It’s been nearly 6 years since this post was originally published — and it’s been one of my most popular ever. The need to write strong query letters has only grown in the years since, so I thought it would be a good time to put it out there again. Enjoy!–Carol
I often have freelance writers tell me they don’t think writing a query letter is worth the effort. They get a lot of rejections, and feel it’s basically a crapshoot…and so much easier to sign on to a content-mill dashboard for a guaranteed few bucks’ worth of work.
It’s true that querying isn’t a sure thing. But if you take the time to learn this skill, it can really help you move up and earn big.
I regularly get lucrative assignments off of query letters and guest post pitches, and I continue to believe querying is a vital skill for successful freelancers.
With so many writers turned off of queries, taking the time to learn how to write a compelling query letter is well worth the effort, as it makes you stand out in today’s marketplace. Querying can open doors when you don’t know anyone at a publication or company, and make a connection that could turn into an ongoing relationship.
For instance: I recently sent one query letter that got me $6,000 of assignments. And I’m reproducing it in full below.
Recently, one of my freelance writing clients told me they’d be cutting my workload — which meant less income for me.
I decided to get proactive and do a week of cold pitching to seek new freelance writing jobs. Before this, I’d gotten all my clients from job boards or referrals.
I know what you might be feeling right now — cold outreach? Yikes!
But, if you shift your mindset and just start doing it, it’s not nearly as scary as it seems. And the results might just surprise you.
Here’s how I got started, got great results in just 7 days — and how you can, too.
What freelance writer doesn’t dream of snagging a magazine writing assignment for newsstand favorites such as Men’s Health, SELF, or GQ?
Heavyweight magazines may be hard to crack, but with smart, persistent strategy, it’s possible — even if you’ve never had a national magazine writing assignment before.
Here are the tips that helped me land a magazine writing assignment for Runner’s World.
Love them or hate them, queries are one of the most important marketing tools for any freelancer who wants to write for magazines. And the skills you learn from writing a good query letter also help business writers and copywriters pitch their potential clients.
If you’ve been sending queries off into space and never getting a reply, you may think it’s impossible to break into new magazines. But it’s not true! Editors are always looking for new talent.
To help you learn to write a query letter that will get you the gig, we’ve pulled together a collection of five of our best posts on pitching:
It’s only been a couple of years since I decided to start freelance writing to supplement my full-time income. I have a degree in writing, so I figured I’d put that degree to work.
I quickly learned that my degree meant nothing in the freelance world.
After half a year with no prospects, I decided to seek out successful freelancers and learn from them.
Here are the five most useful tips I learned:
Ever had a pitch rejected? It happens to all freelance writers — we get used to it. But what about being rejected by the same editor twice? Three times? Four? How about eight times? That’s how many times it took…