|Posted by ptheibert on July 4, 2014 at 12:40 AM|
Can you make money as a writer? Yes. I have been a freelance writer for over 10years and have not starved yet. Let's look at what you need to be a successfulfreelance writer.
1. Read every day. If you want to be a writer, you need to read and then read somemore. Think of an artist, a painter who never studies any painting. He nevergoes to the art museum, never looks at other paintings to see how they usecomposition, shading, perspective, colors. This same concept applies towriting. How do writers use words, create tension, grab the reader's attention?These are basic concepts you cannot learn without studying other writers.
2. Write every day.My last three books: Collisions at Home, The Baseball Poems of PhilipTheibert, The Blockbuster Book of Brain Expanding, Creativity Enhancing,Writing Exercises and Potato Chip Economics were written one day ata time. As the classic advice goes - write something every day and put it in ashoebox. When that shoebox is full, you have a book.
3. Network.Obvious as it may sounds, people are not going to come knocking on your doorasking you to write for them. One of the best ways to network is join yourlocal chapter of International Association of Business Communicators ( IABC) oryour local chapter of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The peoplewho attend these meetings are professional communicators and outsource many writingjobs ranging from speeches, to brochures, to press releases, to position pages,to web content… well you get the idea.
4. Build a Portfolio. I have been a PR Director for an ad agency and a MarketingDirector for a publishing company. And I interviewed many candidates lookingfor writing jobs. I don't care where you graduated from. I want to see if youcan write. The first thing I will ask for is your writing portfolio. If you area college student work on the college newspaper, be a stringer for the localpaper, work on the college literary journal, get internships with ad agencies,corporate communication departments. All of these jobs will help you build awriting portfolio when you go seeking that first writing job.
5. Develop a Niche. Become known for a specialty. For instance, I used to be acorporate speechwriter. When I went freelance, I developed a webpage thatpromoted the CEOs I had written for and that contained sample speeches. Now,much of my business comes from speech writing. In short, if you are good atwriting web content, make that your niche. And go after it aggressively.
Finally,it is not easy being a freelance writer. Above all you must have faith inyourself and your writing ability. Do not let rejection get you down. I havebeen writing for a long time and I realize that 50 percent of the people willlike your writing and 50 percent won't. Writing is very subjective - just keepfaith in yourself, keep banging those keys and be aggressive in your marketing.You will succeed.