Freelance Blog + writing

Guest Post: The $100,000 “Well-Fed” Writing Career, Part 2

By Peter Bowerman
On Friday, we covered the benefits of commercial writing and what it takes to be successful. Here how's to get started.

Given the importance of writing to their business process, these companies expect to hear from writers, yet, according to what many of my clients tell me, few actually do. Reach them by cold calling, direct mail postcard mailings, joining business networking groups, social media sites like LinkedIn and others, by tapping your contact base, or ideally, some combination of all the above. Leverage your past industry experience and contacts and get started by pursuing work in that arena.

First Steps
While you’re still working at another job, focus on building a portfolio of samples by gathering projects you’ve done in current and former jobs; doing pro bono work for not-for-profits and start-ups; or just “creating” a portfolio from scratch, concentrating on crafting more corporate-type samples (i.e., the project types described earlier). In the pro bono or “creation” scenarios noted above, perhaps you team with a graphic designer starting out as well, so you both end up with samples for your “book.” Then load them all up to a web site. Visit, then Portfolio to get an idea of project types.

The Adult Conversation
Starting a commercial writing career is no get-rich-quick proposition. Your mother was right: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is no slam-dunk. It’s hard work building a writing business, but know that, 1) there IS a need for good writing in the business world; 2) hiring freelancers over full-time staff makes sound economic sense for companies, and for many reasons, and finally; 3) if you’re a good writer (not even brilliant, just good), you can find your place in this field.

Sure, many of us dream of making our writing mark in a more literary way. Until then, why not get paid well to write and carve out more time to pursue your writing passions? The commercial writing market is big, growing and pays handsomely. As you read this, thousands of writers are landing countless, high-paying writing jobs. Why not you?

Peter Bowerman, a veteran commercial freelancer and business coach in Atlanta, Georgia, is the author of 2010 title, The Well-Fed Writer: Financial Self-Sufficiency as a Commercial Freelancer in Six Months or Less, an updated edition of his original 2000 award-winning Book-of-the-Month Club selection. For more details, and to subscribe to his popular monthly ezine and blog, visit He chronicled his self-publishing success (60,000 copies of his books in print and a full-time living for eight-plus years) in his award-winning 2007 release, The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living.

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Guest Post: The $100,000 “Well-Fed” Writing Career, Part 2 + writing