Showing posts with label writing for money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing for money. Show all posts

Breaking Into Freelance Writing – Don’t Let Fear Stop You

By Karen Cioffi

Thinking of breaking into freelance writing, but feeling overwhelmed?

Unless you’re an established freelance writer, it’s easy to feel that way.

Maybe the thought of ghostwriting or editing a book seems daunting. Maybe the thought of writing articles and submitting them to magazines on a regular basis seems intimidating.

Well, freelance writing doesn’t have to be overly time consuming or difficult . . . or frightening.

Rather than taking on large projects or feature articles, you can find smaller, less intimidating work. The main thing is to get started.

There are lots of types of writing, aside from feature articles. You can write greeting card content, fillers, anecdotes, short articles or blog posts, letters, jokes, and more. There are many opportunities to write for money.

But, getting started and maintaining any business takes action. Procrastinating and ‘doing nothing’ is a sure way to NEVER reach your goals.

Dreams, well intentions, and even plans won’t get you from Point A to Point B without action. 

So, no matter what genre you’re writing in, or want to write in, take the steps to move forward.

Once you decide you really want to start a writing business, you will need to put time and effort into creating and building it. To do this, to move forward, start with these 4 steps.

1. Write on a regular basis - even if the writing isn’t meant for publication.

You’ll need to hone your skills – practice helps do this.

In addition, it’s a good idea to read ‘good’ copy and content. This will also help you develop and sharpen your writing skills.

2. Copy the masters.

Another trick to keep you moving forward while you query for jobs is to actually type effective copy and content written by pros.

This strategy helps train your brain to recognize good writing and will help you to emulate it.

But, a word of caution here, this is only a practice strategy – you cannot use another writer’s content for anything other than practice. That would be plagiarism.

3. Find resources to take advantage of.

You may be thinking that you just don’t know where or how to start.

That’s understandable.

The writing arena is broad and can certainly feel overwhelming when first starting out. But, there are a number of programs, classes, job boards, and other resources (free and for a fee) that you can take advantage of to guide you to gigs, publication, and sales.

Start by asking in your writing groups or ask more experienced writer friends if they know of tools and resources geared toward freelance writing.

You can also attend live conferences or online webinars. There are a number of free ones available online. In addition, you can do an online search to find resources.

There are also writing membership sites that offer lots of helpful tips and guidance.

4. Jump in - take action.

While taking the three steps above, you also need to actively look for work.

This means researching magazines for what they're looking for, querying for jobs, looking at job boards, getting your name and business out there.

And, getting your name out there means having an online presence - this means you NEED a website. And, your website needs to look and feel professional.

Don’t feel overwhelmed. Don’t let fear stop you from jumping in.

Take that first step. Then take the second, third, and so on.

If you look around, you’ll find lots and lots of opportunities out there for you to get started and move forward in your freelance writing business.

Here are 6 resources to help you get started today:

American Writers and Artists Inc.

Freelancers Union

ProBlogger Job Board

Morning Coffee Job Board

Become a Power-Blogger (Content Writer) in Just 4 Weeks

Become a Ghostwriter- Start a Money-Making Writing Business
New WOW! Women on Writing class


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Writing Books - Is There Money in it?

In the marketing arena, one of the messages conveyed is that unless you're a major author with a tremendous amount of sales, you will not get rich from writing books. You may not even be able to make a living.

But, you should still strive to get published because it does open some doors and allows for alternative means of income.

How does an author create a living out of writing?

Well, whether you're in the process of writing a book, in the process of having a book published, or your book is already available for sale, there are a few strategies writers can use to supplement their income, or create a living from writing:

1. Create e-books and offer them for sale.

If you're a fiction writer, write about elements of writing, the process, the writing elements, the pit falls, the publishing process, your marketing strategies, and so on.

Write what you know, if you want to take the easy path. Or, you can research topics you're interested in, or that are known to be money-makers, or other.

2. If you have interests other than the fiction you write, capitalize on them also.

Maybe, you're a great cook, write about cooking. If you have an interest in health, do the research and write about it

For steps 1 and 2, it's easy to create a PDF with images and a cover. You can offer them on your site, or through services such as Kindle, and

If you're willing to invest in a Clickbank or JVZoo account, or another of these types of services, you can find affiliates to help you sell your e-books and/or spin off products.

3. Don't forget this ONE essential strategy that all writers/authors should utilize: Magazine articles.

Write articles, research appropriate magazines, and submit, submit, submit. If you don't submit your work, you will not get published. Writing credits create credibility and authority. This helps you sell what you’re offering.

And, as stated above, being published does matter; it opens up doors and opportunities that may not otherwise be open.

4. If you're writing nonfiction, think spin-offs. You can create podcasts, videos, and other formats of your work and sell them right off your website.

5. Look into selling through catalogues and stores.
You’ll have to do your research and possible contact some companies, but it's a viable option for selling your books.

To start, you can check out these sites:

You can also contact the managers or purchasing agents for stores like Target, Cosco, and Walmart.

6. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, seek out corporations or businesses that may be interested in your topic.

For example: I wrote a bed time story - I could look into children's stores (furniture, clothing, toys, etc.) to see if they'd be interested in buying in bulk to offer the book to their clients for sale or as giveaways.

7. If you're published, offer teleclasses, online classes, DIY courses, or coaching. This is one of those opportunities that will work better if you're published.

8. Promote, Promote, Promote!

Writing isn’t enough, you’ve got to do the marketing to generate visibility and bring traffic to your website.

Wrapping it Up

These are just some of the strategies you can use to generate income from your book writing.

Tip: Remember to be focused and research your target market.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, and author/writer online platform instructor. .

You can check out Karen’s e-classes through WOW! Women on Writing at:

Revised Reprint from 2010.


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10 Fears Freelance Writers Face

Making Money as a Writer

Unless your name is Grisham or Steele or Rowling, you may not be making much, if any, money writing books. Authors must be prolific, and have excellent marketing skills or someone to do that for them. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make money as a writer.

Freelance writers who write newspaper and magazine articles can develop a nice income by treating their writing as a full-time job. You must constantly be putting out queries, doing interviews, and writing articles. I have been a freelance writer, and although I didn’t work at it full-time, I managed to bring in extra money to contribute to the household income.

My money-making “job” now is mainly freelance editing. Again, I’m not working at it full-time, as I’m still trying to be an author as well. Editing takes knowledge and experience and a certain skill. Not everyone can jump into this field. It also takes time to build a clientele. I worked at acquiring clients for several years before they started coming to me. I love this work, and I love helping other writers improve their manuscripts.

Another thing I do to earn extra “pin money” is teach classes in beginning fiction and memoir writing. After I took a university course in fiction writing, I wanted to share what I had learned with my fellow writers in my community. So, with great trepidation and my heart pounding like a drum, I put a notice in the newspaper, sent e-mails to all my writing acquaintances and started a class. I had ten students in that first eight-week session, and about half of them followed me through that year and the next.I found I also loved doing these classes and sharing what I know with others.

I remember there was a book out a number of years ago titled Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow. I’ve found that is true. But it takes patience and perseverance. It doesn’t happen overnight.

What do you do to earn money writing?

A native Montanan, Heidi M. Thomas now lives in Northwest Washington. Her first novel, Cowgirl Dreams, is based on her grandmother, and the sequel, Follow the Dream, has recently won the national WILLA Award. Heidi has a degree in journalism, a certificate in fiction writing, and is a member of Northwest Independent Editors Guild. She teaches writing and edits, blogs, and is working on the next books in her “Dare to Dream” series.     

Freelance Writing Work - The Possibilities

By Karen Cioffi

As most writers know, there isn’t much money in being an author; the money, if you can get a successful freelance writing business going, is in freelance writing work and ghostwriting.

There are so many different freelance writing and ghostwriting jobs you can do. But, to keep your target market focused and to strengthen your area of expertise, you should choose one or two specific types of writing. Offering too many varying services weakens your platform and your authoritative status.

It should be mentioned that you can also learn the copywriting ropes and create a copywriting business or simply include its techniques to enhance your own writing. But for now we’ll stick to freelance writing work, including ghostwriting, although some of the opportunities may require a bit of basic copywriting skills.

Freelance Writing Work You Can Choose From:

•    Magazine freelancer - writing and submitting articles to paying magazines
•    Writing for book publishers who accept freelance writers (you’ll need to query for a position)
•    News reporter
•    Feature writer for newspapers or magazines

•    Getting work from job boards
•    Editing and/or proofreading other writers’ work
•    Critiquing other writers’ work

•    Writing speeches
•    Writing content for websites
•    Writing content for newsletters
•    Writing articles and blog posts
•    Writing white papers or reports
•    Writing books, e-books, or pamphlets
•    Resume writing

•    Writing product descriptions or guides
•    Writing presentations
•    Technical writing
•    Educational writing
•    Instructional writing
•    Research writing
•    Legal writing

The list goes on and on.

Aside from the special skills needed for copywriting, all written content has the need for a writer. And, chances are there is someone, somewhere looking for some type of freelance writing work. It’s a matter of finding the work and attracting clients.

The important thing is to have your freelance writing business visible.

I had someone contact me to write a six to ten page report as part of a job application requirement. He was busy over the weekend and wouldn’t have time to do it himself. He found me through a Google search using ‘ghostwriter’ as a keyword. I don’t do rush jobs, so had to decline.

This is another aspect of freelance writing work that you may want to consider, there are some businesses that offer very quick turn around. People pay more money for a quick turn around.

Yet another point to make is that when someone contacts you for freelance writing work, and for whatever reason, you can’t do it, try to be helpful in some way; make a lasting impression. I gave the ‘job application guy’ some tips on what to look for in a qualified freelance writer and told him if he needed help down the road to give me a call.

So, you can see that if you’re out there, doing information marketing and building a quality business, it definitely helps in finding clients and garnering freelance writing work.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, and author/writer online platform instructor. Get must-know writing and marketing tips at


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If You Are a Writer, Do You Set Boundaries?

Setting boundaries is one of the most difficult tasks for me personally and I am betting it can be difficult for others striving to become published writers too. At this time I continue to work 60 hours every two weeks as a critical care nurse while trying to balance and build my writing career. I know other writers who must also supplement what they really want to do with what really pays the bills.

I know that I have to set boundaries with family, friends, and my employer, but I also need to set boundaries for myself so I avoid distractions like television, social media, and other activities that do not move my writing forward.

What about when you finally get a really good paying writing gig but it isn't exactly what you want to write about and there isn't time in your schedule to fit it in and do a good job? That is happening to me right now. It is good that I have clients contacting me but boy sometimes I don't feel ready.

This is what I am learning from this newest writing saga.
  • Think about the time it will take to do the job and be realistic and honest about your ability to finish it.
  • Be willing to miss activities, family time, and tolerate a less than spotless home. If you cannot do these things the assignment might not be right for your present situation.
  • Be honest with the employer and be flexible if they are willing to do the same. If you know in your heart that you cannot do the employer a great service, it may be better to decline with  grace and leave your contact information for a later project.
The pay rate and timing for reimbursement for services is slow in coming, for most of the clients I work with it seems to be 30 to 45 days or longer allowing for revisions and final acceptances. This can be a long time for those who still need money on a more regular basis. It can be a writing goal to put money aside for these long times between paydays but in the mean time many of us keep our day jobs.

Writing is something we must to do as authors.... so to make life less stressful we can learn to set and abide by boundaries, be disciplined in using the time we have to be productive, and to also take time to relax and refresh. If we can manage all of these ideas it may just mean that we are writers.

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