The Freelance Writing Success Class with Jessica Lawlor
In this class, I’m joined by Jessica Lawlor, a freelance expert, writer and trainer who shows us some tools and strategies on how you can build a highly successful freelance writing business. Freelance writing is one of the most profitable, in-demand niches to get into and is growing significantly. Today we talk about some of the skill sets and tips on how you can become an effective freelance writer and have freelance writing success.
Jessica Lawlor is the founder and CEO of Jessica Lawlor & Company (JL&Co) (http://jessicalawlor.com), the go-to agency for content management and creation. She and her team run popular, high-traffic blogs, including The Write Life and Muck Rack.
Jessica’s an accomplished writer, speaker and personal branding expert in the Philadelphia area. Check out her blog (http://jessicalawlor.com/blog), focused on the ins and outs of running a business, productivity and stepping outside your comfort zone.
[0:00] – Opening thoughts
[0:47] – Introduction to Jessica Lawlor
[1:54] – Opportunities available for people who want to be freelance writers in 2020
[3:06] – Two different ways to look at freelance writing:
– 1) Journalistic freelance writing
– 2) Content marketing
[3:44] – How there were more narrow opportunities for writers in the past, but the sky’s the limit now:
– More common to see qualified, skilled seasoned writers choosing the freelance route:
– Creating their own schedules
– Having more flexibility to write about what they want
– Creating a different kind of life doing the writing that they really love vs. what they were doing before
[5:25] – Requirements to be a writer:
– Find something that you’re passionate about.
– Start with your own stories first.
[9:48] – Strategies on how to enter the freelance writing space and find success:
– 1. Start with your own stories first.
– Articles on LinkedIn
– 2. Develop a portfolio of your work.
– 3. Showcase your portfolio:
– Have your own site.
– Develop your personal brand and blog.
– Use free portfolio sites.
– 4. Two ways to take your writing to another site:
– Start with an idea for an article and write a pitch to an editor.
– Pitch a dream publication or outlet directly. (Understand the style and the type of pieces they’re looking for, and tailor your pitch specifically to the publication or outlet.)
[14:55] – How blogging and showcasing your work can attract freelance writing gigs
[17:10] – How business owners need writers to help with their content
[18:05] – How to set your pitch apart:
– Do your homework.
– In your email, address the editor by name.
– Lay out your pitch in just a couple of sentences, not just a headline.
– What are you going to be talking about in the article?
– What is the reader going to learn?
– Why are you pitching this idea to the site you’re pitching it to?
– Mention who you might interview or speak with.
– Keep it short and simple (no more than a paragraph or two).
– Wait and see.
– Follow up after a week.
– After that, let the idea go and take it to another publication.
[21:16] – How to get on the editor’s good side once you land the pitch:
– Ask the editor if they have submission guidelines or a style guide.
– Read other articles on the site to emulate the style.
[23:16] – Advice for those just starting their freelance writing business:
– Get involved in writers communities and social media.
[25:47] – Encouragement that one-off projects can turn into long-term contracts
[27:49] – How to learn more about Jessica’s work
[29:00] – Final thoughts
Resources and tools discussed in this episode:
Learn more about Jessica Lawlor:
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