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Freelance writing is a fabulous opportunity and if you’ve got the drive, the energy, the time, and the creativity, it’s definitely the way to go. Whether it’s to supplement your income, or just to satisfy an urge for publication, a little bit of planning and a lot of hard work are all it takes to build a successful (and profitable) freelance writing career.

Many freelancers have broken into publications based on their areas of expertise. It may sound complicated, but before you go whining about your lack of a college degree, think about the real-life interests you have. These can be your specialties. Try targeting publications that feature your interests or deal only in such articles. Then assemble a few clips and call yourself an expert.

Freelance writers don’t only publish in magazines. Their services are in high demand in the business world, as well. Once you’ve managed to create even the smallest writer’s resume, you can begin to market your writing to professionals who don’t have the time or perhaps the knowledge to keep up with their writing needs. Press releases, ad copy, web content, sales letters – every business is in demand for writing to help it grow. Explore your opportunities in your local business community by contacting local businesses, or try listing your services in a local or online classified.

Writing can really seem like a lonely task sometimes. However, the hours are as irregular as you want them to be, and the work can just as easily be done in your bed as it can be in a local coffee shop or in your office. Become a part of writer’s communities, either in your area or online, to get in touch with writers who know exactly the same type of strain you’re going through. Take advantage of writer’s groups and critique circles, or start one of your own! Participate in message boards and online chats to expand your knowledge and experience and to get answers to your questions from people who have been in your field for some time. Being in the good company of other writers can help you to hone your craft, create the opportunity to share leads and projects, and energize your own writing.

While it may seem as though it will take forever to break into your favorite magazines, or to even start making money from your writing, you should remember that, like any career, freelance writing requires dedication, commitment, and persistence. Rejection and low pay can be depressing, but each opportunity to write and sell an article is a chance to further improve your work.

Amanda Baker writes for All Things Pondered:

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