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Freelance Writers! Get In An Editors Good Books And Secure Future Work.
Being a freelance writer can be a tough gig at times, especially when you are just starting out. At the same time, if you become successful it can be a lucrative and rewarding career - and the perfect job if you are hoping to finish your novel on the side.
Part of becoming a successful freelance writer is building up a number of clients that you can work with time and time again. This way you have more of a steady income and aren’t living from gig to gig wondering where the next paycheck will come from.
So how do you get these regular gigs which make your life as a freelance writer so much easier?
The answer is simple.
Impress the editor.
Every job starts off as one job really. If you do it well then you are far more likely to secure further work with that publication, and the more times you impress the more likely you are to get work again, and so on, and so on.
In order to impress an editor there are several things you must do.
Here are our tops tips to help get you into an editor's good books:
Familiarise yourself with the publication
Make sure you read through several copies of the publication before you bother contacting the editor and pitching your idea. You need to get a good idea of what kind of articles and stories they publish, the tone of voice, the angle - all this will have been carefully curated to sell more copies. If you come in with something completely off the wall the editor just won’t take you seriously.
Pitch a good idea (concisely)
Make sure you pitch a good idea, in fact, pitch several. If you have done your research you’ll know what kind of pieces make it into the publication so you should have several ideas up your sleeve. Pitch your idea clearly and consisely - the editor doesn't need pages and pages, just the headline and the main points. Remember, bad ideas will waste an editors time and demonstrate you don’t understand their readership (or haven’t bothered trying). Several good ideas however, will not only impress them and give them options, they might also just end up asking you to write the whole lot.
Do your research
A well-researched article is so important. If you have strong opinions or state anything as fact, it's a good idea to be able to back it up. Even if it’s a topic that you don’t think requires much research still try to find out more about it and do some reading - this will influence your writing and make it seem more authoritative.
Don’t just rehash the same tired old stories. Think of a fresh and interesting way to put your point across or to say something that may or may not has been said before. If you are just repeating the same content readers won’t be enthused by what you have to say, and editors will find a reason not to publish your work.
Have perfect spelling, grammar and punctuation
This is kind of a no-brainer really. Make sure that you proofread your work, check for errors and get someone else to look over it too - it’s always helpful to have a fresh set of eyes. While little errors here and there are only human, if you’ve made any blundering mistakes your editor will be less than impressed.
Read submission guidelines - and follow them!
Find out how your editor wants their work to be presented to them and follow them precisely. It won’t look good if you can’t even read and follow some simple instructions!
Stick to deadlines
This might be the most important rule. Whatever you do, don’t miss a deadline, and don’t ask for an extension. If anything try to get your work in well before the deadline, you'll make the editor's life so much easier and they will look upon you far more favourably if your piece needs some amending.
Pleasing an editor is relatively simple. If you have got to the point where the have accepted your pitch all you have to do is write it well and send it in on time in the format they have requested and you should be fine. Follow these simple tips to ensure you impress editors and you are so much more likely to build great relationships and good reputation -which will inevitably lead to more work.