Have you been struggling to interview sources for your freelance articles? Then these 9 interview tips are for you. These journalist interview tips will help boost your interviewing confidence and make you better prepared to take your freelance article to the next...
Category: article writing
Article writing rejection. It’s a tough pill to swallow for most freelancers.
Learning how to deal with it effectively may be more important than anything else.
Seriously, if you don’t handle article writing rejection well when you get a “no” from an editor, it can be devastating.
Ask yourself this question: Am I suffering from article writing rejection?
- You know..one day you’re optimistically cranking out query letters and letters of introduction (LOIs) to land article writing assignments.
- And the next, you’re rolling around on the floor in a puddle of self-loathing after getting a rejection letter from an editor.
- Between angry and pathetic sobs, you shake your fist at the sky and sputter, “Whyyyy?!”
Been there, done that?
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been freelancing a while, getting an article writing rejection is part of the gig. Count on it.
Here’s the thing. Some writers internalize that article writing rejection so deeply, they’re paralyzed to continue.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you understand the five stages of getting an article pitch in front of an editor and how to handle rejection, you can bounce back fast. Here’s how:
Although a lot of people dream about becoming professional writers, sitting down and putting words on the page is a whole different story. Usually once people finish school, they stop writing altogether. Years later, they decide to get into writing but quickly find...
Most freelance writers I know have some dream magazines they’d looove to write a freelance article for. I’m no different.
For years, I’ve wanted to move up from writing for Entrepreneur to writing for Forbes. When Forbes poached me to write for their blog, I hoped I was getting closer.
I’ve pitched them a few things for the magazine in the year I’ve blogged, and come close a couple times.
I imagined I’d find some great trend idea and be given a month or so to meticulously report and write it. I’d be sure to do an amazing job with that first article and make them want me back.
But nothing had panned out. That is, nothing until just a few weeks ago, when my editor called with a rush assignment they needed for an upcoming special section of the print magazine.
It’s a profile of a hot startup beauty company in Seattle, Julep. It requires an in-person interview — am I available? It was 1200 words and would pay $2,000.
Here was my opportunity to break into print with them. Didn’t look anything like what I’d hoped my first article for Forbes would be… but it was a print article for Forbes. And a chance to prove myself.
Tired of article writing jobs that pay a big $50? There’s a ton of ‘online content’ work out there that doesn’t pay much. Maybe it’s time to move up and learn how to write an article.
And when I say that, I don’t mean a $75 article — I mean the type of article that pays real money. $1-a-word and up land.
If that interests you, you’re in the right place.
After offering article-writing tips for over a decade, I decided it would be useful to organize all the information into one, big ultimate guide.
Many freelance writers do article-prep steps out of order or skip some steps entirely, with poor results. Following this step-by-step guide will make it easier for you to move up, write in-depth, reported articles faster, and sell to better-paying article markets.
Ready to learn how to write an article that pays? Then let’s go!
You may think this is a funny piece of advice for me to write on my blog.
But if you care about earning more as a freelance writer, then you might want to stop writing blog posts.
Why do I say this?
There are four big reasons I want to steer you away from blogging:
Note: Ever wonder what the difference is between writing an article and writing a blog post? It’s a topic that comes up a lot. Besides style and research, you might be surprised by one of the key differences between blogs and articles. And it’s why I decided to share this post again. Enjoy! —Carol.
There’s a lot of confusion out there in the freelance-writing world today about blog posts and articles. Also, about what each of those types of writing should pay.
Recently, I got a lot of response to my call for freelance writers to stop writing blog posts. Many writers were confused about just what the difference is.
So let’s discuss. Because things are changing. And understanding the differences between these two writing forms will help you earn more.
For years, blog posts and nonfiction articles were distinctly different:
Are you one of those writers who struggles to find topics to write about? I hear that a lot: “I just don’t have any ideas!”
So I decided to take a few minutes and find some article ideas for you. (You’re welcome.)
Seriously, I did not spend hours gathering the ideas for this post. I collected press releases for a week that come in my inbox due to my long history as a business reporter, and then took perhaps 5 minutes apiece to think on them.
Then I used them as jumping-off points for story ideas. That’s it.
This post breaks down my process of developing a little tidbit of news into a pitchable idea, honed from 12 years as a staff writer at two business publications.
But you could do the same with overheard gossip, with scanning through publications and reslanting articles, with info you get in interviews…you name it.
Why collect story ideas? If you hope to be a working freelance writer, seeing your byline in publications, you need a big stack of story ideas.
If you fantasize that you can earn well as a writer, and editors will hand you ready-made ideas…sorry, that era ended with the rise of the internet and the decline of print.
Today’s reality: When you know how to develop salable story ideas, you get more assignments, get in the door at bigger publications… and you earn more money.
Think of those story ideas as keys to the publication kingdom. The more keys you have, the more doors you can open.
Ready to turn on the idea-generating part of your brain and learn how to create an article-idea gold mine? Then let’s go!
Are you tired of trying to draft a 1,000-word article, only to find your first draft clocks in at 3,000 words? Then it’s time to gain some new writing skills and learn how to write to length.
A reader recently asked me if I had a resource on how to hit your word count, and I realized I didn’t.
Which is silly, because I had to write to assigned length on 3-4 print stories a week for 12 years, as a staff writer. Not to mention the hundreds of short blog posts I’ve written for clients since I got back into freelancing in 2005.
And then there was that one hard-ass editor at Entrepreneur who would refuse to read my draft if it was more than 10% over assigned length. Period. THAT schooled me, for sure!
Got some writing tips to share with you on how to avoid time-wasting and overwriting in your writing process.
Ready for a simple system to avoid overwriting? Let’s go! Here are 10 key steps to cut the blather and make sure your first draft is close to target length.
It can be one of the most enjoyable assignments in journalism…the celebrity interview.
You interview movie stars, music artists, or politicians. Or maybe your jams is magicians, authors, dancers, or mega-church pastors.
Pick your favorite flavor, and book a celebrity interview.
Sounds pretty cool, right?
You meet up with the rich and famous. Ask loads of curious questions. Write a pitch or story. And editors and fans are foaming at the mouth over your inside scoop.
If only it were that easy. Ever wonder how to score a celebrity interview?
It’s often difficult to get famous people to grant you an interview. I spent 12 years pursuing CEOs of major corporations for interviews as a staff reporter. And I was a movie-industry secretary for several years. So I speak from experience on both sides of the fence here.
Here’s what I learned: To get household names to slot you an interview time, you have to be wily, creative, and unstoppable.
Ready? Use these 7 strategies to score a celebrity interview.
Say you’ve got an idea for a magazine article. You write up a query and send it in.
What happens next? Crickets.
I’ve heard this tale from hundreds of writers. They all want to know why.
Usually, the answer is that you don’t know how to analyze the magazine you’re pitching, and use what you learn to create the perfect query — the irresistible one that editor can’t resist.
Everything you need to know to write a hot query can be found by studying the articles in that magazine.
What do you need to look for? Here’s my checklist:
Want to get paid to write about writing? If you know a little something about the business and craft of freelancing, you can cash in on your ideas and experience.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
It’s no secret that finding a niche is a smart strategy to grow your freelance writing business. Everyone should have a niche, or two or three. And writing can be one of them.
In fact, there’s a number of online and print markets that serve freelance writers and some pay up to $1,500 per assignment. Pitch these places great story ideas, and you can get paid to write about writing. For example:
You’ve got some insight on how to write great headlines.
You’ve learned a few interview tricks over the years to get sources to spill the beans.
You’ve some great connections with thought leaders in writing and publishing you can interview and write a feature about.
Or maybe you’d like to write about the art of the pitch and interview pros who know how to do it.
Want to get paid to write about writing? Check out these markets that cover the business and craft of freelance writing, and start pitching.
Looking for writing courses & community support?
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Our lively community is stuffed with useful tools and career-building resources. Use our 24/7 forums to get your questions answered by pros. Tap our 300+ hours of self-study trainings to learn new skills.
The Den has live events and multi-week bootcamps where you can tap experts’ knowledge, an exclusive job board, accountability buddies, live chats, and more. Also, if you want feedback on your writer website, LinkedIn profile, or article draft, we’ve got you.
Visit the Freelance Writers Den site to see if we’re open for new members right now. Sign up on the waiting list if we’re not, and you’ll be first to join when we reopen (plus, you’ll get useful free resources in the meanwhile).