Writing articles of magazines vs. writing online

So right now I'm thinking about the different opportunities in freelance writing jobs. It seems there are two parallel worlds: online and print. I really do all my writing online and submit for websites, blogs, and marking all over the internet. But the thing that I'm wondering is if it is better to seek out more magazine and paper article submission. Since freelance writing is my career, I have to think obviously about the amount of money that I can make from my articles. From what it sounds like you can make much more per submission to a magazine or newspaper than you can for any online content, websites, or blogs.

I can see that because for blogs the tone and nature is often more casual and shorter in length. But that's not always the case with all online freelance writing jobs because I've written some longer articles and done significant amounts of research for others. But in my experience it seems that per word and assignment you can make a lot more from your freelance writing when you query to magazines, trade papers, and newspapers. But it seems that finding writing jobs online is both easier and you get a speedier return. If you submit a query to a magazine the wait time can be months and if you are stuck waiting to hear back you're sort of, well stuck.

Since being a freelance writer is at time inconsistent in regards to the amount of work; you can be super busy one week then have little to do the next, I'm just trying to find a way to maximize the return for whatever I do. Well, duh, that's everyone's goal right! But again with breaking into the magazine realm it seems like it's a struggle, and right now I've finally gotten to the point where I have a good amount of freelance writing jobs online yet they don't pay as much as I see some magazines offering. So I'm just weighting in my head what to do, and if anyone is reading and has advice or input, do feel free to share!

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Saying good bye on friendly terms

When you are doing freelance writing as a career, you will no doubt (well hopefully that is!) come to a point when it is time to say good bye to some clients and move on to greener pastures, or freelance writing jobs! Whether it be that you have simply tired of the writing work or project, or that you have been able to find better paying freelance writing jobs and can then focus your times on them, saying good bye can be a few things. It can mean that you are getting better at your freelance writing job, which is awesome, and you are able to get better gigs and higher paying clients, that you are shifting gears or topics and you would rather focus your energies elsewhere, or it can simply be that you for whatever reason you just don't want to work with a certain client anymore.

Whatever the reason for leaving a freelance writing job, it is worth noting that unless there are extenuating circumstances it should be done in a way so as no one is left hurt, upset, or angry. In the freelance writing business it's always best to avoid burning bridges whenever we can because you never know when you may want to work with a certain client again or you may need them for a reference. So as tempting as it may be to give them the email equivalent of flipping the bird and shouting, "Sianara, Sucker!" it's usually best not to. And anyways, let's be grown ups about this...hehe.

Personally, I've been thinking about this because one of my clients is just not fitting into what I want out of my freelance writing career. The work is not only usually writing on topics that are so obscure that I don't think that the amount of research time to the payout is worth it, but they are nit picky and often demand lengthy rewrites. And then when they get them they still reject them, and I'm left with an article about toilet seats that I spent time on and end up without getting paid! I'm thankful in that I have been getting more clients that DO pay better for freelance writing jobs and that are more pleasurable to write. Yet I don't want to completely blow off the former freelance writing work as I may never know when I may want to approach them in the future. (Freelance writing as a career can be fickle, and if jobs are slow, we need some way to pay the bills!) While this business has been a headache, I need to avoid telling them where they can shove it, and be a professional myself.

In saying good bye as a freelance writer, we should strive to be cordial and at least civil. Down the road our paths may cross and if you are in need of someone to 'scratch your back', if you were rude to them in the past you can't probably count on trying to itch yourself! Even when I lose out on a prospective freelance writing job I try to reply with a thank you and to keep me in mind email, because in this business contacts mean a lot and you want to have a good reputation if you can! So in closing, I would recommend parting ways on as best of terms as possible; even though I'd rather run a tirade! :)

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Maddening rewrites from nit picky clients

I am still learning the ropes of freelance writing as a career myself, and while I have at least made it to the point where I do have a few reliable clients or freelance writing gigs, I still consider myself a newbie and a work in progress! I am still seeking out better paying freelance writing jobs an better opportunities while still working with what I've got. And so today I come to the point where I must do a bit of venting and see what others have to say who may have been in my same position or are still in my same boat!

When it comes to what a certain freelance writer employer demands of us writers, how much do you think they can expect when they aren't willing to pay us a substantial amount. For instance, I am doing quite a bit of writing for a certain company who will supply a list of articles they need, each 500 words minimum and they will then pay you $7 for each accepted article. Now I know this isn't a great amount, but it's not nothing, so I do submit an decent amount. Yet I am growing ever more frustrated in the fact that they not only frequently demand rewrites with nit picky reasons but that they also reject a lot too.

Case in point, I was told that I was writing with too many 'fancy' words, and one of which they cited was the word ORATE for an article about speech transcription. Throughout the freelance written article I had sentences like, "when the speaker...", "when the talker...", and then "when you are orating..." and I guess orate is now a two dollar word! I'm sorry but you do want some variety in the word choice, no? And now they are having a lot of system troubles in which they claim to not even being receiving my freelance writing articles and then don't pay out. Yet I forward them the previous email that I have showing up in my outbox! ARG!! So frustrating. I just think that if a certain freelance writing job or gig is going to demand a certain amount from their writers, then rewrites, and lengthy invoice procedures they should either pay as such or at least treat us a bit better.

As I'm still learning the ropes and working on getting more freelance writing business I guess it's all par for the course. But it is still annoying and maddening all the same! I'd love to hear anyone else's input, rants, raves, or experiences. At least we can all offer each other some shared commisery! HEHE!!

Keep writing!

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Uncover one of the best freelance writing opportunities

One of the best places to find freelance writing job and business is with other companies and their marketing needs. By writing up not only press releases, reviews, and even web site content, there are a wide array of possible freelance writing jobs withing the business world. Many big and smaller companies circulate newsletters or have a lot of various needs for different writing articles and blurbs, and instead of tying up their own hired workers they will turn to freelance writers. This is great for us writers because they are usually willing to pay better than say other freelance writing gigs and are appreciative of our work because they may not have professional writers on staff.

But how do we find these potential freelance writing jobs? That can be a bit difficult only in the beginning in that you often want to be able to show prospective clients previous work you've done. You can start out by talking to friends and family members who may own their own businesses or know of some companies in need of some marketing freelance writing work, business newsletters, press releases, and any other number of writing related jobs. By getting together a few writing clips, you can then venture to bigger businesses and tout your works.

There are lots of places that could use freelance writers outside of the obvious businesses. Head to local charities, churches, recreational centers, and community centers, as they often have newsletters or announcements that could be written up. If the don't already have one established, show them a few of your freelance writing samples and propose starting one up for them. A great thing to do for your first few clients is to offer them a great deal, build your writing experience, and then let the word of mouth and their recommendations find you new freelance writing jobs. Think outside of the box, and you'd be surprised where a writing gig may pop up!

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Finally finishing what I set out to do...writing that first novel

I've always loved to write. Creating stories, fictional characters, spinning story lines and plots, and writing poems. Creative writing was an outlet for me that I always enjoyed and while I often had lapses in which I was focused on other things, I would usually come back to it in. Through many of my passing phases, my writing, artwork, and running were three things that held my interest. I had dreams of writing an award winning novel, would often start out on a creative writing venture, work away but get stuck somewhere along the way and either start a new writing project or push what I had already written aside as a project to be picked up again at some unknown later date should I ever choose to go back. There I would be left with lots of little unfinished written works, and I had almost resigned to the fact that a full book was outside of my capabilities. That I simply hadn't the patience or concentration to get down THAT many pages, and should stick to short fiction or poetry.

There's nothing wrong with that, in fact I love writing short stories, and poetry if I'm in the right mood, but there was the little part of me that still was remiss that I hadn't actually finished a creative writing piece that was long enough to constitute a novel length story. I do a lot of writing and blogging about fitness and exercise and I'm constantly saying how the mind is the biggest obstacle in our way to achieving our goals. The mind will tell your body you're too tired long before you are ever in danger of actually physically getting to a point where you have to quit. That's the case with long distance running, many people can't fathom the idea of running a certain amount of miles, but with proper training and perseverance you'd be surprised how far you can actually go.

So I thought I should apply this same logic to my writing. I had to stop gulping at the prospect of thousands or words, and instead just take it a day at a time; one sentence at a time. I set a daily goal for myself to write a certain amount of words each day, and found myself actually being able to exceed that amount more often than not. (My obsessive compulsive tendencies definitely started to come out, just as they do with my running!) Eventually I was becoming excited by the prospect that I would actually finish this written novel. As I continued to get the plot and story down onto the page I was growing more excited as I could see the end in sight.

I would get anxious and impatient, simply wanting to get it DONE, but I knew that I wouldn't be happy with the end result if I just rushed it. I did finally finish the project I set out to do. I have the rough draft of my first officially finished novel, and while it is still on the shorter side as far as books go, I do feel proud I finished it. I proved to myself that I could do it; although I still have the mundane task of editing and reworking to do and I by no means and DONE done. And although I may be a freelance writer and have article writing under my belt, I don't' have an agent and getting one's first book published is not an easy task by any stretch!

However, I finished something I had always wanted to do; had set out upon and never fully achieved. I keep that in mind whenever I get frustrated with my own freelance writing, blogging, and articles in that I may not be where I want to be or earning as much as I would hope from my freelance writing career. I am still new to the whole world of freelance writing, but am learning and doing my best to improve upon my skills as best I can. Learning from other and reading tips and advice, I still keep plugging away at my goals because I know that writing makes me happy and that freelance writing as a career is something I want and worth working for!

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Freelance writers unite to build a strong community

One of the great things about the freelance writing community is the willingness to help each other out. For the most part, other freelance writers are more than happy to pass on their advice, help, and experience to those writers just starting out. Whether it be guidance and offering the best places to find freelance writing jobs, strategies on how to most effectively utilize your time, or simply be sounding boards to listen to a rant. Because they know how difficult it can be just starting out on a freelance writing career, they are usually great people to turn to with all your questions.

I often found myself stuck with plenty of questions, confused about the whole freelance writing business and how to get writing jobs, and outside of reading books I found the the best place to go looking for answers was right on the web. Other freelance writers' blogs, forums, and online articles were a source of both tips, advice, and reassurance the the hardest part was sipmly starting out and getting established. Their kind words did much in the way to not only get me freelance writing jobs, but in keeping me inspired to keep at, keep going, and believe in my own abilities. After lots of rejection, many writers often begin to doubt themselves, but hearing that many freelance writers struggle can motivate you to keep plugging away.

There were many places that helped me and provided excellent insight into the freelance writing business, but perhaps the very best place was at the Freelance Writer's Network: http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/ , here was not only tons of articles and resources to get you started and help you along, but also freelance writing leads for you to look for jobs. I found my first gigs there, and continue to visit this site often, as there is always something new to learn because I am still learning and still consider myself a newbie to the whole freelance writing business. So, I hope that in pointing you to this site you too can find answers to your questions and that you take advantage of the generous and forthcoming freelance writing community!

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Don't sell yourself short...

I recently finished up a freelance writing job with a site that was collecting educational craft projects and games for parents to do with their children. The contract was for a total of 25 craft projects, and I actually turned in the whole freelance writing job a few days early. I was happy with my work, felt that I provided what they were looking for, and in fact all of the projects were longer than the requirements. It looked like everything was going fine, until I got an email from one of the people stating that they wanted pictures for every craft!

Well, at this point, it was now a day or two before the deadline, I had already signed the freelance writing contract (and nothing mentioned a picture anywhere) and I was working on other deadlines as well. I simply had no time to put together 25 craft projects and then set up a photo shoot! I replied as much, and then they told me that because of this, they actually were going to reduce my pay by $10 for each written project. Well, now that is $250, and quite a chunk of change. I replied that because I hope to be able to work with then in the future for other freelance writing jobs I guess that is a compromise we must make, but I hope they can appreciate that on my end I lived up to my end up the bargain and turned in the work, and would hope that in the future there wouldn't be any amendments to the writing job contract after it is already signed and the articles submitted.

I was disappointed, but felt that at least I stuck up for myself. A few days later, I received an email stating that they can see my point, and will honor the freelance writing job contract as it stands. Yea, victory for me. :) I think the point I am trying to make is that I could have simply told them, okay, fine and left it at that and swallowed the loss. And actually that is something I probably would have done not too long ago, but I figured that I had nothing to lose it stating my point of view and sticking up for myself. I put a lot of time and energy into the freelance writing job and did what I was asked to do. I didn't send an irate or mean spirited email, I just stated exactly what happened and how I felt. In doing so I was rewarded not only in terms of getting the actual payment that was promised, but I feel good that I didn't sell myself short.

The thing is, as freelance writers, we do sometimes get a raw deal. Clients skip out on paying or you simply never hear from them again. In today's age, the anonymity of email correspondence makes it easier to do this. If someone is standing in your office and decides they don't want to pay, it can be trickier to skip the bill. Not so from the safety of a computer screen. So if you are met with differences in regards to getting paid for your freelance writing jobs, stick to your guns. You put in the work, and you should get compensated for it!

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Going above and beyond

Generally when you first start out freelance writing for a career, you are met with admittedly less than to be desired amounts of payment for your freelance writing works. That's the nature of the beast, as in order to gain the higher paying freelance writing jobs you need to have clips, or previous works, to show your potential hirees. So in completing these early assignments, freelance writers may be tempted to simply muddle through and do what is being asked, but not too much more.

Okay, so you may be thinking that's what you should be doing, because I said in a previous posting that you should dedicate an appropriate amount of effort and time to the amount you are getting paid for each freelance writing job. So you would think that if you are only getting $5 an article, then they should be happy to receive something that is at least legible and in English! Well, let me backtrack a bit in saying, you need to earn that right as a freelance writer. You can't simply crank out, well, crap, and expect to then have enough good quality freelance writing clips and satisfied clients who will recommend you in the future. So yes, early on you will be working harder on those lower paying freelance writing jobs, but you will be building your credentials, experience, and your brand.

And by being extra attentive and willing to provide your freelance writing clients with sometimes more than they would have expected, you can be they will be all the more willing to not only work with you on future projects, but then even give you better paying and more desirable freelance writing jobs. This is how I got my best client. I started out writing articles for $4 each, not too much money at all, but I always did my best and did them promptly. I was early on deadlines, and even helped her out when other freelance writers didn't get their own assignments to her on time. I busted by butt to get done a bunch of work she needed done that day, and she then began offering me better freelance writing articles and other projects much more often.

Staring out freelance writing is the hardest part, but once you get those first few clients and do those writing jobs to the best of your ability, the better projects will come. Then, you can earn the right to pass on the lower paying jobs!

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