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8 Steps to Making Your Freelance Writing Dreams Come True in 2012

Carol Tice

by James Palmer

Well, another year has gone by. Didn’t make much progress on your freelance writing goals?

Don’t worry. There’s still hope.

Below are eight ways to finally make your freelance writing dreams come true:

  1. Get your head on right. To succeed at freelance writing, you have to get in the right mindset. Two things I did to help get into a positive frame of mind are to read inspirational quotes and motivational books — my favorites are Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz — and to simply take responsibility for what happens in your life. If your life is always messed up due to your spouse, that skinflint editor, and the economy, you’ll never see how you can change things. But if you are responsible for your problems, it means you can fix them.
  2. Set realistic, actionable goals. Writing ten thousand words a day while holding down a full-time job is probably not going to happen, but 500 words per day is doable. Getting published in Esquire is a laudable goal but not within your control. Querying five publications per week in order to build up your clips is more actionable.
  3. Stay away from lowballers. If you start out writing for pennies you could get stuck there for years. Go after publications and clients that know the value of good writing and have the money to pay for it. Low-paying clients won’t respect your work and often turn out to be the most difficult to work with, too.
  4. Learn to query. Professional publications want to work with professional writers. Learn how to write professional query letters and letters of introduction.
  5. Read. You would think this is obvious, but for some it isn’t. You have to read if you are going to write. Read novels and poetry and blogs and how-to books and, last but not least, the magazines and websites you want to write for.
  6. Write. Believe it or not, here’s another one we often forget. You’ll never get good unless you practice.
  7. Pitch. You’ll never get paid if you don’t pitch stories to editors — lots and lots of stories. Study the publications to get a sense of what they’re looking for and send those queries out.
  8. Stick to a niche. Specialists usually earn more money than generalists. Try to become known for a particular market, type of writing you do, or client you help.

James Palmer is a freelance copywriter and author of 23 Ways to Make More Money as a Freelance Copywriter


What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What Is Copywriting? The How-To Guide for Freelancers. Makealivingwriting.com

It’s a question so simple, you might think everyone already knows the answer: What is copywriting?

But in my decade-plus helping newbie writers launch their freelance careers, I’ve learned not to assume. People come from all walks of life into freelance writing, and aren’t born knowing the lingo.

When I researched this question, it got even more interesting. Because I disagreed with many of the most popular posts on the topic.

What I have for you isn’t your grandpa’s copywriting definition and description. It’s a rebel’s 21st Century copywriting definition — and a how-to guide on how to break in and do it.

How copywriting evolved

Old copy hacks will tell you copywriting is the art and science of crafting writing that sells.

They’ll tell you writing that overtly sells a product or service is copywriting — and everything else is ‘not copywriting.’

That was once true — but it isn’t any more. Because the Internet changed much of what we once knew about marketing.

I’ve got a new definition of copywriting for you, one I think is more accurate for the 21st Century marketing era we live in now.

Read on to learn what copywriting is today, how to do it — and how you can capitalize on the changes to earn well as a freelance writer.

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