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6 Tips For Taking Your Freelance Career to the Next Level

February 17th, 2008

writing-career.jpgIf you are a freelance writer who has experienced some initial successes in writing and selling your articles, you may want to consider increasing your profits and taking your career to the next level. This article by April Aragam suggests six things that you can do to increase your chances of generating more income from your writing.

Maybe you began freelancing 6 months ago or 3 years ago. However long it has been, maybe it’s time to take your writing to the next level. Here are some ideas you can use to keep your career moving forward:

1. Submit to higher paying markets

When you first started sending out your work, to build up your clips, you had no problem submitting to markets that paid just a few cents a word. Once you do have those clips to show as examples of your work and experience, you should start aiming for higher paying markets. You don’t have to jump from 3 cents per word to $1 per word, but little by little you can gradually increase your pay rate.

2. Don’t be shy

Sometimes you just have to email an editor and ask if she is looking for anything specific or to introduce yourself and your writing. You can certainly open yourself up to a lot of opportunities this way.

3. Write longer pieces

You might be comfortable writing fillers and other pieces under 1,000 words, but to make more money and get more assignments, you also want to write the occasional longer piece. If you find it too difficult or too much pressure to go from writing 700 words to 1,000 words, start small by increasing your goal 100 words at a time.

4. Learn to ask for more money

Just because guidelines specify an amount paid per word or per article, it’s not set in stone. Especially if you’ve worked for an editor a number of times you should feel free to ask for more money. The worst that can happen is you’re told it can’t be done. But if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

5. Retain more rights

Different magazines want to retain different rights. Get to know what all of the different rights mean to you. For example, if you sell all rights to your article, that means once you sell it, it’s out of your hands and you will not be able to sell it anywhere else. On the other hand, if you sell first rights, you can sell that article again later to another magazine as a reprint. Don’t be afraid to ask to keep more rights with you.

6. Sell reprints

If you hold the rights to them, don’t forget to send pieces out as reprints. A little bit of extra money for a bit of extra work isn’t a bad deal.

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