Don Marti

Wed 16 Oct 2013 07:38:02 AM PDT

Five-cent guide to how to be a top one percent freelance writer without having to learn to write very well

  1. Always turn in your stuff on deadline, at the right length, in the correct format. Read the contributor's guide and do the basics of what it says. Don't spell anyone's name wrong. Welcome to the top 20%.

  2. Learn your subject to the point where you know more than 3 out of 4 members of the audience. This might be hard or not depending on the subject and how many stories you can sell on related subjects. Get the facts right and answer the questions that an informed reader would ask. Welcome to the top 5%.

  3. Don't just write down a bunch of stuff, tell a story. This takes practice, but there are basic plots that people don't get tired of hearing so you can borrow one of those.

Now you've done it. Congratulations. You're still not getting paid, because some adtech weasels are going to track the people who read your stuff and sell them ads on cat GIFs, so the advertisers can pay some bottom-feeder site instead of the original content site that you write for. But congratulations.