Stumped for Article Ideas? Query Your Friends!

Sometimes normal sources of information just doesn’t cut it. Sometimes you gotta have friends.

Scheduling Time for Your Articles, Part 2

Yesterday we looked at scheduling time to research information, conduct interviews and prep an article in the first part of “Scheduling Time for Your Articles ” today we are going to wrap up this mini-series with a look at writing and editing. Schedule time to write the article. Once your preliminary work is complete it’s time to write. Short articles you may wrap up the initial draft in an hour or so, longer feature articles or more detailed subjects may take you anywhere from a couple hours to a couple of days. You should know your writing style by now [Read more…]

Are you finished with that article or just finished?

Getting comfortable with ‘just finishing’ is like cozying up to mediocre – it will just hold you back.

Finishing Strong – How to wrap up an article

Every writer knows creating a great lead (lede) is key to a great article. It piques an audience’s interest and pulls them in for you to deliver the goods. What some writers fail to realize is a good ending or conclusion is just as important. We’ve all been there – one minute you’re reading a piece, zooming right along and then it just trails off… An article is not a novel, it shouldn’t have a cliffhanger. When writing a newspaper article, there are a few set standards for finishing up a conclusion, such as a final quote. Features have more [Read more…]

There's No Whining in Freelance Writing

This week I am pretty disturbed at the amount of angst Deb received when she took a break from writing leads. There was a distinctive tone I heard in many of the comments that was very familiar…it was like so many of the writers I’ve had the opportunity to work with throughout the years. I heard a level of entitlement. I’m sure you’ll find it in every line of work, a host of people who like to stay in their comfort zone, particularly when that comfort zone has a bit of hand holding. As an editor, I love to work [Read more…]

Caller You Say What? Questions About Queries

By Terreece M. Clarke I always wanted my own talk show :0) Today I’m going to answer a few of the great questions I’ve received: Rupa Says: Hi Terreece, Off topic – but I wanted to return to the query challenge. (Yes, I am working on it!) I have spent some time studying query letter tips and sample queries online. I have never done this before and want to learn to do it right. I have a few questions – Is it absolutely necessary to mention in the query some of the names of the people I will be talking [Read more…]

How Well Do You Fact Check?

by Terreece M. Clarke The BEST writing “how-to” ever!. Our first job as non-fiction content writers/journalists is to present the truth fairly and accurately. Whether it’s on the web, in glossies or newsprint we are obligated to uphold a certain standard. It is what makes people trust what we say and what makes them look to us when they need information. Most of us do our jobs well. We seek out knowledgeable sources and we try to stay as objective as possible. But how well researched is that knowledgeable source? You’re writing an article on clothes detergent – the best [Read more…]

Four Tips for Starting your Freelance Life

Note from Jodee: Freelance Writer Meaghan Campbell has contributed today’s post. I know you will enjoy reading it. by Meaghan Campbell After two years of technical writing I was itching for more creative work. To escape creative annihilation, I started The Word Boutique, my very own freelance business. These best-practice tips I’ve learned will help any freelancer along the way. 1. Build your network, whenever you can. No writer stands alone. I didn’t have a leg to stand on when I started freelancing, but I built my network wherever I could. I asked former classmates to critique my samples. I [Read more…]

Thoughtful Thursday: How's that Working For You?

By Terreece M. Clarke Tuesday in “Date Your Publication” we talked about getting to know the publications you want to query and got some great feedback, specifically from Mary who commented on how frustrating her first year writing was because she hadn’t tailored her queries to specific publications. Once she started however, her success rate climbed. Mary is an excellent example of a great writer stopping to take stock in their career to see where things could be improved. This time of year is a great time to take stock in your career and goals as Deb wrote in her [Read more…]

Writing Tip of the Day: Ask the tough questions

By Terreece M. Clarke Most of the time when say “ask the tough question” we are talking about asking tough questions of an interviewee, however, the term “asking the tough questions” can apply to almost any aspect of freelance writing. Are you as well prepared before an interview as you should be? Could that article undergo one more round of edits before you turn it in? And yes, did you ask your interview subject questions beyond the superficial? Each day ask yourself the tough questions – it’ll make you a better writer.

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