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Happy May Day!! Boy, these Sunday’s sneak up on me Every.TIME. Thank goodness I had a great Sunday Spotlight in the hopper ready to go! As everyone knows, Sunday Spotlight is the time to “shine the spotlight” on a unique and wonderful business in our Brainerd Lakes Area. Mom Squad is always on the look-out for businesses that offer products and services to help busy women’s lives easier and more enjoyable. Plus we want people to keep their dollars local whenever possible.
HOWEVER… this week (since I have some lag time between my latest Mom Squaders and my upcoming NEW crop of uber-fab Mom Squaders), I thought I’d try something different.
For this upcoming month of May I want to offer up some expert advice from bff’s, peers, and homeys on the idea of looking for “Multiple Streams of Income.” Meaning: things moms/women can do to generate extra CASH for their household. Ka’peesh?
Last week I intro’d you to buddy and mentor Sandy, and you got her take on the question Should the Economy Stop You From Starting Your Own Business? Part TWO on this awesome topic will be coming later this week.
Today I’d like intro you to fellow blogger and freelance writer I admire and follow. Kerrie McLoughlin is the author of the ebook kit “Get Published in Parenting and Family Magazines” (www.GetPublishedParentingMags.com) and has been published in over 50 regional parenting magazines since 2009. While growing her freelance writing career, she also homeschools her five kids, all under the age of 10.
Holy CATS, Batman. And I thought I was a busy Mama.
Kerrie has been kind enough to guest post for me this Sunday and share her tips and knowledge on generating extra income via Freelance Writing. The thing I love, love, LUV about Kerrie, is her advice and guidance is based on achieving the best results while spending as little money as possible. As she puts it. “I mean, we’re trying to make a living here, right?”
Below is a hodge-podge of her freelance writing basics with a cheap twist:
Freelance Writing Basics on the Cheap (10 Tips)Hey everyone! I’m Kerrie and I am a freelance writer. Just so you know where I’m coming from in this freelance writing game, I will tell you honestly that I like to do things while spending as little money as possible. Here’s some guidance to get you started:
Make sure you have your basic reference materials at your fingertips: dictionary, thesaurus, Writer’s Digest Writer’s Market and Associated Press Stylebook. I like to get things like this at http://www.half.com/, www.ebay.com, http://www.amazon.com/ and at used bookstores. Or better yet, ask for them for your birthday or other holidays! (Mother’s Day IS coming 🙂
Don’t pay for job listings (markets are different, but of course you can gather those yourself for free; you’re just paying for someone else to compile them for you like I did in my own ebook).
Many writers don’t need college or costly online writing courses. Just because you’ve never written a marketing manual or sales letter doesn’t mean you won’t rock it. Head to the Internet or library to figure out how it’s been done before so you have an idea of where to begin.
Join online writers groups like MomWriters through Yahoo Groups and browse many more at www.thewriterssite.com. It’s a great way to vent, make writer pals, find people to critique your work, find other writers to help plug your work in exchange for plugging theirs, etc. You can also ask for advice on projects you’re not sure about, as well as sometimes even find job opportunities.
Research rates so you make what you’re worth. You might be astounded by how much, for example, some nonprofits would pay you to write a simple appeal letter to their donors. Why take $50 when the writer down the street is getting $400 to do the same darn thing?
If you’re a magazine writer, why subscribe to every magazine you’d like to write for? My doctor is always glad to get rid of back copies of some magazines that come to him for free. I also have friends and relatives that I’ve put the word out to who give me their back copies of magazines. You can also hunt some mags down at garage sales. (side note: studying the magazines you want to write for is a great way to get a feel for what articles they might be looking for. That, and reviewing a publications writer’s guidelines is the best way to have a shot at getting published.)
Jobs are out there; you just have to hunt them down (www.craigslist.com, www.writersweekly.com, www.journalismjobs.com, www.wmfreelancewritersconnection.com ). I’m begging you to please not write an article for $3 that will circulate around the globe 100 times. Your writing is worth more than that, even if you are a newbie. But …
Don’t be afraid to write for free a LIMITED number of times so you can get some clips. Putting in your query to Parents Magazine that you were published in Greater Fort Wayne Family, a nonpaying pub, is more impressive to them than saying you write for www.ehow.com for pennies per click.
Make sure you have an invoicing system in place, as well as a system to track where you’ve sent queries and submissions. Sometimes I have to email — and even eventually call on the ole telephone — magazines who have “forgotten” to pay me after a few months.
(barely) Controlled chaos at http://TheKerrieShow.com
Get Published in Parenting and Family Mags at http://GetPublishedParentingMags.com
Follow me on Twitter http://Twitter.com/mommykerrie ant http://Twitter.com/Write4MommyMags
Author site http://KerrieMcLoughlin.blogspot.com
Awesome info! Thanks Kerrie! I also want add that getting any sort of writing experience is helpful when first starting out. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and ask if you can submit something for publication. Same with any local organizations that produce newsletters. They could possibly be looking for fresh eyes and fresh topics. It benefits you by getting you some experience, plus a byline in print. Here’s some terminology info too to help make your freelance endeavors a little easier:
Byline: This is when the writer is given credit by having his/her name appear at the beginning of an article. The byline generally appears near your article’s title. Some people also call it a tagline.
Clips:A clip is simply a sample of your published writing. The name probably came from the fact that writers used to have to cut out (clip) their article from a hard copy for their portfolio.
Freelance Writer: Freelance writers are writers who are not hired on a permanent/staff basis. They are hired to write a specific assignment, which generally occurs in a limited time period.Query: A letter or email sent to an editor or agent which details an idea for a magazine, newspaper, book or other publication, along with an attempt to sell this particular idea, along with yourself as the potential writer.
Writer’s Guidelines: The writer’s guidelines are a set of rules and policies that a publication requires you to follow. They are generally listed on a special page of the magazine’s site, but may also be available only in print. The guidelines cover items such as submissions, formats, contracts, rights, and payment terms.
Writer’s Market book: The “bible” for freelancers. Lists all publications, including writer’s guidelines, contact names, and submission instructions. A “must have” for freelancers.
Wanna know more about Freelance writing? Let me or Kerrie know and we can answer your questions, or put our collective noodles together for a second feature on this topic.