As freelance writers we all know that the more mileage we can get out of an article or story, the better off we will be. It takes time to write an article or story and you want to be able to get the most for the time you’ve spent. Obviously, getting paid potentially hundreds of dollars for an article sounds like a better plan than only being paid one hundred dollars or even less. This is where working smarter and not harder really pays off. Fortunately for you, getting the most mileage out of an article or story is not all that difficult. You might just need to change your thinking a little.
Fortunately for you, getting the most mileage out of an article or story is not all that difficult. You might just need to change your thinking a little.
Reprints/One time rights
Reselling your work is the most obvious way to get mileage out of your work. However, this can be somewhat limiting. You can only sell the same exact piece to so many places so many times. You will more than likely get less money for reprints, but it’s money that you wouldn’t get at all without reselling your article. You just got paid twice for one writing session!
Two birds, one stone
When doing research for a non-fiction article, use the knowledge you have learned to write a fiction article. The research is already done, now all you need is your imagination. Two pieces, same topic, completely different markets, two sales (at least).
Change your audience
Maybe you wrote an article on healthy food for adults. Take that same information, tweak and maybe shorten the article and you now have an article suitable for the children’s market. You can do this with fictional stories as well. Change a few things around, maybe change the point of view to an older (or younger) character and you have a submission for a different age market.
Watch for changes in editors
You’ve poured blood, sweat, and possibly a few tears into an article and you know it’s good. The only problem is it was rejected by the editor of the publication you specifically wrote it for. Certainly send it out to other publications, but keep your original one in mind. If there is a change in editor somewhere down the road, don’t be afraid to resend that same article or story again. I’ve done this before and I recently did it again this and it resulted in more sales. You may even find that the new editor really likes your work and asks you for additional pieces.
Sell international rights
Did you know that you can sell first rights more than once? You can, if you sell your article to publications in different countries. For example, I can sell first rights to an article by selling to a company based in North America (including the US and Canada). Then I can turn around and sell first rights to a publication based in Europe.
Tap into syndicates
Syndicates may not be something that many writers think of right away, if at all, when it comes to getting the most out of their articles. Syndicates either pay you a flat fee for your articles that they can resell as reprints to a wide variety of media, or split the profits with you for each article. When it comes to syndicates, you do need to be careful to use a reputable one. Check the Writer’s Market for syndicate information.
Write evergreen articles
Get more out of your writing by contributing evergreen pieces. Evergreen pieces are ones that are not seasonal and that the information will not go “out of style.” Parenting, pet ownership, how to, and relationship articles are all types of evergreen articles. You still want to provide the reader with new content, but evergreen articles will be saleable for possibly years to come.
Look through your collection of articles and see how many of them you can apply some
of these tips to. If you do, you will make more money and grow your bank account.
About the author:
Ruth O’Neil has been afreelance writer for more than 20 years, publishing hundreds of articles in dozens of publications. Her first novel Come Eat at My Table came out earlier this year. Her second is on its way. When she’s not writing, Ruth spends her time quilting, reading, scrapbooking, camping and hiking with her family. Visit her blog at http://www.ruths-real-life.blogspot.com or website at http://ruthoneil.weebly.com.