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Casting Your Work - Sue Barthelow

The best way to make money in the freelance writing market is to use queries. That way you know before you write an article that it has a home. The way you do this is by coming up with numerous ideas for what you'd like to write about and then sending the ideas out in queries. Each time you get a rejection, you send a query for the rejected idea to another publication. It's like some of the fishermen I see at our local lakes. They cast multiple lines and then stick their poles into the dirt and wait for a nibble. Using multiple poles gives them more chances for a bite. Think of your queries as a fishing expedition.

It takes time and effort to find the right set of publications for a particular article idea. You just waste time and effort if you query a publication for an idea that does not fit into the publication's tackle box. Unless you know the types of articles a publication likes to include, you should not query them. Read the publication first. Many have articles on the web. Your local library probably has copies of numerous publications, as do your friends. Use whatever free resources you have. Once you've picked a publication, check out its writer's guidelines to see if it takes pieces from freelance writers and to see what kind of topics it wants. Only then should you send out your query.

2006 Sue Barthelow. All rights reserved.