The Working Writer: Weekly Job Search

Sample Lesson from The Business of Writing
52 Weeks with Writing Mentor, Jill Dutton

This week we look at websites you should regularly check for job postings to stay on top of what is current—and best suited to your area of expertise.

Week of July 4: The Job Search 

As I’ve mentioned before, searching for and finding work is as important as honing your writing skills. It’s an ongoing process that is crucial for establishing—and maintaining—work as a freelance writer. By scheduling several hours each week to perform a job search and send out resumes and/or query letters, you’ll fill your pipeline and guarantee consistent work. Plus, by scheduling regular searches, you won’t miss out when that dream assignment becomes available. I generally spend time researching and sending resumes on Monday mornings, but find a time that works best with your schedule. Then put it on the calendar so it becomes a habit.

This week I share some of my favorite job sites as well as a few job posts I think might be of interest. Please keep in mind during your job search—there are hundreds to wade through—so be diligent and research the company before applying for a job. Many that ask for a test assignment are simply gathering free content. So check the company out ahead of time—and save yourself the time and effort of applying for a position that will never get a response.

This Week’s Action Items:

The majority of the ongoing writing jobs I established were found through job postings online. So this week’s assignment is simple: read through some of the job posts I found for you, then visit the other job boards and search for freelance assignments that best fit your skill set. Good luck! If you find a juicy job, please share it (after you apply, of course) on The Business of Writing Facebook group. Happy hunting!

Job Posts 
Here are a few job posts I found this morning that might interest you:

Freelance Journalist / Contributing Writer Needed (Kansas City)
We are looking for multiple part-time writers to join us in our downtown KC office a few days a week. We want people that enjoy writing original, fun, entertaining, informational, and news-worthy articles. Our website covers many different topics (some of them controversial and offensive), so don’t hold back your true personality. You will work with an assignment editor who will get to know you and your interests. Additionally, as we fill the positions for this team, there will be many other talented writers on-site to brainstorm with. Read the full post here.

Content Writer (Contract)
Knowledge, Skills and Experience:
Must have 2-3 years of professional/ freelance writing experience
Able to write High Quality Content based on shorthand information received by Creative Administrator
Complete research on assigned topics in order to create interesting and exciting readable material.
Excellent time management skills and able to meet deadlines without fail
Content writing for web publication
Must have current knowledge of SEO and Keyword Optimization
Read the full post here.

Seeking Writers (Fashion and Beauty): Beyond Words Media
Beyond Words is seeking passionate, self-motivated freelance writers with strong enthusiasm, knowledge and expertise in beauty and women’s fashion. Beyond Words is a new digital lifestyle magazine inspired by the life and work of bestselling author Sylvia Day.
We currently cover all things travel, entertainment, shopping, and wellness. If you are enthusiastic about the latest in shopping, celebrity style, current fashion trends, and hair/makeup/skincare, then we’re looking for you, as we will be directing focus on these areas more in the near future.
The right candidates will be organized, deadline-oriented, reliable writers who are inspired by what Beyond Words represents. This is a paid opportunity, therefore, we encourage experienced writers to apply. Please view our website at www.beyondwords.life to get a feel for our writing, photography, and style.
If you are interested in writing for Beyond Words, please send your letter of interest, resume and portfolio samples to contact@beyondwords.life. Responses sent elsewhere or lacking writing samples will not be considered.

Freelance Writer
Writing by Design
Writing content for a variety of local business clients, including sales copy, presentations, advertising and marketing copy. Website content writing and SEO knowledge a plus!
Read the full post on LinkedIn.

Freelance Content Writers
The writers of ViralNova are the lifeblood of our company. These individuals take the everyday stories happening around the world and bring them to life, striking emotional chords with our millions of readers.
Read the full post here.

Write Guest Posts
25 Sites That Pay for Guest Posts

Job Boards 

All of  the websites below contain articles of interest as well as job postings. Rather than searching for “writing jobs,” (unless you’re wanting a full-time, in-house job) search for “freelance writing” for a more exact match. Fyi, I’m not listing job bidding sites like eLance, etc., because the pay rate is incredibly low. Search for actual jobs who hire based on experience versus a job mill who wants you to put out 1,000 words for $10.

Career Builder: http://www.careerbuilder.com/
Freelance Writing: http://www.freelancewriting.com/freelance-writing-jobs.php
Indeed: http://www.indeed.com/jobs
Journalism Jobs: http://www.journalismjobs.com/job-listings?JobTypeID=4
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/?trk=nav_responsive_sub_nav_jobs (enter your search terms in the search bar)
Media Bistro: https://www.mediabistro.com/jobs/openings/
Monster: http://www.monster.com
Writer’s Weekly: http://writersweekly.com/find-paying-markets

Suggestion:

Join The Business of Writing Facebook group and share a takeaway from this week’s lesson. Or share how you put the lesson into action.

Next week…Getting Organized

If you want personalized help with this or any of the lessons, Jill is available for one-hour or monthly telephone coaching sessions. Visit http://www.thebusinessofwriting.net for information or to sign up for the 52-Week Email Course or other coaching services.

The Business of Writing Email Course-Sample Week

Curious about the 52-Week Email Course on The Business of Writing I offer? It’s only $26 for a year with a writing mentor. Visit http://thebusinessofwriting.net/coaching-services.html. At the bottom of the page, there is a drop-down menu. Choose “52-Week Email Course” and your first lesson will arrive in your inbox next Monday (the topic next week is Ways to Make Money as a Freelance Writer).

Below is a sample from this week’s topic on Brainstorming.

The Business of Writing
52 Weeks with Writing Mentor, Jill Dutton

This week we look at brainstorming article ideas.
Week of June 6: Brainstorming Techniques

I use brainstorming techniques for two main purposes:

1. To flush out an existing idea. When I have a vague sense of an article topic but am unable to condense it into a concise explanation for a query letter, I’ll brainstorm to get a better idea of the direction of the article.
2. To generate article ideas. When the writing well is dry or during periods of writer’s block, brainstorming can free up the thinking part of the brain and get the ideas flowing.

Brainstorming Techniques:

LISTS

One look at my desk and you’ll see how much I utilize lists. Post-its are stuck to the computer monitor. Index cards are scattered about my desk with various notes to self. My day planner lays open with a bulleted list of the day’s to-do items.

I’ve always believed in Aristotle’s theory that rather than putting information into a student’s head, we should be teaching them to connect with a higher intelligence and learn to bring that information down. When I take a thought or idea and bring it down from my mind—and onto paper—it takes a step toward manifestation. It also gets the thought out of my head so that I can focus on what needs my current attention. I bring it down—and get it out—so my mind is free to focus.

David Allen, author of, Getting Things Done, says, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” Check out his revised book for a solid plan to get ideas into action.

Lists are one method for releasing ideas onto paper. Whether working with an existing idea you want to expand upon or trying to brainstorm a writing idea, the trick to lists is to just write. Quickly. Without thinking. Write a central idea, then beneath it list whatever comes to mind. Start quickly, then as ideas start to slow, reflect back on the list and see if more ideas come to mind.

MIND MAPS

While lists are great for expanding an idea, Mind Maps are perfect for visually creating a goal, outline, or plan.

I use Mind Maps for general, “big” thinking. The concept is similar to lists: you take a central idea and expand upon it. The main difference is that Mind Maps are a more visual, creative way to expand an idea. I believe that the time it takes to create the map, plus the actual visual reinforcement, helps me to cement an idea into reality. Here’s one I created to get clear on the various projects I’m currently working on:

I’ll use this “map” as a template, then break down each of the subcategories further using lists. You can use this method for brainstorming article ideas, fleshing out an existing idea, or for any projects you’re working on.

As you can see from my sample, I’m not an artist. But by using color, shapes, and branches in the map, it utilizes both the right and left hemispheres of the brain creating art and function.

BRAIN DUMPS

A brain dump is just like it sounds. Take a piece of paper (if you’re like me and still prefer starting the writing process with pen to paper) or open your word-processing program, and let your ideas and thoughts “dump” in a stream of consciousness. Julia Cameron, in The Artist’s Way, made morning pages an everyday term. The process of writing when you have nothing to write about–writing without stopping, critiquing, or editing–allows the brain to dump and often discover hidden gems of ideas. Set a timer if you have to, but keep writing and “dumping” for 10 minutes (or more). You might be surprised by what you find.

This Week’s Action Items:

1. Take an existing article idea and use all of the processes above (or pick those that call to you) to expand and explore the topic.
2. Start with a vague topic. Say you want to write about gardening, but don’t have a particular article idea in mind. Create a Mind Map with the general topic (in this case, gardening) as the central starting point. Then branch off into possible ideas until one feels strong enough to flesh out completely. Then take the new, whittled down topic and use brain dumping or list making to expand the idea even further.

From a Successful Freelance Writer:

Author, consultant, speaker, Barry Maher, www.barrymaher.com, has appeared on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS, CNBC, and he’s frequently featured in publications like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the London Times, Business Week and USA Today.

Barry’s advice:

Here’s the best piece of writing advice I ever received, one I share whenever I speak at writers conferences.

When it comes to motivation, forget inspiration. Sit your butt down in front of the computer and write. Treat it as a profession, as a job and you can master the necessary skills. Wait for inspiration and you’ll still be waiting while those willing to put in the time are getting published.

The inconvenient truth of writing is that if you want to succeed as a writer you’ve got to want it badly enough that you’ll want to do all the little things necessary to make it happen. If you don’t want to do those things-the first and foremost of which is putting in your time, whether you’re writing an article, a book or just putting together a query–maybe you don’t really want to be a writer.

Suggestion:

Join “The Business of Writing” Facebook group and share a takeaway from this week’s lesson. Or share how you put the lesson into action. Click the link at the bottom to join the group.

I’ll check back with you again on Friday and give some tips for reflecting on your week’s progress. Here’s to a vigorous week of writing!

NEXT WEEK…WAYS TO MAKE MONEY AS A FREELANCE WRITER.

If you want personalized help with this or any of the lessons, Jill is available for one-hour or monthly telephone coaching sessions. Contact Jill for rates and information.

The Working Freelance Writer

Author, consultant, speaker, Barry Maher, www.barrymaher.com, has appeared on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS, CNBC, and he’s frequently featured in publications like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the London Times, Business Week and USA Today.

Barry’s advice:

Here’s the best piece of writing advice I ever received, one I share whenever I speak at writers conferences.

When it comes to motivation, forget inspiration. Sit your butt down in front of the computer and write. Treat it as a profession, as a job and you can master the necessary skills. Wait for inspiration and you’ll still be waiting while those willing to put in the time are getting published.

The inconvenient truth of writing is that if you want to succeed as a writer you’ve got to want it badly enough that you’ll want to do all the little things necessary to make it happen. If you don’t want to do those things-the first and foremost of which is putting in your time, whether you’re writing an article, a book or just putting together a query–maybe you don’t really want to be a writer.

Publishing Advice from a Best-Selling Author

Marian Rothschild, AICI FLC is a Certified Personal Image Consultant and Best Selling, Award Winning Author; Look Good Now and Always
1st and 2nd place CIPA EVVY Awards
Best of Boulder 2014
www.marianrothschild.com

If you had told me a year ago, that my yet-to-be-published book would be a multiple award winner and best seller, I would have told you that your wires were crossed. But it’s true; within one year of self publishing my first book, Look Good Now and Always, it is consistently in the top ten in it’s category on Amazon, which technically makes it a best seller. I was thrilled and overwhelmed last month when the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA), awarded me with an EVVY for 1st Place in the How To category and 2nd Place in Interior Layout and Design category.

Seven years ago when I decided I wanted to make a business of personal image consulting, I got myself educated, trained and certified through the industry’s most credible resource, the Association of Image Consultants International. Then I heard that a great way to get clients is to write for magazines and newspapers. But I had never written before. So to learn how to write articles, I traded services with a professional writer. From there I wrote a regular fashion article for a small Chicago neighborhood newspaper. Then other newspapers picked up my stories, as well as magazines.

Another way to get clients, I was told, is to do presentations and workshops. So I joined Toastmasters and then National Speakers Association and was soon speaking on the subject of business and professional image; why it’s important, what to wear for a sharp, smart personal image and how to put together your visual signature with pop and polish. But speakers need product to sell at events; the best product which gives instant credibility is a book!

But how could I possibly write a book? I had no way of even understanding the first thing about how that happens. Just like before, I asked for help. I paid a professional writer to get me started and edit every chapter as we proceeded. There were lots of epiphanies, re-writes, changes and realizations throughout the eighteen-month process. But we got it done! I sent it off to a second editor and then a professional designer for cover and interior layout. More back-and-forth revisions. Finally I self published the book on Create Space which is owned by Amazon. A friend who has authored nineteen books advised me of the best category, and soon it worked it’s way up in rank. Twice my book reached #1 in it’s category!

After that success I sold to bookstores, boutiques and spas, at events and presentations. When I heard about the CIPA book awards, I decided to enter my book in four categories. Placing first and second in two of those categories is still thrilling and utterly amazing to me.

I still try to get articles in magazines and blogs each month by contacting radio talk show producers, editors and influencers. It’s an on-going struggle to stay in front of readers, but that’s what keeps me going.

Tips From a Successful Freelance Writer

Amber Carlton is a freelance copywriter and editor who focuses on the pet industry. Her website is commahound.com.

Amber shares her secrets to success as a freelance writer:

I was a corporate copywriter for about 10 years and then started my biz about 3 years ago after reading The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman.

The first couple of years were rough with not many clients and no money coming in. However, in the last year, my business has finally begun to take off. I attribute this to several things:

1. I began to invest in myself. I joined a marketing mentoring program with Michael Port of “Book Yourself Solid.” It was expensive but I’ve already made back what I invested in his program.
2. I began to put myself out there more. As a freelance writer, networking and connections are huge. As an introvert, this wasn’t easy for me. So finding a way to do it that felt natural was the key. I joined a couple of Facebook groups consisting of my target market. I attended conferences. And recently I spoke at a conference in front of my target market.
3. I started sharing my knowledge – for free! This can be a fine line but I’ve learned that the more I put my knowledge out there (rather than keeping it proprietary), the more I find that people want to pay me for that knowledge.

I also feel like for anyone just starting out, getting those first couple of jobs helps build confidence. Once I got a few jobs under my belt, I was much more confident about marketing myself and my services and that undoubtedly contributed to the success I’m seeing now.

Enter Your Novel to Win a Publishing Contract

Win a publishing offer from Inkitt!
No submission fee
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Submit your finished novel, 40,000 words or more – no fan fiction, no other limitations on genre! It’s time for you to bring your manuscript into the light and show it off to the world. They are looking for tomorrow’s best-sellers!

The “Grand Novel Contest Winner” is going to be determined by Inkitt based on reader engagement, the winner of the “Readers Choice Award” will be determined by the vote count.

By entering the contest authors will retain all rights to their submitted works. The contest winner will get a publishing offer with the following terms: The author receives 85% of net earnings if the license is sold to an A-list publisher (e.g. Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, MacMillan or HarperCollins). In case the A-list publishers don’t pick it up, Inkitt will publish the novel and the author will receive 50% of Inkitt’s net earnings.

Submission Period: March 7th – June 7th

Click HERE to enter your novel in the contest.

Arts Writers Grant Application Now Open

Application opens: April 20, 2016
Application deadline: May 18, 2016
The Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program supports writers whose work addresses contemporary visual art through project-based grants, ranging from $15,000 to $50,000, issued directly to twenty individual authors a year. The program was founded in recognition of both the financially precarious situation of arts writers and their indispensable contribution to a vital artistic culture. The Arts Writers Grant Program aims to support the broad spectrum of writing on contemporary visual art, from general-audience criticism to academic scholarship.
Writers who meet the program’s eligibility requirements are invited to apply in the following categories:
• Articles
• Blogs
• Books
• New and Alternative Media
• Short-Form Writing
Through all its grants, the Arts Writers Grant Program aims to honor and encourage writing about art:
• that is rigorous, passionate, eloquent, and precise;
• in which a keen engagement with the present is infused with an appreciation of the historical;
• that is neither afraid to take a stand nor content to deliver authoritative pronouncements, but serves rather to pose questions and generate new possibilities for thinking about, seeing, and making art;
• that is sensitive to both the importance and difficulty of situating aesthetic objects within their broader social and political contexts;
• that does not dilute or sidestep complex ideas but renders accessible their meaning and value;
• that creatively challenges the limits of existing conventions, without valorizing novelty as an end in itself.
Due to legal constraints the Arts Writers Grant Program can only fund U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the United States, and holders of O-1 visas. For guidelines and additional eligibility requirements, please visit artswriters.org.
Art Writing Workshop
In partnership with the International Association of Art Critics/USA Section, the Arts Writers Grant Program offers applicants consultations with leading art critics. For more information, please visit artswriters.org.
 
To receive updates on the Arts Writers Grant Program, follow @artswriters on Twitter.