I have mentioned that for newbie freelance writers, not having any clips (or published articles) to show magazine editors can pose as a hindrance to breaking into their target publication. But thankfully, there are many ways to obtain publishing credits.
While I can already consider writing without pay and blogging as "gold mines of a training ground" when it comes to getting some experience and honing your skills, here are three other ways you can secure those much-coveted clips:
(3.) Ask a small business owner or entrepreneur if you can write a review about his products or services.
Over the last several years I've seen more and more businesses in their start-up stage peddling their wares through web sites, or social media sites like Facebook to save advertising costs.
If you see yourself writing for trade or consumer magazines, making it easy for the buying public to understand what constitutes a good bargain, writing product reviews would be an excellent way to get started. Usually, reviews take no more than 300 or 400 words.
(4.) Get some exposure by submitting to article databases found online.
When I was just starting out, I got published in databases like SelfGrowth and EzineArticles, which are two of the best known sites when it comes to article marketing.
The newbie freelance writer may not have too many resources in terms of cash reserves and time, so building a professional platform is crucial if you want to be taken seriously.
Web sites like the ones I mentioned above allow members to create an account for free, and you will be asked to specialize on several topics, making it easier for you to be known in a particular subject (e.g. entrepreneurship, parenting, workplace etiquette, etc.)
(5.) Join online writers' groups and be open to having your articles critiqued by fellow writers.
I highly recommend looking in Yahoo! Groups, or join Writing.com , where I have been a member since 2010. As soon as you sign up for a free account, you will immediately sense the upbeat spirit in these sites backed up by stories and testimonials of writers of all stripes.
The rewards you'll get from online writers' groups stretch far beyond recognition for your work. You will mature by learning to take constructive criticism, and there are countless opportunities to encourage other aspiring writers as well.