Blog Talk Tuesdays: Part VIII

After quite a little hiatus, Blog Talk Tuesdays has returned! In case you’re new around here, Blog Talk Tuesdays is a series I started on this blog to address questions I’ve received about blogging in an organized way – Q&A style!

Past Blog Talk Tuesdays topics include:

While the most common blog-related question I receive via email pertains to growing a blog, the second most prevalent question asks me about freelance writing.

I am by no means an expert on freelance writing (it’s still very new to me), but below you will find the answers to your questions based on my experience up to this point.

Freelance Writing

  • How did you get into freelance writing?

When I began to realize the potential to make freelance writing and blogging my primary source of income, I began to actively seek freelance writing opportunities to make sure I would have a steady stream of work when I decided to leave my full-time job. I initially focused on local publications in the Orlando area, but turned my attention to national magazines and business publications as they were substantially more lucrative.

  • How do you get “a foot in the door” with magazines to write freelance content for them?

bribe

When I contact magazines with a story idea, I always do so via email. I use the magazine’s website to locate the proper editor to send the article to, address them by name and briefly mention why I enjoy their publication and feel like a relationship between the two of us makes sense.

I then take a paragraph or two to outline a story idea.

Many of my emails go unanswered. That’s just the name of the game. But when I get a reply, I make sure to respond promptly and begin to nurture a relationship, following up quickly and meeting deadlines in advance.

Additionally, as a blogger, I receive press releases and pitches from businesses and magazines regularly and save the contact information from the more pertinent emails just in case I may wish to reach out to them in the future.

A great website for jobs in the writing field is Ed2010.com. It is constantly updated and often includes open positions with national magazines.

  • How much does a freelance article pay?

For local publications, the pay isn’t so hot. I’ve found that I can expect $50 or so for articles I write for local outlets.

low payment

Writing a freelance article for a national publication or business is much more profitable, though much harder to come by, with many paying $1 – $2 a word. (Quick math shows that a 500-word article can net $500 – $1,000, though these opportunities are a lot harder to secure.)

  • Where do you get ideas for publications and/or people to contact to inquire about freelance work?

I think outside the box… waaay outside the box.

Remember there are tons of magazines and newspapers out there – so many more than the ones you read.

dog magazine

I do a lot of internet searches for publications and moving to a new town allowed me to explore local publications other than Orlando-area magazines that were previously familiar to me.

I also have a bunch of ideas for future work relating to copywriting that I hope to pitch to some businesses in the future. I am constantly picking up magazines and jotting down the names of websites or business publications that I find and keep them in a folder to contact when I have the moment to think about a story idea to send their way.

Comments

  1. says

    I just wanted to let you know that similar to your story and how reading Carrots n’ Cake got you started, YOU got me started :) I just launched my new blog and I’m trying my best to stay focused on it. THANK YOU <3

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  2. says

    I had never heard of that site before – thanks for sharing. I do the same as you, always jotting down names/ideas and grabbing local pubs when I see them.

    Right now I just do a bit of freelance on the side because I am still working a day job. I enjoy it most when I write about topics I pick. :)

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  3. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn says

    I’m a fan. I love hearing about this stuff because I am SUCH a journalism dork. Hello, Syracuse University and Newhouse…le duh. I’m so proud of you! Ed2010 is a great resource here on campus as well.

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  4. says

    Thanks so much for sharing these tips, I love your Blog Talk Tuesdays! So when you contact magazines about stories do you always pitch them a story idea or do you ever just ask if they have a story they are looking for a writer on?

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  5. Sarah says

    Hi Julie! This is a quetion i have been wanting to ask for a while. As such a busy person, with your writing articles and posts and just regular life-stuff, how do you manage to read the numerous comments on each post? Do you read each comment all the time? Thanks!

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  6. stevie says

    In my hometown about 10 years ago a husband and wife started a local magazine just for our town. They did all kinds of local news, our town recreational sports, some school news if a school did something outstanding, whether sports or curriculum related. Various volunteer programs, new businesses that were opening up, etc. All kinds of different things, it kept people connected with what was going on locally and it was free. People loved seeing their picture in the magazines from various town functions. They sent it in the mail each month. They made money from advertisements in their magazine. A LOT of businesses caught on to this media outlet and saw it as a great advertisement tool. Eventually it became so popular they added on another town to the magazine. Love when people come up with original business ideas and they become a big success.

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  7. says

    Thanks for all of the helpful information. I’m relatively new to blogging, and I’ve read a lot of information about how to have a successful blog but the advice you gave seemed much more helpful. I think it’s because it was a bit more personal than your average list of things to do. I found myself going back and reading all of your “blog talk tuesday” posts. I especially liked the one about safety. I’d never thought to check if my domain listed personal information. Thankfully it doesn’t, but I’m glad I checked! Thanks again!

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  8. says

    I’ve started looking into some freelance opportunities lately, but haven’t reached out too much as I’m currently working full time and in grad school. As soon as I’m done with my Master’s degree though, I’m going to be pursuing freelance work like it’s my (second!) job ; )

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  9. says

    What a perfectly timed post! I’ve been thinking about the realm of freelancing a lot lately. I’m a little dissatisfied with my day job, but I have been loving all of the writing I do. In addition to my personal blog, I write a blog for the work I do and am a contributor to two national-level work-related blogs. The opportunities that have come my way have been completely random, and I’m thinking about intentionally reaching out to do some work. So this was really helpful. We’ll see…

    I also appreciate you sharing the Ed2010 resource. I currently work in career services directly with Communications students at my school. This is perfect! Thanks!

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  10. says

    Interesting! Even though I have no desire to do any freelance writing, I learned a lot here. For some reason, I thought you were always offered writing gigs — I had no idea you had to be the solicitor!

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  11. says

    Hi Julie! I just got back from near your homeland! I was in Cape Canaveral with my boyfriend and his family over Thanksgiving because his dad is a scientist for the Mars Rover that launched on November 26. You live in such a gorgeous state! I actually thought of you and your little family while I was running on the beach in the sunshine (helloooo Sunshine State! :) ). Anyway, I love your BTT and always find them very helpful. I keep notes on all your tips, I think they’re so good. Thank you!

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  12. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I love that you’re so honest about how it all works and what to expect in your BTT posts :)

    I just moved to San Diego from Virginia to take a job that is perfect for me and my career, but right now it is only 30 hours a week and was a pretty signifigant pay cut. I know it’s what I need (and want) to do but I’ve also been wanting to look into freelance projects to pay the rent!

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  13. says

    Very interesting! I’ve written an article for an online publication that’ll come out soon, but I sort of lucked into it. Utilizing contacts definitely helps. It was offered to me because I graduated with the editor and she knows my story. I wouldn’t want to say “use your network” as in taking advantage of someone but more like “utilize your network.” You may know someone who knows someone.

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  14. Anne says

    Sounds interesting. That link you posted though wouldn’t apply to someone like me though (a lot of those jobs are U.S. based and require 2++ years experience…yipes).

    I’m COMPLETELY new to this…and no blog or anything to show as a profile builder…so I still feel unsure how to proceed.

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  15. Haley @ Fit, Young, and Fabulous says

    WOW!! I am SO excited about Freelance Writing! I have never really heard about it! But I love to write and read and I am a little obsessed with magazines! Can’t wait to find out more about it! (:

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