Make Easy $$$ Selling Interviews
by Deborah Owen
Creative writers can make quick money writing interviews. Local newspapers love them. You’ll make about $15 or $20 on each one, plus $5 for a picture. Resell the same article ten times and turn that $20 or $25 into $250.
The first question an interviewee will ask you is, “Who are you going to sell this to?” The last question will be, “Will I get to see the article before it’s published?”
The answer to the first is, “I’m a freelancer, and I sell to different markets. When I sell it, I’ll send you a copy.” (And be sure you do!) The answer to the last question is, “I’m sorry. Editors disapprove of that practice, but rest assured, I won’t misquote or misrepresent you. I’ll send you a copy.”
News is all around you. Open your eyes and look at the ordinary.
Maybe you would want to interview a supervisor in a Coca-Cola factory. How much does the machinery cost? How many bottles are broken daily? What does it cost to produce one bottle of Coke? How many bottles do they sell per month?
To find the right person to interview, make a few phone calls. Ask the operator or receptionist who can answer your questions, and then call them. If you speak to his/her secretary, ask what the person’s favorite hobby is and make an appointment for an interview. When you finally gain access, after greeting formalities, you might open with, “I hear you’re an avid golfer,” and you’re off to a good start.
Take a note pad, pen and small tape recorder. Ask if it’s okay to use a tape recorder. Most people will be hesitant. A statement such as, “I just want to get the facts straight. Is it okay if I set this over here?” (point to an unobtrusive place) can relax them. Avoid interrupting the flow of the interview and take notes only when you must. Once you have your information, be sure to thank your host and arrange for follow-up questions by telephone or email.
When you’re ready to write it out, choose a working title. You can always change it later, and a working title will help you wrap your mind around the subject.
What will the scope and tone of your article be? Will it be an in-depth study, or will it cover the highlights? Is your objective to instruct or entertain your readers? Will you use an argumentative approach, or will you write it as a motivational piece? Once you know these answers, the research and writing will go faster.
To feel comfortable about writing your article, collect more data than you will use. Having sufficient material will give you confidence and you’ll write with authority.
Ninety percent of all writers break into the market through local newspapers. If your article pertains to something national (such as a green article), you can resell it all over the country. For a list of local newspapers in various cities, visit the nearest librarian. Happy writing! Find more great tips in our newsletter, The Writer’s Choice, at http://www.CreativeWritingInstitute.com.