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How One Query Letter Got $6,000 in Assignments

How one query letter got $6,000 in assignments. Makealivingwriting.com

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.

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How One Freelance Writer Found a $3,000 Gig — On Twitter

Landing a $3000 freelance writing gig... on Twitter. Makealivingwriting.com

I thought Twitter was dead. I had pretty much abandoned it for the bright colors and changing landscape of Instagram. I mean, Instagram pretty much has a built-in Snapchat feature and allows for way more than 140 characters. So what else do you need? Certainly not Twitter.

But then I was inspired by a post from a fellow freelancer to give it another shot. I went back and updated my Twitter profile. I made some specific changes to market myself as a freelance health and fitness writer. And I have to admit, I was a little skeptical that simply updating my Twitter profile would have any impact. Then it happened.

Two days after updating my Twitter profile, I received an email from a prospect (who found me on Twitter) about a $3,000 project writing about exercise. Boom! If you’re trying to grow your freelance writing business, making the most of Twitter is a smart strategy that can help give your marketing efforts a boost.

Want to tap into the power of Twitter to find more clients in your niche, book more work, and grow your business? Do it right, and it’s a form of social media marketing that can help you grow your business. Follow this step-by-step process to turn your Twitter account into an inbound marketing machine.

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Is it Content Marketing or Just Blogging? 10 Big Ways They’re Different

Content Marketing VS Blogging: 10 Big Differences. Makealivingwriting.com

Content marketing is such a buzzphrase these days. And I meet a lot of bloggers who say, “Yeah, I’m doing content marketing.”

But often, when I look at their blog, I can tell right away that they’re not.

There’s a reason bloggers get asked to write posts for $20, while content marketing agencies pull down contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars. It’s because there’s a lot more that goes into effective content marketing than simply writing a blog post.

Wondering what makes the difference? Here are 10 things content marketers do that most bloggers don’t bother with:

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Need Story Ideas? 20 Free Online Tools to Fire Up Your Brain

Find Story Ideas With These 20 Online Tools. Makealivingwriting.com

If you want to write for magazines, story ideas are your bread and butter.

The days when big editorial staffs thought up most of the ideas and simply assigned them out to freelance writers are over. Instead, these days overworked editors are looking to their writers to tell them what’s fresh and interesting out there.

You want to be the writer with a million story ideas, to earn well.

Despite this, I often hear from writers that they’re stymied because they have no ideas.

Let’s fix this! Once you know how to troll for ideas, it becomes a fun hobby. Get out your favorite tracking software, whether it’s an app like Pocket, an Excel spreadsheet, or (like me) just a plain ol’ Word doc, and start developing your idea-finding skills.

These days, you don’t even have to leave the house to come up with a lot of great ideas, because so many online tools can help stimulate your brain.

Ready to fire up your computer and find some great ideas? Here’s my list of creative idea-finding tools (in alphabetical order):

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How to Boost Your Freelance Writing Career With Live Tweeting

How to Boost Your Freelance Writing Career With Live Tweeting. Makealivingwriting.com

Ever heard of live-tweeting on Twitter?

It’s a way to provide real time coverage and commentary during a live event (conference, TV show, game, etc.) in 140 characters or less using the social media platform Twitter.

And it’s not just for politicians, celebrities, or play-by-play game coverage. You can use this social media platform to boost your freelance business the next time you attend a writer’s conference or other event.

Live-tweeting on Twitter can help position you as an authority and break the ice at a live event, even if you’re an introvert. Once other attendees see your photo in the conference feed, many times they’ll introduce themselves between sessions and thank you for sharing their tweets.

Plus, you can gain followers from people who check the feed from home. These are people who couldn’t attend the conference or event but want to know what’s happening. Many times these people will become some of your most appreciative followers.

Live-tweeting is also a useful skill that you could offer clients, and one of several strategies you can use to monetize conferences. Posting social media updates from a live event for a client is one of those strategies. Even if you aren’t getting paid by a client, I’d encourage you to live-tweet events from your own Twitter feed to build your personal brand.

Want to learn how to use live-tweeting to connect with more people, generate leads, and give your freelance career a boost? Follow these six steps for live-tweeting at a conference or event:

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How Freelancers Get Hired Online: The Essential To-Do List

How freelancers get hired online. Makealivingwriting.comIt’s summer.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get terrific new freelance clients without having to do anything?

Well, you can — if you know how freelancers get hired online.

For starters, you need to be easy to find and contact and you need to make a good impression. Unfortunately, most writers aren’t so easy to peg and connect with on the ‘net.

If you’re a freelancer who’s never gotten an inbound lead — a prospect who calls without your contacting them first, or applying to their job ad — this post is for you.

Even if you have a modest portfolio, a strong online presence can make a big difference, both in the number and quality of prospects you attract.

Let’s go through the to-do list of important items I ask writers to check off:

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