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What To Do When You Lose a Writing Client

What To Do When You Lose a Writing Client

Finding Markets and Soliciting Work
    A freelance writer needs a couple gigs she can depend on. That is why I write for and edit blogs. When the back and forth of the query process with magazines slows, my blog gigs cover the bills. Sometimes, you lose a regular gig. Several years ago, the owners of a site I wrote for every week said they were “hit by Google's algorithm change” and could no longer afford to keep me. I learned a few things from that experience I’d like to share with you.   What To Do When You Lose a Writing Client   Always have a back-up plan I wanted to despair about losing my blogging job—for about an hour. Then I remembered another project I struggled to make time for. Boy was…
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Where to Sell Reprint Articles

Where to Sell Reprint Articles

Finding Markets and Soliciting Work
    Some years, selling reprints has made up to a third of my income. When you look at it one story at a time, it hardly sounds worth the effort. But if you have a well-written article on a popular topic, you can easily triple your rate from the initial publication. And considering I have stories that have sold 8-12 times, it could be even more. How to Sell Reprint Articles I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty of how to sell reprint articles in this post because I wrote that for Make a Living Writing a couple years ago. Rather, the purpose of this post is to share some places to look for reprint markets.  Where to Find Reprint Markets The best place to find publications…
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Planning for Writers — Why, What, and Methods

Planning for Writers — Why, What, and Methods

Productivity
    This week I conducted a workshop for my local writers group on planning for writers. Since it went so well, I thought I'd share my top points with you here. I have always been a planner. In fact, I used to spend the greater part of my shopping hours in November-December looking for the perfect planner to use the following year. I've tried them all--from spiral bound, to three-ring, to leather-bound books. But nothing has worked for me like the Midori Traveler's Notebook and the Hobinichi Weeks. The Traveler's Notebook is simply a leather cover with elastic bands that hold removable inserts. My Midori will hold up to four inserts before I have trouble closing it. This year, I use it with my Hobinichi Weeks as one insert…
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Show Your Clients You Care

Show Your Clients You Care

Building Relationships
  Early in my freelance career I started sending Christmas cards to my most regular clients to thank them for working with me. Then I wondered if, in the hub of all the holiday mail, they even saw them. I envisioned some editorial assistant opening my card, putting it in a stack of a hundred other cards and then taking the entire stack to the office wall and taping it up. My card, never read by the person to whom I sent it. Maybe that's not how it actually played out, but in my imagination it hurt. So I devised other ways to reach out to my clients to let them know I care.   4 Ways to Show Your Clients You Care Send a Note You don't have to…
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How to Set Yourself apart from the Competition

How to Set Yourself apart from the Competition

Building Relationships
  As an executive secretary, a loooong time ago, I learned an invaluable lesson: do everything you can to make your boss successful and you will succeed. As a freelance writer of magazine articles my boss is the editor. So I ask myself, "What does that editor need?" Time. If my editor spends less time preparing my story for publication, she has more time to do other work. So, how can I make sure my story doesn't take up too much of the editor's time? There is another thing I learned long ago to set myself apart from the pack. Remember, in school, your teacher walking the aisles of the classroom handing back graded exam papers? When she handed you yours you looked down and thought, "Seventy-nine? What did I…
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Make Technology Your Friend

Make Technology Your Friend

Productivity
  I started my freelance career without an internet connection. And yet when I started getting assignments, and running back and forth to the library to use its internet became a hassle, I embraced learning my way around. I designed and set up my own blog. I taught myself to transfer that blog from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress site. I started another blog, and another. I took courses and read tons on SEO, keywords, metadata, social media, affiliate advertising and more. Once, an editor asked me for a certain size headshot. I didn't know a pixel from a Pekingese. So, I found out. Another editor sent me a W-9 to fill out and return--electronically. I had no idea how to do that. So I found out. As a freelance…
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How to Serve Your Client

How to Serve Your Client

Building Relationships
  Writing is a service profession. When we write content for a magazine, blog or website, we provide a service for our clients. That makes you, and me, servants. Do you have a servant heart? Do you go above and beyond to serve your editor or are you frequently counting the words to make sure you don't offer him more than you are getting paid for?   How to Serve Your Client When I send a query to a publication, I always include an idea for an optional sidebar--or two. When I write my article, I suggest sub-heads and quote-outs. And I work hard to formulate a compelling title and a great hook. If your editors frequently re-write your headlines or leads, figure out why and change how you do…
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How to Define a Publication’s Audience

How to Define a Publication’s Audience

Building Relationships
  In a previous post, I wrote that as a freelance writer you need to know your reader. Some aspects of knowing your reader are obvious--the region the publication covers, the topic of the publication or the age of the target audience. For instance, it's quite obvious that Modern Farmer is read by farmers or farmer wannabe's and that Woman's Day is read by women. But if you want to know if "Fifteen Uses for Used Teabags" is a good fit for Good Housekeeping, you need to look a little closer to the details. Here are a few ways to define a publication's audience and thereby know what your editor is looking for.   3 Ways to Define a Publication's Audience   Check the media kit. Most publications have a…
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Does a Freelance Writer Need a Website?

Does a Freelance Writer Need a Website?

Marketing, Portfolio
  As a freelance writer, I want to be able to find folks to interview. I wrote a story about blogging for hobby farmers. I was excited about this story because I could highlight some of my favorite blogs by interviewing those blog owners as experts. But I had some trouble. Where is your contact information, Tammi? You don't have a contact tab on your site. Nor do you have your email address in your sidebar. I thought I'd leave a comment on a post and ask you to get in touch with me, but your posts don't accept comments. I Googled you, tried your Amazon page, and even tried to find you on Facebook. I know you have a farm to run, but do you want to sell your…
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Check the Changes Your Editor Makes

Check the Changes Your Editor Makes

Craft
  This is one of my best tips, ya'll. And I'm giving it to you for FREE! What makes this one of my best tips? If you do what I'm going to share with you here, you will build a great working relationship with your editors so that they want you to write for them. Breaking in is easy, folks. Staying in is another story. When I started getting published, I wanted to know what changes the editors made to my stories. (Because I'm a geek that way.) I mean, what commas were they removing, which sentences were they rearranging, how were they changing my quotes? I still want to know. So, when I receive my contributor copies in the mail—after the happy dance, of course—I open the magazine to…
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