Disability travel activist, editor and freelance writer - meet Julie Jones

The word ‘inspirational’ gets thrown around a lot in the disability space, but I have to say that freelance writer, blogger, editor and disability activist Julie Jones absolutely inspires me. I first met Julie on a famil in Thailand last year as part of the Australian Society of Travel Writers’ conference. We spent lots of time talking about the number of people who want to travel but can’t because of a multitude of barriers - societal, not their own. It’s not easy advocating for accessible travel in a space where travel writing is often portrayed as white sand, glimmering water and ten course degustations. But Julie’s blog and now, her new magazine, are breaking down some of those barriers.

How to find high-paying corporate writing gigs

A month or so ago when I asked what you wanted me to cover in upcoming blog posts, there was one question that kept coming up: How do I find high paying corporate writing gigs? Some of you were fed up with writing for small business (I hear you), some of you had had some interest from potential corporate clients and others just didn’t know where to begin. I am in no doubt that a lot of my financial success has come down to the fact that I have regular, high paying corporate work that comes to me. So let’s jump in.

March - trying to make travel writing work

Helicopters. Stretch limos. Elaborate cheese boards that stretch across two tables. It’s fair to say that March has been quite the month. My income for March was pretty low compared to this time last year because I’ve been focusing on travel and travel writing, but that said, the non-financial perks of travel writing are pretty great. But while I had some incredible experiences this month, I also had some big lows.

Want to write about writing? 9 great publications to pitch

This may seem a bit meta, but did you know there are loads of digital and print publications that are specifically geared towards readers who are journalists or freelance writers? They are usually wonderful reads and often these magazines and digital outlets are also looking for contributors. I’ve complied a list of 9 great publications throughout the world where you can write about writing.

3 mistakes freelance writers make when pitching digital publications

There’s little doubt that there’s an art to pitching and sending query letters to editors. Over the past year I’ve had conversations with a number of editors and I’ve come to realise that many freelance writers don’t differentiate the way they pitch depending on whether the publication is in print or online. This is a big mistake. Through conversations with editors, I’ve found that there are 3 main mistakes writers make when pitching to online outlets.

February - a magical month

February was a good month. My monthly income was much lower than this time last year, but I had a couple of experiences where I seriously pinched myself at the opportunities I’ve been given since becoming a freelance writer. So often we are solitary workers at home, in a cafe or a co-working space, and it’s rare to have any significant amount of time with other writers. So when it does happen it feels like a blessing.

The 4 best rejections I've received from editors

I’ve been thinking lots about embarrassing moments and how many I have had in my (fairly short) writing career. I think it’s easy to see ‘successful’ writers and not see their backstory, where they have made mistakes or had challenges. Well, today I wanted to clear that up. I’ve unearthed the best (read: the worst) rejections I’ve had to pitches and stories. Because let’s face it, no one is perfect. And the truth is, it’s only a mistake if you don’t learn from it.

What is service journalism? And where can you pitch these stories?

Service journalism seems to be becoming popular (again) and this type of writing offers lots of opportunities for freelance writers. But I’ve found that people are not always clear about what constitutes service journalism. There are loads of publications that use public service journalism, so I think it’s worthwhile exploring what this type of writing looks like, as well as highlighting several publications that are worth pitching.

The one attribute you need to earn more money

I’ve been thinking a lot about why some freelance writers prosper while others, despite their obvious talent, struggle to get long-term traction. I think it’s a combination of lots of things, but lately I’ve realised that there’s one characteristic that is absolutely crucial to you earning more money as a freelance writer, and happily, it’s one that you can improve.

January - a contemplative month

I started 2019 in frosty London, feeling entirely familiar with the streets and landmarks despite not having visited for years and years. After a few steamy days in Singapore, I was back at my desk on January 14, with two articles due (thankfully I had written them before I left for overseas). I only worked half of January, but it’s been an important month - a contemplative one, and a month where I’ve made some big decisions.

How to become an Intrepid Travel freelancer - meet editor Bex Shapiro

When I “met” Bex Shapiro, the Managing Editor for Intrepid Travel on Twitter a little while back, I immediately got the sense that she’s an editor writers love - she was responsive, generous, funny and thoughtful. I love this Q&A with Bex because not only do you get an insight into pitching and writing for a travel company that is one of the most ethical in the business, but also how passionate, committed and talented Bex is in supporting freelance writers and bringing their unique travel stories to light.

The simple technique I use to cut through my overwhelm

Overwhelm happens to me more than I’d like to admit. I’ll be chugging along happily and then panic-stricken thoughts will hit. How are you going to fit all this in? You’ve forgotten to set up that interview. What if all those people you sent LOIs to are interested? I want to pitch a new editor but I have no ideas. And so on. My theory is that overwhelm is super common amongst freelance writers because we have so much freedom to determine what we want to do, but often that means we feel like we have to do everything.

How to become a high-income freelance medical writer with no experience

Freelance medical writing is a money-making specialty that’s interesting and offers plenty of work. And even better, you don’t need experience to get started. If you love to write and can understand health and medicine, you can become a freelance medical writer. That’s exactly what happened to American writer Lori De Milto when she started out as a medical writer — within 18 months, she was making six figures.

December - a quiet month to end a huge year

I don’t know about you, but I feel tired just thinking about 2018. After a full on November, I really eased up this month. I had a fair bit of work to finish off, but I didn’t want to pitch much, knowing that I was headed overseas for three weeks over Christmas and new year. Despite this, it has been an enormous year, and one that has definitely proved to me that you can earn a great income from freelance writing - even working part time.

How running changed the way I think about my business  

I have never been a runner. In fact, I’m not really a huge fan of exercise in general. My relationship with exercise has always been sporadic – I’ve played tennis, gone swimming, done a couple of years when I was really into spin classes, dabbled in yoga, but apart from a three month stint when I was 15, I’ve never been a runner. But recently I took up running and had an epiphany that changed the way I look at my business.

The questions you absolutely must ask potential clients

There’s a lot to think about when you start working with a new client. It’s imperative that you have a clear brief, a detailed scope of work and set deliverables. I’ve found that if you don’t have these from the outset, a productive and stress-free working relationship can be very difficult to achieve. By having an established project intake process, you’re much more likely to get the information you need and be able to judge if the project is a good fit for you.

November - the month I added to my 'failure CV'

It definitely feels like we’re reaching the end of the year, doesn’t it? Most writers I know are flat out, having said yes to almost every project that’s come their way just in case things in the new year slow down or get lean. Despite being a pretty good month overall, November had one enormous down for me - one that really shook me and saw me turn off my computer for a few days.