How to Submit Freelance Articles That Get Accepted in 7 Easy Steps


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Freelance articles may not always be accepted by editors. If you’ve received rejection letters, don’t stress out about it. Even if you wrote an article that’s been rejected over and over again, you can still get published. How? Let’s say you win a first place award for an article you submitted to a ‘national’ contest. This gives you leverage. Before you know it, editors will be clamoring to print your ‘award-winning’ article in their publications.

How to Submit Freelance Articles That Get Accepted in 7 Easy Steps

1. Research your subject. You’ve probably heard this a million times by now but some freelance writers need to re-read this advice. It’s important to thoroughly research a subject. After you’ve exhausted all avenues of research, write a convincing pitch and send it to an editor.

2. Research the market. This ‘piggybacks’ on Step #1. Which markets are best for your freelance articles? Make sure you read back issues before you pitch an editor. Also, read and follow submission guidelines. If a publication requires a SASE with clips (a few still do), don’t email your pitch and or query.

3. Spend time writing your query letter. Many freelance articles are rejected because of the query letter. It’s not necessary to submit a three page query letter; however, a one page query letter shouldn’t be short on details either. Write a ‘hook’ that will knock the socks off of an editor. Remember what Renée Zellweger’s character Dorothy said in Jerry Maguire, “You had me at hello.” Don’t spoil your query letter by providing an editor with the entire article. Give enough details to entice them, and don’t forget to list your credentials.

4. Send your query letter to a ‘specific’ editor. It’s important to have the correct spelling of the editor’s name. If you’re not sure how to spell an editor’s name, look it up or call the publication. Phones don’t bite!

5. Accept rejection with grace. Your freelance articles aren’t the first ones to be rejected. Many well-known freelance writers share their ‘rejection’ stories as a way to encourage aspiring writers to keep pursuing freelance writing. No writer is immune to receiving rejection letters. If you’re lucky, an editor will point out the ‘error of your way’ and offer you a chance to resubmit your freelance article.

6. Don’t write without a contract. Some freelance writers have been known to write without a contract. Don’t do this. Before you agree to write freelance articles, make sure you’ve clarified the deadline, word count, and pay rate. Ask if you’re allowed to have a ‘short bio’ at the beginning or end of the article. There must be a signed contract in place before you begin writing and interviewing sources for your freelance articles.

7. Celebrate when editors say yes to your freelance articles. Break out the champagne and celebrate when an editor accepts your pitch. Make sure you’ve clarified everything from the word count to the pay rate. Ask questions before and during writing your articles. Give yourself a ‘pat on the back’ for selling your article.

Amandah

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Savvy Writing Careers Has Moved to Better Serve Creative, Freelance and Ghost Writers

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Savvy Writing Careers has moved to its own self-hosted website.

I felt the move was necessary because I wanted to do more with this blog. I wanted to provide more resources for creative, freelance and ghost writers than I could provide in the past. Now that Savvy Writing Careers is on its own server, I can better help aspiring and experienced creative, freelance and ghost writers reach their goals.

I’m in the process of updating the website. I look forward to seeing everyone at Savvy Writing Careers.com! Stay tuned…

Amandah

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How to Solve the Five Challenges Freelance Writers Face When They Guest Post

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As you may know, guest blogging for websites can drive traffic to your website and showcase your freelance writing talent. It offers you the chance to share your experience with others and help solve a problem. Freelance writers receive other benefits such as having their bios at the beginning or end of their posts. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • What happens when you bio becomes outdated?
  • What happens when you get married and take your partner’s name as your last name?
  • What if you decide to completely change your name?
  • How about changing your domain name?
  • What if you stopped being a freelance writer?

Change happens and freelance writers have to think about this when they become a guest blogger or article writer.

How to Solve the Five Challenges Freelance Writers Face When They Guest Post

1. Typos. Even the most experienced freelance writers experience the dreaded typo. Whether you find them in the latest Best-Selling novel by your favorite author or a blog post, they happen. If you’re lucky, a reader will notify you via email that your post has a typo. Thank the reader via email for discovering the typo then email the web master of the site where you published your guest post. It’s up to them if they want to fix it.

2. Outdated bio. Freelance writers are no strangers to change. Most begin guest posting as a way to build writing portfolios. After a few months or years, chances are bios become outdated. If you have the contact information for the web owner, you may want to contact them with your updated information. If you don’t have their contact information or it has changed, at least you still have your clips.

3. Name change. Freelance writers who get married may decide to take their partner’s last name. Don’t despair. Do you know how many actors, actresses and best-selling authors have changed their names or use a stage/pen name? There’s too many to list! When you inquire about guest posting for a website, let the owner know you were ‘formerly known as’ and give them your new name. It’s not a big deal.

4. Domain name change. It happens. People get bored with their domain name or think of a better one. Hopefully, the owner forwards the old site to the new site which can list previous blog posts or articles. If not, you have your clips.

5. The website is no longer available. People start and discontinue blogs/websites for various reasons. Think about this before agreeing to guest post. Keep copies of your ‘guest blog posts and articles’ and use them as clips when you pitch and query companies and publications.

Amandah

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How Best Selling Authors Use Facebook to Sell Their Books in 4 Easy Steps

Last week, I received my publicity email from Steve Harrison at Reporter Connection. He included an article that was mind blowing. A best-selling author wrote his new novel on Facebook. He posted daily installments of his book on Facebook and realized people were paying attention. The conversation took off, and he even named characters after some of the participants. He self-published his book after one year; it didn’t fit in with his current genre. Is it crazy that a best-selling author would write his book directly onto Facebook? Some would say, yes.

BTW: I thought Facebook ‘owned’ your content. Does or should Facebook receive royalties for the book? It truly is mind amazing and confusing at the same time.

Posting excerpts of your writing on Facebook is an online marketing technique that could make you a best-selling author. Facebook has over 800 million users and you could gain a lot of web traffic by connecting and engaging in conversations with people. The question is: Is it right for you and your book? Only you know the answer to that question.

How Best Selling Authors Use Facebook to Sell Their Books in 4 Easy Steps

1. Use Facebook’s tools to add friends who’ll be supportive of you and your writing. Check out the events and groups that are suggested to you. Fill out your profile page with pertinent information about your book such as the title and website.

2. Don’t add people or join Facebook groups impulsively. This could backfire and before you know it, your story could wind up on another’s author’s page or website. Quality is better than quantity. I see people with 500 or 800 friends and wonder, “Do they interact with all of them on a daily basis? How close are they? Are they only interested in receiving more page views?” Listen to your intuition aka your gut instinct when it comes to adding people to your network. As Steve mentioned in his article, “There are a few trolls out there.”

3. Join relevant Facebook groups that match your subject material. This is a great way to introduce you and your book. Join the conversation as much as you can and post helpful responses.

4. Don’t make every status update about you and your book. How many times have you received invites to ‘like’ a FB page or purchase a product? Where’s the value in that? Relationships have to be nurtured and developed. If you constantly ask your contacts to ‘like’ a Facebook page, you risk losing them. It’s not all about you! Post relevant links and videos that your audience wants to see.

Good luck!

Amandah

If you’re developing/writing a book, would you publish daily installments (excerpts) on Facebook? Share.

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SEO Made Easy: Freelance Writers I like Yoast and You Will Too

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I recently discovered Yoast while working on my creative and humorous website, Daily Family Antics. I thought I knew SEO and considered myself informed about the subject. However, I was wrong. I should have known that there’s always room for improvement. After working with Yoast, I quickly realized I needed to refine my SEO skills. Thank goodness Yoast is a great teacher.

What I Learned about SEO

As I was working with Yoast, I discovered that ‘permalink’ is the same thing as slug. I always allowed WordPress to choose my permalink; however, by working with Yoast, I discovered that it’s a good idea to change it to something shorter. Of course, it’s important to have your ‘main’ keyword or keywords in the slug.

As I continued working with Yoast, I discovered stopwords. I had no idea what these were and didn’t realize that search engines take them away anyway. If you use WordPress.org, you may want to download the SEO Slugs Plugin or some other slug plugin.

SEO Made Easy: Freelance Writers I like Yoast and You Will Too

1. Download Yoast, upload it to your plugins folder, and activate the plugin. It’s easy to do.

2. Freelance writers, Yoast gives you ‘thumbs up,’ warning, and okay symbols for various aspects of your post.

3. Yoast will force you to learn and strengthen your SEO skills. If your title is ‘lacking’ one or more of your keywords, the program alerts you. Furthermore, the program alerts you if you don’t have your keyword(s) in the first paragraph. It’s up to you to write a better title and introduction.

4. Freelance writers; your writing skills will improve. It’s important to provide quality ‘optimized’ content. Don’t stuff your posts or articles with keywords because search engines frown upon this.

5. You’ll develop a better understand of SEO copywriting. Freelance writers interested in gaining new ‘web content writing’ projects will be benefit from working with Yoast. New freelance writers will develop their SEO copywriting skills and attract clients.

6. If you verified your website with Google, Bing or Alexa, you can enter the ‘meta’ code in the Webmaster Tools area. Note: this is a good reminder if you haven’t already verified your website.

7. Yoast offers an introduction tour to teach you about the program. Take a few minutes and take the tour.

It’s important to write for people first but SEO can’t be ignored. Google keeps making changes to how it will scan data and connect its users. Provide quality content but incorporate SEO within blog posts, articles and web pages. Stay away from Black Hat SEO because you can optimize your writing without resorting to ‘dirty’ tactics.

Amandah

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Screenwriters Speak Confidently to Investors in 7 Easy Steps

Many screenwriters would like to see their work produced. However, they may not have the funds and require an investor to back them. This can be tricky because most screenwriters are not business people and don’t understand how investors think and work. It’s best to know what you’re up against before you ask for $50,000 or $500,000 to make your screenplay a reality on the big or little screen.

As a screenwriter, you may be under the assumption that it’s all about you and your film. Unfortunately, it’s ALL ABOUT the investor! You may be passionate about your screenplay, but an investor wants to know what’s in it for them. An investor will ask about the ROI (return on investment). If you aren’t familiar with ROI and other business terms, enroll in a business courses to learn the lingo and how business works.

Tip: Make sure you have a business plan when you speak with investors. This does not mean you have to give them a 30-60 page business plan (standard), but have an outline or proposal prepared about the project.

Investors want to back a good deal. Screenwriters must prove themselves to investors. What makes your screenplay unique versus another? How do you know your screenplay will make money? Asking yourself these and other questions will assist you when you approach investors.

Screenwriters Speak Confidently to Investors in 7 Easy Steps

  • What is your budget for your screenwriting project? This is the most important piece of information you can have!
  • Give investors a brief description of your project. What exactly is your screenplay about? What is the title? Do you have a treatment, logline and synopsis to give to investors?
  • Scout out the filming location of your project. Be open to changing the location if necessary.
  • What’s your time frame for your project? When does filming begin and end? What happens if you go over the scheduled deadline? What’s your plan?
  • What is the ROI (return on investment)? The bottom line is what matters to most investors. They want to know they’ll earn a decent ROI if they invest in you and your screenplay.
  • Prepare a ‘short’ business plan and give it to investors. The business plan will include financial projections, marketing, etc.
  • Exude confidence when you speak with an investor. Most prefer to work with people who believe in themselves and their screenplays.

Screenwriters focus on the creative aspect of the “entertainment business” instead of the BIG picture. You’re in a business of marketing and making films which solves the problem for the general public of what to do on a Friday or Saturday night. The sooner you understand that Hollywood is a business, the better off you’ll be.

Tip #2: Avoid being rude or arrogant when approaching investors. Screenwriters who lack non-verbal and verbal communication skills will benefit from classes on these subjects. Professionalism is a must! This may not sound glamorous but it is part of the business.

Developing and building relationships is part of the entertainment business. If you’re not relationship savvy, network with people who are and learn from them. Taking a few classes or workshops on relationship building will not hurt you — it will only help you. If you’re serious about seeing your screenplay produced, do what it takes to make your dream a reality. Remember, whether or not you make it as a screenwriter depends solely on you and how well you communicate with people. Good luck!

Amandah

Have you approached investors about funding your screenplay? What appraoch did you use? Share your thoughts.

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What’s the Word: Creating a Theme For the New Year

This post is from Katy Tafoya, a teacher and a coach who finds joy in helping women claim their passion and expertise. She guides solopreneurs to make their lives and their businesses juicier, more fulfilling and more successful. She also leads the Val Gal quarterly networking dinners which are always open to the public and in the greater San Fernando Valley. If you’re ready to identify, claim and leverage your expertise and live your passion you can sign up for a a F.R.E.E. subscription to her weekly ezine at SuccessForSolpreneurs.com.

WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE? See Katy’s blog at SuccessforSolopreneurs.com/blog

“I’m a woman of very few words, but lots of action.” ~ Mae West

Happy New Year!

No, really, my wish for you is that this year you will discover and experience your HAPPY new year. So now that we’re a couple days in, how are things shaping up for you?

Have you made those resolutions? I’m not one for making resolutions myself. Like many folks out there, I found that I made these promises and within days, I’ve broken then. And then I feel crappy, like a failure for not being able to follow through.

So instead, I like to focus on setting an intention or a theme for the year. Following my mentor, Christine Kane’s advice, I choose a word (any word or short phrase) that can become the theme for my year. For example, in the past I’ve used, “let go,” “create,” and one year, “giggle.” I know others have used joy, love, peace, strength, bold, etc. The word can be anything that resonates with you, inspires you, makes you smile or motivates you.

I’ve noticed that for me, the word that I start the year with and the word that I end the year with, are not always the very same word. Take last year for an example…I started the year with “create.” My intention was to spend the year not only creating new products, new services and new business, but I also wanted to remind myself to BE more creative. I wanted to get out there and embrace my inner artist.

Well, about mid-way through the year, my word changed to “imperfection” (which I’ve no doubt you noticed as I wrote about it all the time). I realized that I couldn’t be very creative if I was always striving for perfection.

So to allow more creativity and moments of actual creation, I had to learn to allow imperfection. I had to just do it, and not stress how perfect it turned out. In my mind, it was better to have something out there imperfectly, than to have nothing out there at all because I was still stuck on making sure everything was perfect. This opened the world up for me. In fact, it brought me to this year’s word…expand.

This year I want to expand — my life, my relationships, my products and services, my presence and my business as a whole. I want to be BIGGER and BOLDER. I want to be more audacious and more approachable. I want to be the me I know I was put here to be.

At the same time though, I want to it to be easy and effortless. I mean why make it difficult, right? Which then brought me to the phrase — effortless expansion. This year will be the year for effortless expansion.

Will I change it up mid-way again? Quite possibly. It really all depends how things go and expand. Either way, I’m open to whatever sort of “expansion” the new year brings my way.

I encourage you to find a word that empowers you, brings you joy, has you feeling focused and in charge. It can be a short phrase. It’s not carved in stone, so don’t stress over this.

Get silent and see what comes to you. Then put that word up somewhere where you can see it throughout the day. Let it inspire you. Let it BE you. Then remember to live your life….with intention. And if all else fails, there’s always the 2012 Resolution Generator.

I’d love to know what your word or short phrase is for this year. Feel free to respond back to this newsletter or send me an email.

ACTION PLAN: Pick a word for your year and try it on for size. When it feels right, embrace it! 

I invite you to share a little about who you are, what you do and your successes as solopreneur by joining the conversation at the Success for Solopreneurs community.

I hope you enjoyed Katy’s post!
Amandah

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