When you start out as a freelance writer, you usually don’t have any clips, but every time you apply for a job someone asks for samples of your work. But if you haven’t been published, how do you prove that you are a talented writer? It’s a question I faced when I relaunched my writing career after five years out of the industry. Here’s how I solved the problem.
1. Use Your Blog
If you haven’t got a blog, get one, and post regularly. This is an easy way to showcase examples of your writing. Point editors towards it and they’ll be able to see your writing and people’s responses to it. That will give them an idea of how popular you might be with their readers.
2. Create Articles From Your Blog Posts
Take the best of your posts and make them into articles. Upload them to an article directory such as EzineArticles, where they will be picked up by many other sites. The next time a job comes around, you will have clips you can show.
3. Write For Free
This is a short term strategy, as your goal is to get paid. Find a few places in your genre that want free content and provide some as long as they link back to your blog or site. This will help you to promote yourself and will add to the list of places where editors and potential clients can find your writing.
4. Send A Sample
If you know the publication you are approaching for a job or writing commission, write a short piece of the type they publish and send it as an example of what you can do. If you haven’t got a lot of publication credits, this at least shows you’ve read the mag and thought about what they might want to publish.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Practice, practice, practice. As well as blogging and article marketing, you can write reviews for consumer reviews sites such as Epinions, Ciao and Dooyoo. It’s a good way to learn what people find useful and how they respond to your writing. This will help you to find your writing voice.
These strategies worked well for me. Within a year, I had more writing work than I could handle. I’m sure you can do it too.