Note: In this post from the past, you’ll learn about one easy method to come up with story ideas that never gets old. Enjoy! —Carol.
Are you short on story ideas to pitch magazine editors?
A lot of writers make it a lot harder than it needs to be to come up with story ideas to land an assignment.
You try and be ultra clever. You spend countless hours doing research looking for a nugget of information…and then another. Or you second guess every single one of the story ideas you come up with. Sound familiar?
Some story ideas deserve that kind of attention. But if you’re hustling to land more work and make more money, you need to pitch story ideas that sell.
And there’s one angle that few writers take the time to craft, but that often results in an easy sale.
What is this slam-dunk idea? Let me show you how it’s done:
Want to write a guest post for Make a Living Writing?
Now’s your chance to land an assignment. It’s open pitch week around here.
Got something to say or advice to share about the business and craft of freelance writing?
Maybe you’ve had a breakthrough in your business, mastered a new marketing technique to generate leads, or learned to leverage social media to connect with prospects and clients.
Or maybe an epic freelance fail, bad-news client, or claw-your-way-out-of-the-content-mills experience taught you a few things that might help a fellow freelancer.
If you’re a mid-career freelance writer or even if you’re just starting out, there’s a good chance you have some insight, perspective, tip, or technique that can help someone else…make a living writing.
Got some ideas for a guest post brewing now? Good.
Here’s the crazy thing about Open Pitch Week. A lot of guest posts pitches that writers send get deleted because they miss the mark, and some just totally suck. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here’s how to land a guest post assignment for Make a Living Writing:
It’s been nearly 6 years since this post was originally published — and it’s been one of my most popular ever. The need to write strong query letters has only grown in the years since, so I thought it would be a good time to put it out there again. Enjoy!–Carol
I often have freelance writers tell me they don’t think writing a query letter is worth the effort. They get a lot of rejections, and feel it’s basically a crapshoot…and so much easier to sign on to a content-mill dashboard for a guaranteed few bucks’ worth of work.
It’s true that querying isn’t a sure thing. But if you take the time to learn this skill, it can really help you move up and earn big.
I regularly get lucrative assignments off of query letters and guest post pitches, and I continue to believe querying is a vital skill for successful freelancers.
With so many writers turned off of queries, taking the time to learn how to write a compelling query letter is well worth the effort, as it makes you stand out in today’s marketplace. Querying can open doors when you don’t know anyone at a publication or company, and make a connection that could turn into an ongoing relationship.
For instance: I recently sent one query letter that got me $6,000 of assignments. And I’m reproducing it in full below.
Are your guest post pitches getting ignored?
If so, there may be some concrete things you can do to fix that. And it’s worth taking the time to figure out how to make your guest post ideas better.
Plenty of writers I know get all their freelance clients from the exposure they get guest posting on popular blogs. You can slog away posting on your own little blog named “blog” that’s living under a tab on your writer website, but few prospects ever see that.
Start guest posting for some high-traffic sites about the topics you’d like to get hired for, and all of a sudden, the calls start coming. These clients are usually impressed as heck that you’ve appeared on that big blog, and dying to hire you, in my experience.
To improve your guest-post pitches and get more posts approved, you’ve got to know how to please editors. So I asked a bunch of editors at popular sites what writers are getting wrong in their pitches.
Listen in as nine editors tell us their pet peeves. Here’s what writers are getting wrong:
Tagged with: blogging
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But once you’ve got your book written, there’s at least one more step in the process…editing. And it’s something a lot of writers dread. Sound familiar?
So what do you do when you’ve written a book and want to make sure you’ve done your best work? You could try and self-edit, or pass off your prose to a family member or friend for free feedback. But either way fails to give you the kind of objective view you need to make the biggest impact. Both editing options are frequently plagued by bouts of frustration and procrastination, and conjure up horror stories about the editing process.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Find an editor who is competent and affordable, and you’ll sound smarter, reduce roadblocks that could prevent you from publishing, and give your readers greater value.
Want to know how to find the right editor? Here are six ways to find the right editor for your book: