A beachcomber, Internet reminds me of islands of Hawaii, where there are constant volcanic eruptions, paving way for a landmass that increases in size every day. In same way, ever-expanding Information Highway's explosive growth keeps giving birth to new careers such as those of Internet writers or Internet content providers.
AOL Chairman CEO Steve Case argues that battle for content is Net's biggest pre-occupation since websites need to update their content pretty much daily. That is why mergers and acquisitions will continue to roll on, and we, content providers are just as well-placed to harvest from this constant growth much like railroad workers during cowboy days.
It's never easy, though, and I am talking from experience. If you think that opportunities will simply knock on your door, you're living in a world called Virtual Reality. For even as Information Highway expands under your feet like hot lava, being an Internet Writer is very much like walking on a circus tightrope.
Writer's Digest claims that John Grisham used to send out 26 query letters daily in between attending court hearings before he became a famous writer. That is also how I began to lay claim to post of an Internet content provider. I am not famous yet, but like Grisham, I have a plan how to get there.
Indeed, road is fraught with rejections; but it is also a numbers game. In other words, more pitches you make, more chances of winning. Early on I decided to up ante for myself, that is, 30 pitches a day, or more if I have time! And I am still doing that everyday.
For fact is, not everyone will appreciate your wares. I remember submitting a story to one famous web site, only to be told that I should take English lessons! And that, in spite of fact that I checked my grammar, punctuation and spelling before submitting piece; putting my best foot forward so-to-speak. But like a door-to-door salesman, you'll make it soon if you try hard enough and if I may add, you're really good!
I will leave part about being a really good writer to you. I will concentrate instead on strategies and work habits that I espoused to succeed. Right now I am fully dependent on my freelance writing business with no net under my feet! How did I do that? It didn't happen overnight. The first time I did my first pitch was about a year ago, here at Inkspot. The editor did not approve of my story but she did so graciously. You don't find an editor like that everyday.
As I said, I just kept trying, sending out that endless stream of query letters. One day, I got a yes response and I couldn't believe it. I have been writing for more than a decade, but that was my first ever-successful foray into Internet writing. I got paid only $20 for a 500-word piece, but I was happy with that already. The editor was surprised that I charged him so little, he even wrote me a note with check saying "are you sure you're charging only $20 for this?" I guess he had no idea at what stage I was in my Internet writing career! Nonetheless, strategy paid off. I figured that once you had at least one published story on Net, it wasn't going to be too hard to land next project and so on. By way, I got that first project from a classified ad at Inkspot!
So my advice is just keep firing off those query letters, and capitalize on your works published on Net, making sure you always include those URLs in your pitches. It also helps to have your own web site, which contains your resume, contact information, and samples of work. That way, there is one convenient place where editors sizing you up can go. Mine was just a simple one, which I crafted from a free HTML software and free webspace but it serves its purpose.
Now here's how $20 grew into $50 and $100 and then $200 per story. I just kept pitching as usual, like a good salesman and my rate kept going up. Of course, I was still charging same for, say, a 500-word simple piece; but for more complicated ones like Future of Telecommunications I ought to charge more and editors of those sites did not complain since I had to do more research.
It helped that I was working as a Customer Service Specialist at Sprint Canada, one of big telephone companies in Canada, so I knew a lot about telecommunications. How does this situation apply to you? Well, capitalize on a topic where you know a great deal about, and impress editor with your knowledge!