Start Your Own Children's Book Publishing Business. Options include freelance writing. self-publishing, and online publishing.
Start Your Very Own Freelance Writing Business. Get Paid to Write!
Suffering from writer’s block is a very common problem. Whether it is a student trying to finish a report, a professional struggling to write a speech, or a journalist who is under a deadline, writer’s block is so common, it is almost a cliché. How many times have you seen a movie, television show or cartoon that featured a frustrated writer, staring at a blank computer screen? Fortunately, there are many things you can do to overcome the situation.
Writers’ block is very common at the beginning of a project. Having some kind of outline of what you intend to write will keep you moving in the right direction. Experiment with your writing environment; do you like the noise and energy of having other people around or do you prefer to write in a quiet space? Are you more comfortable using pen and paper to get your thoughts down, or do you prefer a computer screen and keyboard? Eventually, you will discover the type of writing environment that gets your creative juices flowing.
Once you get started, you will find that words will start flowing. However, if getting started is the hardest part, try “free writing”. Simply write whatever comes to mind. Write about the room you are in, what you had for breakfast, or the color of your socks. It doesn’t matter what you write about. Once you start writing about something, you will find that you will be able to keep writing; words will just start to flow out of your brain and onto your paper.
If you find yourself getting stuck in the middle of a project, print out what you have written. Take the paper to another room and proofread it. Holding the paper in your hands versus reading from a computer screen will stir different senses. Going to a different room to read will also engage your senses and may be enough to fire up some ideas and end your writer’s block.
Sometimes, you just need to clear your head and take a break. Go for a walk around the block, throw a load of laundry into the washer or some other small task. You might find a bright idea comes to you the second you start focusing on something else. After a few minutes, you will be able to come back refreshed and ready to write.
Most importantly, don’t give up. Writer’s block won’t last forever! Stay focused and you will be able to conquer it.
Writing is a skill that doesn’t come easily to everyone; some people have a natural writing flow that almost bursts off a page while others stumble and trip over the words they write. If you happen to fall into the second category, don’t let that stop you. You can improve your writing skills by using the following tips.
Like it or not, your grammar skills play a big part in your writing. You may not want to think about nouns, verbs, adverbs, conjunctions or prepositions, but if you want to be a good writer you need to know what they are and how to use them correctly. Using the proper punctuation will ensure that people are reading your sentences correctly. For instance, if you intended a sentence to end, but didn’t end it with a period, your readers wouldn’t be able to make sense out of your writing. Don’t forget to use the spell-check function that came with the word processing software on your computer.
This may sound backwards, but to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader. Try to read something everyday. Expand your knowledge by reading different types of writing. If you are primarily a fiction reader, start reading the newspaper or non-fiction books. Read articles online versus magazine articles and see if you notice the differences in writing styles. If you happen to read something that you really enjoy, study the article or story. Use the tips you find to improve your own writing. On the other hand, when you read something you don’t care for, make mental notes of the mistakes the writer made and try to avoid them when you sit down to write.
To become a good writer, you need to practice, practice, and practice some more! Writing something everyday, even something as short as a few sentences can improve your writing over time. There are many websites targeted to writers that offer daily writing exercises. For example, the site may ask you to write the opening paragraph of a romance story one day and the next day it could ask you to write a “how-to paragraph” about grinding coffee. Experimenting with different writing genres will greatly improve your writing.
Save your writing and re-read it from time to time. You will see the improvements you have made. As your skills and your confidence grow, you will find that writing not only comes easier to you, it becomes something you enjoy doing!
Making money at home by writing may sound appealing, but not everyone is suited for it. The following are some skills and personality traits that writers need. Do you have what it takes to write for pay?
First of all, you need to enjoy writing. If English was your least favorite subject in school and the thought of writing an essay sends shivers up your spine, you should consider other ways to make money from home. On the other hand, if you do enjoy writing and have a good set of basic grammar skills, writing from home could be a profitable venture for you. Simply enjoying the writing process may not be enough, though. Writers spend a lot of time at home working alone. Do you find it easy to work by yourself or do you prefer to work with a group of people?
Writers need to be able to meet deadlines and they need to work well under pressure. You may get an assignment for a 500 word article that must be completed that same day. Writers also need to be excellent researchers. You may get an assignment to write an article on something you have never heard of, a place you have never visited, or a hobby you have never tried. Do you know how to find quality information about a subject and do you know how to take what you have read and break that down into your own story?
Many professions require a “thick skin”, and writing is no exception. How well do you handle criticism and rejection? As a writer for hire, you are being paid to write something for someone else. You may think it is the best piece of writing since Shakespeare, but your opinion doesn’t count. The customer is always right and if your customer doesn’t like what you have written, you will need to start over or take the article in a new direction. Is that something you could handle?
If you are going to be working as a copywriter or ghostwriter, you may not receive credit for your work. While it is becoming more common in the “book world” to give credit to a ghostwriter, the general notion is that the ghostwriter goes unknown. The owner of a website may ask you to write several articles or blog entries for her. Would it bother you to see her take credit for your words?
Of course, these are just a few, general examples. If writing is something you want to try your hand at, by all means, go for it!
Ghostwriting may sound mysterious, but it is a profession that you are probably very familiar with. You have, undoubtedly, seen many books written by celebrities. Well, the celebrities name may be on the cover, but a ghostwriter is the actual author; for instance, Clay Aiken’s autobiography “Learning To Sing” was actually written by Allison Glock. [Read more…] about What is Ghostwriting?
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If you pay attention to movies and television shows that feature people living in New York City, you will see that an abundance of characters are “freelancing”. A freelance writer is an independent contractor who writes for a publication. Freelance writers can write for magazines, newspapers, and online markets. Using a freelance writer allows the publication to publish a variety of voices with different points of view and experiences, but also saves the publication money; since they are paying the writer per assignment and are not providing benefits.
As a freelance writer there are numerous markets ready to hire you. The online market is growing everyday as more and more websites pop up. These websites need content for the website and many of them have e-newsletters that are sent out on a weekly or monthly basis. Newspapers, both local and national, routinely rely on freelancers; although in this industry the term is known as “stringer reporters”. Since newspapers have strict deadlines, if a story suddenly pops up and the staff writers already have other assignments, a freelancer will be called. Assignments can be given out on short notice and the work can be hectic, but writing for a newspaper is a great way to open doors to bigger opportunities.
Many people dream of freelancing for national magazines, and they do hire freelancers. This can be a tough market to break into, since so many people are vying for a limited number of jobs. It is best to start out with smaller regional or trade magazines and once you have several “clips”, copies of your published work, you can break into the national magazines.
Typically, a freelance writer will think of a story idea and write a brief synopsis and send it to the publication’s editor. This is called a “query”. Different publications have different guidelines for accepting queries; some will accept them via email and some will only accept them via postal mail. If you are going to send one via snail mail, enclose a self addressed stamped envelope; if your material gets rejected the editor will send you the rejection slip in your SASE. Rejection is a big part of a writer’s life. Remember, they are not rejecting you. They are rejecting your story idea. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are a bad writer, it just means it is not the right time for that particular publication to publish that type of story.
Pay rates vary wildly in the freelance world. Some publications pay upwards of $1 per word and some pay one cent per word, and some do not pay at all! As a beginning writer, you will be earning fees on the low end of the scale, but as more of your work is published and you gain experience, you can begin asking for more money.
Contrary to what Hollywood portrays, you don’t have to live in New York City to enjoy a career as a freelance writer. If you want to work from home and enjoy writing, you can have a successful career as a freelancer, even if you live in Small Town, U.S.A.
Freelance writing is known for being a tough industry to break into. However, with some hard work and determination, you can find success in this field.
The online market is booming for freelancers. Website owners need content! They know that the more fresh, quality content they have, the more visitors they will receive. Online markets will not pay as well or carry the same clout as a glossy, full-color magazine, but they are a great way to get your feet wet. Plus, given the fact that the cyber world moves a lot faster than the traditional printing world, your articles will be published sooner. As you know, the more pieces you have published, the easier it will be to land bigger jobs in the future.
Don’t forget to target your local newspaper when looking for freelance writing jobs. Newspapers have strict deadlines, and can certainly use freelancers (often called ‘stringer reporters’). Writing for a newspaper can be hectic; as mentioned before, they do have strict deadlines, and you may get an assignment on a moment’s notice. However, if you do a good job and complete your work on time, the editor at your local paper could open the doors to bigger newspapers and magazines.
While you may only be able to name a few magazines, there are literally hundreds and hundreds of small, regional, and trade magazines being published today. A great tool for writers is www.writersmarket.com. It is a database full of information on markets that buy freelance work (“market” is a general term for a magazine or newspaper). The editors at smaller magazines are oftentimes more open to working with people that have little experience.
Contacting a market and offering to write for them is often called a “query”. Each market will have different guidelines they use to accept queries; for instance, some may accept queries via email whereas some will want them by snail mail. Always use the proper name of the person you are sending the query to. You can find this information on the company’s website or through www.writersmarket.com. It is also important to know the market you want to write for. For example, if you want to write an article containing tips for traveling with pets for XYZ Magazine, make sure that magazine hasn’t published a similar article in the last year.
Once you have written several pieces for smaller markets, you can take the leap into writing for larger, more well-known magazines and newspapers. However, you might find you enjoy and prefer working with smaller markets.
Ghostwriting is a freelance writing business opportunity. You provide a service for other people – writing for them, but you do not retain any rights for the work. This means you can not put your name on the work or take credit for it. Even though your writing will not be published as your own, you can still make an excellent living through Ghostwriting. A great way to start is by targeting internet business owners to find your first clients.
Most website owners want to make money from their sites, but in order to do that they need to attract traffic. One of the best ways to get people to come to their sites is to offer high quality content. Not everyone is a writer nor do they always have the time to write. That’s where you would come in. The website owner (or publisher) pays you to write content for them and will usually be a source of repeat business as the demand for content is constant. You may be asked to write small pieces, such as blog posts, or larger pieces, like an entire ebook.
What skills are needed to become a Ghostwriter?
To be a ghostwriter, you’ll need to be a good writer on various topics and have excellent researching skills. Some other skills you’ll need are: proofreading, a good vocabulary, grammar skills and the ability to meet the deadlines.
There aren’t many tools you will need to get started in a business like this. A good computer with a word-processing software, a comfortable computer chair, an internet connection and of course, a trusty dictionary and thesaurus.
Make it easy for potential clients to find you. You’ll need a good website that explains your services and how to contact you. Develop a marketing plan to get your business in front of your target market. There are internet marketing resources you can find online that you can tap for ideas.
As the internet grows and the demand for quality content grows with it, ghostwriters remain in high demand. This type of business offers a good flexible schedule and the ability to work from the comfort of your own home.
Many would-be novelists and freelancers work on the side as ghostwriters. The ability to take on as little or as much work as your schedule allows makes ghostwriting a great moonlighting business for many who are trying to transition from full time employment to full time entrepreneur or writer.
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