Today bloggers who have accepted the Blogging A to Z Challenge are blogging about something that begins with the letter “H” – so I have chosen to write about the Habits of Successful Freelance Writers. These habits apply whether you write for kids or you write for adults. If you’d like to become a successful freelance writer, develop these habits:
1. Write on a regular basis. This is probably the number one difference between people who dabble at freelance writing and those who make a living at it. “Working” freelance writers write every day. Even if they aren’t working on a particular writing assignment they’re usually writing something, even if it’s just updating their blog, posting to their website, or writing promotional materials for their writing and writing services.
2. Study freelance markets. Take the time to get to know the publications you want to write for BEFORE you query them. Study each publication’s guidelines, read several months’ worth of back issues, and dig around online to find the editorial calendars for publications so you know the best times to “pitch” your article ideas.
3. Learn to write winning query letters and book proposals. Most importantly, make it a habit to submit queries and proposals to publishers on a regular basis.
4. Learn how to write for specific markets. An article for Highlights magazine should not have the same tone as an article for TEEN magazine. Obviously, the subject matter for these publications should be different, also. Make it a habit to know the writing style, types of content published, etc. for the specific markets you wish to write for and practice writing for these markets.
5. Learn how to find many lucrative writing assignments. Successful writers don’t just sit around waiting for jobs to fall in their laps. They know how to find jobs at online job boards. They subscribe to a variety of ezines that list freelance writing jobs. They also know how to develop relationships with editors so they get called back for assignments over and over again. Develop the habit of regularly searching for jobs and developing relationships with editors.
6. Develop a weekly marketing plan for your writing and writing services. Marketing your work, and developing a “platform” for yourself, is just as important as your actual writing assignments. Make it a habit to create your weekly marketing plan every Sunday evening or Monday morning.
7. Develop a network of contacts that will help you promote your writing and writing services. Make a habit of getting to know writers all across the country (and even across the globe) and network effectively with these people.
8. Develop a focus for your writing career and make a habit of refining this focus on a regular basis as your writing career grows.
9. Stay focused so you live the writer’s life of your dreams. Create a plan or system that keeps you focused. When you can’t stay focused alone, hire a coach to help you stay on course.
10. Make it a habit to create your own informational products to market and have other people marketing them for you as well. Most top-notch freelance writers know a LOT about the subject of freelance writing. They use that knowledge to create articles about writing, tips booklets about writing, and books and courses about writing. They market many of these items themselves but also have affiliates who sell the items for them as well. You should do this, too.
Develop all ten of these habits and it won’t be long before you’re a successful freelance writer.
All the best,
P.S. If you’re a writer and your pen won’t budge, read The Morning Nudge. Get your FREE subscription now at www.morningnudge.com.