Freelance Writing Jobs: Aim, Don’t Fire Wildly

Want to get the best writing jobs?

You CAN get them… if you aim for them. You’ve got to aim at a target, rather than firing wildly.

Let’s say you want to write for magazines. That’s a laudable goal. However, to succeed, you’ll need to be specific. WHICH magazine, precisely? WHAT will you write for that magazine?

Writers love discussing their gigs (primarily the money), and every single magazine writer I’ve ever spoken to made his first sale by targeting a specific magazine. These writers plotted and planned, and stalked their target until they hit.

Contrast this strategy with that of writers who get an idea, and imagine that “every” magazine will want it, and send out endless queries, none of which attract any response.

Stalk your target, and you’ll get hired.

I stalked one magazine for almost a year, before I got hired to write a short article. Within three months, I was a contributor, and I wrote for the magazine for 15 years, until it ceased publication.

If you’re determined to get a specific writing job, you’ll get it.

Let’s say you want to write for a specific website…

Here’s how you might go about that:

* Read the website, every single article.

* Think about the site’s audience, and what the site is trying to achieve.

* Brainstorm ideas.

* Introduce yourself. Contact them, and send them a short introduction. Let the editor know you’d like to write for the site. Send along a couple of ideas. The ideas don’t need to be fleshed out, a short paragraph on each one will do.

* A month later, assuming zero response (this is more likely than not, you have competition, and the site doesn’t know you), send along another idea. This idea is fully fleshed out, and PERFECT for the site. You know that their audience will love the idea…

* If you have a Twitter or Facebook account, link to pages on the site. Be enthusiastic about the site. Tweet about the content — once a week, or once a month. You like the site, so make sure that the site’s editors know that you do. (You’ll come up in their saved searches for their name.)

* Zero response? Fine. That didn’t work, but you now know that the editor is aware of you. Wait a month, then send another idea.

* The following month, you send another great proposal.

* Keep going until you’re hired.

Mention your target publication on your blog

The Web’s built on links. Links are currency. NO ONE gives out links willy nilly. (That’s why members of Sell Your Writing Online NOW (SYWON)  receive a link to their blurb.)

Therefore, mention your target publication on your blog. They’ll appreciate the attention, and now they’re even more aware of you…

If you have a “writing” blog, create another one — one that’s relevant to your target.

As I said in this article, Freelance Writing: Get Writing Jobs from Your Blog | Angela Booth’s Fab Freelance Writing Blog:

“A writing blog is aimed at writers. None of the buyers of your writing are going to read your “writing” blog. So if you want to get jobs from your blog, choose your topic very carefully — it must be aimed at buyers.

Professional writers know exactly who buys their writing. They target a specific audience, or a specific persona. This is exactly what you need to do when choosing a topic for your blog.

For example, perhaps you’re writing a book. In that case your target audience would be agents and editors. If you’re writing magazine articles, your target audience would be magazine editors. If you’re writing for the web, your target audience will be website owners in a specific niche — such as dieting, business, health and so on.”

Continuing with our example above, in which your target is a website, create a blog that’s on the same topic. You don’t need many posts. You’re just linking to their content, and displaying your admiration for what the site does. So, if it’s a parenting site, create a parenting blog…

Does this seem like too much work?

If it does, give up. I’m serious. All you have is your determination and enthusiasm. If you can’t muster sufficient enthusiasm, your target won’t be interested in you.

On the other hand, if you can muster it, remember that a great writing job awaits you. Once you learn to aim, rather than firing wildly, you can get ANY writing job you’ve decided you want.

writingjobs

Writing jobs are everywhere. If you want to make $5 for writing 500 words, you can get these jobs all day long. No searching necessary. These gigs are plentiful because the Web’s built on words. If you can string a few words together, you can make money.

I’ve got nothing against these jobs. Sadly however, there are two major challenges with these kinds of gigs: you’ll burn out, and they’re a dead end…

You can write less than you’re writing now, and get paid much more. Get the dream writing jobs you want, at top rates.

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Angela Booth is a copywriter, author published by major publishers, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills at her online store. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her novels and business books have been widely published.