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Writer to Writer - February 2011


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Happy Valentine's Day!

Okay, so it's over.  I did try to get this issue out in time to be able to say it on the day, but since it's only a couple of days after, surely it's not stale yet?

Hmmm, maybe.

Since it's the start of the year - well, almost - I thought it appropriate to talk about goals.

If you've been with me for a while, you'll know that I set goals regularly, not just at the start of the year.

And for me, those goals need to be measurable.

For instance, instead of saying "I want to earn more money from my copywriting business" I would say something like "I want to boost my copywriting income by $30,000".  Can you see how the first one is not really measurable, but the second is?

In addition, I always use a time frame.  It might only be for my benefit, but that goal needs to have a specific time frame so I can review it and see if I'm on track. (i.e. "I want to boost my copywriting income by $30,000 within 12 months".)

Another thing I do is set short term and long term goals.

Taking the above example, I might have a long term goal of $30,000 increase in my copywriting profits for the year.  But my short term goal may be an increase of $500 in the first month, then and additional increase of $1,000 in the second month, and so on.

Breaking your goals into bite-sized pieces makes them much more achievable and setting a long term goal but no way to get there.

Since it's related to this subject, I thought it also appropriate to discuss your writing business.  What is it you want to get out of your writing business in 2011? 

Is it more money? For those people interested in non-fiction writing, let me tell you about my experience. 

I have always been interested in fiction writing, but unless your publisher is a big NY publisher, I've found it doesn't pay the bills. 

As a result of this, I decided to take up non-fiction writing as at the time I'd been off work for over six months due to illness, and desperately needed the money.

So I began writing non-fiction articles for both online magazines and also print magazines.

I'd spent years trying to break into fiction, but managed to get paid non-fiction work in a matter of months.

My two favourite ways of earning money as a writer is via copywriting - where you're paid before you start work, and as a magazine writer (on or offline) where you are paid within months.  In both cases you are looking at reasonable start up rates.

As a copywriter I began at $30/hour. I now charge $120 an hour, and really should increase my rates again.  As a magazine writer, I started at a very low rate - $50 for 1,000 words.  Magazine rates can be anything from one cent a word (which is extremely low), up to $2/word. If you can get around 34 cents/word you're doing well as a start up.

You can also get work online as an article writer, and often in online magazines.

If you've not made a lot of money as a writer so far, and you are really interested in making more money as a writer in 2011, then you need to look at what you are doing, and what you need to change.

Doing the same things over and over will achieve the same results.  The only way to get a different outcome is to do things differently.

All that said, you do need to be educated in your chosen area of writing.  If copywriting and/or magazine writing are your preferred areas, but you don't have the knowledge to take them on, you need to learn.

Here are several books I recommend you take a good look at, each covering a different subject:

The Ultimate Copywriter

The Wealthy Writer

Writing for Profit: Break into Magazines

Travel Writing Secrets

The Low Down on Niches: Turn Your Writing into Cash!

Quick Cash Writing

Because this issue is all about making money as a writer, I've included an article from Dawn Carrington that's all about getting your foot in the door. This article is a little different from the norm, but I encourage you to read it.

Okay, that's it from me [FIRSTNAME], time to sit back and enjoy this issue.

Til next time…





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popular & Recommended Reading:


Marketing for Authors: Writing Book Specific Copy

Save Time by Using Your Research Wisely

Creating Magnetizing Copy

How to Deal with Incomplete Projects

Crafting a Picture Book

Writing Believable Dialogue

Seasonal Articles: Plan Ahead & Earn Extra Writing Income


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Volunteering for Pay


 Dawn Carrington


In this economy, everyone is eager to work, needs to work, and has a hard time finding work, and when the bigger companies are laying off thousands of employees every few months, it can be disheartening for a freelance writer, especially one that is just getting started and has limited knowledge outside their current comfort zone.  

Maybe you’ve gotten a job or two writing ad copy for a company that is now cutting back, and since you had just eased your foot inside that door, you’re not quite sure where to go from there. Or maybe you simply want to branch out into another area of copywriting but you don’t have enough knowledge about the subject. For whatever reason you want to gain some knowledge on another aspect of freelancing, there is a solution—volunteering.  

The number of charities has grown exponentially over the past five years and, due to the current crises, will continue to grow. With that growth, comes the need for writers. Every organization needs to get the word out, receive donations, contact volunteers, and more. That’s where you come in.  

If you want to write for doctors and hospitals, why not volunteer to write two or three short pieces of copy for the American Cancer Society or any number of health-related foundations? Interested in writing for newspapers, offer your services to the American Red Cross or The Salvation Army. You’ll gain valuable experience you can add to your resume, and it also adds appeal to your portfolio. In the meantime, you’ll be learning about topics unfamiliar to you which you can then turn into paying opportunities.  

You can start with the local charities in your area. This is a great way to create goodwill in your neighborhood and could possibly create leads for the future. Try local domestic shelters, pet rescue centers, homeless shelters, and food pantries. Most of them are always in need of people who are willing to volunteer their skills in any way possible, and there are endless ways your writing abilities can help.  

If you’re thinking you have no idea how to contact these charities or even what to say when you do finally reach someone, both of those questions are answered below.


Read the entire article here


How to Revise Your Novel

Did you grab Holly Lisle's new download How to Revise Your Novel(Lite) ?  It's still $5 and it's still the bargain of the year. Holly has advised she may be pulling it down soon (due to some issues with PayPal), so if you want it, go there now otherwise you may miss out. (I still don't know how long it will be available.)

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