by Val Jones
How do you get your freelance writing published? If you’re like most writers, you’ve probably dreamed of seeing your prose in print. But everyone knows getting published does not happen overnight.
The simple truth is that freelance writing is a commitment. Here are four things you should know when building your freelance writing portfolio and cashing in on your writing talents.
Invest in your freelance writing career
Your first step toward getting published is to identify your audience. Freelancers want to know how to find potential publishers who will be interested in their work. I recommend purchasing Writer’s Market 2020. It’s just over $50 and contains a wealth of information.
Some professional writers say that the Writer’s Market is like the freelancer’s bible. Inside, you’ll find valuable listings for publishers, magazines, contests and more. Read a bit further, and you’ll find contact information and helpful summaries for each entry.
Freelancers use this information to make decisions about which publications to solicit for publishing. The purchase of this book was my first step to unlocking my career and getting published in 2013.
Track your submissions
You’ll definitely need to organize your freelance writing materials if you want to get published. I purchased a large binder to keep my freelancing sorted. Some publications do not allow you to send the same submission to another publication until they’ve either accepted or rejected it themselves. You’ll need to develop a system for your inquiries so that you can manage your materials.
It’s okay to submit your writing to smaller publications that don’t pay
Sometimes the “free” in freelance really means free. Gifting your writing will be a temporary setback but can be helpful in gaining momentum in your freelance writing career. To gain traction, your work must be visible. Free but visible always trumps invisible and buried in a publisher’s inbox.
I earned a big, fat goose egg with my first assignment. But once it was published, doors opened, and others were interested in my freelance writing too. With credibility comes opportunity and, hopefully, more successes under your belt.
Don’t expect your freelance writing to find an immediate home
Your freelance writing may take a while to spark someone’s interest. Don’t worry, that’s normal. Many freelancers get discouraged because getting published doesn’t happen instantly. Like any industry, you’ll need to be diligent about submitting writing and developing thick skin. You’ll hear “no” more than you’ll hear “yes.”
But, remember, it only takes one “yes” to get your freelance writing career on track.
Getting published is not necessary to build your business, but it’s a great start. If publication is not your number one priority, but you genuinely want to earn money as a writer, spread the word about your freelance services. Something as simple as posting onto your social media could translate into your first paying gig.
Do a good job and you’ll see more people ask about your services. The most important thing to remember is that it will take time to build your freelance writing business. And with a solid portfolio, more opportunities will follow.
Don’t want to publish your own freelance writing but need a writer? Contact me today, and let’s talk about how I can help you reach your audience.