While many bloggers dream to eventually make a living off of their handwork put into their fashion blogs, sometimes you need to make ends meet by picking up another job. One way of flexing your writing muscle while working from home (and making dough!) is by freelance writing. Now, I'm warning you, freelance writing is NOT for the faint of heart. You will be waiting for paychecks. You will have to pitch yourself over and over. You will have to struggle before you build up a steady work flow. But if done well, it can be a manageable supplement income to go along with your blogging career.
I've personally experienced both ends of the spectrum as an editor and freelance writer, and therefore deem myself a credible perspective. Based off of my personal experience (for multiple outlets), here's my advice about freelance blogging:
– How much do freelance bloggers charge?
Freelance bloggers can charge anywhere between $0 to $3,000 a post, depending on the length, the type of publication and so on. Realistically, many digital publications are only paying somewhere between $15 and $75 an article, with a few in the $100 to $150 range.
– Can you make freelance blogging a full time job?
Yes! But lest you be warned, it's not easy. There's a lack of structure in freelance work, so it requires a personality with self-motivation. You have to be able to sit down and work on your own accord, without a boss hawking you.
– What are editors looking for when hiring a freelancer?
They are looking for someone who can fit in with their voice, perspective, and overall tone. Someone who can stay on deadline with minimal fussiness, someone who does not need to be asked to make a change or edit more than once, and someone who is reliable. Remember, most editors are are responsible for keep track of a slew of writers, freelancers, photographers, and interns.
– How do I pitch an idea?
There's two kinds of freelancing; sometimes you will be assigned topics, and other times you will have to pitch your original ideas to an editor. So, how do you pitch yourself? First you want to start by coming up with a few ideas that you feel you could confidently report on and write them down. Next, find blogs that you think would be interested in the idea. Shoot the editor a clear and concise email with your ideas and why you think it would be a good fit for the blog. Remember, you may get a few no's or you may have editors that will want to tweak the idea — be flexible and absorb the constructive criticism, it may take a few tries before you find someone interested.
– How much time do I get to write an article?
Again, this is a case by case basis, but most often the editor will discuss the editorial calendar with you. Most of the time it will be at minimum a week, maximum a month (again depending on the article and publication).
– How do I get paid?
Sometimes you will need to sign a contract with the blog or publication indicating the stipulations and rate. One thing you will need to do is send over an invoice after you're article has been sent in. This usually consists of your name, address, the article title, the link, the date, the rate, and any other specific information they may request.
– How do you get hired over someone who will do the same job at a lower rate?
Prove yourself worthy. Make sure you have examples of your best writing on hand to show the editor, usually two or three examples will be sufficient. Also, you should try to upkeep your blog as much as possible — why would an editor want to hire a freelance blogger that doesn't regularly blog? Writing is a muscle, keep it in shape!
– How do I find a topic of expertise to pitch?
Finding a subject you are good at writing about sounds harder than it really is. Where do you live? Where do you go? What do you do in your free time? What books to you read? Where do you travel to? Writing about things you know well is much easier than starting blindly. For instance, if you've been summering in Montauk for three years, perhaps you could find a blog that would be interested in the changes you've seen over the years, or perhaps an analysis of the fashion there, or a round up of the beaches (you see where I'm going with this?).
– How do you tackle topics you don't know much about?
Research. Research. Research. And no Wikipedia allowed. Pick up the phone and call the people who matter to the subject, send them emails, visit the places. Even when you are on deadline, you should do everything you can to learn about the topic so that you can write about it successfully.
– How do you keep up with all the different deadlines?
A calendar! One that you check everyday.
In a nutshell, know that you will have to work late nights sometimes, and yes, sometimes you will have writer's block and have to cancel plans to finish an article. But if you put the time into it, it can be a flexible supplement career for a fashion blogger.
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