Now enrolling: 30 Days to Freelancing Success
This implementation bootcamp will get you doing the work and bringing in clients in 30 days flat.
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
Happy New Year, writer friends!
In what is becoming an annual tradition, I updated my website’s About page with a 2022 report. It started out as a pretty rough year, career-wise, but I’m exceptionally proud of myself for having not only turned it around, but in an economy and market where everyone’s intent on telling you that it’s incredibly difficult, if not entirely impossible.
As you know, I love proving the doubters wrong. I love doing the so-called “impossible.” And when I do it, I absolutely double down and teach it so that others can do it, too.
And that’s exactly what I’ve been working on over the holidays.
The 30 Days to Freelancing Success course is my first course launch in over a year. I promised myself that I wouldn’t launch something new—a book, a course, or a program—unless I was so excited I couldn’t stop talking about it. It took a year, but over the holidays, the bug hit me again! I updated the course content over a weekend. I wrote the sales page in two hours. I even spent New Year’s Day coming up with ideas for bonus trainings and resources.
So many freelancers find themselves worrying about their careers and their incomes at the beginning of this year.
And I’m here to tell you—and show you—that it’s not only possible to survive this downturn, but thrive in it.
However, you’ll need tools. You’ll need resources. You’ll need someone to show you how it’s done.
Most importantly, you’ll need belief.
When the world tells I’m lucky to just be surviving, I insist on proving it wrong by thriving instead.
I’m hoping that 30 Days to Freelancing Success can help you achieve your freelancing dreams, regardless of what is going on in the world.
Oh, and for 2023, I’m adding a new module: The Freelancer’s Guide to Thriving During a Recession.
Hit reply if you have any questions.
Enjoy the issue!
Natasha Khullar Relph
Editor, The Wordling
P.S. For the next 24 hours only, you can get 40% off the price of the course if you pay in full (in addition to the $100 that is already off).
I love working with people who take fast action, I wholeheartedly support and encourage people who back themselves, and I’m incredibly excited to help writers who do the work in order to get to their desired result.
Which is why, each time I launch a new course or program, I offer a fast-action-taker bonus.
If that’s you, sign up by midnight tomorrow and get 40% off the price of the course. Use this link.
See you on the inside!
THE WORDLING RESOURCE
How to Pitch: Pitching guidelines for 200+ publications
We know that finding markets to pitch your story ideas, understanding what they’re looking for, and making sure they pay an amount you’re comfortable with can be the most time-consuming and frustrating part of the job. So we’ve tried to make it easier for you.
Here’s a list of publications, organized by subject and with a note of their pay rates, each with a link to their guidelines.
IN THE NEWS:
What will publishing be in 2023?
New year, new round-up of trends from experts across various industries. And while it’s interesting—and important—to know what’s happening in the writing and publishing worlds, I’m more interested in how these trends will affect writers and what we need to be doing to stay current.
Here are my top 3 and why I think they’re worth paying attention to.
1. BOOKTOK WILL GROW UP
“But even with a plethora of users pushing and promoting diverse reads and diverse authors, white romance novels still dominate BookTok,” writes CT Jones for Rolling Stone. “Almost all of the major authors who can directly link sales to BookTok support—like Hoover, Hazlewood, and Mass—are white women, who usually write about other white women.
Key takeaway: BookTok does, for now, have selling power. And, like the rest of the industry, white women are the primary benefactors. That will not always be the case. Research has repeatedly shown that while the publishing industry is alarmingly lacking in diversity, readers are often willing to pay more for work by authors of color. As a diverse author, it’s worth staying on TikTok even if you have little traction right now because when the tide turns, you’ll be there to take advantage of it.
2. COMMUNITIES, NOT AUDIENCES
“The creators’ influence won’t go away. It will become even more significant as their communities consume content and evolve into what YouTube calls “professional fans.” Having followers as allies who consume and create content will ensure cultural relevance and create significant opportunities for creators to develop intellectual property.” – Mauricio Cabrera, writing for NiemanLab.
Key takeaway: Agents and publishers may very well care about social media audiences, but readers don’t. They rarely ever have. Readers care about communities. It’s why BookTok is so popular. As an author, you’re far more likely to build a loyal readership through two-way communication, not a one-way broadcast.
3. THE INTERNET IS UP FOR GRABS AGAIN
“The current landscape makes clear what has always been true: On the internet, nothing lasts forever,” writes Ben Werdmuller, the CTO of The 19th. “The most resilient choice is always the one that allows you to own your relationships with your audience and directly build community with the people who care about your work. That way, when a platform inevitably disappears, your relationship with your community remains intact.”
Key takeaway: If you’re bored of hearing me say this, I apologize, but one last time for people in the back: Use platforms as a tool, not the end place to meet your audience and community. They’re inefficient. They’re reliant on endless content. They don’t convert well. And they can disappear or change without warning. (I lied. It’s definitely not the last time I’ll be saying this.)
- In December, Reese Witherspoon replaced Oprah as the queen of literary discussions with her 2.5 million member book club.
- This author used AI to publish a children’s book over a weekend, pissing off everyone in the process.
- Staff at the Guardian have been asked to work from home until January 23 after a suspected ransomware attack on the publisher’s global IT systems on December 20.
NEW ON THE WORDLING
Freelance Writing: A Three-Year Plan for Growth
If you’re looking to grow quickly in your freelancing writing career, here’s a step-by-step three-year plan for success.
5 Things You Must Unlearn to Succeed as a Freelancer
To succeed as a freelancer, you’ll need to let go of some common myths that masquerade as good advice.
THE WORDLING READ
Shut Up and Write: The No-Nonsense, No B.S Guide to Getting Words on the Page doesn’t deal with writer’s block. It addresses the thousand things going on in your head that prevent you from Actually. Being. Productive.
With her characteristic humor, practicality, and hard-earned wisdom, Natasha Khullar Relph demonstrates an understanding of the creative mind. She shows you how to write anything—and finish it.
“I love this book- couldn’t put it down after downloading last night. I follow Ms. Relph’s blog and find her writing style unique—she’s confident, conversational, and funny!” – VS, Amazon reviewer
Hi Tash, thanks for the newsletter. I read it religiously and love it so very much. Quick question, if you have a moment to answer: I want to quit my job and become a full-time freelancer this year. Do you have any advice? – Maya
This is so exciting, Maya! Congratulations on making the decision. I suggest three broad areas to focus on as you’re making the shift:
1. Mindset: Believe that you can do this. It’s half the battle won.
2. Market: Every day. Every single day until you have filled up as many hours as you can. Your first goal is to fill up your available time with client work. Your second goal is to turn that all into high-paying work. Once all your part-time hours are being filled with high-paying work, you’ll feel more confident making the jump.
3. Tools: Shorten your learning curve. If there’s a course, coach or mentor that speaks to you, do what it takes to get in their vicinity. Join groups. The faster you learn and the faster you implement those lessons, the more you will grow.
Oh, and track your income. Because getting a regular snapshot of how you’re doing will help you grow it faster.
Have a question for me? Email me at email@example.com and I’ll answer it in an upcoming issue.
INDIA: “India is a hugely exciting market most western publishers seem not to enthuse over. Their loss. With 1.4 billion people, 833 million of whom are online, the low unit prices are easily made up for by potential volume.”
GHANA: “The Ghana National Association of Authors and Publishers (GNAAP) has also reviewed the discount and credit basis they were giving the books to schools and bookshops. GNAAP President John Akwasi Amponsah, said the high inflation rate, fuel prices, exchange rate, and high import duties are the factors considered in increasing the prices of books.”
ARGENTINA: “Argentinians are expected to navigate a wide menu of currency exchange rates—namely the official rate and its taxes, the parallel market, and a plethora of others depending on the industry sector. For journalists, explaining this confounding economy isn’t easy, either. Some reporters, however, have turned to social media to produce quick, engaging explainers about what is happening. They’re using a variety of formats to do so—Instagram stories, short videos on TikTok, and YouTube channels, to name just a few.”
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
I go to the past for research. I need to know what came before so I can break the rules.
– Vera Wang
SHARE THE WORDLING
Share The Wordling with a writer friend who needs to learn more about the business in order to get started on the right foot this year.
Support The Wordling with a tip.