Monday, July 6, 2009

How not to get paid for writing – Part 1.

My weekly column for a start-up business website got killed last week. It wasn’t much pay, but it wasn’t embarrassing. The site was good project to be affiliated with. But, after a promising start, they say I wasn’t getting enough traffic.

Besides being the first time my work was judged by clicks and not content, it was the first time I’ve been dumped by an advisory board. The latest model of corporate journalism?

Onward, or as Tom Waits sings: “You gotta’ get behind the mule/ in the morning and plow.”

So, the “How to Get Paid for Writing” series will also talk about missed shots and disappearing opportunities. One key to freelancing is to be able to deal with a constantly changing list of clients, so to speak. Good to hang on to them but some will always come and they go. Freelancing is a business that involves sales. Rejection is part of the package. (Cliché?)

It is particularly tight out there right now for all freelancers, not just writers. I have two pitches out, unanswered for two weeks. Another has come back twice with reasons why the stories won’t work for the mag and advice on how to make it work. I was starting get frustrated but the editor seems to be trying to help me. So, I’ll give it another shot.

Since the return on pitches has been so low, I’m thinking about other ways to sell my work, like syndication. More on that later.

In the meantime, keep your day job.

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