Full-time freelance writers Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell created The Renegade Writer filled with useful tips for beginners and the experienced. These tips break the old-fashioned freelance writers’ traditions involved with SASEs (Self Addressed, Stamped Envelopes), query letters, and more.
I’ve read this book out of curiosity and found myself interested in a bit of freelance writing. This could be a new writing venture worth exploring.
Here are the thirteen helpful tips from reading The Renegade Writer:
(Note: this refers directly to writing articles)
1. Ideas are Everywhere!
Articles consist of a specific topic, keying in on the audience’s needs and/or curiosities. You can find inspiration online, magazines, books, and anywhere else where content is created. If you’re a frequent blogger, check out your most popular posts. These post topics may become articles for major publications.
2. Start With 300-500 Word Shorts
Start writing 300-500 word content and see what it takes you from there. The more consistent you are writing them, the easier it’ll be when you start writing bigger articles your audience and publishers crave.
3. Don’t Isolate Yourself Only Writing What You Know
It’s okay to write on a subject outside your normal boundaries. What you may discover may end up in your list of favorite topics for writing. Plus, an editor may assign you to a subject you know little about.
Be prepared to do some research!
4. The More Research, the More Assignments
Part of freelance writing success is having an infinite supply of assignments benefiting your writing experience. Increasing your willingness to research expands your writing opportunities.
For example: If you’re known specifically to write about hiking in the Appalachians, you can expand your writing researching flora and fauna of the region, hiking hotels, best Appalachian summits for stargazing, and outdoor cooking recipes. Start hiking around the world and write about your discoveries in the foreign mountain regions.
Go beyond writing the usual articles like “How To Survive the Appalachian Trail Avoiding Psycho Bears and Wacky Mountain Hermits”.
5. Connect With Other Writers
Meet with other freelance writers, learning and sharing writing tips. You can find them on various Facebook groups, LinkedIn, and your local area via meetup.com. You’ll never know what valuable information you may receive. Better yet, it’s a great way to make new friends! 🙂
6. Network With Editors
Congrats for meeting a major publishing company editor! Tell them about yourself, your works, and you may end up with your first writing gig.
7. Create Many Articles for Many Publishers
Please don’t write one article expecting it to be the holy article of all articles and send it to only one publishing company. Keep writing and submitting!
8. Just Do the Query Letter
Query letters can be difficult, but you have to go through it. The more letters you write, the easier it will be. Show editors darn good reasons why they should consider you as their “go to” writer.
9. Show Off Your Writing Track Record
In some cases, you may add some info about your previous writing publications related to the article in your query letter. Don’t write a hundred page epic about it or it’ll end up sent to the editor’s epic shredder.
10. Send Query Letters Via E-Mail
This is a modern approach to sending editors your query letters. At this day and age with technology, people barely have time for snail mail. Make sure your publishing company accepts query emails.
11. Triple Check Your Query Letters
Make sure you query letters are sent to the right editor, right department, right company! Don’t send your query letter regarding your “30 Freaky Kama Sutra Positions” article to Parenting magazine when it was supposed to be Cosmopolitan.
And always check your letters for grammar, punctuation, and etc.
12. Request Gallery Proofs
Gallery proofs are editorial reviews of articles right before they’re published for the entire world to see. You want to know about any changes made in your articles.
13. Get Your Money
Make sure you get paid. Check out the publishing company you’re writing for is legit.
(Pic Source: The Renegade Writer)
Comment below if you have read this book, you know any freelance writing books you’d recommend, or share your personal freelance writing experiences!