there's never been a better time to be a freelancer. But how do you make the leap from writing as a hobby to full time freelancing? the freelancer's year has all the tips and tricks you need to be a successful freelance writer.

February - the month in review

February - the month in review

I sent out a lot of pitches in January (24 to be exact) and was waiting on quite a few responses from editors. But February didn't quite bring the responses I was expecting.

February calendar

February - the month in review

One commission turned into a non-commission (the short version is that I pitched a travel story to an editor, she commissioned it, but ended up tweaking my pitch and ultimately what she wanted was too similar to another story I had in the works, so I had to decline the commission). 

Two pitches that initially received positive feedback from editors didn't get the green light. One editor took it to her editorial meeting and it wasn't approved, and the other left her position as editor and now I have to resubmit the pitch to the new editor.

And another story, which was commissioned, got killed. Out of all of them, this was the one that I felt bruised by. I felt that I had let down the editor as well as my case study. I'm hopeful that it will end up on the publication's online page, but it won't go into the print edition. 

So you can't always count your chickens, and even if they are hatched, there's no guarantee that they'll survive. How's that for a harsh lesson for the second month of the year?!

So with regard to writing articles for magazines and newspapers, this month I:

Pitched: 8 articles

Commissions: 3

Rejections: 3

Follow-ups: 3

Silence: A LOT!

Offers (This is where the editor has approached me to write an article): 2

Filed: 3

It's been a much slower month in terms of feature article ideas that I've pitched, and I think some of that is because I pitched so much in January. I spent a fair bit of time writing a small business eBook for a client, which ended up needing lots of revisions, so that took more time than I initially expected. I was also really busy with feature writing that was already commissioned, corporate writing in the business sector as well as health content creation work. 

I am still trying to make sure I market myself though, even while I'm busy. Last month I wrote about doing five marketing activities each day and this month I've tried to keep that up. As well as all the 'little' stuff of pitches, tweeting about writing resources and sending out letters of introduction I:

- Attended a networking event hosted by an agency I do some work for - it was great to meet the directors in person and it's always good to meet other 'communicators' and hear about their work. 

- Had a half hour Skype session with marketing guru Ilise Benun who helps freelancers and creatives. It was so helpful to talk to her about my feature writing work as well as my corporate writing and content creation work. Ilise really prompted me to think about some steps to define my content writing niche, which I think will be health writing for social enterprises and organisations. I also wrote a piece for Ilise's blog about how I almost lost 5k through a really common freelancer mistake.

- Signed up for Kate Toon's SEO course, which does terrify me because I'm not SEO savvy (I guess that's why I need to do the course!), but I think it's a skill I need to learn. She also talks a lot about finding your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) so I know it's something I need to focus on. 

- Interviewed several Australian Virtual Assistants to help me decide who I am going to use to schedule my social media feeds, support me with general admin and website updates.

-  I'm trying lots of new ways to engage with people on LinkedIn and am having some real success (a post is coming on that soon!)

I have to admit I didn't meet my monthly income target this month, and I think part of that is because the income is coming in from two bumper months in December and January. I don't want to get complacent though and I am planning on really ramping up to exceed my monthly target in March. Stay tuned! 

 

What about you? How has your February been? Did you try anything new in February?

 

 

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Landing a column - what it takes

Landing a column - what it takes

Meet Kate Stark - Freelance agricultural journalist

Meet Kate Stark - Freelance agricultural journalist