Go on a Scavenger Hunt!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
As writers, we're all looking for extra sources of income. It's why some writers take up blogging, public speaking, teaching classes or phone consulting. But I have a feeling many writers, like myself, have an extra source of income right under their noses. This is why I suggest you do something I try to do every few months when I need to start prospecting. I go on a scavenger hunt!

Here's a look at where you can go on your own scavenger hunt, and what you just might find:

Your bookshelf – It always surprises me when I walk by my bookcase and notice a book I completely forgot about. But that pile of books has been a great help to me on days I’m trying to develop some fresh new content for my writing blog. Recently I wrote and posted a review of one of my favorite summer beach reads just for the heck of it, and found some great ideas for new blog posts and trade articles from several of the writing “how-to” books that I own.

Back issues of magazines - What writer doesn't have back issues of magazines lying around? I hope I’m not the only magazine hoarder! I like to look at old issues of national parenting magazines and come up with localized, shorter article ideas on evergreen topics for regional parenting magazines. You can also take a topic covered in a women's magazine and figure out how to work it into a completely different article, such as a lifestyle piece for a local newspaper. And every time I pick up a back issue of one of my favorite trade magazines for writers, I find new market listings or contests I was too busy to scan the first time around.

Your computer - Chances are, there are some drafts of personal essays or blog post ideas you never fleshed out filed away on your hard drive somewhere. You can also scan old articles on your computer and see if any of them are available for reprint. Spend one day a week researching reprint markets for your archived articles and you can easily add a few hundred dollars to your monthly income.

So what are you waiting for? I challenge you to go on your own scavenger hunt today and unearth some of these hidden treasures! I'd love to hear about what you find.

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who blogs at Renee’s Pages.


MonetteChilson said...

Thank you for the reminder that inspiration can often be found right under our noses. And, no, you are definitely not the only magazine hoarder!

Off to scavenge...


Renee Roberson said...

Thanks, Monette! I have to be honest here and admit that poking around on my computer's hard drive is how I found the idea for this post!

Marcia Peterson said...

I love all of those ideas Renee. When I wrote a monthly column on writing & parenting, I used those very sources of ideas for myself. Thanks for the reminder!

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