How To Succeed In Freelance Writing For Magazines And Newspapers

In any freelance work whether it is writing or consultancy or something in between, you need to be prepared to be flexible and very motivated to succeed. You also need to be prepared for the amount and quality of competition that you will that you will meet along the way.

However this does not mean that you should sell yourself and your abilities short by cutting your fees, or agree to crippling turn around times. Admittedly writers can live on the edge a little when it comes to meeting deadlines but if you do this on a regular basis your work will soon go downhill.

Your first step to success in freelance writing in the media is to be prepared to show off your skills. To do this your need to prepare a portfolio. If you have not already got a portfolio together then be prepared to spend a bit of time putting together some examples of your work.

Look around for the type of newspaper or magazine that you would like to work with. Read several of the issues to get feel for their style and the targeted audience. Try writing your own spin on some of the articles. Remember to also include some of your work that may not relate to the newspaper or magazine to illustrate the diversity of your skills.

Contact the editor of a newspaper or magazine that you would like to work with, send them a sample of your work and invite them to comment. You could also offer (as a one-time deal) to write a short article for them. Remember that the personal touch though social etiquette gets people noticed for the right reasons, so do genuinely thank the editor for their time even if they refuse your offer. They are more likely to call you back if they have work that is suitable as you would be a nice person to work with.

Rather than initially contacting a national newspaper, start off with a local paper. This will help you to get more of a feel for their audience and it will also help you understand the hierarchy and processes within the industry.

Also get recommendations from other people for whom you have produced work. Get them to put it in writing and add to your portfolio. Recommendations sometimes go much further than qualifications. However it is well worth the time and money to attend a writing course to brush up your skills.


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