Today I’m delighted to welcome Kelly James-Enger to the blog. Read on for just a taste of the great information you’ll learn about making money from writing articles when she speaks to our Write Now! Mastermind class on Wednesday. Kelly will be teaching us how to pitch and sell articles to a variety of freelance markets. The class will be held March 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM CDT and, if you’re not already a Mastermind member, you can sign up here.
And, Kelly has generously offered to give away a signed copy of her brand-new book, Dollars and Deadlines! Check out the information at the end of the article to learn how you can enter.
I launched my freelance writing career more than 16 years ago, writing for print and online publications. Eventually I segued into writing books, ghostwriting, speaking, and consulting, but even today I continue to write articles for a handful of publications. And I have good reasons to do so—writing articles keeps my research skills sharp, helps promote my books, and produces income.
Regardless of your writing goals, I suggest you consider adding article writing to your freelance repertoire. Here are five solid reasons to do so:
There are tens of thousands of markets, both print and online, that pay for freelance articles. On the print side, you have consumer magazines including national, regional, and local publications; trade magazines that are devoted to a particular industry or profession; and custom magazines aimed a specific readerships. Online markets include websites; online magazines, or e-zines; and blogs. The number of markets looking for nonfiction articles dwarfs any other type of writing, so even if you prefer to write, say, essays or short fiction, consider taking advantage of the ongoing need for writers who pen articles.
You’re working on a book? That’s great, but the payoffs may be few and far between. When you write articles, you spend a few days (as opposed to months) researching and crafting a piece to meet your editor’s specifications. It’s nice to have an immediate return for your work.
Many writers want to become book authors, but to sell a book to a traditional publisher, you need to have what’s called “platform,” your ability to connect with potential book buyers. Publishing articles and blog posts is an easy way to build your platform as a new writer, and to make connections that will help you sell your book when it’s published. Even if you plan to self-publish with a print-on-demand company or to create an e-book, you’ll still need a way to reach readers, and bylined articles can help you do that—and sell books down the line.
Many new writers struggle with confidence, especially when they’re working on book-length projects. Publishing an article proves that you can write well, and can help keep you motivated to keep going on longer works. You also gain experience researching and writing about a specific subject, which you may be able to use in other work as well. For example, I’ve written a lot about health and fitness, so when my character in a novel I was working on had back problems, I just went back to my notes on a story on back pain to fill in relevant details.
Finally, there’s what I consider the biggest benefit of writing articles—you can get paid to do so. While there are markets that pay only pennies (say, $3 to $10 for an 800-word article), there are plenty of markets that pay well. National consumer magazines typically pay $1/word and up while local and regional publications pay, on average, $0.10-0.50/word. Trade magazines pay around $0.25-0.50/word and custom magazines pay around $0.50-$1/word. Online markets have a wider range in pay rates, but may start at about $0.10/word and up. Blogs that pay usually pay per-post (about $50 and up) as opposed to per-word.
Writing even a few articles a month can help you produce income as a writer and support your other writing goals. And I can tell you there’s nothing better than getting paid to do something you love!
About the author. Kelly James-Enger is the author of books including Dollars and Deadlines: Make Money Writing Articles for Print and Online Markets and Six-Figure Freelancing: The Writer’s Guide to Making More Money, second edition. She blogs about making more money as a freelancer at http://dollarsanddeadlines.blogspot.com.
Your turn: What questions do you have for Kelly about writing articles?