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Nine New Writing Opportunities for the New Year
by Cheryl Sloan Wray
Every year, I make my requisite New Year’s resolutions. I make goals like “I’ll start exercising every day,” “I’m going to stop eating so much fast food,” and “I will be a glass-half-full person this year.”
I also always come up with writing-related resolutions, so that I can get myself motivated and make myself more productive for the new year. Each year, I want to do better than the year before.
If you are looking for some writing-related goals for the new year, might I suggest that you resolve to expand your repertoire? Come up with some new ideas and plans for marketing yourself and your writing this year; don’t just settle for where you’ve always been, but aspire toward something new!
Here are 9 new writing opportunities and marketing tactics for you to consider for the new year:
- Write for regional magazines. If you are only approaching national, consumer magazines with your article ideas, you are missing out on a huge market that is much nearer to you. Look at your area and consider the magazines and other publications being produced around you. Every town has newspapers, but there are also lifestyle, parenting, Chamber of Commerce, and various trade publications.
- Review things (books, movies, restaurants). Reviews are some of the best things to write for several reasons—you get to try new things, they don’t take long to write, and there are plenty of markets for them. Contact your local newspaper and check out local websites to see if they take reviews; also look through market guides to find places that accept reviews.
- Write devotions. Devotions (short, inspirational stories) are also needed by religious websites, magazines, and devotional guides. If you have a knack for writing from your personal experience, this is a great market to try out.
- Syndicate yourself. Do you have a specialization (a personal experience or interest, a professional skill) that you can write about? If so, develop some sample articles on the topic (think health, or parenting, or sports, whatever) and submit them to weekly newspapers and small magazines around the country; offer to write an article on the topic every week or month.
- Go on the speaking circuit. If you are an experienced writer and also enjoy speaking, use those abilities and offer your services as a speaker. There are many writing organizations, writing conferences, and schools that welcome experienced writers as speakers to their members.
- Become a blogger. There are many bloggers on the Internet who’ve found a way to make money from their writing—although it does take work. Come up with a topic you have a unique voice for and start a blog on it. Once you get a good number of visitors, offer ad space for sale; you can also use your blog as a way to market your other writing services.
- Become a stringer for your local newspaper. Do you love sports? Or do you have a special insight into a small community in your area? If you do, many newspapers hire “stringers” (freelance writers) to write on those topics.
- Come up with a marketing plan. There is no better time than the beginning of the new year to come up with a goal-oriented plan for your writing. So, come up with a plan that develops ideas for markets, information on publications, and a goal for how much you will publish (how many articles you will query per week, for example).
- Write every day. There is no better way to get published than to WRITE. As 2011 gets underway, make a resolution to write every single day; and write productively (so many hours, so many words) everyday.
Editor’s note: Writer Debbie Ridpath Ohi has a great “Writer Challenge” for daily word count. Choose 250, 500 or 1000 Words a Day and go for it!
© Copyright 2011, Cheryl Sloan Wray
Cheryl Sloan Wray is a freelancer writer with more than 1000 articles to her credit. She is also the author of Writing for Magazines (McGraw-Hill), a popular guide for freelancers.
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