First let me say a special thank you to Mary Denman, who filled in so wonderfully for me while I was traveling!
Second, thank you for all your thoughts and prayers while I was away. I have a new appreciation for how important prayer is for someone away on a mission trip. I invite all of you to stay tuned to my Weekend Worship posts for stories about my Ethiopian Mission trip. I took over 1000 pictures (yes, three zeros!) and I’ll be posting them a little at a time on my Facebook page—so if you haven’t friended me, now is the time to do so! (I’m listed as Edie Mahoney Melson on Facebook) Finally, I’m also available to speak to groups about my experiences.
Now, down to business
In the past few weeks many of you have asked questions about how to move from unpaid assignments to ones that pay. Today I’m going to break it down for you.
First, let me assure you that I still have trouble justifying getting paid to write. The reasons are almost too numerous to mention, but almost one hundred percent of them have to do with self confidence.
To succeed as a freelancer you MUST learn to ignore that voice in your head that insists
you’re not good enough!
Also, it’s important to remember that the expertise you bring isn’t always as a writer—it’s as an expert on the subject of your article.
Here are some specific tips to making the move
- Query jobs that pay. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but a lot of you are afraid to apply for these assignments. At the risk of using a cliché, here’s one of my rules for freelancing—Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
- Don’t differentiate between unpaid experience and paid experience. To a certain degree writing experience is writing experience—DO NOT tell people you’ve never been paid to write. Especially don’t list assignments on your CV as paid or unpaid. That’s no one’s business but yours. If it was good enough to get published, it was good enough.
- Acknowledge that your expertise in a subject is worth money. Most of you are plugged into writing groups and can get feedback on the mechanics of any article you’re writing. What those groups can’t give you is the expertise your personal experience gives you. Don’t denigrate that expertise!
Still confused—here’s an example of how to turn experience into dollars. A friend of mine has a lot experience as a crafter/artist. Because of that she read a lot of crafting blogs. She stumbled on one where the posts were less than stellar. She contacted that blog and offered to write a series of four blogs for $25 each. The blogger accepted and it was so successful she had a regular assignment. What the blogger didn’t know—this was her first regular paying assignment.
So these are the questions to ask yourself:
- What areas do I have expertise in? Or, if you’re afraid of the word expert—what areas do I have experience in?
- What areas do I have a passion about?
- What is an area where I’d like to do in depth research?
Now it’s your turn. What questions do you still have about moving on to paid assignments? If you’ve already moved on, what experience can you share about how you did it?
Don't forget to join the conversation!