Blog Post Ideas? Send Your Best Pitch About Freelance Writing
Evan Jensen | 205 Comments
Open Pitch: Send Us Blog Post Ideas

“What blog post ideas are on the calendar for the next few months?”

When Carol Tice asked me that on a recent Zoom call, I knew the well of blog post ideas for Make a Living Writing was running low.

“Let’s work on getting 6 to 8 weeks ahead.”

Makes sense, right? Working ahead is always a good idea.

So you’d think I’d just dip into my inbox flooded with blog post ideas, sift out the bad ones, reach out to the freelancers with fresh ideas, and make some assignments.

That’s a great idea. There’s just one problem…

About 99.9 percent of the blog post ideas and pitches writers submit are terrible. As in:

Are. You. Freaking. Kidding. Me?

Seriously. It’s bad (I’ll show you in just a sec). And it’s time to do something about it.

Want to write a guest post for Make a Living Writing? Here’s what you need to know:

First…Please stop sending insanely bad pitches

Put yourself in my shoes. You’re the editor of a popular blog about the business and craft of freelance writing.

And you need to make some assignments to keep the 1,200-blog-posts-and-counting machine going that publishes useful advice for freelance writers every Tuesday and Friday.

So let’s take a look at my inbox. Here’s a couple of pitches I’ve received in the last few days for Make a Living Writing:

  • I am also a blogger and I love to write about gardening related topics.
  • Here is an idea I think would resonate with your readers: The 8 Manliest Alcoholic Drinks of All Time
  • I want to publish my unique and informative article on your site related to: Technology/Business/Web Design/WordPress/social media/graphic design
  • Tell me, are you interested in a guest article for a blog on how to live a whole year in Russia without a refrigerator?

Would you accept any of these blog post ideas?

No. No, you wouldn’t.

Not if you can read, have a pulse, or know the difference between a Lamborghini and a Ford Pinto.

Chances are pretty good even a grade-school-age kid who’s been stuck at home for months between fake school and an everything-is-closed kind of summer vacation, can tell these pitches don’t have anything to do with freelance writing.

I have to give these freelance writers props for taking the initiative to pitch an idea. I mean, it’s one of the best ways to land freelance writing assignments:

  • Put yourself out there
  • Come up with some good blog post ideas, and
  • Reach out to an editor

But it’s all for nothing if your blog post ideas don’t have anything to do with the target audience or the site you’re pitching. Please, stop sending bad pitches to editors.

Make generating good ideas one of your superpowers

With that little rant out of the way, what are we looking for? Your best blog post ideas about freelance writing. For example:

  • How to get started when you don’t have any writing samples
  • Creative marketing strategies to find freelance clients
  • Using social media to connect with freelance writing prospects
  • Tips for writing blog post headlines that attract readers
  • Rules about SEO every freelance writer should know
  • Apps, tips and tools to boost productivity
  • How to set your rates or raise your rates
  • How to break into a new niche as a freelance writer
  • Tips to turn your LinkedIn profile into a lead-generating machine
  • Advice for laid-off journalists trying to go full-time freelance
  • Hacks, strategies, and ideas to find high-paying clients
  • How to write for non-profits and make money
  • How to get retainer clients or long-term clients with lots of work
  • Your success story from zero to where you are now as a freelance writer
  • Thoughts, ideas, and expert advice about content marketing for freelancers

Spark any blog post ideas? Good. Here’s what to do next:

Pitch your best blog post ideas about freelance writing

It’s open pitch time for Make a Living Writing. If you’re foaming at the mouth with a great blog post idea right now, let’s hear it in the Comments section below. If you need a little more time or help to brainstorm some ideas, do the following:

Study the guidelinesIt’s all there. Lot of freelance topics, details, and instructions to help you pitch an idea that gets accepted. (Note: Far too many writers don’t read the guidelines. No, we don’t want a pitch about living refrigerator-free in Russia, or anything else unrelated to freelance writing.)

Read the blog. FYI, there’s more than 1,200 posts on all kinds of freelance writing topics. Get familiar with the content, style, and audience, before you pitch a guest post idea.

Develop an original idea about the business and craft of freelance writing. We don’t accept any generic, researched-off-the-Internet writing topics we’ve all seen 1,000 times before.

Share your experience. Your hands-on approach to freelancing, successes,  failures, and strategies make a difference. Share your experience or provide a play-by-play account of how you get more clients, for example. Learning from other writers’ personal experiences is a powerful way to teach, motivate, and help other freelancers move up and earn more.

Write a pitch with a working headline and a brief outline of the points you’ll cover in the guest post. In case you didn’t see that…write a BRIEF outline with a working headline. No pre-written posts, ramblings, or novel-length submissions. And no…nothing about gardening, alcohol, refrigerators, or spammy link-bait offers, either.

Submit your blog post ideas and pitches in the Comments section below

It’s open pitch through Aug. 31

Let’s see what you’ve got. Submit your blog post ideas for Make a Living Writing in the Comments section. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible, if it looks like a good fit.

Got a blog post idea about freelance writing?  Pitch in the comment section below.

Evan Jensen is the blog editor for Make a Living Writing. When he’s not on a writing deadline or catching up on emails, he’s training to run another 100-mile ultra-marathon.

Recession-Proof-Freelance Writing - MAKEALIVINGWRITING.COm

205 comments on “Blog Post Ideas? Send Your Best Pitch About Freelance Writing

  1. Evan Jensen on

    Comments for Open Pitch are officially closed Aug. 31, 2020. We’ll be reviewing all the submissions and contacting writers we’re interested in working with. For more information about writing for Make a Living Writing, see the guidelines on the site.

  2. Jeffry Thurana on

    Last-minute pitch, I hope I make it.

    9 Mistakes to Avoid If You Want to Build Your Brand as A Freelance Writer on Instagram

    Instagram is a good medium to build a brand and build a follower, but many writers haven’t used it correctly. Here are 9 mistakes to avoid if you want to build your brand as a freelance writer.

    1. Don’t niche enough
    Trying to cater to every market is the first mistake to avoid. Not only you won’t have the clue what content to post, but you will also not have the time and energy to create all kinds of content.

    2. Don’t know who’s your perfect audience are
    Related to the first point, if you don’t know your audience, it’s impossible to create the perfect content for them

    3. Use Instagram posts to do the hard sell
    Wow, a free advertising platform! That might be your thought about Instagram. But in general, people don’t like too persistent salesmen. If they see too many hard sells in your post, they will simply not follow you. You will never grow your followers this way.

    4. Posting photos of your breakfast/lunch/dinner
    Some writers still treat Instagram as a glorified photo album and post random content. But if you want to brand yourself as a freelance writer, the better way is to repurpose your writings and adapt them for Instagram.

    5. Don’t know what type of content your audience like
    Photos, Carousels, or Videos? I’ll just use images because it’s easier. But is that what your perfect audience like? You can actually find out which type of content(s) that you should use.

    6. Copy and paste “the best Instagram Hashtag ever”
    Open Google, search Instagram Hashtag for writers, then copy and paste. Sounds familiar? Actually every hashtag has its own power, and you should choose the ones that match your account strength.

    7. Don’t fully utilize the power of Instagram Bio and the only allowed link property.
    Instagram only allows you to put one link. It’s under your Bio. So your Bio is one of the most important factors to determine whether you’ll be successful on Instagram or not.

    8. Set the account to private
    Because I’m a cool and mysterious freelance writer, right? If you want to know me, you’ll have to beg to allow me to follow you. Setting your account to private is like having a store but lock the door. People won’t bother to knock, they will just go to the next store.

    9. Posting anytime you have time
    The best time to post is when your target audience is active. It’s only logical. How do you know when is the best time to post? Instagram actually tells you when.

    Instagram is just one way to reach your audience. It doesn’t guarantee you’ll land clients from it, but neither does cold pitching or any other marketing platforms that you use. But if your audience is there, there’s no harm to utilizing Instagram. Always go where your audience/target market is, right? And doing it is a lot more fun than doing cold pitching.

    Thank you.

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Jeffry –

      Posts about social media marketing do well for us… but my question here is: Are you a huge success at marketing on Instagram? You’ve gotten lots of great writing clients through it, and can unpack your system for how you do it?

      THAT would be the story we’d be interested in. If these are just general ‘how to use Instagram to build your brand’ tips of the sort we could google up and see 100 posts about already online, it’s a pass. If this is backed by personal experience of success on IG, please email Evan about it and repitch it with that angle — comments here are now closed.

  3. Evan Jensen on

    To all the procrastinators, we’ll be turning off comments for Open Pitch at 11:59 p.m. Aug. 31.

  4. Nick Pavlidis on

    Hi, I’m a full-time ghostwriter and run Ghostwriter School, through which I have helped others start ghostwriting. I started ghostwriting nights and weekends and was able to quit my day job as a lawyer within eight months of getting my first client and stay busy for years using the strategy I’d teach in this article.

    Headline: The Only 4 Activities You Need to Do to Become a Successful Ghostwriter

    Big Point: Too many aspiring ghostwriters struggle because they compete on price and rely too heavily on content factories. Building a relationship-based independent ghostwriting business can make you more money and be more stable than any of that.

    The four activities include specific marketing, personal and professional growth activities, collaboration activities to produce content, and, of course, writing. I’ll share the specific strategies my students and I use to build our ghostwriting businesses.

  5. Mckayla on

    Hello Carol and Evan, I would like to pitch the following guest post to you.

    There’s a lot of learning required when you’re a newbie freelancer. It can be pretty intimidating when you’re just starting out. It’s not that you doubt yourself or your ability to write. You just want to learn all the tricks and tips first.

    So you get started with the perfect program that you’re sure will solve all your problems. Halfway through, you find another apprenticeship training that is sure to do the trick, so you move on to that. On and on it goes, until two years have passed and you’re still stuck in the cycle of learning.

    This post will look at how learning can sometimes be a crutch holding people back from doing and launching their writing business.

    The suggested headlines are:
    a. How Freelance Writers can Escape the Learning Rut
    b. Using Learning as a Crutch
    c. When Learning Becomes the Problem:  How Freelance Writers Can Start Doing
    d. Moving from Learning to Doing
    e. The Dark Side of Learning

    Outline:
    1. You might be addicted if…
    It can be difficult to identify when you’re stuck in the learning phase because you actually feel like you’re working towards your goal. This section will discuss the pointers I noticed when I realized I was stuck.
      a. You can’t remember how many training programs you’re currently enrolled in
    b. You’ve enrolled in yet another one and you’re embarrassed to tell anyone
    2. The Truth is 
    This section will focus on stripping away the excuse of “there’s just so much to learn” and reveal the real obstacle that holding someone in this phase back, that is fear.
    3. Conquering the Addiction
    This section will review the tips and tricks I used to get myself out of learning and into doing.
    a. Go Cold Turkey
    b. Put Yourself on a Budget

    Thank you.

  6. Charlotte Beauvoisin on

    Dear Carol and Evan, thank you for this incredible opportunity. (I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the title of this blog post!) Your ‘Recession-proof Freelancer’ continues to boost my morale, thank you. Here’s my pitch:

    “How chronic hand pain makes me a better writer”

    ⦁ If I type, I quickly suffer from hand, wrist and arm pain that lasts for hours. This saps my mental energy and my motivation levels so I’ve been forced to adapt.
    ⦁ Dictation software has been a lifesaver and I have come to appreciate how voice recordings can give me (an unexpected) competitive edge too.
    ⦁ I can: concentrate on being in the moment; pick up on small details that set my content apart from others’; keep a recording of the background noises that make a place magical; keep my hands free of notebooks and take photos, hike through the jungle holding bamboo poles (!) etc;
    ⦁ My hand condition has isolated me because I need a quiet environment in which to ‘talk to my computer’. The experience of having to work from home for ten years has also taught me a lot about self-motivation, online tools etc, all assets in the ‘new normal’.

    I am a marketing manager and trainer and specialise in promoting tourism and conservation in East Africa (well, I did!). I have lived in Uganda for over a decade and have been blogging since 2008.

    Thanks for considering my proposal. I would sincerely love to write for you 🙂

  7. Tom Bentley on

    Hi Carol and Evan. I’d like to write a piece for you on how to manage a freelance writing career that crosses genre boundaries pretty much every day. I’ve written for magazines, newspapers, B2B and B2C businesses. I’ve written novels, short stories and nonfiction books, and edited those too.

    Headline: How to Slice the Freelancing Pie (and Eat Most of the Pieces)

    The piece would look at obtaining the work, managing to stay credible in so many niches, how not having a narrow niche is a benefit for a writer like me, and how that generalist status can be dicey at times. It could also address:

    1. the variety of the writing discipline(s) and vocations available to writers
    2. writing remotely, finding work (with a peek at coronavirus impact on publishing)
    3. creative satisfaction obtained through writing diversity
    4. working as part of a team and working solo
    5. the vagaries of freelance compensation
    6. generalists vs niche writers
    7. dealing with rejection, editors and clients

    Thanks, Tom

    • Carol Tice on

      Tom, I feel like there’s a good idea in here somewhere — because I get a lot of questions about whether you can write editorial AND copywriting. We both know you can — but how do you do it, what are the ethical considerations, how do you keep that all straight and write in those different voices?

      That headline has no strong SEO keyword phrase, and I think doesn’t really reveal the benefit the post would deliver — want to try again on that? And perhaps on the outline as well. I think ‘the vagaries of freelance compensation’ is a BOOK topic… show us how you’re going to get this done in 600-750 words.

  8. Julie N. on

    Dear Carol and Evan,

    This is my (second) pitch, after considering your comments and suggestions.

    A couple years ago I decided to write a book on a very niche topic that was close to my heart, the situation of birth centers in France, where I live. I knew I wouldn’t sell many of them but as a freelance writer I was nevertheless interested in giving book-writing a try. From the first step of writing a book proposal to the finish line of seeing my book in actual bookstores, this experience has helped me to connect, prospect and attract work in different industries.

    The suggested headline is : Book-writing is the best prospecting strategy.

    I would explain my experience as an aspiring writer and share my play-by-play account of using this project as an ice-breaker and a marketing tool. Below are 5 steps that I would highlight, with a precise example for each.

    > Writing a book proposal

    > Meeting similar niche authors and identifying the ideal publisher

    > Research and interviews

    > Marketing and building a community

    > Being a published author

    Happy to give a more precise roadmap of the blog post if necessary !
    Julie

    • Carol Tice on

      Julie… that is what we call an ‘all in’ headline, in that we don’t need to read the post. The key point you want us to know is all in the headline. That means we pass on the post, because we want our stuff clicked on and read. See what I mean?

      If you wrote a book proposal and sold it to a traditional publisher… I’d love a post on JUST THAT. Possibly every single reader of my blog has that dream, that they could write a proposal and sell it. Maybe propose a headline on how you did that? Millions try, so very few succeed.

  9. Diane Pauley on

    Hi there,

    Diane here. I’m excited to pitch to you guys. Make a Living Writing has been super helpful for me over the years, and I hope what I’m pitching can be helpful to your audience (just like your content has been for me). Thanks!

    Headline: How Creating a Personal Brand Can Help You Land Consistent Clients

    Outline:

    1) Stand out with a unique selling proposition (USP):
    As a writer and marketer, you need to stand out. What do you bring to the table? Highlight your specialties: conversion copywriting, niche industry experience, ghostwriting, lead gen funnels, etc. I can provide examples here from my own branding experience and writers I know who differentiate themselves with their brands.

    2) Show off with more than just a portfolio:
    Most writers have a simple website with their portfolio and work examples but to stand apart from your competition you need more. Having a branded website that highlights your USP, includes a blog, and client testimonials can help you attract people to your brand (rather than you having to hunt down clients).

    3) Have a clear mission statement (so people can easily refer you):
    As writers, we think our work can speak for itself, but these days you need more. Having a clear mission statement helps you stand apart – people know what to come to you for and it’s easy for your contacts to refer business to you. Other writers can even send business your way because they know what you specialize in.

    4) Know who your ideal clients are (who to attract/who to repel):
    Sometimes we need to take whatever writing job we get, but if you know who you like to write for then you can get specific about the types of jobs you want. Being clear about who you want to work with (and who you don’t want to work with) can also give you the confidence to raise your rates and charge more per project.

    5) Reach out for partnerships + collaborations:
    When you have a personal brand, you have something to offer. This means that you can reach out for partnerships and collaborations. For example (this is coming from my own experience), you can do copy reviews on social media to get in front of larger audiences. You can also partner with designers to combine your skillsets and work on client projects together (something that I do).

    To wrap up the post I can also highlight how having a personal brand has helped me to land agency gigs whereas when I was applying with just a portfolio I didn’t stand out.

  10. Barry Desautels on

    Hello Carol and Evan,
    I would like to submit the following pitch for your consideration.
    Word Count: 750 – 1000
    Title:
    5 Ways New Writers Can Benefit By Writing On Medium

    Opening Sentence:
    New writers often face the submit button surrounded by a unique and powerful form of personal fear.

    The following subs will explain what to expect if readers wish to explore Medium as a writing venue. I have several articles published on the platform and have been a member since October 2019.

    Write without deadline pressures

    Medium is a gigantic platform

    Follow the rules. The editors are fussy

    Create your own personal archive of writing samples

    Gain the confidence to build a solid freelance career

    Thank you.

    • Carol Tice on

      Two things, Barry —

      First off, have you already written this? Because stating a wordcount makes me think so. The editor will actually tell you the wordcount they want — don’t recommend dictating that to editors. They know how much space your idea should get in their pub.

      Because I believe writing on Medium for free is a complete waste of writers’ time, I think this is a pass. We have an upcoming market list on all the Medium pubs that pay, so I think we’ll cover the points of pitching the paid pubs on that platform in that post.

      You may feel you’ve ‘created your own personal archive of writing samples’ Barry – but remember that platforms that generally are free often go bust. You could wake up in the morning and find all of that content has disappeared forever. It’s happened before.

      Writing without deadline pressure doesn’t prepare you to do this for a living.

      You’ve been a member for a year now… and written free posts on Medium… and did that exposure get you any clients? If so, I might change my mind, if you’ve discovered posting free on Medium is a great way to get clients. But I’m betting you’re going to tell me what every other Medium writer has — that absolutely nothing has happened. Meanwhile, you’ve given away your core product — writing — to a platform that doesn’t care about or compensate you.

      Yes, Medium is a gigantic platform. So is eZines — remember when writers wasted time on there? This isn’t much different.

      My experience is zero reports that anyone is seeing success with free Medium posts. If you want to self-publish for free on a busy platform, LinkedIn is far better positioned to get you in front of your target audience, in my view.

      Hope that explains my take on it —

      • Barry Desautels on

        Thanks Carol. Very good points. The article has not been written. I got the word count from your site, but understand now it’s not a good idea to put that on a pitch.

        And you’re right. Medium is a place to hide. It got me a few steps further down the road, but its not a money making place and I know I have to move on. Thank you again for taking the time to comment on my submission. All the Best.

  11. Paul Cavanagh on

    Hi Evan and Carol,

    Here’s my pitch:

    How to Nail Your First Gig as a Freelance Copywriter

    I was juiced when I got an email response to a letter of introduction I sent to a VP of Sales and Marketing. She asked me whether I could write some sales copy for her. I said sure.

    I’d never written sales copy in my life.

    Fast forward to the end of the story. The company loved my stuff. I’ve done two more copywriting jobs for them… and counting.

    The reason I was able to pull it off? I managed to pick up the fundamentals of copywriting from some good online resources. But more importantly, I had a deep understanding of the company’s target audience.

    The copywriters who companies value the most are the ones who can get inside the heads of their customers. With that in mind, this article is NOT a review of copywriting fundamentals. Instead, it will focus on how to get to know consumers in a particular market and use that knowledge to produce copy that will get you re-hired.

    I’ll use my own experience as a case example and offer takeaways for the following points:

    Developing an understanding of customers in a particular market
    Getting really clear on the audience for a particular piece of copy
    Stating the problem from the customer’s point of view
    Understanding what your client is offering its customers
    Translating features into benefits

    This article will probably appeal most to an intermediate audience: experienced freelance writers who are looking to broaden their skills. However, I’ll write it in such a way that it’s accessible to newbies as well.

  12. Amanda Garland on

    Hello All,

    I’d like to pitch an article on the personal experience spectrum of trying to carve out a living as a writer. I recently (as in 30 days ago) gave birth to my first (and possibly only) child. I currently work a traditional full-time job as a technical writer and am looking to transition into a more flexible freelance career. I have thus far only dabbled in freelance writing (i.e. Upwork, Medium, etc.) I am currently taking a full 12 weeks of leave from my full-time job to focus on baby and attempting to grow/launch my freelance career at the same time. Below is my pitch.

    Working Title: How I used my maternity leave to launch/grow my freelance career.

    Brief Outline: the expectations I had going in, learning how to balance my priorities, the steps I took to grow my career on a week by week basis, did I succceed: what worked and what didn’t.

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Amanda — and… did you succeed? This would need to have your quantifiable success, rather than ‘here’s what I tried.’

      Please follow our headline/outline pitch format to show us the bullets of what writers would learn. If what they would learn is ‘go on Upwork,’ spoiler, we’re going to take a pass.

      Hint: I’d cast your headline in terms of ‘in 12 weeks flat’ which would be far more relatable to our entire audience vs ‘while on maternity leave.’

      • Amanda Garland on

        That’s the thing. I am currently on week 5 of 12, so I don’t know if I’ve succeeded yet. And no, my advice would not be to go on Upwork, I personally did not have much success on that platform.

        • Carol Tice on

          Sort of proves my point there on Upwork, Amanda. We’ve already had the ‘don’t go on Upwork’ message many times on this blog, so this is likely a pass.

  13. Julie N. on

    Dear Carol and Evan,
    Thanks for this pitching opportunity and your insights on everyone’s ideas !
    Julie

    As a self-employed consultant then writer, I’ve been working from home for almost a decade. I’ve developed a relaxed yet efficient work rhythm but more importantly over the years I became used to a quiet environment and the freedom to work at my own pace and my own hours.
    Then Covid and a sudden confinement happened. Overnight my comfy office became a coworking space shared with a loud-talking husband, a remote learning teenager and a bored toddler. How did I cope, survive and consequently improved my working habits ?

    My suggested headline is : How confinement forced me to rethink my writing habits and productivity

    As for the outline, the post would be organized in 4 parts with the following possible 4 sub-headers :

    > Identify, list and prioritize

    > Sequence writing in phases and work in short bursts

    > Understand what requires focus and what can happen in less than ideal circumstances

    > Rest properly, take breaks, and save energy for the quieter moments (in this one I’d be careful not to include elements redundant with Carol’s “Writing in a pandemic” piece)

    PS : By the time confinement ended, my first published book came out. I had successfully rewrote the conclusion to address the pandemic and edited several chapters during lockdown !

    • Carol Tice on

      Hi Julie — I feel like I’ve written this story, a few months back. And these tips seem like basics we’ve heard.

      But most importantly, want to pass along a tip for future pitching. The main problem is in the headline. Readers don’t care about you, is the issue. Or what you rethink… they want to know what’s in it for them.

      They care about THEIR problems, and whether a post might help solve them. Instead of ‘How I Did X’ you need a construct that promises a benefit to the reader.

      I feel like you may have buried the lede there also — you successfully published a BOOK during this? Traditional publisher? Self-publishing? We do try to do a book writing/self-publishing topic each month… so have a think on your angle, maybe there’s something else for us there.

      Also… confinement ended? Lucky you. Still phase 1 here in Seattle… though we’re making progress, hoping soon we might open up a bit more.

      Hope these tips help!

      • Julie N. on

        Thank you for the advice !

        Yes, I live in France and we got out of confinement mid-June, we are now experimenting some sort of new normal life with mandatory masks in public space.

        My (traditionnally published) book is on the very niche topic of birth centres. I’m going to try and come up with an idea regarding this experience…

        Thanks and stay safe !

  14. Jen Jones on

    Hello,
    It’s tough trying to find new clients – especially ones that you can count on as repeat clients. I used an idea that many stores or service businesses do to attract new clients. I give them a “discount” to try my services. My headline is “How to Attract New Clients by Offering Reduced Rates.”
    It may sound counter – productive, but in these challenging financial times, you need something to grab a new client’s attention. Last year, I studied the websites of several local businesses and came up with ideas to improve their sites, advertising and any pamphlets they may have. Once I had the information together, I set up a time to talk to the potential client and showed them how I could help. If money was a concern, I offered a reduced rate to get them to try my services, with the full disclosure that this was only an introductory rate and what my usual fees would be.
    Once they saw the results of better writing, most became repeat clients. This is an easy way to attract new clients to your freelancing business.

    Thank you,
    Jen

  15. Matt Gallagher on

    Hi Evan and Carol,

    Thanks for this opportunity to share my voice.

    I enjoy the writing life, but I discovered I love it even more when I abandon the traditional writer’s desk. There’s real freedom in packing a computer in a backpack strapped with a portable writer’s desk and heading off to the woods. I’ve discovered some amazing office spaces by rivers, redwood trees, in meadows where the deer wonder where the writer came from.

    Like you recently posted on Facebook, Carol: “Some days you’ve got to write outside. Or try to…”

    Here’s my pitch:
    “Nature’s Office: How to Embrace the Mobile Desk & Write Anywhere”

    I can’t stand to write in the house. It’s too stifling. Pre-COVID, I was the writer tapping away at coffee shops, bars, libraries. But that’s just not healthy during a pandemic.

    So I go write in nature. I can strap everything I need to write on my back, take a hike, and set up a writer’s desk camp in some amazing places with inspiring scenery.

    Here’s how to do it.

    What you need — a lightweight computer, portable desk (I just discovered the Uncaged Ergonomics, it’s amazing for the back. Before that I used a collapsable stool I purchased off Amazon — brutal on the back), a hot spot for portable Internet, sitting pillow (camping pillows work well and are collapsable), an optional bluetooth speaker (if you need music to write, like me) and a backpack to carry it all. Everything goes on your back — a truly portable desk.

    The blog would detail the inspirational benefits of writing in nature and changing your surroundings. These points would be backed by data-driven studies.

    Writing outside via a mobile desk is also a great way to manage writing stress and stay productive in the midst of the pandemic.

    The blog would also detail the benefits of outlining articles and editing on the go — using Google Docs on a phone. Studies show that walking or hiking can help fuel writing creativity.

    Thanks for your time and attention!

    Best,

    Matt Gallagher
    http://www.webcopymagician.com

  16. Antonio on

    Hi Carol/Evan,
    The article idea outlined below will be beneficial both for your readers (writers) and for you (editors).

    “How to save you and editors time when pitching”

    1) Making the most out of guidelines

    Someone (especially editors) would argue reading guidelines should be a no-brainer.
    Well, apparently it’s not.
    Guess what’s the percentage of writers rejected for not complying with guidelines? A stunning 10% according to a short story contest judge (I’ll provide the link in the full article)! That’s a substantial figure when considering the trivial reason behind rejection. It’s also likely to be an underestimation based on editors’ complaints.

    By simply following the editors’ rules, you’ll be ahead of many competitors in the pitching race!

    Guidelines are an invaluable document you’ve got to learn how to use. More on this in my full article…

    2) Pitching a topical topic

    What should you pitch about?

    Get to know your editor. Check out their blogs. Follow them on social media. In other words, stalk them! Just kidding (or maybe not?). Pitching an editor is like going on a date. You’ve got to impress him/her!

    I’ll share tips on how to find original, appealing, relevant ideas in my post…

    3) Crafting an editor’s mind-blowing headline

    First thing, first. You need a strike your reader (editor in this case) with a powerful heading.
    Having written plenty of titles for short stories and scientific articles helped me an awful lot in coming up with punchy, eye-catching headlines.
    I’ve now developed my own technique for producing headlines which hook the reader straight away. I’ll share the details in the full post…

    4) Serving the beef

    Ok, you’ve got your “editorbuster” headline. It’s time to flesh out your pitch.

    How to structure it? How long should it be? How to pique the editor’s curiosity?

    I’ll answer these questions in my article and share a customized, winning template.

    5) Polishing your text up

    Great. You’ve got a shiny headline and some succulent meat to water your editor’s mouth. You don’t wanna screw it all up with misspelt words and horrific grammar, don’t you?

    “Oh, I’m terrible at spelling and my grammar sucks,” I hear you moan.

    No need to be an auditor or an English professor!

    We live in the A.I. age. Mastering a software like Prowriting will make your grammar and spelling spot on!

    More advices on how to clean up your wording will follow in my article…

    6) Turn a rejection into a chance of success

    I admit being turned down by an editor is tough. Though, there is no point to waste time complaining about a rejection. And you should not let it drag you down either!

    A rejection, if accompanied by some constructive feedback, can be inspiring.
    You should learn from it! I’ll tell you how in my full article…

    • Carol Tice on

      Antonio, I think my editor Evan has written this piece himself — twice that I can think of! WITH examples of the poor pitches we get. More examples are in this post, too. Think you’d need to write about a success you’ve had in your freelancing that our audience could derive fresh tips from.

  17. Rachel Carrington on

    Dear Evan and Carol:

    I’m a self-professed nerd and lover of all things science fiction, but I’m also a freelance writer who needs to get paid. So combining the two seemed a plausible way to keep enjoying Star Trek and eating. And when I started doing the research, I discovered a wellspring of gigs perfect for nerds, but they require fortitude and knowledge to break into. Emphasis on the knowledge which is why I’d like to write 5 Ways To Get Gigs Just For Being a Sci-Fi (or any other type) Nerd

    1. Choose one particular aspect of the knowledge you’d like to impart in your guest post. You can’t dump everything you know about Star Wars into one post.
    2. Make your pitch (and post) educational as well as entertaining. Don’t just tell readers why you like something; give them a reason to like it themselves. Make them think.
    3. Start pitching to smaller avenues first. If this is your first time writing about this topic you love so much, don’t shoot for a large magazine.
    4. Don’t overshare how much you know in your bio. If you’re written for StarTrek.com, that’s good enough; you don’t have to add that you’ve seen every episode of Star Trek that ever aired.
    5. Unless you’re pitching a technical magazine, keep the five-dollar words to a minimum. Readers shouldn’t need a dictionary to look up words you’ve chosen.

    My nerdiness has allowed me to write for StarTrek.com and becoming a contributing writer for Red Shirts Always Die which is a division of Fansided.com. I’ve also written for The New York Times, Funds for Writers, Rooted in Rights, The Writer, and more.

    I look forward to hearing from you about my pitch!

    Rachel Carrington

  18. Derick on

    Hi Evan!

    I trust you are doing great!

    See below my pitch plus a tight outline of what it will cover.

    Title: How to make a successful leap to freelance writing amid a pandemic.

    If there is one thing that the coronavirus has exposed about freelance writing is that it not as precarious as most people had thought. During the pandemic period, laid-off-full-timers and doomsayer who had always insisted freelancing is insecure starting asking how they can venture into freelance writing.

    “Do I sign up with iWriter or Freelancer?” many would ask.

    Even with all the resources out there on how to be a freelance writer (which I even shared with a few), many are still on the fence. Getting into freelance writing looks effortless, however, it is an entirely different ballgame, especially in a pandemic.

    In this post, I will share a few tips with new freelancers writers and those on the fence ways they can jump into freelancing amidst a pandemic. Here are my subtopics for discussion.

    Don’t feel guilty.
    Anticipate client changes because of coronavirus.
    Be ready to work across borders.
    Go for shorter pieces.
    Don’t sweat the slow season.
    Make it safe to work non-office hours.
    As you expect the best plan for the worst.

    I am a freelance writer with published articles on sites like CYC, Fundsforwriters, and Self Publishing School.

    Have a great day!

    ~ Derick,

    • Carol Tice on

      Derick — I did a couple of recent posts on this topic, plus put together a 50-page ebook on it. So we’ve covered this a good bit.

      Can you tell us if you have documented success yourself with breaking into freelance writing during a pandemic? If so, how did you do it? Not sure if you’re saying you signed up on the 2 content mills mentioned, or advocate writers do that, or found a better platform? How did you get clients?

      There are quite a few small grammar errors in the above — consider submitting a pitch that tells us what your personal experience is — and proof carefully! We don’t publish posts with general tips that aren’t based in personal success.

  19. Antonio on

    Hi Evan/Carol,

    My article “4 escamotages to break through your mental block” will resolve the most dreadful problems for all writers. See below for further details.

    Planned your writing the night before. Slept like a child. Had an energetic breakfast. Your fingers are shaking, looking forward to hit on the keyboard. But then, you can’t do anything but staring at the MS Word cursor flashing.

    I can totally relate and sympathise with you. It can be scary because a blank page would mean an empty bank account. But that’s the point! Fear is the invisible wall confining your ideas in a remote corner of your mind. That’s why the secret to win over the writer’s block is to take control of your brain.

    I will share 4 tricks to boost up your confidence and find a mental balance.

    1) Give your mind some head space
    Sometimes our mind is too cluttered with loads of junk. Meditation will help to tidy it up and free some space for your marvellous ideas to flourish.

    2) Writing practice
    Establish a writing routine. Use a calendar. Make a list of random topics (literally anything). Write daily in spells of at least 10-15 minutes without stopping. Believe me, it’s therapeutic and will stimulate your creativity.

    3) A books storm for your brain
    “It’s raining books, alleluia!” Okay, maybe the song title is wrong but, trust me, I got the concept right! Feed brilliant words to your grey matter. That’s the best way to get inspired.

    4) If you’ve got a block, write it down!
    You still don’t know what to write? Well, then write about it. Turn your weakness into a strength. I woke up one fine morning with a blank mind, so I wrote a story about the demon of the writer’s block. It did work!

    Looking forward to hearing your feedback,

    Antonio

    • Carol Tice on

      I’ll bite — what’s an ‘escamotage’? Or is that a typo?

      Afraid we’d need fresh tips beyond ‘read a lot’ and ‘write a lot,’ things we all already know, Antonio.

  20. Suzanne Boles on

    Carol, thanks for your comment regarding my pitch. I suggested that I could get a a quote from Casey as part of the blog post but this wasn’t going to be quotes from her or about her course it was going to be my research. It was just one of the ideas I put out there.

    • Carol Tice on

      My point is, I have a relationship with Casey myself — she’s a former Den presenter. So if I want her insights, I would ask her directly to guest post for us. We look for guest posters who are bringing their own success story, rather than recycling points from a class they took. We would go to the presenter if we want those how-to basics.

  21. Beverly Coomer on

    Hi, Carol and Evan –

    I’m a new freelance agriculture writer and editor based in the Northwest, a longtime reader of your blog, and a grateful member of the Freelance Writers Den.

    I noticed you have content on your blog addressing fears, pitching, and first writing assignments, but none that mention all three. I’ve got a guest post idea which could fit the bill!

    I know you get it. You’ve told us many times that a good pitch is key to getting good writing gigs. But for new freelancers, tossing out that first pitch can strike terror in our hearts and make us feel like we’re stepping off the field and into quicksand.

    When I pitched my first article, I struggled to conquer the fears that nearly stalled my just-launched career before it even got started. I eventually overcame my uncertainty and took my first swing. In my article, “7 Lessons from My First Freelance Writing Pitch”, I’ll share examples from my own steep learning curve, and offer the tips that helped me push the ‘Send’ key.

    • It’s not actually as scary as it seems — The worst part is thinking about pitching, not the pitching itself. [I’ll add specifics about over-thinking and under-performing. Trust me; I know these.]
    • Don’t be afraid of feedback — The most dangerous territory for writers is often inside our own heads. Getting someone else to review our efforts and offer suggestions can help us “kill our darlings” and create effective pitches to hook the potential client.
    • Don’t compete with the phantom you — Many new freelancers procrastinate when it comes to pitching our first clients because we think in our heart of hearts we actually can write a PERFECT pitch. Stop. You can’t.
    • Take advantage of the opportunity to accept rejection — Like I told my children, we learn valuable lessons from our mistakes, and we can apply them to becoming successful the next time.
    • Work in your strengths — Know what you’re best at, and go from there. [I’ll flesh this out to include suggestions for how to find your personal strengths, and how to avoid the pitfalls of thinking your weaknesses are insurmountable.]
    • Templates make the task easier — Pre-written templates can take the heat off knowing how to effectively address our targets with pitches that are clear and appealing. [examples here]
    • Follow one experienced writer you respect — To be successful, don’t copy an unsuccessful person; pick one writing master who’s been where you are, and emulate his or her success. A famous horseman once said something to this effect: “When you’re baking a cake, you follow the specific recipe and method for that one particular cake. When you’re studying horsemanship, you can follow me, follow that guy, or follow someone else, but don’t try to combine all our methods – you’ll end up with a broccoli-stuffed, spaghetti-covered, chocolate enchilada!”

    If this article is of interest to you, I’d be happy to flesh out the details for you!

    Best Regards,
    Beverly Coomer

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Beverly,
      There’s potential here.
      – Did you land this assignment?
      -If you got rejected, how did you handle it?
      -What experience have you had with getting feedback from an editor about a pitch or an assignment?
      -Who’s the “experienced writer” you followed, and how did you find them?

      These are things that can really trip up new writers and stall progress. You’ve got good ideas, but it really only works if you’ve got experience or examples from others to support it.

      • Beverly Coomer on

        Thanks for the feedback, Evan. I do have experience and examples I plan to include in the post, but wasn’t sure how much to include in the pitch, as it seemed long as is. I can rewrite the pitch and include support, if that interests you. I also can offer more insight into your questions, but not sure this thread is the best way to convey them to you, as it gets so long (I could dash them off in an email). One of the struggles I believe many new freelancers face, especially when they have no prior experience, is that it feels tough to break in to the circle, so to speak.

      • Beverly Coomer on

        Thanks for the feedback, Evan. I do have experience and examples I plan to include in the post, but wasn’t sure how much to include in the pitch, as it seemed long as is. I can rewrite the pitch and include support, if that interests you. I also can offer more insight into your questions, but not sure this thread is the best way to convey them to you, as it gets so long (I could dash them off in an email).

        Did I land the assignment? Well…that will depend on whether you say ‘yes’, or ‘no, thanks’…!

  22. Patrick Icasas on

    Hi Carol and Evan,

    Here’s another idea for you that I hope will catch your fancy.

    “Why Part-time Freelancing makes more sense than Full-time (for now)”

    I talk to a lot of freelancers who want to make the jump from a day job to freelancing full-time and are looking through it with rose-tinted glasses. They ignore (or are not aware of) the fact that it takes time to ramp up if you’ve never freelanced before, and even longer if you’ve never written professionally before.

    1. It’s practice – part-timing helps them build the business skills necessary to make it on their own

    2. Brand-building – gives them more time to build a reputation before going all-in

    3. Building a client base – Jumping into the deep end with both feet is a risky move, especially now. part-timing helps give them an existing client base as a running start for full-timing

    4. Learning your process – Being a self-directed entrepreneur is different from being an employee with a supervisor. Part-timing helps you learn how to be a self-starter

    Hope this idea tickles your fancy!

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Patrick. There’s potential here.
      So are you working a full-time job and freelancing part time?
      Or maybe you did until moving to full-time freelancing?

      • Patrick Icasas on

        I was part-timing for a long time before moving to full-time, and then moved BACK to part-time freelancing once I realized I jumped too soon (so this is borne from experience).

  23. Jessica M. Sticklor on

    Post Idea: Go Local! How to use the local media to promote your writing.
    I would like to write a post that examines how to use the local media to help promote yourself as a writer. I plan to use research/ideas and my own experiences getting the local news, local papers, even my employers newsletter, to help promote my writing. I want to give writers ideas about how to broaden the definition of “local” (like a larger company newsletter or web page, a local ad-saver etc) and use all the resources that they have access to, even if they don’t realize it.

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Jessica. Sounds interesting. Lots of writers have found some local inroads to landing clients via chamber of commerce, and other business groups. Sounds like you have another angle on how to find local clients and promote your work. I’ll send you an email.

  24. Mary Ellen Collins on

    Hi Evan and Carol,

    This is my first time pitching a blog post idea, and I’m excited by the opportunity. Here goes:

    Title: How My Non-Writing Experience Launched My Freelance Career and Led to a Lucrative Niche

    Summary: Building on a career as a college fundraiser led me first to writing for professional journals published by fundraising associations. Editorial contacts at those journals led to writing for association publications in real estate and museum management. That led to writing for an executive search firm that specialized in association searches; and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Although I never anticipated it, my understanding of member-based organizations and their audiences has led to an eclectic, $1/word group of clients, interesting stories, and very cool people.

    Main points:

    1). Use your professional experience to position yourself as an expert
    2) Use your contacts/stay in touch with every editor you’ve ever had.
    3) Seize opportunities to expand your niche.
    4) Be open to niches and opportunities you never considered!

    • Evan Jensen on

      Yes! Too many writers don’t know about or ignore all those trade and association pubs. Showing writers how you’ve done this and how to leverage their own experience to tap into niche pubs sounds awesome. I’ll send you an email.

  25. Christine Collier on

    I’ve been a freelance writer for twenty years. While my genre is usually cozy mystery I’ve written in many fields. “Creating From the Animal Zone,” is a three thousand word post detailing how I’ve used the animal zone in my writing for books, magazines, articles, quizzes for children, poems, and more. My six hundred word post, “Writing Children’s Stories from the Animal Zone” is a much tighter version with bullet points and references to specific sales, thinking out of the box, the value of pictures in both fiction and nonfiction. I have several posts on The Corona Diaries Blog at AnswersForMe. org. Thank you.

    • Carol Tice on

      Christine, we never open, read, nor publish pre-written posts, nor do we re-publish previously published work. We’re looking for original pitches that my editor Evan can sculpt to our needs. Please read and follow the guidelines linked in the post.

  26. Teni Hallums on

    Hi Evan and Carol,

    Here is the last idea I wanted to run past you. There are a ton of people trying to juggle running a business while managing their illnesses. Hoping this will be of use to this group of people.

    Headline Options:
    How to Confront Your Fears About Running a Freelance Writing Business with a Chronic Illness
    Facing Your Biggest Fears as a Freelance Writer with a Chronic Illness

    It’s one thing to run on all four cylinders and deal with the crushing fears associated with being a freelance writer. It’s another when each day is an unknown regarding your health and ability to run a freelancing business.

    For this post, I would discuss dealing with my worst episode of chronic illness and how I overcame my fears about growing a writing business.

    Here is how I would see it unfolding:

    My Worst Moment (so far)
    Briefly rundown and explain my chronic illness, how it affected all aspects of my life/business, and then move into the individual fears.

    Fear of Not Being Available for Clients
    There will be days when you cannot be fully engaged in your freelancing business because your body is not cooperating. When this happens, you have to have contingency plans to service clients while practicing self-care.

    Fear of Losing Your Mental Acuity
    Some illnesses cause a person not to think as clearly during a flare-up. You have to find the balance in continuing to stimulate your mind and resting it.

    Fear of Looking Weak
    For times like this, you have to muster up the energy to meet with clients and give the best version of yourself. Afterward, you can rest and recover.

    Fear of Debilitating Pain Affecting Your Ability to Work
    When I have a flare-up, it can knock me out for a few days, weeks, or longer. For client projects, you need to build in enough buffer time to get work done without feeling pressured.

    Turn Your Worst-case Scenarios into Questions
    If you have other calamitous thoughts about your health and business, address them head-on. Ask: Could this really happen in reality?

    Showing Resilience
    Yes, you’re living with a chronic illness. You wish this wasn’t your reality, but it is. However, you can control your reaction to it and how it affects your freelancing business.

    Let me know what you think.

    Thanks,
    Teni

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Teni. Good job for managing your chronic illness and pursuing freelance work. Not quite the right fit for the Make a Living Writing audience.

    • Carol Tice on

      Teni, we always want to develop topics that nearly all our readers would relate to. Since most probably don’t have a chronic illness, think this would have to be a pass for us.

      • Teni Hallums on

        No worries. Thank you (and Evan) for the feedback. There’s a pretty large community of people facing chronic illnesses and many have to start their own businesses because of it. I understand though that this topic might not resonate with your audience.

        • Carol Tice on

          I’m sure it resonates with some, Teni, but believe it’s a fairly small minority. Like all editors, we seek topics that will be useful to all or most of our readership.

  27. Teni Hallums on

    Hi (again) Evan and Carol,

    Here is another guest post idea for you to take a look at. Hopefully, this will be of use to some of your expat readers.

    Headline Options:
    How to Network as a Freelance Writing Expat in a New Country
    Networking in Your New Country as a Freelance Writer Living Abroad

    Dealing with the culture shock of moving to a different country is hard enough. Once you settle in, how do you start creating a new network? About three years ago, I moved from the US to Germany with two pieces of luggage and my cat. I had to start all over with building my network from scratch while integrating into a new country. While there is quite a bit of content about building a freelancing business as a digital nomad, there isn’t much directed towards expats living abroad full-time.

    For this blog post, I would provide these tips about how to network in a different country when you don’t grasp the language.

    Language Learning Classes
    Many countries require foreigners to take language integration courses, and some of the participants in these classes are business professionals.

    Online Expat Groups in Your City
    Participate in your local Facebook or LinkedIn group. For those living in smaller towns or villages, look for groups in larger surrounding cities.

    Talk to Your Neighbors
    It’s not only an opportunity to practice your new language but also tells them more about what you do. You’ll learn the business terminology around it, preparing you for in-person networking events in your host country.

    Become Active
    Join sports and hobby groups to expand your social group and open the door for new professional connections.

    Get Political
    For US citizens, there are local chapters for political parties in several countries. Many of those members are business owners or professionals working for multinational corporations.

    Let me know what you think.

    Thanks,
    Teni

    • Evan Jensen on

      Kind of wondering how in-person networking works now. Local groups I’ve been part of have suspended most in-person meetings. What about overseas? So you move to Germany, and don’t know anyone. Did your networking efforts help you land freelance clients, get referrals, etc?

      • Teni Hallums on

        Right now, in-person networking groups have been nixed in Germany and instead moved online. I don’t quite know how the rest of Europe is approaching smaller, local in-person events since the surrounding countries have different restrictions. For instance, Sweden never shutdown while Spain opened up and is currently trying to institute stricter measures again after cases went up.

        Personally, these networking efforts have done more to help me gain more exposure as I shift my business towards a new client base. So far, I’ve received offers to write for different trade publications in the UK and Belgium.

  28. Teni Hallums on

    Hi Evan and Carol,

    Heeding the call for guest blog post ideas, here is the first of three that I have for you.

    Headline Options:
    How to Work the Reddit System to Get Expert Interviews and Clients
    How to Turn Reddit into a Networking Tool for Freelance Writers

    While there’s a hefty mix of adorable animals and questionable shenanigans on Reddit, it’s also a platform ripe with opportunities for freelance writers to network and find great clients. I’ve personally used it to find expert sources for interviews and then took them off the platform to continue building a business relationship. Since Reddit’s users don’t take kindly to aggressive marketing, they can become downright hostile when it happens.

    This post will detail how I used the platform to find and interact with people on Reddit to get interview sources and potential clients without being abused or banned.

    I. Understand your subreddits
    Define what subreddits are and which ones to look for. There are niche subreddits for almost any topic, but not every subreddit is conducive to connecting with sources and clients.

    II. Finding the experts in your niche
    Read top-level posts within the niche, and when you discover a person with an interesting perspective, start researching them.

    III. Reach out and make a non-sleazy connection
    Use direct messaging to reach out with an LOI.

    IV. Continue the conversation offline
    Give them your contact information or get theirs to chat via email.

    V. Connect with them on LinkedIn
    Use this as a place to interact with them professionally and keep yourself on their radar. Added bonus: You can connect with their contacts.

    Hope this helps you out. Please let me know what you think.

    Thanks,
    Teni

  29. Mitch Glass on

    Hey Evan and Carol,

    I’ve been freelancing while traveling the world for the past 4 years. I’d love to share some of my experiences. Here are some ideas I had:

    IDEA 1:
    X Reasons to Start Your Freelance Writing Business Abroad
    ▶ Cheap cost of living (less pressure to earn. You can spend more time marketing yourself and searching for bigger and better clients vs. struggling to make ends meet)
    ▶ Less distractions from friends, family, etc
    ▶ Inspiration from new surroundings
    ▶ It’s exciting and fun, keeps you motivated
    ▶ You’re less likely to give up after having moved across the world to make this work
    ▶ Etc

    IDEA 2:
    How to Start a Freelance Writing Business While Traveling the World
    (This one would probably need to be a little bit longer. I’d focus more on the logistics of setting up the travel part than the actual nitty gritties of growing a business.)
    ▶ Intro: Benefits of Freelance Writing Abroad
    ▶ How to:
    ▶ Step 1: Saving an emergency fund
    ▶ Step 2: Choosing a cheap destination
    ▶ Step 3: Preparation (equipment, insurance, living arrangements, etc)
    ▶ Step 4: Landing first clients (brief overview, linking to your other posts for details)
    ▶ Step 5: Staying productive and balancing work-travel

    IDEA 3: X Things Every Freelance Writer Should Know Before Becoming a Digital Nomad
    ▶ Balancing work and travel is HARD
    ▶ Travel in itself is basically a full-time job
    ▶ You absolutely 100% need travel insurance
    ▶ Taking advantage of currency arbitrage makes growing a freelance business 10x easier
    ▶ Don’t forget about time zones
    ▶ Etc

    I have many personal stories to go along with many of these points.

    Let me know if any of them peak your interest! 🙂

    Cheers,
    Mitch

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Mitch. You’re one of just a handful to reach out from Location Rebel. Sounds like you’ve got some incredible real-life experience as a digital nomad and freelancer. Kind of wondering how mobile are nomads right now during COVID. You’ve got some great ideas here. I’ll send you an email.

  30. Jeff S. Bray on

    Good Morning Carol and Evan.

    This is really exciting. I love what you do with Make a Living Writing and am honored to have the opportunity to be part of the experience. I trust my experience from zero to where I am today as a Freelance Writer will encourage any writer. I am a true success story. I have transitioned from writing $2 per blog article to a published author and I still find time to manage my Freelance Writing career where my going rate is $100-$150 per article. Through that time I have become a full-time Freelance Writer.

    Here is my pitch for your blog:

    From Zero to 100: How a Trucker Became a Full-Time Freelance Writer

    INTRO: Who I Am.
    My background and a little bit about me and where I am now. Then, the but, that is not where I always was.

    I. The Beginning of my Writing Carrer.
    Answering the call of being a writer. The challenge I received from a friend to a friend to begin writing. It started with the $2 articles. It moved into larger opportunities as I got better through other popular platforms.

    II. Life as a Trucker.
    Stories of being a trucker and balancing a writing career. Meeting deadlines and reaching personal goals.

    III. An Unexpected Detour.
    The interest of a client in something I wrote turned into a children’s book. This prompted me to complete the book I had been toying with for a year. This led to it being published not too long later. Then another book.

    IV. Reaching the Decision to Become a Full-Time Freelancer
    The decision to become a full-time Freelancer and the consequences and rewards surrounding it. Also the decisions about increasing fees that led to this decision being possible.

    CONCLUSION.
    A trucker’s life is 12-14hrs easy. If I can do this and succeed, anyone who has a serious passion for writing can do this.

    Yes, this is about me as a trucker, but it proves that if a trucker can succeed at the writing gig, anyone can. And I intend to clearly explain this to our readers. I hope to get the green light to complete this blog. I have lived an exciting writing career so far and I am nowhere near done.

    Thanks and best to you both.

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Jeff. Sounds like you’ve had a pretty interesting journey, and great success. Good job. The piece that’s missing here is what can writers learn from your experience, how can they replicate or model your success. You’ve definitely got the back story to remind people it’s possible. But how does will your experience, your methods, etc. help other writers move up and earn more?

      • Jeff S. Bray on

        He Even.

        Yes it has. And it only has just begun.

        My bad. I should have elaborated a bit more.

        This is my plan within the conclusion. Part IV, where I explain how I began to charge more, will be the beginning of introducing my model. It will then lead into my conclusion and tie it all together to help other writers.

        I hope this clear things up.

        Best,

        Jeff

      • Jeff S. Bray on

        Hey Evan.

        I was not sure if my reply to your question had gone through to you. I wanted to follow up to see if you had viewed it. I would love to write this piece and wanted to see if my clarification filled in the missing pieces.

        Best,

        Jeff

      • Jeff S. Bray on

        Hey Evan.

        Here is a revamped pitch with your suggested edits.

        From Zero to 100: How a Trucker Became a Full-Time Freelance Writer

        INTRO: Who I Am.
        My background and a little bit about me and where I am now. Then, but that is not where I always was.

        I. The Beginning of my Writing Career.
        Answering the call of being a writer. The challenge I received from a friend to begin writing. It started with the $2 articles. It moved into larger opportunities as I got better through other popular platforms. –Explaining you may need to start small, don’t pass up opportunities. No job is too small.

        II. Life as a Trucker.
        A story of being a trucker and balancing a writing career. Meeting deadlines and reaching personal goals. –Explaining how, when something is important to you, you make the time for it. How I made the time and how the reader can do it as well even in the middle of a 12-14hr schedule.

        III. An Unexpected Detour.
        The interest of a client in something I wrote turned into a children’s book. This prompted me to complete the book I had been toying with for a year. This led to it being published not too long later. Then another book. –Looking for opportunities. Sometimes they happen, sometimes you need to make them happen. Explaining how I did it and what the reader can do to keep their eyes open for theirs.

        IV. Reaching the Decision to Become a Full-Time Freelancer
        The decision to become a full-time Freelancer and the fears, consequences, and rewards surrounding it. Also, the decisions about increasing my fees that led to this decision being possible. Then, what the reader can do to overcome those same fears themselves and begin to charge what they are worth and earn more than they imagined.

        CONCLUSION.
        Trucker is just a label. You can be in any job situation. All you need is the heart for writing. If I can do this and succeed, anyone who has a serious passion for writing can do this. –Tying all points together to have a successful career as a Freelance Writer.

        Thank you again.

        Jeff

  31. Kelly Wade on

    I love this, Evan. Thanks for the opportunity to pitch a blog post.

    I reckon this would make a great addition to your blog:
    8 SEO myths every freelance writer must know

    I’d present 8 myths (e.g. Google looks for the SEO keyword in the meta description) and describe why each myth isn’t true, what the truth about the topic is and why freelance writers can use that knowledge to improve their writing, win more clients and increase their freelance writing fees.

    Of course, I’m more than happy to adjust the outline and number of myths etc. to suit your needs.

    Cheers
    Kelly

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Kelly. Sounds interesting and helpful. Do you have real examples of what to do and what not to do, based on your SEO experiences?

  32. Linda Hull on

    Hi Carol and Evan,
    Here’s another article I mentioned previously from my personal experience juggling family, home, and writing that might be of interest:

    Title: Juggling: How to Manage Family, Home, and Writing

    I. Beginnings
    Background on when, why, and how I started writing and the varied contacts it generated.

    II. Scheduling – Essentials first
    Setting priorities and ordering my day by juggling my home responsibilities with writing priorities. Being flexible is required.

    III. Writing
    Fitting writing and research into my schedule while juggling homeschool responsibilities. Going professional.

    IV. Stay Updated on Technology
    If you wait too long to update your computer, you can end up losing your readers.

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Linda. Have to pass on this one. We’ve covered this in previous blog posts in many different ways. If there’s anything new, fresh or different to your approach, that’s what you want to include in your pitch on a much-done topic.

      • Linda Hull on

        Thank you Evan for your kind comments on both of my queries. I selected the topic about juggling many responsibilities and trying to find time to write from the “Write for Us” page on this website as suggested in one of Carol’s general posts. Here is the topic as posted: Juggling: First-person stories on balancing a full-time or part-time day job, kids, family, etc. with freelance writing. The other one was rather basic but so important. Many writers tend to be all over the place just trying to find a niche or just to get published. Better to stick to one niche and develop good articles. Unless the goals are defined, chances are the goals will never be met. I enjoyed the opportunity, and I confess to being a little rusty.

  33. Linda Hull on

    Hi Carol and Evan,
    I posted a query a couple of days ago. I’m following up with an outline of a potential article for you.

    Title: How to Accomplish Your Writing Goals

    I. Define Your Goal
    Basically defines what type of writing will define your writing niche.

    II. Find a Writing Space
    Covers an explanation of needs concerning a writing space.

    III. Schedule Writing Time
    When juggling home, family, and work, it’s important to be available while writing. Maybe you need to schedule a sitter.

    IV. Plan for Effective Use of Writing Time
    Be prepared would be a good motto. Begin an idea book, gather resources to supplement and enhance your article or narrative.

    V. Plan for Publishing
    Keep an ongoing list of clients to pitch and a query log to keep track of responses.

    VI. Tracking Published Articles
    Keep a list of which articles were published, if they can be published elsewhere, and which are archived, and earnings.

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Linda. It’s much like your other pitch. Good advice. But we’ve covered this in previous blog posts many times. This stuff is always going to be important, but you have to find a fresh angle or new way to present it.

  34. Kat Bautista on

    Here’s another pitch:

    Possible headlines:
    How to Improve Your Writing: 5 Prose-Upgrading Tips from Professors
    Worried You’re Not Good Enough? Use These Professors’ Tips to Upgrade Your Writing
    Not Good Enough? Use These Professors’ Tips to Up Your Writing Game

    What if you’re not good enough? That’s a fear that gnaws at a lot of writers.

    Now, some of it is definitely insecurity. Your writing is probably better than you think it is—so instead of wallowing in self-pity and delaying acting on your writing dreams, do get out there and write.

    And if you are not good enough? The good news is that everyone can improve.

    In this blog post, two professors—David Dunning, the psychologist who discovered the Dunning-Kruger effect, that psychological phenomenon where the most incompetent people don’t know how incompetent they are, and Sedique Popal, TESOL coordinator of the University of San Francisco—give tips on how to improve as a writer.

    1. Read. “The more you read, the better you write,” says Popal. Like what I’d already mentioned in my other pitch, reading lets you encounter vocabulary, figures of speech, and usages that are foreign to you, which will enrich your writing. I extend this tip to reading quality material, so what will enrich your writing is English at its best.

    2. Write regularly. “The more you write, the better you write,” says Popal, because the more you do something, the more fluent you get.

    3. Get a mentor. You have two options ahead of you: learn everything you need to learn in, say, ten years, or seek a mentor to get better faster. “A mentor can alert you to issues, risks, strategies, and complications that you don’t have the experience to know,” says Dunning.

    4. Challenge yourself. Write longer, harder pieces, or in styles or forms that don’t come easily to you. “If you’re completely comfortable, you aren’t improving,” says Dunning. So keep stretching yourself. Be bold even if you’re just by yourself, and watch your skills grow.

    Hope this works, too.

  35. Ashley Nance on

    Hi Carol and Evan,

    I’ve been following this blog for the majority of my seven freelancing years and love the quality actionable posts you maintain on this blog, so thank you for that.

    I searched your blog and found only one article on direct mail: “Direct Mail is Not Dead: How One Writer Landed a $5,000 Contract.” This article is written by Evan, and shows advanced strategies for getting high-end clients that I have used as well (and to great effect). I want to share what I did to get new clients with direct mail when I was just starting out (and only charging $10/hour *blush*), the results (30% conversion rate), what I’ve learned about using direct mail since, and my tips for avoiding my mistakes.

    Working Headline:

    How to Find Clients with Direct Mail, Even If You’re a Total Newb)
    Breaking into freelance writing can feel daunting, because you don’t have an impressive portfolio yet. Direct mail pitching allows you to show your personality, creativity and drive for results before they read a word you’ve written. Not to mention, the conversion rate from letter to signed client is insanely high, even for total beginners. Here’s what you need to know to get started and wow your future clients.

    Sample steps:

    – Identify who you want to write for
    – Decide what you’d like to get paid
    – Determine what they want to sell
    – Write up a custom pitch letter
    – Sign it and address the envelope by hand
    – Add some personality (stamp, biz card, etc.)
    – Learn from my mistakes

    Of course this is a brief outline, but here are some ideas to get started on. I’m happy to discuss anything else you’d love to see included.

    I have several other ideas, such as doing market research for copywriting and business projects on social media and a market report on writing for the FreeUp platform, but I can pitch those separately

    Thanks again for the great job you’re doing here!

    Ashley Nance

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Ashley,
      The blog post “Direct Mail is Not Dead: How One Writer Landed a $5,000 Contract” was written by Jen Roland https://www.makealivingwriting.com/direct-mail-marketing/

      Kind of think this is a forgotten form of marketing that still works if done right. So do you still use direct mail as a form of marketing? If you’ve got examples, experience to share, and a plan freelancers can model, this totally works for a guest post.

  36. Linda Hull on

    Hello!

    My name is Linda Hull. I would like to query you about writing a guest post on at Make A Living Writing. I am a relatively new reader to the blog, but I am interested in writing a post about how to juggle all the responsibilities of family, home, and work with writing. I began writing to earn a little extra cash to help our financial situation after our very young nephews came to live with us. I knew nothing about the business, but found enough success in writing to improve our finances. Writing became my passion as I juggled homeschooling, housekeeping chores, and church responsibilities. My guest post, titled “Freelance Writing While Being Super Mom”, would provide tips and encouragement on how to find quality writing time while managing other responsibilities and trying to remain sane.

    I write inspirational articles for my personal blog, Words of Encouragement, since 1995, moving online in June, 1996. I am currently a guest blogger at Relate Magazine, a blog for teen girls, and I post articles on LinkedIn. I have written children’s curriculum for the Union Gospel Press, and articles for the Far East Broadcasting’s Gospel Blog, travel articles for Holiday Wizard in Australia, plus articles for Dollar Stretcher, History’s Women, Frontline, and more. I am the author of a booklet called “Homeschooling: The Modern Day One Room Schoolhouse” and another called, “Words of Encouragement Recipes”. I also am published in an anthology book about Alzheimer’s called, “Stolen Moments” by Elizabeth Bezant and Pamela J. Eaves, published in Australia.

    Thank you for considering me!
    Linda Hull

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Linda. Virtual fist bump for juggling all that stuff AND freelancing. But you’ve got to find a fresh, unique, different angle for your idea. We’ve written about this and featured guest posts on this topic many times.

      One of the things a writer should do before pitching any pub, is read back issues. And definitely search the archives to see if the idea you’re thinking about pitching has been done before.

      If it has, you’ve got a find a way to reslant your idea to make it different. provide new information, etc.

  37. Steve Nuren on

    Hi Evan,

    When freelance writers are starting out their writing journey, fear is a stumbling block to their progress.

    Am I good enough? What if nobody takes me seriously. These and many more questions run through minds of people intending to begin their writing journey.

    Overcoming fear will determine whether the writer will do well or not.

    How about a blog post on how to smash fear as a newbie writer?

    Title: How to Overcome Fear as a Newbie Freelance Writer

    Sub-topics:

    >Believe in Yourself
    >Don’t Take Rejection Personal
    >You Writing is not as Bad as you Think
    >Take up Writing Task

    • Evan Jensen on

      It’s good advice. And a topic that regularly comes up on this blog. Have to have a fresh angle.

  38. Dena on

    Hi Evan,
    Here’s my pitch.

    Title: One Simple Tool that Boosted My Blog Traffic by 100%

    Writing an SEO friendly blog post doesn’t have to be difficult. The trick is to find out what topics people are searching for. I use Keywords Everywhere to:

    1. Find unlimited blog post ideas.
    2. Find relevant keywords to include in the post.

    In the past year, I have doubled the traffic to my blog by focusing on SEO. In my article, I’d like to share how I use the tool to find post ideas and gather keywords.

    There are other tools that do similar things, but Keywords Everywhere is the one I’m most familiar with.

    Thanks,
    Dena

    • Carol Tice on

      Dena, doubled it from what to what? It’s not very impressive if it went from 5 readers to 10, if you see what I mean…

      Also, do you have some examples of posts that got a lot of traffic, say 3000+ readers?

      As is, I worry it’s not a full post. It’s just: “Use Keywords Everywhere.” Which we can say in one line. Can you outline how we’d learn more?

      We all know that using keywords in posts helps traffic… so what is the fresh info we’d learn?

      • Dena on

        Hi Carol,

        To be more specific, my monthly blog stats jumped from 5,000 sessions per month a year ago to over 20,000 sessions per month now. My yearly stats doubled.

        I have several blog posts that receive high traffic volumes. Here are a few that have done well.

        17 Swoon-Worthy YA Romance Books for Teens – 24,000 unique pageviews
        15 Twisty YA Mystery Books to Die For – 15,400 unique pageviews
        Is This Book Age Appropriate? How to Find Age and Content Information – 22,600 unique pageviews

        Here is an alternative working title: How I Used SEO to Increase My Blog Traffic in 2020

        I’d like to share my story with your readers and show them that even a small blog can make improvements if they use SEO. In my post I will share:

        1. What Keywords Everywhere is.

        2. How to use the tool to generate ideas for blog posts and titles.

        3. How to use related keywords in your post and why they help your SEO.

        4. What to do after you hit “publish” on a post.

        After changing my blog strategy to focus on SEO, I’ve been able to make headway in a niche that is known for being low-traffic. You don’t have to write about earning money in order for your blog to bring in traffic and extra income.

  39. Suzanne Boles on

    Can you please unsubscribe me from responses to this blog thread? I keep trying but get a blank page. I’m getting all the posts from here in my email inbox. Thanks.

  40. Kat Bautista on

    Hi, Evan,

    I’ve come up with another guest post idea for you.

    Possible Headlines:
    4 Solutions for Crushing Newbie Writer Fear from the Get-Go
    How to Crush Newbie Writer Fear from the Get-Go
    4 Counterintuitive Tips for the Fearful Newbie Writer
    4 Courage-Building Tips for the Fearful Newbie Writer
    Newbie Writer Nerves? 4 Tips to Crush Fear from the Get-Go

    Newbie writers come bundled with a lot of fears. For one, that they need to work their way up to the big leagues—write for small clients first, and hope that those are impressive enough for the bigger clients they wanted to go after in the first place.

    This timidity is costing them.

    According to David Schwartz, author of The Magic of Thinking Big, the best way to overcome fear is to act.

    This post lays out fear-busting tips to turn a timid newbie writer into…maybe not one who has fully overcome fear, but one who acts despite it.

    1. Aim high right away. By all means go for the clients you like, big or small—but, instead of dancing around the big companies and publications you want to go for, approach them from the get-go. It will open up your mental horizons for who you can write for.

    2. Contact celebrities and experts. Have an idea for an article that should include an interview with a bigwig? Well, talk to them. Same with #1, talking to them can be terrifying, but freelance writing makes it necessary for you to talk to people anyway, whether clients or interviewees for articles.

    3. Cold call clients. Sure, send that LOI to your dream client, but why not call them up and introduce yourself? You’re going to have to talk to them in the future, so why not start now?

    4. Go to in-person events. Workshops, networking events, you name it. Prepare your elevator pitch, dress well, and keep in mind that these people won’t eat you (and could be just as scared as you!).

    According to Nelson Mandela, courage is not the absence of fear but the conquering of it. I’ve done most of the above, and while I still get some newbie jitters here and there, they’ve become tasks I’m used to, and they’ve let me make bolder strides in my career.

    Hope you like this better.

  41. Dipo Shennaike on

    Evan,

    Yes, after pitching for a couple of months I now have four clients (2 individual and 2 corporate clients). And I am working on more. You know why? Many of them want to break into the American market. To do that, they have to fill their websites with English content.

    I intended to answer your question in the article itself. Remember, this is just a pitch.

  42. Sue+Chehrenegar on

    Title: An Image that Aids My Creation of Bespoke Content

    What is bespoke content?

    Why should a writer work to create it?

    What do I envision in my image?

    How I know that my image represents quality-level bespoke material?

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Sue. Seems like a pretty big stretch for this to align with a topic to help freelance writers move up and earn more. Try again.

  43. Suzanne Boles on

    Hi Carol and Evan,

    I was pleased to write a blog post for you a while ago with a previous pitch. I’m a freelance content creator with 20+ year’s experience.

    I searched your blog and found one article on the topic I’m proposing: “Telling Stories: How Freelance Writers Can Earn Big From Case Studies,” so it doesn’t look like you’ve covered this extensively.

    Working Headline:
    Tips for Writing Case Study Stories & Finding Case Study Clients

    Full Disclosure: I’m currently taking Casey Hibbard’s Case Study course so am happy to share what I’m learning in a nutshell and am also happy to ask her to share some tips if you like.

    Case Studies are a lucrative market where writers can earn $1,000 or more per gig. Here’s what you need to know about Case Studies and how to mine clients who happily pay writers to share their positive customer service stories.

    Sample questions/tips:
    -What are customer case studies?
    -What makes a great case study?
    -What are the benefits of case study writing for writers?
    -Do you need to have a niche to write a case study?
    -What industries use case studies?
    -Where/how do you start prospecting for case study clients?

    I’m happy to get more detailed or ask other questions. You might also have some ideas to add to these questions.

    Thanks for considering this.

    Suzanne

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Suzanne. Yess! Interesting that at least three successful pitches here are from freelancers who’ve written for Make a Living Writing before. Make that FOUR now. Sounds like a great idea for a guest post. I’ll send you an email.

      • Suzanne Boles on

        Evan, please confirm. You said you were interested. Carol said she didn’t want quotes from Casey and it looked like she wanted to pass on it. I threw the Casey quotes in as an option, not necessary. I can write it from my own experience. Are you still interested? If so, I look forward to hearing from you.

  44. Katherine+Swarts on

    Wish there was a “Like” button under Comments to vote for my own favorite ideas. (For anyone else who’s thinking of just adding “Like” as an official comment: the system here doesn’t take one-word comments.)

  45. Katherine+Swarts on

    How To Create a Great (and Original!) Article Topic From Scratch

    (Each section will include 3-5 examples, many from my own experience.)

    I. When You Have Only Your Own “Boring” Life to Mine For Ideas

    II. When You’re Pitching a New-to-You Niche

    III. When a Client (or Market Listing) Hands You a Two-Word Generic Topic

    IV. When SEO Is a Top-Top Priority

    P. S. When pitching to potential long-term clients, I often include “idea generator” among my skills.

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Katherine. I think this has potential. So many writers stall with “I can’t think of anything to write.” But we all know that’s really just an excuse, probably related to some kind of fear, their childhood or maybe clowns. I’ll send you an email.

  46. zulfqar ali agha on

    hi,i have been trying to set or make my place in freelancers writers and how to understand to audience so on its never be end according to my opinion the good ideas is very first is you write for giving information and make relationship ship building,
    step no 02- slect your topic e.g such are which you write to like
    step no 03-addresse your audience ,the most impotrtant thing is for freelancerwriters is information and knowledge because with out these things you can not make perfection for audiences.
    step 04-tighten your draft such is persuade the readers about the truth of the main arguments and you think that an issue is so important that you you have to speak out and understand the relevance of arguments and ideas.
    thanks.

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Zulfqar. Appreciate you taking the time to pitch an idea. Wondering if there’s sites or publications in your native language you could start with.

  47. Dipo Shennaike on

    Hi Evan
    Here is my pitch:

    Headline: 3 Costly Mistakes That Almost Killed My Writing Career
    I am an ESL writer and I made several costly mistakes. I intend to share the mistakes and how I turned them around. It is likely that many new writers are also making the same mistakes. And they may not be aware of it. This post will call their attention to some of them.

    For each of the mistakes, I’ll share my personal experience and rationale. Overall, I have learned that ignorance is dangerous. You’ll think your ideas are great until you find yourself deep inside a pit. Please find the mistakes below.

    1. Writing for content mills
    I wrote for 3 different content mills (zemandi.com, dotwriter.com, and iwriter.com) and I intend to share my terrible experience with each of them. Also, there’s a self-set trap in writing for content mills that prevents you from doing any other thing.

    You’ll prefer to spend the time required for pitching magazines and highly reputable blogs, writing more articles for these mills since assignments are always available. It’s a big trap that will keep you stuck with the mills until they suddenly pull the plug on you, leaving you hanging. Avoid them at all cost.

    2. Sending pitches to the wrong geographical destinations
    As an ESL writer, the chances that companies based in English-speaking countries will hire you are very slim. Many of my pitches were rejected because I am not a native speaker.

    I tried to use contractions and American slangs in my writings and I still ran the articles through Grammarly, but editors still found out that the pitches were not written by a native speaker. I decided to focus on countries where English isn’t a native language and I achieved some success within a couple of months. I now have some corporate and individual clients.

    3. Narrowing down my niche the wrong way
    This is the biggest blunder of them all. I am supposed to narrow down my niche by choosing a few industries to write for. Instead, I narrowed down on content marketing tactics. I chose only product reviews and copywriting.

    I got some offers from clients to write Press Release and White Paper but declined the offers because I wanted to focus on only copywriting and product reviews. I recently realized that it was the worst nonsense I have done in the last three years.

    Conclusion
    Here, I intend to remind readers of their takeaways with a bulleted summary of the whole write-up.

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Dipo. Sounds interesting. There’s lots of interest from ESL writers to break into freelancing with US markets. But when a pitch arrives in an editor’s full of errors, it’s always a no. Really appreciate your honesty and insight for this crowd: “As an ESL writer, the chances that companies based in English-speaking countries will hire you are very slim.” So are you having success pitching and writing for non-U.S. and/or non-English markets?

  48. Bob McCarthy on

    Most of my writing career, both freelance and in house, has been developing marketing materials, including video scripts, web content, collateral materials and the like. Early on I realized that many owners of small businesses had no idea of the market for their product or service. However, a friend of mine who had an MBA showed me how to develop a positioning statement for such clients. Since then, when I meet with a client we take time to identify the target market, what features and benefits the client brings to that market, the tone of the piece and more.

    I can write an article for your readers showing the use and value of a positioning statement and how it keeps the writing focused and clients happy.

  49. Jeffry Thurana on

    Thank you for the opportunity. Allow me to try my pitch:

    Working title:
    The 5 Simple Principles of Getting Your Writing to the First Page of SERP – And Why Most of The Efforts Are Not About Writing.

    Working Intro:
    What if you could put anything on the front page of Google Search? That would be amazing. Not only you could sell your writing service multi-fold, but you could also bring your potential clients begging to work with you instead of sifting the internet to find one that treats you like dirt.

    The problem is, getting to page one is an art of itself. Writing an amazing piece of article is just a tiny part of the process. The other parts involve anything but writing.

    Let’s start SEO-ized your work. Here are the five basic principles (plus a few more actionable tips) of getting your writing to the first page of SERP. Understand these principles, and you have a much better chance of saying hello from page one.

    1. Originality – Google highly adore original materials. And this goes beyond the writing piece. Few pointers will go here.

    2. Quality – This is where writers like us excel. Or not. Who said creating quality content is only about writing?

    3. Relevancy – Writing about living in Russia without a Refrigerator? Why there’s a reference about K-Pop idols?

    4. Authority – Who are you? Why should Google trust you and move you up the positions?

    5. Technicality – Involves, um, you know, technical things most writers would like to assume to be non-existent.

    To stay in the practical zone, each point should come with a few simple actionable tips that most writers that I know don’t know or don’t care about.

    P.S: I’d like to expand more on each point, but I’d rather not write the article here. 🙂

    P.P.S: Looking forward to your email. Cross my fingers.

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Jeffrey. I don’t think this is quite the right fit for our audience. Yes, some care about SEO and rankings to help their clients or raise visibility for their own freelance services. But the tech aspect of making this happen is on the fringe of what Make a Living Writing covers. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m highly skeptical of any offer that suggests first page Google ranking is easy.

    • Carol Tice on

      Derrick, I think that’d be a bit too niche for our global audience of freelance writers. Thanks for pitching us, though! Also, read the guidelines linked in the post above and send us a complete pitch if you try again.

  50. Sophia Auld on

    Hi Evan and Carol,

    Thanks for the opportunity. Here’s my pitch.

    Working headline:
    5 things shark diving taught me about becoming a better writer

    Subhead:
    Get the lessons without needing to swim with the Noahs (that’s Aussie slang for sharks).

    And yes, I’m talking about diving with real sharks – in the wild – not the namby-pamby variety where you’re surrounded by a steel safeguard.

    Outline:
    The five lessons
    1. Make a plan – like deciding to dive with sharks, entering the world of copywriting or content marketing can be scary. And in the same way, you don’t do it without a plan. Going shark diving involves booking a boat, checking tides, knowing where to find them etc. Writing requires the same degree of care eg understanding your audience, where they are on the customer journey, and the purpose of your content.
    2. You just gotta jump in – sooner or later, you have to get wet. Just like skippering a boat, you can make course corrections along the way. It’s the same with strategy and each piece of content. It’s important not to get stuck in the planning phase . The process gets easier once you dirty that white page.
    3. Remember whose territory you’re in – diving and writing content are so much fun, it’s easy to forget whose territory you’re in. But content isn’t for you, remember, it’s for your customers. Keeping that in mind helps you stay focused, kill your darlings, and write better.
    4. Equipment and training make it possible – you can’t dive with sharks without the right gear or training. Similarly, becoming a better writer involves investing in your skills.
    5. Know the warning signs – sharks fall into a telltale posture when they’re stressed, indicating it’s time to hightail it back to the boat. Knowing what to look out for keeps you safe. Likewise, some clients give off signals that they’ll be painful to work with. Learning to recognise them can save a lot of hassle and heartache.

    As an experienced freelance writer and avid scuba diver, in this piece I’ll link practical tips with anecdotes from shark dives – like how being buzzed by a pair of bull sharks reminded me who owned the territory.

    Or how I didn’t let a dream about getting my hand bitten off stop me going on a diving road trip, and likewise have to regularly overcome fear to write freelance for a living

    • Evan Jensen on

      Wow. First rule of freelancing…you have be kind of tough. Swimming with sharks is kind of badass. Some great potential here. I’ll send you an email.

  51. Muhammad Asim Niazi on

    Hi., There are two topics in mind

    Managing Rejections : How to manage yourself when you are getting rejections.

    How to manage freelancing work with 9 to 5 job.

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Muhammad. Please go back and read the instructions for pitching a guest post. You’ve got potential, but this is incomplete.

  52. Laura on

    Interested to write about being a parent, how to understand and reach out to your children, knows their state of mind and opinions on things and try to be there for them as a friend and not just a parent

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Darrell. Please go back and read the instructions about how to pitch a guest post. This isn’t what we’re looking for.

    • Andrea on

      Hi Evan
      Good article.
      You may want to check out rules for correct punctuation and consistency when instructing others.
      From a proof reader.

        • Carol Tice on

          Also, because blog posts are essentially copywriting, they don’t have to follow grammar rules. Like most blogs, we are casually edited because our focus is on mass production of quality content. If we put out one post a month, I’m sure it could be perfect. But we’re committed to producing eight. We’ve chosen quality useful info + quantity over perfection. I know that’s hard for people who’re trying to solicit proofreading work to understand, but it’s the M.O. of most blogs.

          • Evan Jensen on

            Yo, Andrea. I purposely broke multiple grammar rules in this post. Thanks for looking out for me and Make a Living Writing.

  53. Steff Green on

    Hi Evan,
    I see in the guidelines you’re interested in articles helping writers sell their ebooks. I’m a USA Today bestselling and multi six-figure author through self-publishing my ebooks on Amazon and other platforms, and I believe I can help.

    In my article “Success with ebooks starts with studying your market – here’s how”, I show freelancers how to mine the publicly-available information available on Amazon to help place their books in the best position for success. This includes how to study covers, author rankings, blurbs, length, publication date, reviews, categories, keywords, and other data, and how to USE that data to create a plan to launch your book to your audience. This article will conclude with further resources to help writers dive deeper into studying their book’s market.

    I’ve been a fan of the blog for a LONG time (since early 2000s) and I’d love to contribute articles to the community on self-publishing. Thank you for the opportunity!

  54. Steff Green on

    Hi Evan,
    Startups might seem like a strange place to look for freelance work, as they’re often trying to hustle with a minuscule amount of cash. But the startup world can be a lucrative source of work for freelancers excited to enter a fast-paced sector with opportunities to grow.

    I should know. I’ve been writing for startups since 2013. What started as a blog post for a local tech company has grown into jobs and contracts for some of the biggest names, a variety of work and new skills including creating puzzles and mobile game scripts, and a ghostwriting contract for a founder’s autobiography.

    “Freelance Writing Opportunities in the Startup World” will cover:
    – the types of writing and unique skills the startup sector need right now.
    – where to find freelance work at tech startups.
    – how to stand out to potential clients
    – the unique ways startup culture can present new opportunities for freelance writers.
    – how to brand yourself for the startup world and grow your income.

    I’m a long-time fan of the blog. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

  55. Tobby on

    SMARTS WAYS TO LAND GIGS ON UPWORK INSTEAD OF DEPENDING ON LUCK
    Have you been working relentlessly to get your first client on Upwork? At this moment earning money online is starting to sound more like a myth with each trial yielding no prospects. Days turn into month, months rolling into a year and yet none of your proposals has been accepted. Large amount of your frustration comes from the awareness that the chum change you used to purchase connects to submit proposals has gradually piled up and now worth a substantial amount of money. Losing money is not a good thing for business especially one that seems to have no potential for success. Making money from Upwork is not a myth. Truly you might have a lot of prolific pitches but have you stopped to question some other elements surrounding getting offers, those little things you’ve failed to pay attention from eagerness at first now turned to frustration. Now, I’m not about to give you some inspirational ideas I just thought about while making breakfast in my house but to analyze facts and possibly help you through my very own job success in 7 hours. How you decide to use this information to trace your steps entirely depends on you!
    HOW I GOT MY FIRST JOB OFFER ON UPWORK IN 7 HOURS
    You are still in doubt? No worries let me help you clear a few common frustrations amongst freelancer’s online .if you tend to search a lot about your current situation you would have come across a number of posted questions that look like this;
    “I’ve been a member of Upwork for several months; I have improved my profile but still haven’t landed a single gig”
    “I have tried pitching at Upwork for about a year now yet I have not gotten any offers”
    Most times the obvious reply to this question from people who got their gigs at once ranges between making strong pitches, increasing your charges or completing your profile. The fact is that there a lot of writers , maybe not a problem as long as you have unique works as sample. But everyone cannot be lucky by landing big gigs as first timers with no verified badge or good recommendations from previous clients. All of the above advice all matter but let’s face it, not everyone can be lucky. Why don’t you be the smart one and calculate wisely.
    I landed my first gig in 7hours maybe not even up to that time all I know is that I pitched earlier that night, slept overnight and woke out the next morning with an offer waiting. I did not get this by luck. I just knew how to filter through numerous clients and pick the right one for my first step which is earning my verification badge and improving my profile.
    “Help you to get your work done in a short period and still exceed your expectations. FAST ? just one word that accurately explains the whole of my works. And yes, I will effectively deliver works that will elicit desired response. Don’t you want to hire a new voice filled with fresh ideas? Or perhaps you still want to go along with style of known writers? Well maybe you are not a risk taker but I noticed this has been admirable attributes of proficient employers through my years of experience. You can call me Tobby when you decide to take my offer. This now depends on your decision to hire the best for you! Let me know you”.

    That was my first pitch but sometimes it is more about the clients you choose. If you have not landed a gig on Upwork, the following contracts layout titles are possible options to lookout for;
    “ Possible Earnings $400-500 Monthly / Newbie’s are welcome!………….”
    “Urgent call for 3-4 writers…….”, “I need a creative ghostwriter for my e book…..”
    “I need a writer urgently to….”, “I need 2-3 ghost writers to write a fitness article for my blog, and Newbie’s are welcome……..”
    FOUR THINGS TO NOTE FROM THE ABOVE EXAMPLE
    Clients that look out for first timers boost your chance of getting hired without having some Upwork requirement such as verified badges, job success, recommendations, etc. The only catch is that most clients that look for newbie’s offer low pay with lot of workload. Some like to exploit newbie’s because you are targeted as inexperienced writer. If you get a low pay than you expected, just could use it to earn your verification badge and improve your profile. This way you have better leverage pitching for better jobs.
    Clients who need more than one writer boost job opportunity that is even if there are a lot of freelancers sending proposals, the possibility of getting hired is increased through additional space needed .
    Clients that are on lookout urgently to have work delivered in no time can hire the very first available freelancer.
    If you want a better pay as a writer on Upwork, you will have to explore other gigs beside articles because of the crowd on article writing. Try ghostwriting e books or novels; the paid is better if you earn it. This one definitely requires good pitch.

    If you try all of this and yet no significant change, Do not let this kill your confidence as a writer. The next thing is to look for blogs online or companies around your area. Experience in certain areas like website content, SEO expert on freelance website and good pitch is very important for this. Try your luck!
    Sometimes life is not about working hard but working smart.

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Tobby. We regularly tell writers to stay away from sites like Upwork, and any other content mill or bidding site. Why? It’s a race to the bottom bidding war that drives rates way down. Plus lots of other reasons to stay away.

      • Carol Tice on

        We’ve also had posts on how to game the system at Upwork from outliers who do well on there, in the past. So it’s sort of been covered. At least twice, that I can recall. But thanks for pitching!

  56. Allen Taylor on

    Hey Evan,

    It’s easier to pick a niche at the beginning of your career than to switch niches in the middle. Nevertheless, there may be times when changing niches is what the income doctor ordered. So how about a blog post on how to identify when switching niches is in your best interest and how to pull it off without a hitch?

    I see it going this way:

    1) Intro: See above
    2) Pivot points
    a) Black swan events
    b) Infant niches
    c) Losing your passion
    d) Transitional life stages
    e) New challenges
    f) Daydreams and night sweats
    g) When the moonshine still runs dry
    3) How to make the pivot
    a) First, it’s best not to have to pivot (My #1 tip on how to build security into your freelancing career from the start)
    b) Take personal inventory
    c) Stick a toe in the water first
    d) Survey writers and editors in the niche
    e) When the best time to pivot is

    When reading my post, your readers will laugh and learn as I share personal experiences at different stages of my 14-year career as a freelance writer.

    I’m looking forward to working with you again.

  57. Ishneet Kaur on

    Tips on how to grow your freelance writer career through social media networking, without sounding desperate!

    • Ishneet Kaur on

      Hi Evan,
      I found out that this is the topic that we freelance writers should focus on. How not to sound desperate while trying to grow your network through LinkedIn!

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Ishneet. Please review the instructions about how to submit a guest post idea. Good start on your idea, but missing a bunch of things we asked for.

      • Nkuleko Sibanda on

        Hi, Evan,

        Have you ever sat down trying to write an article and anxiety clouds your thoughts? You’re not alone.According to a recent Federal Survey,more than a third of Americans were depressed or showing signs of clinical anxiety.Even worse,there were reports of a nationwide shortage of Zoloft (Sertraline)-the firstline drug used in the treatment of depression.This got me thinking about how depression was posing productivity challenges to writers who,like everybody else, have apparently been kicked in the teeth by effects of the pandemic.

        But depression need not be writers’ biggest nemesis.This article flips on the head tired productivity hacks writers’ve tried before and explores effective science-backed strategies to combat challenge of depression zapping writing productivity in the prevailing pandemic.For my piece,l would interview top anxiety management experts with an insider scoop on the subject to unpack their distilled and surprising insights.

        (TK) Ways Writers Down Dirty & Dusty Pandemic Dumps Can Bounce Back And Bust Beast Stealing Their Productivity

        The University of North Carolina set out to bust the despicable depression demon walking the night.A study involving 600 participants was conducted to discover secrets of people who’ve conquered pandemic depression.They answered questions in a survey about what they were doing during the pandemic.Researchers were amused by the simple, yet simple findings.

        Forinstance :

        #1-Engaging in Yoga or Mindful Meditation

        *Scientists have long trumpeted compelling hard-boiled evidence proving mindful meditation was an antidote for depression. And writers can tap into the astonishing health benefits of this tried and tested hack by religiously practising this activity daily.The latest study from Georgetown University further cements this conclusion.Researchers split 89 people experiencing depression into two groups.The one group took an eight weeks mindful meditation course, while the other was tasked with doing an eight weeks stress management course without mindful meditation.At the outset of the study,the group who had practised mindful meditation saw a 15 percent drop in stress levels. Unsurprisingly,there was hardly any change in stress markers in the second group on participants who took the course without mindful meditation.

        #2-Exercising or Practicing An Active Lifestyle

        *Again,writers’ve likely heard a lot about leading an active lifestyle.So, they can tap into the health benefits of fitting exercise into their daily schedule not only to prevent depression but also other high risk diseases such as diabetes,cancer,stroke and many more. Perhaps latest eye-popping research on this would come from Australia’s Black Dog Institute which proved that exercise played a vital part in reducing stress.ln a study, the researchers followed 33 308 participants for a period of 11 years.Findings showed that people who lived a sedentary lifestyle stood a 44 percent higher risk of suffering depression compared to those who took time to exercise.

        Sounds too generic?Well, maybe.But readers who think so will live to eat their own words. Because my article goes a notch deeper down the rabbit hole to unearth hidden gems from experts.Truth is, your readers, like anybody else,have driven into the centre of a storm.And all seemed lost in the doom and gloom.My article gives them a shoulder to lean on…a hand to hold onto and above all, a kick in the bum to keep going even when chips are down.There’s hope.Eventually,your readers will navigate their way out of this storm,and bounce back even bolder,buoyant,smarter, satieted ,and low-stressed writing gladiators boasting bragging rights of their craft…their writing space.

        About me : I’m a freelance writer based in South Africa who’s passionate about seeing writers suceed even in the face of adversity.l’m married to a health-conscious,physical trainer and marathon runner wife.After breaking sweat to advance a hassle-free, stress-free lifestyle, it’ll be a dream come true for us as a couple to see the positive traits we’ve instilled across society over the years begin to bear fruit,not in the least among writers.

        Evan, would you like me to write this article for your readers? In closing, l would kill for a “Make a Living Writing” by-line.

        Thanking you in anticipation.

        Sincerely,

        Nkuleko Sibanda.

        • Nkuleko Sibanda on

          Hie Evan,
          Sorry, l just noticed l didn’t include a working title in my pitch, which is as follows :

          (TK) Ways Writers Down Dirty & Dusty Pandemic Dumps Can Bounce Back And Bust Beast Stealing Their Productivity

          Also, the sentence ‘Researchers were amused by the simple, yet simple findings” should read “Research findings were amusing, yet simple.”

          I completely overlooked this careless typo.

          Hope you find all in order, .

          Nkuleko Sibanda

          • Carol Tice on

            We don’t care about typos so much, Nkuleko — but you should know that 14-word headlines don’t work. 8-10 words is what you’ve got before Google cuts it off, so most blogs have a habit of staying under there. Just a tip for future pitching!

  58. CM on

    I would live to read about living in Russia without a refrigerator for a year. Shame there isn’t a great place for blog posts like these.

    • Carol Tice on

      I meet many writers who have arcane topics they’d love to be well-paid for, but it’s just not a lucrative niche. The trick is to look at what you know, and then think about where that might intersect with money in the marketplace.

      Unfortunately, living off the grid or super-cheap doesn’t tend to do well, because the travel sites want pieces about types of travel they can get big-money advertisers/sponsors for — until recently, that was the big hotel chains, cruise ships and such. It’s right up there with DIY crafting — doesn’t cost much, doesn’t pay much.

      I’d read the travel sites now, to see who’s advertising. Let that drive your ideas. Good luck! If you want to pitch my blog, be sure to read the guidelines and think about things my freelance-writer audience would need to know.

      P.S. Just a note that we don’t allow fake names or abbreviation-only names here on my blog comments. Please feel free to come back with your full name to participate here, as try to build community and get to know our readers. Thanks!

  59. Kat Bautista on

    Hi, Evan,

    Carol recently made a splash with her post An Open Letter to ESL Writers, where she laid out the truth about ESL writers who aren’t proficient in English. But what about ESL writers who are past that threshold but aren’t completely fluent?

    The good news is that you can work on your fluency — and I’d like to write a guest post that lists some tips for becoming fluent.

    Headline: Non-Fluent ESL Writer? Use This Professor’s Tips to Upgrade Your English

    1. Read hard and wide:

    “The more you read, the better you write,” says University of San Francisco professor Sedique Popal. Why? Reading lets you encounter words, and figures of speech that are foreign to you, which will enrich your writing. Read widely and stick to quality material (Shakespeare rather than tabloids, for instance), I add, so you get English at its best.

    2. Talk to people:

    When you interact with other people, you get to “use English actively,” says Popal, because talking involves thinking of an immediate answer. When you talk, you get to practice quickly understanding what people say and crafting a reply right away.

    3. Write freely everyday:

    The more you do something, the more fluent you get, says Popal. Practice really does make perfect.

    4. Get an editor:

    An extension of a tip Carol mentions in her Open Letter post. According to Popal, to become fluent you need to address both fluency (#3) and accuracy. Having an editor shows you your blind spots, so you get to improve more quickly than if you slaved away on your own.

    As a Filipina writer, I’ve had to work on my fluency and, in my past jobs as an ESL tutor, I have experience with Japanese and Korean ESL learners. I’m also a former member of the Den and am looking to get back into the community when I can.

    Would you be interested in this guest post?

    Thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind Regards,
    Kat Bautista

    • Kat Bautista on

      Alternatively, I can give tips on how I improved my English:

      1. Read widely and beyond your level. To get you exposed to different styles, but also to elevated registers of the language.
      2. Watch English-language TV shows and movies. Gets you familiar with the rhythms of conversational English.
      3. Talk regularly in English. My former day job as an ESL tutor got me talking in English five days a week, but there are other ways–seek out English speakers online to practice, or co-opt your friends and family to talk to you in English.
      4. Write regularly. To build my writing stamina, I had a word count I increased by 250 words every month.

      • Evan Jensen on

        Hi Kat. IMO, it’s such a long road to go from ESL to highly fluent in speaking and writing in English. Yes, lots of people have done this. But it’s not a 12-week course and you’ve mastered everything there is to know. It’s usually years in the making.

        • Kat Bautista on

          I was targeting ESL writers who are nearly fluent–whose language skills are proficient or nearly proficient but who need a little bit more upgrading to get them on par with professional writers. What do you think?

          • Kat Bautista on

            Or I could write the post as a “How I did it,” similar to Jovelle Alingod’s post on how she got herself to professional-writer level.

          • Carol Tice on

            Our experience is that the vast majority of ESL writers will never be fluent enough to earn a living writing in English, Kat. So not really our target audience. I try to focus the blog on where we can be of most help, and particularly don’t want to hold out false hope to desperately poor writers abroad who need to find a reliable way to feed their families. It’s more likely English writing will not be the core skill they earn from. You need to be beyond fluent — you need to MASTER the language. Many will not. If you could read my email inbox, you’d know why I have this opinion…

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Kat. I’m with Carol on this and her Open Letter to ESL writers. Your pitch is really about how to improve your English, which isn’t the focus of MakeaLivingWriting. Happy to consider other ideas though.

      • Kat Bautista on

        Thanks! I’m in the middle of developing other pitches right now. It’s really encouraging to know that it was the idea that wasn’t a match.

  60. Theodore Daly TLD on

    IDK, what about self help in focusing on a niche and how to proceed in obtaining plenty of pick-and-choose type of writing jobs all because of the ability to focus, staying consistent in drive to make the niche your own. The idea comes from a30k word book I recently completed. The title is “Art of Persuasion”. After much time wasted, finding a niche helped me to make $ continuing to do the job I love. Freelance work is exciting when one truly find the niche they are good at!

    • Evan Jensen on

      Hi Theodore. Good effort here. But seems like you’re missing a lot of details and a well-developed headline to really sell us on your idea.

  61. Hope Johnson on

    Hi Evan.

    I’m a big fan of those Copywriting content available on your blog.

    As an entrepreneur, I started my career as a web developer and in the course of time I transitioned into marketing and Copywriting.

    I’m very interested in writing about Copywriting and freelancing on your blog which I have learnt over time from Bleathost Digital ( a marketing agency I co-founded).

    I appreciate the opportunity to pitch my content ideas

    I have written sales emails, Facebook ads and posts, website copies as a copywriter.

    I teach other writers and marketers with may Facebook and Instagram page every day.
    You can check it out: @hopejohnsonpage

    Here are some topics I plan to write:

    – 10 Copywriting lens you should use for better copy ideas.

    – 7 little-known email copy mistakes you must avoid.

    – 10 problems you must conquer to become a Master copywriter

    If you are interested in this writings my rate per post is $200

    Thanks for your consideration.

    • Carol Tice on

      Hope, if you read our guidelines, you’ll see that’s not our pay rate.

      Free tip: Your website headline is ungrammatical. You’ll want it to say ‘results.’ Probably best to not have these kinds of errors if you’re trying to get hired for $200 a post…

  62. Antonio on

    Hi Evan/Carol,

    I believe one of the things freelance writers (especially beginners) struggle with the most is prioritizing. I’m saying that because I’ve learned it the hard way! My brain used to race like a Formula One car, trying to think what to write first. Ideas mingled together in a chaotic mess and I end up wasting my time in front of a blank page.

    However, I’ve now implemented a mind tidying up strategy which any freelance writer could adopt before hitting on the keyboard. My secret recipe is unveiled in my post “5 mind-blowing tips to prioritize your writing success”. Below are my key ingredients.

    1) Unwind your neurons.
    2) Don’t be nuts, talk to yourself
    3) You’re a writer, so write your ideas down
    4) The better you rank, the more money you bank
    5) Develop your own time vending machine

    Looking forward to hearing your feedback on that,

    Antonio

      • Carol Tice on

        Antonio, think we’re drowning in 100+ submissions here — I’m just back from a week of vacation, and don’t readily see your pitch. We can’t necessarily respond on every idea, just the ones Evan is interested in.

        I think Evan has responded to nearly all the people who read and followed the guidelines — seeing MANY people who only pitched a headline, which is not what we ask for in a pitch. So review that guidelines link if need be!

        • Antonio on

          Hi Carol,

          Many thanks for your reply. I do appreciate you’re swamped with pitches.

          I reviewed (again) the guidelines and I do think my idea can be a good fit for the “Productivity” topic. I provided a strong headline and (briefly) outlined my project. Can’t see anything obviously wrong (unless you wanted me to expand a bit further on each of my points).
          On the other hand, if I did not get any reply so far, I assume my pitch did not pique your /Evan interest, which is fair enough.

          I’ll try to come up with another idea.

          Thanks,

          Antonio

          • Carol Tice on

            I just haven’t seen it! Maybe Evan has. The thing to remember is if you’re pitching a very popular topic we’ve covered a lot, like productivity, you really need to have some unique, fresh ideas we haven’t already seen 100 times before online. We don’t greenlight any guest posts that consist of someone researching around online for 10 minutes and then recycling some ideas into a new post.

            It’s usually highly individual, documented first-person success stories on the theme. Many bloggers don’t seem to understand that top blogs don’t do recycled material.

            Hope that helps!

  63. Amos Onwukwe on

    Hi Carol,

    I hope this finds you well. Been a big fan of yours since 2016 when I reached out to you, at the start of my freelance career, to notify you that I mentioned you in this post.

    My name is Amos Onwukwe, a freelance copywriter (AWAI), content marketer (HubSpot), and digital marketer (Google).

    I am writing in response to your call for pitches, and attaching two pitches herewith viz:

    Topic 1: 10 Hot Cold Pitching Tips to Help You Get Clients in Droves

    When it comes to cold pitching, it is no secret that many freelance writers develop cold feet. If you lack an effective client-attraction system, and have a hard time sending out cold emails to market your freelance writing services; you’re not only leaving money on the table – you could soon be out of business!

    And although email marketing has proven to be effective, generating over $41 ROI per dollar spent, most writers still cringe at the thought of it. If cold pitching makes you freeze in your tracks, this post will help you get on your marks, set and going in minutes.

    Inside this post, we will x-ray five reasons why writers dread cold pitching, address pitching phobia and why cold emails fail, then highlight ten (10) practical tips to pitch-perfect your cold pitches.

    OUTLINE:
    Introduction
    5 Reasons Why You’re Scared of Cold Pitching
    a. Imposter Syndrome
    b. Self Doubt
    c. The Wait (Silence)
    d. Fear of Rejection
    e. Fear of Failure
    5 Reasons Why Cold Emails Fail
    a. Poor Subject Lines
    b. Weak Intros
    c. Poor Body Copy
    d. No or Poor CTA
    e. No Follow Ups
    6. Learn the Ropes: 10 Hot Cold Pitching Hacks That Will Help You Get Clients in Droves Starting Today
    1. Cherry-pick Your Prospects
    2. Identify Key Contact Persons
    3. Find Their Email Addresses
    4. Create a Spreadsheet
    5. Link Your Domain Email to Gmail
    6. Use a Mail Tracker
    7. Optimize Your Emails
    8. A/B Test Your Emails
    9. Analyze Your Results
    10. Improve, Rinse and Repeat
    7. Conclusion

    Topic 2: This Email Hack Can Help Writers Jump the Queue and Get the Job Instantly

    Thousands of writers frequent job boards daily in search of freelance writing opportunities. But with thousands applying, what are the odds? The truth is, whereas some succeed, others don’t, and timing could be a culprit.

    Although 60 to 90% of recruiters use applicant tracking software (ATS) to manage recruitment, experience shows that early responders to job ads stand a better chance, especially for jobs whose advertisers do not use ATS.

    So, what happens if you see your dream job in a recently expired ad? Are you a day late and a dollar short to still apply? The answer is no. In this post, I’ll show you a trick I used in 2017 to land a lucrative retainer gig that still pays me four figures every single month to date.

    In case you think, well it was accidental, lightning doesn’t strike twice at the same place, I’ll also show you with screenshots, several other times my lightning struck at the same place and helped me to get my foot in the door.

    What this Email Hack is All About and How I Came About It

    OUTLINE
    1. Introduction
    2. What this Email Hack is All About and How I Came About It
    3. Why This Email Hack is Super Effective
    4. Some Cons of this Email Hack
    5. The Very Cold Email that Did The Trick
    6. The Second Cold Email that Did The Next
    7. And the Next
    8. And the Next
    9. 5 Smart Ways To Duplicate and Implement this Cold Email Strategy
    10. Conclusion

    FEATURED IN:

    I’ve been featured in blogs like Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Self Growth, E-commerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Fleximize, GrowMap, Growth Hackers, among many others.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Regards.

    Amos Onwukwe

  64. Abhilasha Dubey on

    Hello Carol and Evan,

    I have been a fan of the blog and have been upscaling while reading it. So, here is my pitch:

    How I manage between Newborn, Work from home and Work for Home in the Pandemic. Bonus as I upscaled.

    Outline:

    I have been a fan of your blog for quite some time, reading and waiting for my turn to join the Den but at the first glimpse of my chance, I went into labour. Life happens. Then the pandemic hit. I little irritated that life happened but what could I do but keep me and my little one safe.

    While everyone was forced into their homes under fear, 2 businesses I was working for went aggressive on their blogs to keep the engagement flowing. I will get back on that in just a second.

    If you may know, Indian families have clear lines on male-female roles and household tasks fall under my domain primarily. My husband helps if he can make time from his job, ‘if’ being the key.

    I was exhausted but did not want to lose my chance at work nor wanted to leave my clients at these testing time. I was struggling between wanting upscale and the fear of losing the clients.

    But I took the opportunity and upscaled and now am expertly balancing between childcare, household chores and freelancing gigs while keeping all three happy.

    She is 5 months old now and my clients have been more than happy for the past 3 months.

  65. Patrick Icasas on

    Hi Carol! Here’s my freelance pitch. Hope to finally be able to write for you 😀

    “How I used Slack to get 100% of my new freelance writing clients in 2020”

    2020 is a landmark year for me. I got nearly my entire client list to an “A” tier where they pay me decent rates, I have to do zero cold calling or emailing, and have even had many clients approach me on their own with zero prompting from me. All through participation in Slack groups.

    All of my new clients were obtained through Slack or through an introduction made in Slack. Here are the points I’ll cover (really abbreviated).
    1. Find the right group
    2. Behave true to your brand persona
    3. Help, not sell
    4. Take the long view, but jump on opportunities

    I hope this is enough information!

  66. Shirley A Jones-Luke on

    Dear Carol,

    Rejection hurts. Writers pour themselves into their work only to receive an email (if they’re lucky) that politely tells them that their work isn’t a good fit for the journal or magazine. While rejection does sting, it can be enlightening. This is the focus of my piece that I would like to write for the Make a Living Writing blog, Five Ways to Use Rejection to Springboard Your Revision Process.

    My Outline for the blog post:

    1. Different Kinds of Rejection: Besides the standard, “not a good fit” email, there are different kinds of rejections. Writers can reexamine their work by the type of rejection they receive. For example, an editor may send a personal note, stating “this piece wasn’t quite right for us, but we’d like to see more of your work” or ” we can accept your piece if you narrow your focus/do a niche concept on the topic/provide more specific info on the topic for our readers.”

    2. Study the articles in the journal or magazine: Most rejections are based on not knowing the client. You may have a good idea, but the way it was presented doesn’t fit with the client’s aesthetic. Examine work in the magazine or website. How is it presented? What stands out? How does the piece fit with the rest of the layout?

    3. Don’t be afraid to revise or restart: There’s an old saying, “Kill your darlings.” Sometimes you have to start from scratch to meet the client’s requirements and say goodbye to your “baby.” Sometimes, the client likes only 100 words out of your piece. You have to look at your work and see how to retool it to meet the client’s specifics.

    4. Talk to Your Work: This involves have a conversation with your piece. How do you do this? In the margin of your piece, go through each paragraph, and read your work. As you read, ask yourself what you were trying to accomplish in that paragraph. Write your thoughts in the margins. This activity will he;p you gain a new perspective on your piece.

    5. Check your spelling and grammar: Sometimes a piece is rejected because of errors. When presenting your writing, you want to show your best work. Review your sentence structure. Check your punctuation. I use Grammarly to help with sentence construction and punctuation. You can install the program for free on most devices.

    Rejection isn’t the end of the world. It only feels like it. Once the pain has eased, it’s time to get back to writing. Review the rejection. Study the publication. Examine your piece. Edit for grammar and spelling. Revise your work, if needed. Your writing will improve and the rejections will decline. And if you do receive a rejection, you know how to improve your piece and get it back out there. You got this!

  67. Sulaksha Gad on

    1. best practices to begin your freelance writing journey

    2. how to find highly paid niches for freelance writing

    3. how to communicate to clients while chatting

    4. what should be required for freelance writing? Fluent English or Passion for freelance writing?

        • Nkuleko Sibanda on

          Story Idea :3 Ways Writers Can Turbocharge Their Marketing Drive During Pandemic

          Hi, Carol and Evan,

          Are you a writer concerned about losing the online marketing space war?

          In the wake of the novel coronavirus, there’s a massive transition toward online virtual business offerings to service clients.As a result,more people and businesses,are jostling for a share of the online marketing cake to make a mark and leave a lasting impression on customers.Essentially,how writers position themselves in the apparently chaotic and crowded new order will make or break their businesses.l’ve an idea on attention grabbing techniques used by pros,writers can tap into that will help your readers develop a personal writing brand that breaks through the noise and take them to the bank.

          For my article l will interview Sharon Haver,an online Marketing & Branding Expert to unpack her amazing insights and perspective on how writers can attract their most aligned and profitable audience online,including the top three things they should actually be focusing on when starting their writing business online in order to emerge a notch above their competition.

          3 Ways Writers Can Turbocharge Their Marketing Drive During Pandemic

          “What works for those marketing guru’s with 100,000+ followers won’t necessarily work for you. In order to build an engaged online customer base,you must first clearly define your target audience and only produce website content, social media content, and ads that speak to that specific audience.And do so in a way that is the most authentic to you personally,” says Sharon Haver,an online entrepreneur and personal branding expert who has been growing her online business through authentic digital content and helping other entrepreneurs do the same since 1999.

          The “Make A Living Writing” readers, like everbody else have been caught in a firce storm of online marketing competition.This article is timely because it throws a lifeline to help them navigate their way out of a perfect storm.

          About me: l’m a freelance writer based in South Africa.l’m passionate about seeing writers advance their marketing skills to a whole new level even in the face of adversity.

          Carol or Evan,would you commission me to write this piece for your readers? l could tweak the idea to dovetail with your wishes, if you feel it’s no perfect fit.

          Right, this is no arm-twisting tactic.Truth is, tips given by this Award winning blog on writing have been priceless.

          Thanking you in anticipation.

          Sincerely,

          Nkuleko Sibanda,

    • Carol Tice on

      Not sure if that’s one headline or two, Darrell… but read and follow the guidelines to understand how to pitch my editor, Evan Jensen, here in the blog comments. Link in the post.

    • Carol Tice on

      Darrell, see notes above about how to pitch us, and read the guidelines linked in the post.

      I’ve received many pitches over the years with the name of my blog in them, and we’ve run none of them. A little too obvious, yes?

      Also, this is what Evan and I refer to as an ‘all in’ headline. What you want us to know is ALL IN the headline, so we don’t need to click. Which obviously, isn’t a good thing. Keep working on your headline ideas — and remember to read instructions before pitching.

  68. Shirley A Jones-Luke on

    Thank you for the opportunity to pitch. Here are my ideas.

    1. How to Keep Writing During a Pandemic

    2. Ten Unique Freelancing Ideas that Generate Income During a Recession

    3. Multiple Streams of Writing: Spin Your Freelance Articles into Other Genres

    4. Black Writers Matter: My Life as Black Freelance Writer

    5. Writing about the Everday: Personal Essays about Ordinary Lives and the Lessons They Hold

    • Carol Tice on

      Shirley — thanks for kicking off our pitch-a-thon!

      Check out that guidelines link in the post. Think you’ll see that your pitch is going to need to be more fleshed out than just a headline… and that we want your best one, not 5 at a time.

      One more hint: Use this blog’s search bar to see if your headline idea is on a topic we’ve already covered recently.

      Good luck!

      • Evan Jensen on

        Correct. If you’ve got a guest post idea to pitch, this is what to submit here:

        “Write a pitch with a working headline and a brief outline of the points you’ll cover in the guest post.”

        Make a case for your pitch. Show us how your idea will help other freelance writers move up and earn more.

        And please, for the love of all that is good and holy, it better be about freelance writing. Seriously. If you don’t know what I’m fired up about here, read the post. LOL.

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