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I Got a Rejection Letter, Now What?

I Got a Rejection Letter, Now What?

Finding Markets and Soliciting Work
 You sent your first (or 50th) query letter last week and you've been checking your email every hour since. Relax! this could take a while. Editors receive scads of emails every day. (I know, I used to be one.) And, if it's a really big pub, they probably don't even have the time to respond to every pitch.  But when they do, be prepared. Whether you get the assignment or a rejection letter, you have work to do. What to do when you receive a rejection letter I got a rejection yesterday. The assistant editor revealed to me the department they needed ideas for the most. And I was on that like nobodies business. I immediately sent the editor three ideas. What I got back was:     SCORE! "We…
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4 Steps to an Organized Article Writing Process

4 Steps to an Organized Article Writing Process

Productivity
Writing a magazine article isn't rocket science. But, let's face it, some folks got it and some don't, right? Not because it's hard or a special gift or anything. But because they just need an organized approach. If you're struggling to get article assignments, or more importantly repeat assignments, from your favorite publications, follow these four steps to an organized article writing process. My foolproof organized article writing process Hone your idea Before you write anything, you must hone your idea. Honing your idea involves studying the publication you wish to pitch. It's where you choose the perfect angle for those readers, narrowing it down to fit into the required word count. It's where you cut that elephant down to a couple of steaks. When I was the editor of…
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How to Write a Regular Column: Step-by-Step

How to Write a Regular Column: Step-by-Step

Productivity
Just imagine: It's 11 pm and your column is due by 6 am the following morning. You have no earthly idea what to write about so you stare at that white screen. You find yourself nodding off, wishing you could just go to bed! This is very real, folks. Idea generation is crucial for writing a successful column and it is hard! After freelancing for magazines for a couple of years--very part time--I landed my first regular column on Natural Health Ezine writing four to eight blog posts each month. I was ecstatic! Shortly after that, I started a monthly money-saving column for my local newspaper. Then another for Christian PF (now Seed Time). Then I secured another column for From Scratch magazine. Over the years, I've written regular columns…
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How to Approach Experts for an Interview

How to Approach Experts for an Interview

Building Relationships
I saw a question in a Facebook group today that I thought you might have, as well. It went something like this: When you research a story that requires interviewing sources, how do you introduce yourself? ... Do you just say you're freelancer writing about a particular topic? Thanks! This is a great question! And, it's an important question. You want to have the authority of a publication behind you so that the person is willing to give you their time. But, as a freelancer, you cannot ethically identify as an employee of a particular publication. Yet, when you have an assignment from a particular publication, you are working for them. So, it's kind of a conundrum. Let's break it down a bit.   What to say to an expert when…
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How Do I Become a Freelance Writer?

How Do I Become a Freelance Writer?

Productivity
  If you've always dreamed of seeing your name in lights, or at least a byline in a magazine, but have no idea where to begin, this post is for you. Some folks just start writing stories and sending them to editors, hoping for a bite. But that is putting the cart before the horse. Magazines don't accept already-written stories. Others email editors expressing interest in writing for them but offer no ideas for stories. While this might work for a small startup publication, it's probably a long shot. If you want to break into the magazine industry, you need to have your ducks in a row before you begin communicating with editors. Let me rabbit trail a bit.   I hate using a GPS app on my phone when…
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3 New Year Planning Tips for Freelance Writers

3 New Year Planning Tips for Freelance Writers

Productivity
  If you've read this blog for a little while, you know that I am a planner addict. I have lived my life making lists and taking notes on little slips of paper. I've used planners, notebooks, 3x5 cards, Post-It notes, you name it, to organize my thoughts. I've tried digital and analog tools. I spend way too much money in the stationery aisle of any store! Thing is, none of those tools and trinkets are worth a dime if they aren't helping me to focus, get things done, or plan for the future. Generally, this time of year, folks are making resolutions of one sort or another. I don't make New Years Resolutions. But I do plan for the future. I schedule my time. I create content calendars for myself.…
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A Mega List of Resources for Writers

A Mega List of Resources for Writers

Finding Markets and Soliciting Work, Portfolio
  When I started my freelance career, I got most of my information from Writer's Digest magazine. With no money for a subscription, I borrowed copies from the public library. When the library sold back issues for $2 a bundle, I bought up several years' worth. I read those things until they were falling apart. Then, just this year, I gifted them to another budding freelancer. Beginners have a lot of questions and often don't know where to turn. They wonder things like how to charge for their work, where to look for clients, how to write query letters, how to format a blog post, and more. That is why I've put together this mega list of resources for writers.     These resources are not just my favorites. I've…
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5 Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Freelance Writing Business

5 Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Freelance Writing Business

Productivity
  I recently attended a training event for a direct sales company I represent in my very spare time. My upline was speaking about growing your business and he said, "You know how some folks sign up, tell their friends about the product, they try it and love it and tell their friends, and the next thing you know that new rep is hitting platinum level? Well, that's not how it happened for us." Well, that's not how it happened for me, either, in my freelance writing. I started off very part-time. I was homeschooling the older of my six kids and my baby was only 4. We also lived a homesteading lifestyle which required many hours of gardening, animal tending, harvesting, food preservation, and property management. But I would write stories…
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How to Charge for Your Writing

How to Charge for Your Writing

Marketing
  If you are entering the freelance world from a typical job, you may think of your pay as an hourly wage. Maybe, you are a salaried employee that earns so much per month or a salesperson that earns a percentage of each sale. Before reading further, I want you to take a deep breath and let go of all those ideas. You cannot survive in a freelance environment attaching your worth to a dollar per hour figure. Even though I want you to clear your head of previously held ideas about pay rates, your prospective clients will still ask what your rates are. They will want to know how much you charge per word, page, or hour. And when they do, the best answer to their question is... Nothing! Yes,…
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How to Earn More Money with Your Writing

How to Earn More Money with Your Writing

Portfolio
  I'm super excited to be presenting again in January at the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. The topic for my 2018 workshop is How to Earn More Money with Your Writing. I pitched this topic to the conference coordinator because, at this particular conference, most of the writers seem to be novelists wanting to leave their day jobs. Getting a novel published, and making a living as a fiction writer, takes time. In the meantime, a writer could earn money writing other things. And if you get good at it, you could make a great living.   How to Earn More Money with Your Writing When I first started freelancing, I ran into a fellow homeschool mom who I had not seen for a few years at a local festival. When…
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