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-   Writing: Freelancing (https://www.wahm.com/forum/writing-freelancing-46/)
-   -   Advice for beginners (https://www.wahm.com/forum/writing-freelancing-46/54860-advice-beginners.html)

writerwoman 04-13-2006 10:24 AM

Would it be possible to start a thread and sticky it to the top of this forum (like the looking for work thread) that gives advice to people who are just starting out? Since we get a lot of posts here asking for this sort of information, it might save us and them some time. We could recommend books and Web sites for beginners or talk about how we started out.

What do you think, and how do we do it?

Vorsi 04-13-2006 10:25 AM

I think it's an excellent idea. Send a pm or an e-mail to Cheryl and ask her to sticky this post. Then people can just add to it as they see fit.

felinedaughter 04-13-2006 04:30 PM


Edited by: felinedaughter

AmyLopan 04-13-2006 05:44 PM

I find that half the time, the search feature on this board times out before I get any results. It is very slow, even on my fast computer w/ high-speed connection. Could be a reason why some people don't search past posts.

felinedaughter 04-13-2006 06:06 PM


Originally Posted by AmyLopan
I find that half the time, the search feature on this board times out before I get any results. It is very slow, even on my fast computer w/ high-speed connection. Could be a reason why some people don't search past posts.

I have DSL and I have never been timed out andIuse the search feature at least once a week. I can't even guess why different people have different experiences with the same search function.

Edited to add - I did some experimenting. When I entered more than one word in the search box I was timed out which had never happened to me before. I realize that when I search I only use one word and that might be the reason I have never had any problems. Perhapas with this search feature you have to keep it as simple as possible. Maybe the Admin can shed some light on how best to use the search feature.

Edited by: felinedaughter

jfeets726 04-13-2006 06:22 PM

I have DSL and the search part does time out on me sometimes. When it doesnít work I have to try it a couple of times before it finally gets me the results, but other times it works the first time. I donít know why that is, but oh well. I think a sticky post would be a great idea!

writerwoman 04-14-2006 08:57 AM

I've pm-ed Cheryle and asked to have this stuck to the top, so please list your best advice here. Also, feel free to disagree with anything I say here. Some frequently wondered about questions:

How do you find time to write?

Time to write must be stolen from your other activities. Watch less tv, give up some of your weekends, stay up late or get up early. I admit that when I deadline is looming I'll use the tv as a babysitter, but I try to not do that too often.

What should I write about?

We can't tell you what to write about here. You need to figure that out on your own. Especially if you want to write a blog or an ebook, find out what topics are in high demand and try to find a unique way to discuss them. You can do this by reading reviews of current ebooks.

Where can I find jobs?

Check out the "Looking for Work?" thread at the top of this forum. Save Deb's blogin your favorites folder or subscribe to her leads updates and apply for jobs you find there. You can also find good leads through the weekly newsletter sent out by Writers Weekly. If you're interested in writing magazine articles, you'll need to send query letters to magazine editors detailing your article ideas. You can find a lot of books with advice for writing query letters in your library or bookstore. If you want to write for businesses, get the word out to the people you know that you are ready and willing. Read one of Peter Bowerman's books for more information about this type of writing.

What about the bidding sites?

Bidding sites such as guru.com and elance.com let you compete with other freelancers to win projects. You can break into different fields of writing such as ebook writing, ghost writing, and content writing this way. Bidding sites have mixed reviews around here. Some people have gotten good work and steady clients from these sites. Others are put off that many of the projects go for rates far below a U.S. living wage.

I have so many stories in my soul bursting to be set free. What should I do?

By all means, set them free from your bursting soul. Dedicate some time to writing and write them down. If you really want to write, you will. If you really want to get published...well, that's a lot more work. With fiction, you need to complete your short story or book before you even think about submitting it to publishers so worry about that first. Also, check out Miss Snark's excellent blog that gives advice for wannabes.

Hey, I just found out about this great place called Associated Content that buys articles. Do you want to come join it through my link?

No. We already know about AC here.

Do I need a Web site?

A Web site can become useful later on as a place to direct potential clients to view your past work. Don't create a Web site with the expectation that it will create customers for you. Use it as a marketing tool and plan to generate your own traffic.

dpenna 04-14-2006 10:42 AM

We will be able to add to the sticky thread, so I say go ahead and get it posted - but make sure the title has something to attract new WAHM for Writers visitors so they read that *first*.

This was a very good idea - there is nothing wrong with having a central point of information for those wanting to start out. After all, I came and asked questions here when I started as well. All I could find online and in books was how to write novels, but nothing about how to find clients for small writing assignments and articles for web content. I know people are tired of answering others' questions, but it really is best to get an answer from someone who "has done it," as opposed to some source of info that may sound good, but in all reality not be very useful.

MelissaF 04-14-2006 10:52 AM

I think new-comers probably assume everyone here has been here awhile. It doesn't bother me when people ask over and over again; I just know they are new to the board. There are many old pages to search and the God knows which search phrases you would have to use to find info on "how to get started writing".

A sticky is a perfect idea.

Wendy 04-14-2006 11:41 AM

Great idea. One thing that helped me get started is by reading everything I could get my hands on that related to freelance writing.

Some good sites to learn about freelance writing:


There are hundreds of articles on these sites that give great information on everything from writing technique, to finding jobs, to how to apply to jobs, to what to do if someone doesn't pay for work you've done.

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