Freelance Writing Tips from an Amateur

Congratulations! You decided to enter the wonderful world of freelance writing. Whether it’s writing for a newspaper or magazine, writing press releases, or even just editing someone else’s writing, here are a few tips I’ve learned in the past three months of doing writing.

  • Carry a pen and a notepad with you. Sometimes a story might strike up and you can at least get the story part.
  • Invest in getting business cards done. You never know who you might meet and having a card on hand will make you seem more professional.
  • Practice your interviewing skills. You need to be clear and concise when you ask people questions.
  • While you may not end up using all of the interviews, it’s best to interview a good number of people so you can choose later on when you write the article.
  • Have a recorder. Whether it’s on your phone or an actual recorder, it’s best to have one if you’re working a newspaper so you can get exact quotes. And if it’s on phone, be sure to e-mail the recording so you can have a copy.
  • Even if you do have a recorder, still write down some key things on your notepad.
  • Always ask people to spell their name. Nothing more embarrassing than writing Sara Smith when it was really Serah Smithe. You can record them spelling their name or have them write it down.
  • If you’re struggling for questions, think of the five w’s and h: “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How”. If you can answer all these questions, you have an article.
  • This is optional but I would recommend asking your subject if they want to add any additional information.

I might add on some tips later but I think these are good started tips for people starting the freelance writing job.

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