how to prepare for freelance writing

Well-Paying Markets You Can Write For

Write for Newspapers and Magazines


Do you like to travel to foreign countries, or other states / provinces? Enjoy weekend trips to new places?  Where does your novel or non-fiction book takes place? In your home town or in a foreign city? I bet you did a lot of research to describe those places. Leverage this research work and all your travel experiences to write not only for travel or well-paying airline magazines, but also for newspapers or lifestyle magazines – print and online. Travel articles are not for travel magazines only! Why wait months or years until royalties for your books arrive, when you can easily write articles that pay faster – and a lot more per word count?

Travel Magazines Are Not the Only Possibility

Seniors magazines, parenting magazines, business magazines, frugal-living magazines, health magazines, writing magazines, newspapers – from free locals to national and international, and even pet magazines, they all print travel articles and city profiles. Here are a few examples of topics that fit into a variety of magazines / newspapers:

  • How to save money when ordering a rental car
  • Traveling with Fido to Canada – pet friendly hotels
  • How to spend your waiting hours between flights
  • The Gardens of Venice, Italy
  • Scenic road trips to …
  • Amazing weekend destinations in …
  • Dining and nightlife tips for …
  • Top Ten Things to Do on a Budget in …
  • Most interesting museums to go with kids in …
  • How to save money when taking a road trip
  • Gear and gadgets that cater to your kids travel joy
  • Tips for people with disabilities or medical conditions on air travel
  • Best wine sampling places / wineries in …
  • Marvellous National Parks of the North West
  • Historic places to visit in Southern Great Britain

What Works Best
The first most important step is to read many issues of the magazine or newspaper to find out if there was anything similar written before you query them. Travel articles containing more than the 2,000 words including high-resolution images works usually best.
If you don’t have the necessary skills or equipment to offer stunning photos, contact regional or state tourist sites and ask them for photos to accompany your article.  They are almost always free to use. It might take a couple of days or even weeks to receive their permission, so contact them early, and once your article is printed, send them a copy and a thank you note.  Another possibility is to check out free photo sites, such as or any other site as described in a former blog:  7 Free Photo Sources.

Examples of Magazines You Can Write for:
Check out former blog posts where we provided details about magazines, using the search function on and type in freelance writing or writing for magazines. Here are a couple more links:

Canadian Living
Family Fun
Every Day with Rachel Ray
The Ride Journal
Southern Living
Travel Smart
Boat Magazine
Midwest Living
Horse and Rider

Re-Purpose Your Writing Content
Just to give you an example how you can re-purpose research and content of your novel, that may take place in medieval Great Britain or a travelogue you wrote about a trip to Europe:  You could for example write an article about horse staples in the UK for equestrian magazines, bike riding paths in Denmark to a bike magazine, about one of the fantastic gardens in Great Britain to garden magazines, how to travel on a budget to European cities for a frugal living magazine, a feature about pumpkin seed pressing in Austria for gourmet magazines, an article about a historic flax or wool mill in France for a sewing or craft magazine, a photo feature that you took in a boutique hotel for a fine interior magazine, how to dress for city trips without looking like a tourist for fashion or lifestyle magazines …

Possibilities to write for magazines other than the traditional travel markets are virtually endless. Travel articles often cover one or more market boundaries. Leverage every opportunity to “cross-over” into other non-travel magazines with your travel articles.  And best of all: writing for magazines or newspapers will allow you to add a two-sentence bio, including a link to your author website or to your book sales page, which will be then seen by a completely new audience. A great way of book marketing and to expand your platform and portfolio!

BTW: While researching for this article we came over an interesting Travel Writing Contest:
Fall 2014 Travel Writing Contest, $1,000 Prize!

After the terrific success of our Spring Writing Contest, (fee $15.00 USD) we are doing it again! This time, award-winning literary travel magazine, Nowhere, is teaming up with Lorin Stein, editor of The Paris Review, for the first Nowhere Fall Travel Writing Contest. (Yes, we like the seasons.)

We are looking for young, old, novice and veteran voices to send us stories that possess a powerful sense of place. Stories can be fiction or nonfiction, but please indicate which genre at the top of your manuscript. Entries should be between 800-5,000 words and must not have been previously chosen as a winner in another contest. Previously published work is accepted, but again, please indicate this. Every submission will be read blind, so anyone can win… Brush off your manuscripts or write something new and send it to the only literary travel magazine going… We look forward to reading your work. Deadline Dec. 31, 2014.




If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers:

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Tagged: blogger, Freelance Writing, how to prepare for freelance writing, how to travel in style, tips for weekend trips, travel on a budget, Travel Writing Contest, Writing for the Web

How to Prepare for Freelance Writing Jobs



One of our most popular blogs is 11 Websites to Find Freelance Writing Jobs.
It seems that more and more writers realize that:

  • they often can earn faster and more money with article writing
  • they can build their platform and author brand as well as a writing portfolio
  • they reach higher rankings on Google’s Search Engines with well-written content
  • they eventually can make a living with freelance writing

Not a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme
Freelance Writing is hard work and it may take many months to make a full-time living. So, don’t quit your day-job right away. Start this business while you still have a pay-check. Diversify your approach to freelancing, e.g. write for small businesses who want stronger content on their websites or for short articles in local newspapers, and adapt with the market needs in order to succeed.

Checklist How to Prepare for Freelance Writing

1. Learn to Write for the Web and Social Media
The demand for web content is higher than ever. The internet is growing FAST! Content is even more valuable than it was in previous years. More and more businesses are looking for web content writers. Many businesses don’t have the time to spend on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook and would rather outsource this part of their marketing. Get paid for Social Media updates and interacting with their following. Self-employed, artists, small companies – they all need a professional biography and they would rather have someone like you collect the facts and make them shine.

Learn how to write the “inverted pyramide” from most important on top to less further on. Is your text easy to read? Eye-tracking studies have shown that readers SCAN text (in an F-shaped pattern), rather than to READ it.  And: website visitors read more slowly on the screen than in print. So, how to you use this knowledge for your writing?

Use bullet lists, such as this one

  • Create lots of short paragraphs, and give them all a headline
  • Keep sentences short, they should never be longer than one line
  • Use spell check and a beta reader / software
  • Readers like to interact on the Web, so give them lots of links
  • Illustrate your text, use lots of images
  • Don’t let your readers scroll on the screen, keep it to one page
  • Except prepositions and the words “and” and “the”, all major words in a headline should
  • be capitalized

Online content is not just about words. When you write for the Internet, think “presentation”. Print content is formally written and a passively read. Online content is informally written, interactive and dynamic.

2. Know How to Write Press Releases
Professional Press Release writers are in demand. Study and learn how to write these publicity pieces.
Journalists don’t read Press Releases! They only “scan” them and if they don’t catch their interest in less than 5 seconds… they will delete it. In this fast-paced world, no one reads the entire press release if the start of the article does not garner interest. What can you do to get journalists reading? Deal with actual facts, such as events, people, plans, projects. A simple method for writing an effective press release is to make a list of following points:  Who, what, when, where, why, and how.

The Content of the Press Release:
Beginning with the date and city of origin, should be typed in a clear, basic font (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.) and double-spaced. Keep your Press Release short, one page is enough. Start with the date and city in which the press release originates.

The Headline:
It should be brief, clear and to the point: an ultra-compact version of the press release’s key point. Headlines written in bold! A bold headline also typically uses a larger font size
than the body copy. First word capitalized. As are all proper nouns.
The First Paragraph
(not more than three sentences) should sum up the press release, and the additional content must elaborate it.
The Lead, or First Sentence,
should grab the reader and tell concisely what is happening. For example, if the headline is “Norton Publishing releases new legal thriller,” the first sentence might be something like, “Norton Publishing, Ltd., today released their first legal thriller by celebrated writer Cindy Smith.” It expands the headline enough to fill in some of the details, and brings the reader further into the story. The next one to two sentences should then expand upon the lead.
The Press Release Body:
copy should be compact. Avoid using very long sentences and paragraphs. Avoid
repetition and overuse of fancy language and jargon. Strive for simplicity, and no wasted
The Conclusion
can summarize your news and be followed up with further information on your company, a paragraph known as the “boilerplate” which lists relevant information about your publishing company and includes the website for more information.
Find Sample Press Releases Here:

3. Study Potential Contract Givers’ Websites

This is an important point! The biggest pet peeve for freelance employers or media is, when they receive pitches from people who haven’t read their magazine or researched their company – or when they get a query for a topic that has just been published.
Before submitting anything to a major publication, make sure you read its guidelines. Plenty of good writing is rejected because the writer was too lazy to meet the guidelines. It goes without saying, but you should strive to avoid grammatical or spelling errors when contacting editors and freelance employers.

4. Update your Writer Portfolio / Resume
If you’ve never freelanced before, your resume will be built from whatever past writing you have done. Pull out the writing-specific duties you ever have accomplished and describe them. Add your best blog posts or guest blogs or articles you have written for newspapers and magazines of all sizes – as more as better! Include sections that outline your education, professional affiliations and contact information. Check if you can use any of these points to add to your portfolio / resume:

What’s your credibility?
What are your credentials?
What other articles or books, blogs or articles for newspapers or magazines have you
written previously?

Proven reach:
For example the size of your e-mail newsletter list
your website traffic and your ranking
number of blog comments
high-profile reviews,
testimonials or references for your writing from bestseller authors

What communities are you a part of?
Who knows you as a writer and who is aware of your work?
Where does your work regularly appear?
How many people see it?

Target audience:
Being visible to the right audience for the work you are trying to sell.

5. Social Media Presence
Decision makers can also be found on social media sites, such as Google+ or Twitter. One more reason to keep your author appearance on Social Media professional, and post regularly links to the best of your writing. Being familiar with you and your writing can for sure improve your chances of getting more assignments. Find steady freelance writing jobs or even ongoing contracts. There are plenty of possibilities in both print media and online media. The best success is likely to come from pitching ideas in areas where you’re most familiar with the subject-matter. Treasure any suggestions from professional editors. They are the best writing teachers available.
Jamee Rae, Coach and Freelance Writer explained in her blog: “Clients don’t come out of the woodwork. You have to find them, and they need to be able to find you. A website or a blog is an absolute necessity these days. You have to be able to present your work online and to establish SEO. But you’ll also need to create a package to send out to clients. When I started out, I sent my resume and writing samples to every advertising agency in the city. While most didn’t respond, I landed one client that I worked with for over 10 years. I also started networking and landed another agency client who I have been connected with for the last 15 years. Once you have established yourself with several clients, you can begin to count on word-of-mouth advertising to keep the money flowing in.”

A Tip for Freelance Work Auctions
Don’t choose them as a first or only way of finding freelance writing assignments. Digital Trends writes about,, and, and their auction process, where
freelancers compete against each other for jobs – and, often, the most appealing bid has the lowest price. Those “low-ballers” might be in India, China or Brazil, but can come from anywhere. Not surprisingly, online freelancing has developed a reputation as a way for businesses find cheap – or easily-exploitable – workers.

Read More:

Freelance Writing: A Rewarding Challenge

How to Get Freelance Writing Jobs for Airlines

7 Writing/Publishing Resources

Great Tips for Freelancers

How to Write a Press Release for Your Book

Become a Freelance Writer

About Careers in Copy Writing




If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help:
Or visit
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Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 970 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
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Tagged: blogger, Freelance Copy Writer, Freelance Writing, freelance writing jobs, how to prepare for freelance writing, Writing for the Web

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