Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Freelance writing is being a specialist

Today the demand is for good 'niche writers'. Restrictive though it is, like everything else, even here, the need for specialization is at an all time high. Travel writers, Creative writers, Copywriters, Resume writers, Content writers, Technical writers, Essay writers, you name it, and there is a market for it. If you are slowly able to, after a few initial experiments, carve out a niche for yourself by specializing in any one such field and you get published (usually without payment first!) you are almost there. Once you manage to sell your ideas, you are home and running.

Freelance writer - How to get started

Your best bet is to email/call up editors and constantly surf the net for opportunities. Make Search Engines (google, yahoo) your trusted lieutenants and use them to help you seek, search and finally apply to advertised or possible opportunities.

If you find good websites you could write for, look for submission guidelines or send in your query. A query letter is not a waste of time. On an average three out of every five will elicit some kind of a response that will take you forward.

Though it is usual practice in established writing circles not to start writing till an understanding is reached, you the newbie can take no chances. So, till you have sufficient work, give them what they've asked for, quickly, whatever the subject, or send them something you have already written. Odds are that they will use it and pay you with a nice "Thank you for your submission' letter or not at all, but if rejected or if you don't hear from them ever again, which is highly likely, don't lose heart. Move on. Just keep those articles as ready-reckoner samples for later use. Stockpile them in a folder for the future, to be sent on to other editors who may seek samples of your written work.

If they are freelance writing markets, narrow in on the popular ones. Subscribe to their newsletters. Most of them are free. It will give you a fair idea of their reliability. Generally avoid those that promise you the moon. Look for those that seem sincere. But do not subscribe or pay for anything till you are sure of a website's credentials. Also, remember to check out the various published lists of dishonest and fly-by-night operators often. Soon you will be able to sift the wheat from the chaff.

Emails or SPAMS?

When trying to sell on the net what is most necessary is a good healthy active database. If you meet this requirement then you can send your emails easily. If you send to the right people you have almost made it across half the battle.

Normally when your emails go to wrong people, or when your email message on the subject line and withing the internals of emails are not so good be prepared to face with the below:

Are YOU faced with these challenges...?
1. Almost NOBODY subscribes to your email list... You've posted a web form on your site, but no one ever seems to enter their name and email address like they're supposed to... and you have no idea why!

2. You get hardly any response to your email offers... You send out promotions that you think are pretty good -- but you never see more than a handful of sales or leads... Frequently, your subscribers don't even OPEN your messages!

3. Your subscribers don't receive the email you send them... As far as you can tell, hardly any of your subscribers are even getting the emails you're sending them. You think it has something to do with spam filters, but you have no idea what to do...

4. People are complaining, asking to be taken off your list... And you're getting frustrated because people who ASKED to be subscribed are sending you angry, threatening messages, demanding to be removed! What's their problem, anyway?

5. Your list-management chores are "out of control"... You know you need to remove people who request to be "unsubscribed"... and you know you shouldn't mail the same subscribers twice with the same promotion... or send customers ANOTHER offer for a product they already own. But you have no idea how to "automate" these time-consuming tasks!

6. You want to send email -- WITHOUT looking like a spammer! You're confused about what's acceptable and what's not when it comes to mailing to your list. After all, once you've mailed them ONCE, you can't just send them the same offer again, can you? So then what?

7. You haven't even TRIED sending email campaigns yet... Sure, you know you're missing out on massive income and profits, but where should you even begin?