Friday, February 7, 2014

Freelancing – Where to Begin

I’ve thought for some time about ways to make a few dollars beyond a novel coming out every few years.  The internet is awash with blogs, magazines, newspapers; to mention a few of the growing number of ways writers are displaying their work.  Each time I Google, “freelance writing” a plethora of subjects litter the computer screen, with little information about how to actually submit an item for consideration to an internet business, without first paying for the information.
Where are the editors that read articles and published them based on their merits?  Whatever happened to personal contact?  While the way we communicate has changed with social networking and e-magazines, to e-books and watching the news on the internet, it is still important to maintain open communication regarding subjects of interest. 

Do you ever notice in restaurants patrons are spending more time on their I-phone than talking with their dinner companion?  At the checkout lanes in stores, customers are so busy texting or talking on their cell phones they can hardly get the items in their cart onto the check-out counter, ignoring the cashier and fumbling to find their credit card or cash to complete the transaction.  I find information searches to be a similar experience of ignoring the question and clogging the screen with pop-ups and unrelated item lists that skirt the subject with no clear answers.  Just as the above examples are a lack of good manners and frustration to many, the clogged screen is a similar experience.
This is another marketing problem to overcome for writers trying to move into a new genre of communication.  The articles must be well written, edited and on a subject that interests the reading public.  It is recommended that beginners start with small articles (500-750) words.  And, most magazines, newspapers, etc. are reluctant to accept an article from a beginner, so: where to start.  I suggest narrowing the search to a specific subject and matching it to the magazine, blog, newsletter, or other venue that accepts freelance submissions. 

I have Googled e-magazines as well as traditional magazines to find subjects of interest; however, it is often difficult to pin-point because of the time lapse between submission and publication.  Until one is familiar with the correct sites to research, the world of freelance writing for profit remains a mystery to be unraveled.  I say, don’t give up—the answers are there waiting to be found, used and shared.