by Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer's Coach
One of the challenges many beginning freelance writers face is getting some publication credits so they'll have clips to include with their resume when applying for writing assignments. It seems to be a Catch-22 situation. They need clips to get new assignments, yet they need assignments to get clips.
1. Try Article Directories.
Write a couple of articles aimed at your target market and post these articles in online article directories. Make sure these are high quality articles with great information for your target market. The articles should also be based on keyword research, so they contain the exact words and phrases people are using to search online for the kind of information contained in your articles.
Once you've posted your articles at online article directories, set up a google alert to track your articles. A google alert will let you know when and where your articles appear online. To set up a google alert, just go to www.google.com/alerts and follow the directions. You can type in the title of each of your articles in separate alerts if the titles are unique. Then, each time one of your article titles appears somewhere online, you will be alerted about it by google in an email.
When you receive google alerts for your articles, visit the websites and blogs where your articles have been posted. If any of these sites is impressive, make a screenshot of your article there and use that screenshot as a clip. If you don't know how to make a screenshot, go to google and type in "how to make a screenshot" and you'll find directions for making screenshots on a MAC or a PC.
2. Guest blog.
Instead of waiting and hoping your articles will be picked up at article directories and posted on some impressive sites, find great sites you can offer to guest blog for. You'll find sites that want guest bloggers at www.bloggerlinkup.com or myblogguest.com.
When you find sites to guest blog for, again be sure you create quality articles/posts for these sites. Choose sites to guest blog for that have the same (or at least a similar) target market as you do to make the most of your guest blog posts.
3. Write for small, local print publications.
These publications will usually pay little, if anything, but they are generally easier to break into. Check your library and local bookstores for racks of free, local publications. Follow the submissions guidelines for each publication you wish to write for.
4. Start with fillers.
Create and submit a dozen or so fillers to a dozen or so of the larger print publications. Fillers are shorter pieces that are usually found at the front of a magazine. For that reason they are often called FOB pieces. They range from just a few sentences to a few hundred words and pay anywhere from nothing to $75.00. Fillers are a great way to break in at these markets and get clips from impressive publications.
Don't let a lack of clips and credits keep you from moving forward in your writing career or writing business. Follow these steps today to start building your clips files and your resume.