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:
Guest poster Tracy Hume shares how she sold an article to a glossy national magazine. She takes you through the entire process, from coming up with the idea to turning in the finished piece. If you think it’s impossible to break into the big time, this post is for you!
As a bonus, she includes the entire query letter template that sold her article in How I Got My First National Magazine Gig: Step by Step. Read it to see why it worked — and how you can adjust your query letter strategy to sell more articles.
Can’t seem to write a query letter that gets you good-paying writing gigs? There are a few common reasons why pitches don’t sell, whether your topic is too broad for a magazine article, your pitch doesn’t show that you’re a pro, or you’re not showing that you’ve done enough research, Carol goes through the common reasons editors reject queries from writers.
Use the advice in Here’s Why Your Article Idea Isn’t Getting You $1 a Word to start selling your ideas for $1 a word or more.
Once you get good at selling ideas from query letters, you can expand to multi-pitch queries that sell more than one idea. That strategy can net more money per pitch, like the one Carol talks about in How One Query Letter Got $6,000 in Assignments.
This post also contains the sample query letter Carol wrote that sold three articles for $2,000 each (which is probably why this is one of the most popular posts ever to publish here at Make a Living Writing). See if Carol’s strategy for multi-pitching can help you earn more from each article pitch.
This is one of the first posts Carol ever wrote on this blog about query letters, and it’s still one of the most useful.
If you’ve been wondering if you’re making obvious, bonehead mistakes that are killing your chances of impressing an editor, take a look at this quick list of Query Don’ts.
We’ve all got those dream publications we want to write for, ones we read as a teen, ones we’ve followed as readers passionate about the topic, or the ones that will finally make our families see us as real writers.
No matter what your dream magazines are, you can use the tips from guest poster Penny Hawes in How I Got Magazine Writing Gigs From All 3 of My Dream Markets to break into them.
Great article queries get results
The resources here can help you refine your query letters so that you sell more articles and get good pay rates for all of them. Use the included samples to help you improve your query letter format, so you can write great queries in less time.
If you’re not getting the responses you want to your pitch letters, it’s smart to learn to write queries that get results. This can really open a lot of doors to great new markets!
What sort of queries get the best responses for you? Share your tips in the comments below.
Jennifer Roland is a freelance writer and the MALW guest-blog editor. She focuses on edtech, lifestyle, marketing, PR, and content creation. The first book in her 10 Takes on Writing series was published in August.