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How to Find New Markets for Your Writing

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Finding new markets for his writing is one of the hardest tasks that every successful freelance writer performs daily. The Internet makes this much easier.

Back in the dark ages when I got my start in freelance writing, I had to depend on reference books like Writer’s Market, Christian Writer’s Market Guide, and Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market books published by Writer’s Digest Books. These books are no longer the only resources for researching new markets, but every serious writer still has them on their bookshelf, or the interactive CD version of them. Besides those books, we use to have to check the journal shelves of the public library in our quest for new markets for our writing. Today, we have a much better way to explore new markets for our articles and short stories, the Internet, the World Wide Web.

The Online Marketplace

The Internet abounds with hundreds, if not thousands, of freelance job boards for freelance writers, graphic artists, and photographers. None of the best job sites is free. Some charge membership fees, while others do not charge you an upfront fee to join the board, but take a small percentage of what you bill your clients. The truly neat thing about these job boards is that they not only allow you to search out jobs to bid on they allow you to create and post your profile for the board’s site so those seeking a writer with your particular skills and areas of expertise can contact you through your board profile posting. There is a plethora of these job boards, but oDesk, Guru, eLance and Freelancer.com are four excellent ones to start off with.

Conducting Online Searches

There are a number of online search sites that compiles writer’s wanted ads from all over the web e.g., AboutFreelanceWriting and FreelamceWritingGigs. You could conduct a Google search using keywords based on your area of expertise, but then you would have to sift through thousands of hits to find those of use to you. The specialized search sites and directories simplify the task for you and allow you spend your time doing what earns you the money—writing.

Writing for Content Sites

The Internet also abounds with Content Sites. Content sites, depending on how the sites are structured, pay the writer in a number of different ways. Some sites pay the writer based on page views, some sites pay the writer a percentage of the income the site earns from ads ran on the writer’s article, while still other content sites pay the writer a fixed, upfront fee for articles accepted by the sites. For the new writer, content sites like Triond and Helium are two good ones to start out with. For the more experienced writer, Suite101 and DemandStudio are better choices.

Find Your Niche

Back in the day when I was knee-high to a grasshopper and growing up on the farm, they had a saying about farmers; farmers were “Jacks of all trades, but masters of none.” What that meant was that farmers in those days had to know a little about all the trades—electrical, plumbing, masonry, carpentry, and so on in order to operate and maintain their farms and farming equipment. They knew a little bit about all the trades, but they mastered none of them. Today the world has become to technically sophisticated for the Jack of all trades and farmers stick to farming and call in specialist for other things.

There was a time when a writer could be a Jack of all genres, but those days are long gone too. If you are to succeed as a professional writer, you must find your niche, your area of expertise, and then stick within it. Once you have found your niche, trade magazines and journal become a rich market source for you.

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Jerry Walch

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