As both an editor and freelance writer, I understand the difficult decisions and work that happens behind the scenes of getting published and–more importantly–getting paid in this business. So here’s a quick list of 4 ways to make more freelancing.
I know negotiation is not something a lot of writers consider fun. In fact, I’m sure many expect to lose assignments if they try getting higher rates. Fact is most writers never try negotiating. It’s also true that most editors try to make assignments at the lowest rate possible.
So I always advise writers to try negotiating, because it’s an easy way to try and secure more money without doing any extra writing. Here are some negotiating tips for writers.
Want a powerful negotiating tool?
Use the “How Much Should I Charge” pay rate chart on WritersMarket.com. The chart assembled from responses across several writing disciplines can help freelance writers negotiate better rates for magazine writing, copy writing, speech writing, business writing, freelance editing, and more. Click to continue.
2. Write Great Content
Whether it’s your first or tenth assignment, go into your project with the goal of writing something spectacular. Get pumped up and let your excitement spill over to your editor, your interview subjects, whoever you have to contact.
That excitement will then spill into your writing and become great content. And great content truly is what keeps editors and readers coming back for more. And when editors and readers are coming back for more, you can (and should) negotiate for even more money.
3. Hit Deadlines
As an editor, I can tell you that hitting deadlines is probably the most important factor in building a long-term writer-editor relationship with me. Of course, I want great content, but I also need content. Period.
That said, there are times when a deadline might not be hit. In such cases, let your editor know as soon as you know and work out a new deadline. Don’t try to let it slide and hope the editor won’t say anything. It’s always better to be the writer who takes initiative.
4. Follow Up
That said, following up is an important skill for freelance writers to develop–for a few different reasons. The main reason is that editors are busy professionals who are using dealing with several other writers, several other departments within the company, and most likely several other outlets outside the company. And those are the editors who don’t do their own writing on the side.
As a result, following up is not only important for you as a freelancer, it’s usually appreciated by the editor. One caveat: follow up with editors AFTER a deadline has passed.
Things on which to follow up? Did editor receive your submission? Did editor receive your article? Did editor send a comp copy? Did editor send payment? Did editor receive new submission? Or just send a nice note about how you loved working with the editor.
Always be nice, but be direct. And don’t be afraid to use follow-ups as an entry point to propose future articles/projects.
Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer
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