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Tips for Breaking into the $1/word Market

Many people are under the impression that freelance writers work a lot for very little pay; sort of like struggling musicians. While this can be the case for some, there are just as many who are earning solid wages. One of the quickest ways to increase your freelance writing income is to break into the markets that pay the most money. Early in my career, one of my main goals was to find publications that paid $1/word or more. Writing for publications like this can quickly turn a meager income into a substantial income. After all, one feature length article could work out to a couple thousand dollars.

Now that you have seen the income potential, you are probably interested in learning how to break into these markets, right? Here are three tips to follow.

1. Before you can do anything else, you need gain some experience. Remember, you cannot start out earning $1/word. You must first gain experience with lesser known publications, and then work your way up. There is no easy way around this. 

2. While you are working lower paying gigs, take the time to compile a list of publications that pay $1/word or more. This way, you can begin to align your career to match what these publications are looking for. For instance, if you want to break into high paying fashion magazines, write for lower paying publications in this industry. This will allow you to gain relative experience and work samples. To find these publications, buy a copy of Writer’s Market, or become a member of their online service.

3. Make as many connections as you can along the way. In several instances, I have had satisfied editors pass my name along to others in the industry. Additionally, you never know when a current connection will land a new job with a bigger publication. If this happens, you have a contact to call on from day one. Simply put, stay connected with as many editors and writers as possible.

It may take a while for you to break into these high paying markets. But when you do, your freelance writing career will become much more enjoyable. As you can imagine, becoming a regular writer for two or more of these publications will net you big time money. 

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3 Comments »Freelance WritingOctober 30th, 2007

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