As much as I love old school – old school hip-hop, pen and paper interviewing, in-person interviewing, library research, etc., I have to admit, the new school is pretty darn fun too. Everyday there’s a new blog on how writers/freelancers can maximize their efforts to get work, get noticed and build a reputation through social media. AND everyday there’s another writer who is quick to say, “Bah! I don’t use all that stuff. I’ve got a website, a solid client list and I’m good.” Those poor souls are wrong. They are also likely the same people who wanted to hang [Read more…]
This week my family is moving some things around and one of the places I dreaded attacking was my clip file. Wait, I should call it my clip bin, like one of those storage bins people store knick-knacks or winter clothes, etc… I have a bin full of clips. I’m not saying this to brag, because there are multiple copies of each piece. Largely because my husband hordes my work. He picks up at least five copies and only because I begged him to stop picking up 10. To be honest I don’t go through them often enough. So in [Read more…]
I talked to a friend and mentor the other day and she stressed the importance of being persistent and consistent in whatever you do. Initially, I was inspired to apply those key terms to another area of my life when I realized she said, “in everything you do.” It applies to article writing as well. Are you persistent – writing despite things going on in your life or business? This is important especially if you’re a blogger, but applies to magazine and web writers as well. Blogging on a regular basis despite sickness and strife helps build and keep your [Read more…]
A killer article has a few key components: developed, compelling lede, thought provoking closing, thorough research and smooth transitions. Writers will spend hours, if not days, combing over their research. They will take a hard look at their lede and closing to make sure each gives the desired impact. Many will check over the article for proper word usage and spelling, then send it in to the editor. Wait. You missed a spot! Transitions cannot be ignored. They give an article flow, acting as speed bumps, yellow lights and stop signs throughout the piece. Have you ever read an article [Read more…]
5. How do you write a great lede? The lede is one of the most important components of an article. It hooks the reader, tells them what the article is about and encourages them to continue reading. Before writing the lede, ask yourself “What is this article about?” Go through your research and find the information, statistic or anecdote that best represents the article’s information and formulate your lede around it. Also check out “Driving Rules for Getting to the Point with Your Lede” and “Lede On, Hook Your Readers Every Time” 4. What makes a good article? A good [Read more…]
Piggybacking again off of Deb’s popular Frequently Asked Questions and the first part of 10 Popular Article Writing Questions, I’m also tackling query questions. If I miss one of your burning questions please let me know! 10. What is a query? A query is like a sales letter aimed at the editors of a publication. It is used to pitch a specific article idea and yourself as a writer. Some liken it to a cover letter, but I believe there is a difference. A cover letter is interest in a specific job and pitches yourself to the hiring manager, a [Read more…]
The FWJ mailbag is always pretty full and there are a few questions that pop up regularly. Deb reposted her super popular Frequently Asked Questions and made me think about the most popular questions I receive over here at the Article Writing blog. So here they are in no particular order: 10. How do you write an article? It’s true, I get this one pretty often and it’s kind of like asking someone how to cook – there’s a lot to it. So in pretty general terms: start with a topic, research the topic and based on your research find [Read more…]
Coming up with article ideas or interesting angles is one of the challenges of being a freelance writer. Throw out the thoughts of being in competition with other writers, your main competition is yourself. Can you continually come up with ideas and angles? Are those angles fresh and interesting or the stale standard? Do you have the determination to mine resources for new ideas? I know, it gets tough out there. It seems there are a million “writers” and actual writers covering every topic under the sun. The internet has spawned a deluge of information and the average writer may [Read more…]
Hey FWJ community! I was sent this by a friend and thought it would be a great opportunity for those interested. I am pretty sure it’s unpaid, however the perks are many – a published Kirwin Institute author (article) – sounds pretty good to me! If you go for it and get published let me know and we’ll feature your work here at Freelance Writing Jobs! Remember, we’re the number one web site for freelance writers! *end commercial* Visions 2042 Project A CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS (1000-2000 words due Monday, May 17, [email protected]) Visions 2042: Notes toward a Racial Order Transformed [Read more…]
I’d been thinking about writing this post for next week, but today I was reading through Deb’s job posting for the day and came across an article she linked to: “Driving Rules for Getting to the Point with Your Lede” and thought, “Hmm, that’s a good topic, interesting headline, I wonder who in the network wrote that one…” I clicked the link and realized it was my work. Oops. Self-flattery aside, I realize I have fallen into a pattern of writing, editing, publishing and forgetting my work. When you first become a professional writer, once you get past the “Whoo [Read more…]
Is there anything more fun than typos that are both hilarious and ones you personally didn’t make? Huffpost has some doozies that I’d like to share with you: Regret the Error is another great sight site that’ll help you get you’re your editorial giggle on, but be careful – get two too cocky and you’re bound to end up on it yourself!
There’s nothing like finding a blog you love or a columnist that says exactly what you’re thinking. Often at FWJ we are accused of being mind readers and though I’d love to have all the readers of Freelance Writing Jobs spend $9.99 a minute to call in so I can read their writing tea leaves, we are actually just writing about what we live and questions we have had or have been asked. We try to evolve here, meet our readers needs, etc. and your other daily, weekly reading favorites should do the same. When’s the last time you looked [Read more…]
Heads up FWJ crew, Article Writing at Freelance Writing Jobs has a Facebook fan page! Come on over for great post links from FWJ and other great sites, stimulating conversation and an opportunity to ask all your deep, dark article writing questions.
Today we further our discussion on the difference between blog posts and articles for both the web and print by looking at audience expectations.
Day three’s tip is easy – have fun. Even when writers are actively living their dream, they can get bogged down in the everyday activities of being a writer. It is important to remember that while you’re billing clients, scheduling meetings, researching, organizing and working to improve your writing skills you can still have fun and you should, this is a fun job! Too often when writers really start working as writers – getting paid on a regular basis, they have multiple clients, etc., they lose sight of the awesome-ness of being a freelance writer and only focus on the [Read more…]
Last week we talked about the first of five ways to enhance your writing skills with an editorial calendar: “5 Days, 5 Ways to Enhance Your Writing Skills.” Hopefully, everyone has either gotten one going or taken a second look at their current one with an eye on the details I pointed out, including using it consistently, as motivation and to plan more than due dates. Today it’s time to talk about becoming an editor to improve your writing skills. Editing the work of others gives writers invaluable perspective on the writing process and their own work. Learn about voice [Read more…]
Advice is a good thing, helpful advice is even better and advice that you can use and implement over a period of time is the best. I love gathering helpful writing tips and tricks from others in the field, however, if you’re like me you’ll come across a list that has several great things you want to start doing or using and in the end you find yourself on new method overload. So over the next five days I’m going to ease you into five ways to shine up your writing skills. Today’s tip: Editorial Calendar If you’ve been in [Read more…]
*This was supposed to post yesterday! I’m not sure what happened, but enjoy anyway! Hustling is a part of the job description for freelance writers. We move at a quick pace writing emails, responding to editors, microblogging on Twitter, updating Facebook, interviewing sources and writing articles, etc.. which is why you are checking FWJ the day after Christmas! Even while we aren’t in front of the computer, we are still coming up with ideas and brainstorming. Here’s a quick brainstorming trick to play around with as you go in for your second or third round of turkey or ham! Listing [Read more…]
Ok, the first Lede (Lead) This!” didn’t go so well as we had no participation. Maybe it was the stunning cuteness of my little lion or the (hopefully) super busy week all our FWJ writers had, whatever the case we are going to try again. I’m a little late getting this up, it’s been a crazy week over here as well. Remember a good Lede (Lead) is what captures your audience’s attention and gets them to read the article. Brush up on your skills and get featured here at FWJ – the number one site for freelance writers! The Rules: [Read more…]
Writing an article is like delving into a relationship. There is commitment instilled into each piece. Ideally, a writer works hard to learn about the piece, researching and interviewing sources, collecting information and getting to the truth of the subject. They are eager to work with the article, finding out what works and what doesn’t. They expertly manipulate transitions until the article reaches new heights of writing ecstasy and when it’s really good they introduce the article to family and friends. There are times when there is trouble in paradise: You’ve got an article to write and you make a [Read more…]
There are times when you have an article finished and you wonder if you’ve really done the piece justice. Here’s a few things to keep in mind: 5. It has great sources. Great sources include leaders or well known folks in the field, interesting subjects that give a personal perspective to the piece or sources with something new to offer on an evergreen topic. Great sources have been vetted, they provide accurate information and there’s a demand for the information they are offer. 4. There are no holes. All the questions have been answered – the ‘why’s’ and ‘why not’s’ [Read more…]
Writers tend to meet with, connect and befriend other writers. We build social networks and professional contacts that are both supportive and invaluable. These same contacts can be used to help get your foot in the door with editors and publications. Now before you hustle off to pitch a magazine using the name of a Twitter friend who has also written for them, you should know there is a fair amount of courtesy and responsibility that comes with using someone’s name to further your career. The first thing you have to do is ask the person – seems obvious, but [Read more…]
Self editing is an important and often difficult part of writing. Distancing yourself from your own work can be really hard. Think about it, you’ve poured over the subject, invested time, sweat and even, on occasion, tears into a piece and in the end you have to take a step back and go over ‘your baby’ with a critical eye.
Sometimes normal sources of information just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes you gotta have friends.
A lot of us get caught up in our niches or types of writing. Blog posts, business writing, parenting writing and it can get a little tedious. Not to say you don’t enjoy what you do, just that every so often it feels good to do something against type. Your type. It pays to stretch your writing muscles and get creative by experimenting with different writing genres. It may be just thing to juice up your writing in your specialty. For example, technical writers don’t have many opportunities to write humorous pieces or fictional fantasy pieces. You may suck at [Read more…]