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The internet has made it easier to build a successful freelance career as a independent professional.
To find markets on internet visit yahoogroups, topica etc and join writing job newsletters and job boards.
Some newsletters/groups I have found very informative are -
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freelancewriters http://groups.yahoo.com/group/workforwriters http://groups.yahoo.com/group/webwritingbuzz http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WritersMailBox http://groups.yahoo.com/group/writesuccess http://www.inscriptionsmagazine.com (fee $5.00 per year - well worth money to receive) http://www.sellwritingonline.com - (mailto:email@example.com)
There are many sites that bring people together... some offer a free service, others you will need to register with and/or supply your resume before you can get started.
http://www.writerfind.com (international) http://www.freelanceworkexchange.com http://www.freelancewriting.com http://freelancing4money.com http://www.worldwidefreelance.com (international) http://freelancewrite.about.com http://www.burryman.com (click on freelance job and non-fiction writing link) http://www.burbages.com http://www.flipdog.com http://www.guru.com http://www.writersweekly.com http://writerslounge.com http://www.smarterwork.com http://www.writerswrite.com http://www.bullhorn.com http://www.writestart.com http://www.jobsonline.com http://www.elance.com http://www.travelwriters.com (for travel writers)
The government is largest source of freelance contract work in most countries. One USA based web site set up to bring you latest news in market today, whatever your area of expertise, can be found at:
http://www.bidmain.com For other countries try your local government web site for information.
Another option is to do some detective work to source work. Look for new web sites to send a congratulatory email.
Explain your services and how your work can improve chances of survival on net while politely enquiring if they have any current or future needs for services you can offer and how they may contact you.
Newly launched web sites can by found via press release sites-
http://www.internetnewsbureau.com http://www1.internetwire.com/iwire/home http://www.pressreleasenetwork.com http://prweb.com
Sign up to receive daily releases if you are serious about earning money as a freelancer.
Invest in Writers Market and digest books (both local and international). These list thousands of markets, niches and industries that require needs of freelance writers.
Put together a portfolio with a selection of your best articles.
If you enjoy for example, travel writing, include a selection of your best photos if sending queries to offline editors as many will ask if you will be supplying photos along with your story. If you can send photos to accompany your article your chances of having your article accepted increases as it saves them trouble of sourcing photos to compliment article.
At bottom of article include your resource box. For example: Joe Bloggs is a freelance writer and webmaster at your domain.com and whatever ties your web site into article...
Producing free content articles are a great way to build up your business and reputation. They can also be used as publishing credits if they have been placed on another's web site -mention where samples of your published work can be viewed.
Writing freelance articles increases exposure for your business to another market segment of interested individuals. If you had not considered freelancing as a possibility... give it a try.
Jill Black is a professional freelance writer and photographer and member of the New Zealand freelance writers association (NZFWA). For writing and epublishingresources and ideas visit http://www.netwrite-publish.com.