How to Give an Editor What He Wants | Carol J. Alexander

How to Give an Editor What He Wants

Many freelancers would pay money to be told How to Give an Editor What He Wants. But you don’t have to because I’m going to give it to you for free. Why would I do that? I love teaching other folks what I’ve already learned. If you stop and think about it, it’s a no-brainer […]

Define a Publication's Audience | Carol J. Alexander

How to Define a Publication’s Audience

  In a previous post, I wrote that as a freelance writer you need to know your reader. Some aspects of knowing your reader are obvious–the region the publication covers, the topic of the publication or the age of the target audience. For instance, it’s quite obvious that Modern Farmer is read by farmers or […]

How to Write a Query Letter | Carol J. Alexander

How to Write the Query Letter that Sells

  Breaking into freelance writing has a few hoops. One of those hoops is the query letter. As an editor, I regularly receive pitches like the following: I know a mover and shaker in the dairy farm industry. How about a story about dairy farming? Because this guy told me he is a college student […]

Are Your Stories Alive?

  Are your stories alive? Or are they boring narratives that no one wants to read? Here is an example: BORING The head chef said that the best way to get paper-thin slices of tomato is to use a sharp knife or a mandoline. ALIVE “Your knife must be sharp,” said the head chef as he pinched […]

How to Be A Servant

  Writing is a service profession. When we write content for a magazine, blog or website, we provide a service for our clients. That makes you, and me, servants. Do you have a servant heart? Do you go above and beyond to serve your editor or are you frequently counting the words to make sure you […]

Do you know your reader | Carol J. Alexander

Know Your Reader

  One of the main reasons I reject story pitches I receive as editor of a regional lifestyle publication is that the story would not interest our readers. The clue is in the word regional. Our magazine covers a certain region of the country. I regularly receive pitches for articles about places to go and […]

Definition of a Content Mill

  According to Wikipedia, a content mill: is a company that employs large numbers of freelance writers to generate large amounts of textual content which is specifically designed to satisfy algorithms for maximal retrieval by automated search engines. Why so many writers feel compelled to start their careers writing for content mills, I will never understand. […]

Batch Writing

  I write different kinds of things for various clients. I write magazine articles. Some short, some long features. I write blog posts, my own and for other blogs. And I write emails. I also edit and proofread–magazine copy, websites and blog posts. In addition to writing and editing, I have email to answer–from several […]

What I Do Every Day

  Many writers struggle with productivity. No wonder. Distractions come at us from every angle, every hour of the day. If you work from home, the children vie for your attention. If you work online, Facebook disguises itself as a chocolate bar–tempting, tempting, tempting. Business coaches have seemingly bred like rabbits, all eager to tell […]

Can I Find You?

  As a freelance writer, I want to be able to find folks to interview: I wrote a story about blogging for hobby farmers. I was excited about this story because I could highlight some of my favorite blogs by interviewing those blog owners as experts. But I had some trouble. Where is your contact information, Tammi? You don’t have a […]

How to Look at Editorial Changes to Your Work

  This is one of my best tips, ya’ll. And I’m giving it to you for FREE! What makes this one of my best tips? If you do what I’m going to share with you here, you will build a great working relationship with your editors so that they want you to write for them. […]

Palette vs. Palate

  I was reading a Facebook post on one of my favorite magazine’s news feed. In that post, they used the word palate. When I read that word, I was reminded of a story that I wrote for the same publication using the word palette. The fact that palette and palate are two entirely different things, […]