How to write a killer press release (and what to charge)

Lots of freelance writers I know offer press release writing as one of their services, as it is a great way of diversifying what they offer to clients. I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of terrible releases. I’ve also received a few good ones, but those have been few and far between. I was recently chatting to a copywriting friend and web designer about what makes a good press release and she suggested I share the secrets of writing a killer press release.

"No matter how much you love your job, you’ll always need some downtime" - Meet Katie Silcox

It sounds like a dream career for a freelancer - writing for big name publications like Conde Naste Traveller, penning guidebooks, working as a photo editor for GQ, creating corporate communications for AMEX, while also fitting in time to volunteer each week. This kind of workload made me wonder how British writer and photo editor Katie Silcox does it all. I asked her in this Q&A, and I think you’ll agree, her responses are fascinating.

How to get an editor to read your pitch

There’s no doubt that pitching is an art, and if I’m honest, despite all the good advice out there, pitching is one of the things that lets so many freelance writers down. Despite what some people may profess, there’s no one single way to make sure your pitches to magazine or newspaper editors hit the mark, but there are definitely ways to increase your chances of your queries getting opened, read and responded to.

Want to write about mental health? These publications are looking for pitches

Sometimes half the battle (or more) with freelance writing is finding clients or publications to pitch. I really believe that regardless of which area you want to write about (not that I think you only need one area of expertise), there will most likely be a publication, brand or business willing to pay you for your words. Articles and blogs focusing on health and wellness are so popular at the moment, and mental health content is a huge part of that. Here are 5 publications that pay decently for mental health articles.

Boost your LinkedIn profile - do these 5 quick and easy things

Despite LinkedIn being one of the most useful platforms for freelance writers, many people are overwhelmingly ambivalent about it. Every week I hear from writers who say they don’t have a LinkedIn profile, can’t see the point of having one, think the platform is daggy or are not sure how to present themselves on it. I’m here to tell you that if you are a content marketing freelance writer (or want to be one), LinkedIn is one of the best tools around. It’s quick, free and best of all - it’s super effective.

From marketing manager to executive editor - meet Michelle Pini

With my background in social work, it probably won’t surprise you to know that I really admire publications and editors who strive to cover human rights, social justice and environmental issues. Michelle Pini is the executive editor of Independent Australia (IA), an online publication that champions investigative journalism and promotes a diversity of voices. On a personal level, Michelle is generous, funny and open, and professionally she is an incisive, supportive and meticulous editor. I love that IA mentors new writers, so let’s meet Michelle.

April - the month my income came to me

This month felt like a bit of an experiment. I barely pitched any articles, I went on two press trips and yet still somehow made my income target (just). I feel as though I’m in a liminal space, but I’m not sure what is ahead. All I know is that freelance writing allows you to be so flexible and nimble. It feels like only a few short months ago I decided to focus on travel writing, and here I am, at the end of the month, having travelled to India and writing this post from Canada.

What no one ever tells you about being a travel writer

What do you think of when someone says they are a travel writer? Jet-setting business class around the world to stay in luxurious hotels and eating feasts prepared by Michelin-stared chefs? I won’t lie; this is not unheard of, but more often than not, the life of a travel writer is much more complex than it appears. I know lots of you are travel writers or aspiring travel journalists, so I wanted to take you behind the scenes and give an insight into what it’s really like to be a travel writer and what you need to know to be successful.

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.