While new writers complain about “no jobs”, often established writers do this too. This means that they’ve never bothered to create a plan and follow it. Read on.
If you’re not finding, and getting, great writing jobs — indeed, if you’re not booked solid and don’t have a waiting list, you need to simplify your hunt.
Let’s see how.
1. Decide on the Writing Jobs You Really Want
Start by deciding on the writing jobs you REALLY want. Who would you like to write for? What would you LOVE to write? If you don’t know what you want, you have no chance of getting it. And, as I always say, dream BIG.
You may not get hired to write for CNN, but you may get a job blogging for a newspaper in your city. People know people, and people do pass your name around. Please be aware of that.
2. Make a List: Target Larger Companies
When I first work with them, many of my students tell me that they have clients, but they’re not making a living wage. The writers are charging $30 an hour, working for local hairdressers, dentists and similar.
Listen up, dear writer: tiny businesses can’t afford you, and you can’t afford to write for $30 an hour — not if you live in a developed economy, anyway.
So, tiny businesses can’t afford the rates you need to charge to keep the proverbial wolf from the door. What’s left, you ask? BIG companies. Never target companies with fewer than 20 employees.
Big companies can pay the rates you need to charge.
3. Pick up the Phone (Yes, Really)
The easiest way to get hired is to pick up the phone. Unfortunately, writers tend to be shy, so they hate cold-calling.
Grit your teeth. Write yourself a little script, and make some calls — to BIG companies, remember.
After the fourth call, you’ll get bored. That’s OK. Keep calling. It’s numbers game. (Every salesman knows this.)
Make lots of calls and you’ll be booked solid for months to come.
4. Feed Your Blog, and It Will Feed You
Blog! Enough said. Your blog is your online hub, and your online writing sample…
5. Make Friends on Forums
You’re a writer. You have interests. Many of your interests will have forums where like-minded folk hang out.
Go hang out.
Put your website and blog’s URL in your signature file.
6. Ask on the Social Networks
You can ask for jobs on sites like Twitter. Just tweet about what you’ve done as a writer, and what you want. Be sure to link to your blog in your Twitter profile.
7. Target Locals: They Know You
The online word is fun, it’s huge — and that’s the problem. Online, you’re competing with writers all over the world.
In your own city, you’re competing with far fewer writers. In your local area, you may be the ONLY writer.
Go to your local library, and ask the librarian for the book of local associations. Every locality has organizations for everything under the sun.
Browse the book. Send out letters, or better yet, pick up the phone…
OK, you now have seven ways to simplify your hunt for writing jobs. Get started.
2014 Update: pay attention to social media, and PLAN
In 2014, there are more opportunities for you to get writing jobs on social media. More companies are using Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. You can make contact on these websites.
When I’m chatting with writers, their biggest challenge can be creating a plan, and then following the plan. Tweeting once won’t work — you can’t do something once and expect results. Work out how much time you have available to hunt for writing jobs each day, and then create a list of things to do each day. Tick things off your list. ACTION gets results. There are more than enough writing jobs out so, so go get them… 🙂
If you’re a new writer, you need a system to help you to find gigs. Here you go — the beginning writers’ package.
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