I am a freelance writer and author (of We Will Meet Again, a contemporary romance). My works have been published in magazines like Good Housekeeping India, Child India, New Woman and Woman's Era.
So, naturally, anything related to freelance writing interests me. Recently, Blog Chatter, a wonderful blogging community (if you are a writer or blogger, you must follow Blog Chatter) initiated an interactive and enriching discussion on freelance writing. There were some questions that we discussed on Twitter that (and Blog Chatter of course) prompted me write this post.
Here, I am trying to answer some questions and share my learning and experience. Question & image credit goes to Blog Chatter.
Freelancing is a very broad term. Since, I am a freelance writer, I am going to talk about freelance writing.
My answer to this questions would be 'Yes' but I can't resist myself adding that 'it's difficult'. If you want to consider freelance writing as a full-time career option, you need to be focused and dedicated. It demands a lot of patience as it takes time to flourish. It involves extensive research and smart marketing skills. You need to make serious/long-term professional contacts and most importantly, you must be very prompt when it comes to ideas and deadlines.
Your chances to succeed as a freelance are fairly high if you manage to get frequent international gigs.
Or Do you have a modus operandi for freelance jobs?
The first thing you need to do is to find suitable markets, and for that you should study the market. Never send your ideas without studying the market (magazine/newspapers/websites) and its guidelines. Because if you do this, there could be two adverse effect -
1) You may not know if your ideas/style is suitable for that particular market.
2) The editor would know that you are not familiar with the market and it may ruin your (first) impression thus your chance of getting the gig.
Also, always address the editor by her/his name.
The second important thing is to learn to write striking pitches. Your pitch is your first impression. And, do not hesitate to follow up. Editors are busy people. Sometimes, you need to remind them, and it's okay.
In my opinion, the biggest challenge of freelancing is to market yourself as an efficient writer. Making contacts and building relationship. If you are smart enough to develop the trust and a long-term relationship with the editors, your chances are high.
Another challenge is to keep your pockets full of different ideas. It is advisable to find your niche, but I believe you should learn to work out of your comfort zone to maximize your success as a freelance writer. You need to find unique ideas (This is another topic for some other time) to stand out in the market. Even if your idea is common, you must learn to tweak them. Think out of the box.
Then, you must have the ability to reach out to experts for interviews to make your pieces authentic. And, last but certainly not the least, you must meet your deadlines!
Honestly, I haven't worked much with foreign clients, but whatever my experience is, I believe they are more approachable and responsive. Money is smooth. But yes, you can't trust blindly just because it's an international market (and money is good). You must check with fellow writers who have worked with international magazines/newspapers. Connect with successful Indian-international freelance writers. LinkedIn can be a helpful source for this.
You may follow 'Make Living Writing' and 'The International Freelancer' to understand the International freelance writing better.
If you want to succeed as a freelance writer, I would advise you to read 'EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT FREELANCE JOURNALISM (BUT DIDN’T KNOW WHOM TO ASK' by Kavitha Rao and Charukesi Ramadurai. It's a must have for new freelance writers as it will answer most of your questions.
So, that's all for now. I hope you find this post helpful. Please share your insights (even queries, if any). I am all ears!