Baer-Taylor First impressions are important. Gayla shows you how to make sure your blog turns heads. I’m a Ghostwriter (Get Over It) – by Jeffery Reyes In this terrific guest post, Jeffery hits on the many misconceptions [Read more…]

How Not To Suck at Freelance Writing

Being a freelance writer isn’t an easy gig. Many people wake up on January 1st and after staring at themselves through a hazy fog of cheap champagne and celebratory glitter decide that this would be the year they took the big step and pursue their passion for the written word. Three months and several rejection letters later they sit alone in their basement home office muttering about being an under appreciated, true artist. Instead of writing for a living, they spend the majority of the day failing at freelancing. Fortunately, after spending a fair amount of time sucking at this [Read more…]

How to Influence Editors and Make Friends

There are some writers that are heads and shoulders above others. They always snag the important gigs and never seem to have a dry spell. What is it about them that makes them so popular? Abundant talent? Insider connections? Eh. Talent will take you far and connections will help you get your foot in the door, but there are three things that, when all else is equal, separate the cream from the watery stuff no one wants. Communication. Star writers are excellent communicators. They keep their editors informed on article development, including any changes or source issues. They are accessible. Emails [Read more…]

Time Management Tip #3 Give the Query a Rest

I get a lot of emails from people seeking freelance writing advice. One letter last week got me thinking about how much time writers waste on queries. In the email, a new writer asked if I could read his query and tell him why it was rejected and point out any obvious problems. He went on to say he knew he didn’t miss anything because he had worked on nothing else but the query for two weeks. Two weeks is a long time. Queries are an important part of writing, especially for writers trying to establish themselves in the field. [Read more…]

Time Management Tip #2: Be Realistic

It’s time to put down the cape. It’s also time be honest. Is that ‘to do’ list really doable? There are still only 24 hours in a day and the majority of our problems with time management involve unrealistic expectations. When you have a daily 20 or 30+ list of items that must be accomplished, you are setting yourself up for failure. The same goes for a list of three time consuming items. There are three quick ways to tell if your list of action items is too long: 1. Carry over. If you are still finishing Monday’s list on [Read more…]

Time Management Tip #1: Prioritize

Writers tend to juggle several projects at once, in addition to all of the other things they do during the day – billing, networking, searching for work, living life, etc. There are times when it feels like there are never enough hours in the day to complete everything. The bad news: there isn’t enough time. The good news: not everything has to be finished today. One of the craziest things that people do when trying to manage their time is giving each to-do item equal priority. I’ve talked with friends who have said that everything they do is important. I [Read more…]

Fix Your Toxic Writing Environment

There are two sides to the writer debate – those who require certain comforts and those who can write in the middle of a toxic dump. I’d argue both types are just as likely to have hazardous work environments. Your office could be making you sick, or at the very least, decreasing your productivity. The good news is there simple way to creating a safe and healthy work environment. 1. Trouble in the Air The information is scary: according to the August 2000 EPA Indoor Environments Division, Indoor Air Quality and Student Performance report, “Indoor air quality can reduce a [Read more…]

Freelance Writing Jobs Blog – The Best of January

Every month, the bloggers at FWJ work hard to provide quality and helpful content. Hardworking freelance writers click through looking for great leads and info, but let’s face it, some posts may slip by in the daily hustle and bustle. Here’s some great posts you may have missed: Writing From Home: Warnings & Tips on How to Survive When You Have No Office by Robin Parrish Robin captures the writing from home experience perfectly. My favorite: Get Out of the House. As important as it is to guard your at-home work time, sometimes you just have to get away from [Read more…]

Article Quickie: A Writer’s Confession

My name is Terreece and I’m addicted to ellipses. There. I said it. I am free from my shame. Those three periods…they say so much and I find myself using them way to often. Every writer has a crutch. Some liken it to their ‘writing style,’ but there is a difference between a crutch and a style. “I can quit anytime.” One way to tell if your go-to writing technique is a style or a crutch is if a writer can be flexible and not use the item. Whether it’s a particular format or transition, if a writer has trouble [Read more…]

Article Quickie: Freelance Writing Jargon

Masthead Located within the first few pages of a publication, the masthead lists the important information you need – editor names, assistant editors, departments, contributing writers, etc. It is also helpful to find out the email configuration of the company – a not so secret tip on getting your queries to the right person without the SASE. On Speculation When a writer has a fantastic idea and an editor isn’t so sure, they will ask the writer to write the piece on spec or speculation. This means a writer will write the article in its entirety on the hopes that [Read more…]

“You’re Stupid.” When Cutting Edge Articles Go Bad…

I love spunky articles and blog posts. When a writer takes an unusual stance or approaches a topic with razor-sharp wit it makes me excited about a piece, often ends up in my saved/bookmarked file and is forwarded on through various social media channels. As much as I like an offbeat approach, I practically cover my eyes and cringe at some ‘devil may care’ stances that fall flat. One reason why these posts miss their mark is they lack true understanding of who is in their audience. There was a post from a PR rep that recently made internet waves. [Read more…]

Article Quickie: Freelance Writing Jargon

Article Quickie: Freelance Writing Jargon – A – C: From AP Style to Crib Sheet Article Quickie: Freelance Writing Jargon – D – G From Deadlines to Ghostwriting Headline The attention grabber,  the big bold letters at the top of the articles that stop readers in their tracks. Example: “Sixty Ways to Drive Your Man Wild” or “Top Ten Blogging Tips for Beginners” or “Why Your Kids Hate You.” Careful with the sensational ones, readers hate a content tease. HTML Hypertext markup language. Without getting all techie, it’s the tags that create <b>bold</b> lettering, italics, indentations, hyperlinks, etc. Some gigs [Read more…]

Article Clip 911

This is it! This is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for – a publication you’ve had your eye on is interested in your work. Perhaps you’ve had a chance meeting with an editor or saw a job post. Now all you need is to send in that one great clip. You know, the one that shows your skill, expertise and spot on interviewing? So you type the title and your name into Google to pull up the piece…It’s gone. Silly you, you never got around to saving that clip or even printing it out. You figured it would always be [Read more…]

What Writers Can Learn from Ted Williams

If you haven’t heard of Ted Williams by now, you must have been working really hard! Ted Williams was homeless, asking for change by the highway in Columbus, Ohio. He has an incredible voice perfect for voice-overs, radio work, etc. In fact, before addiction took hold, Williams worked in radio. A videographer for the Columbus Dispatch newspaper captured his voice and story, published the piece and it went viral. Soon, calls and job offers began pouring in for the man with the “golden voice.” There’s a lot to be said about the heartwarming story – the power of social media, [Read more…]

For The New Year’s Day Dream Makers

I had planned on taking the rest of the week off. Normally, I post on Tuesday and Thursdays, but Christmas and New Year’s this year I gave myself the Thursday before each holiday off. Then this morning I woke up with a memory: Years ago on New Year’s Day I was sick, had the day off from work and was researching information for the beauty and fashion column I wrote for a friend’s site. It was a fun thing I did on the side, but while researching I came across the term “freelance writer.” I realized there were people out [Read more…]

Reading to Pitch

A query isn’t just about developing a good idea and sending it to the right person, a query is designed to show your idea meets the publication’s needs and reader demographic. Before pitching a publication, a writer has to do one very important thing – read the publication. You wouldn’t believe how many writers skip that part and wonder why their idea was rejected. Once you’ve read the publication, go back and read it again. Most experts suggest reading six months worth of information. At the very least, look at the last three months. This will help you determine four [Read more…]

Article Quickie: Bullet Points

A bullet point is a helpful little tool that helps break up content, smooth transitions and draw out important main ideas. They also help create more white space on the text or web page. When using bullet points remember to: Be consistent with content and style. Start each point with the same part of speech and maintain the same length within bullet point sets. Use main ideas. Bullet points are key to directing the reader – and their eyes – to the ideas that count. Clarify complex information. Complicated topics are best explained when broken up into bite sized pieces. [Read more…]

Naughty or Nice? What Would Your Editor Say?

It’s the end of the year and everyone is getting retrospective, including your editors and clients. What will they remember most? Your killer copy? That amazing lede (lead) you wrote? How many times you were late with an article? How hard you are to critique? If you’ve been naughty you can’t rewrite the past, but you can begin to repair your reputation with clients and editors by asking one simple question: How can I better serve you? Writing is a business and you provide a service. Good customer service will keep you in business for years to come so why [Read more…]

Closing the Deal on Conclusions

I admit it. I’m a terrible closer. If I spend 20 minutes crafting my lede, you can guarantee I spend 18.5 minutes on the closing. It’s something I work on more often than I want to think about, however, it is better than the alternative – driving your audience off a cliff. When I’m stuck on my wrap-up I try four things to get myself back on track: 1. Revisit the lede. The lede brought your audience into the article and the conclusion will touch back home on the same thought, feeling or person – if an anecdote – that [Read more…]

5 Easy Article Research Tips

If you peer into the heart of a great article, you’ll find it being kept alive from lede to conclusion by thorough research. And while access to information is easier, digging through the massive amounts available can be difficult, time consuming and frustrating. Simply tweaking a few already used tools will yield quicker, quality, in-depth information. 1. Google Tweaks A big source of info and debate is how best to use this vast resource. One thing to keep in mind while doing a Google search is the items that are listed first are not necessarily the best on the subject [Read more…]

Feedreader Dump Saves the Day

On a typical day, writers wake up, check their emails, skim through the job boards and hit their feed readers to catch up on the day’s news, events and hot topics. If we’re honest with each other, many of the items in our readers are, “have to reads.” These are key players and newsmakers in the industry – writers, bloggers, editors, niche experts, etc. If you want to get anywhere in your career you have to follow them. Right? Right? Eh. It is imperative  that you stay current in your field. It helps you stay relevant, competitive and gives you [Read more…]

Writing is Like Sex

While you’re doing it, you’re focused, zoned in and intense. Every distraction is met with deep disappointment – the phone, the kids, the dog standing there watching you do it. When you’re not doing it it’s all you can think about leaving you distracted. “It” is writing, but the passion in which we pursue, fantasize about and devour it makes it a lot like sex. That’s another big reason why it’s fun. The Heat. There’s nothing like the heat of new blog post, new assignment or new magazine. The magazine represents an opportunity. The blog post or assignment represents a [Read more…]

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