Guide to Freelance Writing

I Dabble

I recently took a class at Dabble on how to pay your rent by being a freelance writer. For those of you who
aren’t familiar with the Dabble concept, it’s an easy way to try something new or share your passion through
one-time affordable classes. It’s been a great way for me to explore Chicago, meet cool people and expand my
network.

With a degree in journalism and a professional career more closely focused on public relations, I found this
class to be particularly exciting.

For the past couple years, I have been perfecting the art of pitching to various media outlets such as NBC Today Show, ABC World News, MSNBC, Entrepreneur Magazine, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and a list of others. I’m always trying to find innovative story angles on behalf of my clients and connections that readers will find interesting and worth their while.

Until this class, I never really thought about the possibility of selling myself as an ongoing freelance contributor for a specific publication. The first step for me in this process has been to look over the magazines and organizations for whom I might be interested in writing. I’ve found Writer’s Market to be a valuable tool – listing numerous publications that pay for freelance writing.

I’ve since made a list of target publications, and Technori is at the top of my list. Passionate about the startup community in Chicago, I’d love to put my firsthand experience working within various industries to good use. Some of these experiences have been success stories and some life lessons, but nonetheless relevant entrepreneurial experiences in my quest to spend my Fryedays as a freelance writer. I’ve been able to identify some of the necessary steps to making this newly discovered interest a reality.

1. It’s all in the pitch. With a catchy subject line, the right contact person and the ability to sum up how your proposed story fits within the front of the book section, you’re one step closer to making your ideas go as far as possible.

2. Network, network, network. While the phrase “it’s all about who you know” is somewhat cliche, it’s also very true. I’ve been joining groups and researching others such as the Association of Women’s Journalists and the National Writer’s Association. It’s always helpful to volunteer to help organize events and try and meet some the guest speakers.

3. Know your worth and do the research on the standard rate per word. You’ve got to be your own advocate. If you can’t get the rate per word up, try and wiggle with the length of the story.

4. Market to a very specific audience. As a journalist, it’s pertinent to know who you’re writing for and who is reading your work. Write in a voice that the editor likes and is looking for.

This class shed light on a possible career direction that I hadn’t previously considered. It’s amazing what you can find and rewarding when you do.

For more interesting information check out:

Media Bistro
The Renegade Writer

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About Me

Sarah Frye

My Bio

I'm that girl. Adventure craver, tenacious go-getter, DIY enthusiast, wander luster, social butterfly, karaoke queen, vocabulary inventor, purveyor of comfort foods. Dabbler in guitar, wine and beach cruising. Animated storyteller, wordsmith, sun worshipper, party planner, sports junkie, devoted entrepreneur, spontaneous road tripper, shoe fanatic and self-motivator. Life is too short and so is the weekend. If only everyday were a fryeday.