“A working writer can never have too many megabytes.”

So, I am taking a spin as a freelance writer/editor.  The editor part seems to be going fairly well – there appears to be no shortage of people who would like someone to check their commas, and I am an excellent comma checker.

(Plus I have acquired the latest AP Stylebook and the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, and it turns out I have a bizarre fetish for rules of grammar and punctuation.  Maybe my high school English teacher was right when she said I was throwing my life away by not getting an English degree.)

The freelance writing does not really go at all, though, and part of that is because I have no idea what I’m doing.  There’s article writing and blogging and SEO and copy writing and etc, etc, et al.  So I checked a few freelance writing books out of the library and am reading them.  The last one focused on writing magazine articles and I have determined that that is not what I want to do, so that was at least somewhat useful.

I’m currently reading Secrets of a Freelance Writer: How to Make $85,000 a Year by Robert W. Bly.  The latest version came out in 2006, but the library didn’t have that version so I am stuck with the 1997 version.

There is some very good information in it, but I keep getting distracted by the things that are out of date.  Which is a lot.  He recommends leasing a computer, getting a tape back-up, and using CompuServe and America On-Line (and has notes on where to write to get a free CD-ROM of either).

Despite living through the internet in the late nineties, I sometimes forget how much things have changed since then.  He notes you can get up to 28.8 kbps for your modem, and hey, his new computer has a whole gig of memory.  Website is always Web site and online is on-line and there’s nary a mention of blogging or anything like it to be seen.

I’m kind of in love with this.  It’s such a blast from the past.  Probably not the best for research, but I imagine many things have stayed the same since the internet revolution and I will get something out of it.

Any Squiders out there do any freelance work?  Any tips for someone starting out, unsure what they want their focus to be?

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Learn/know how to market your skills to potential clients via multiple outlets (Website, social media, actual face-to-face verbal dialogue, etc.)
    Network with peers to understand your competitor landscape
    Bribe clients to pimp your work to others.

    …Okay maybe that last one doesn’t work so well. But I’d recommend you to others in need of a freelance editor. ^__^ Gods know I needed one. <__< But, you've edited my entire website at this point and you have my support and thanks. 😀

    Reply

  2. This site is worth taking a look at: http://www.wellfedwriter.com/

    I bought his books a few years ago and tentatively tried it out. Via boards like elance, I even connected with a lady who runs a writing agency and farms out projects, but I gave it up to focus on my day-job. I never got up the guts to try marketing myself locally, though.

    Good luck!

    Reply

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