Can you land a freelance magazine assignment without any clips?
If you’re new to freelancing and don’t have a lot of writing experience, it’s easy to think you can’t.
But it’s just not true.
About a year ago, I started at ground zero. I was pitching local newspapers and charity organizations. And I wasn’t getting anywhere. Not even low-paying gigs or pro bono work.
How was I ever going to land a magazine assignment without any clips?
Fortunately, Carol set me straight. “You need to learn how to pitch successfully,” she said.
Instead of chasing dead-end clients, I decided to go big and pitch a major magazine – the kind of magazine that has a massive readership, millions in ad revenue, and a freelance budget that pays pro rates.
And it worked. Pitch accepted.
Want to know how I did it? Here’s how you can land a major magazine assignment without any clips or experience.
Are you looking for blog writing jobs?
No. I’m not talking about the prolific Craigslist ads and content-mill stuff that pays $5 to $10 per blog post. If those are the types of writing jobs you’ve been chasing, it’s time to get some new clients. You can do better.
If you ask the Interwebs, there’s an estimated 400 million blogs online. Sure, lots of those are dead sites or personal blogs with pictures of kids, cats, and crafts. And you won’t find any writing jobs there. But there are blog writing jobs that pay.
Do a little digging, and you’ll find business blogs in virtually any niche designed to engage readers, drive website traffic, and promote a product or service. You’ll also find niche news-style blogs that operate similar to a newspaper or magazine.
Both of these types of blog writing jobs are money for the serious freelancer. Why? Well-run blogs publish frequently and need content. That means one blog writing assignment can easily turn into a regular gig.
Looking for more blog writing jobs? Check out this list of 10 sites that pay $75 and up per assignment.
Want to write for magazines?
It’s a great way to make a living writing if you pitch the right publications. How about $500 or more per assignment?
If you’ve been cranking out magazine stories for $50 to $150 a pop, you may be wondering if that’s really even possible. That’s often the going rate for local, regional, or small-circulation magazines.
If you want to write for magazines, and have limited experience, these are great places to get some clips, and earn some money, but it shouldn’t be your last stop.
Many consumer and trade magazines pay $500 or more per assignment. And the pitching process is pretty much the same as smaller pubs:
- Identify a magazine you want to write for
- Study the submission guidelines
- Develop a solid story idea
- Do a little research and interview a source
- Write a killer query letter, and pitch your story idea to an editor
If you can do that, you’ve got the chops to get paid well to write for magazines. But you need to know where to look for those $500-plus assignments. Check out these 25 magazines to get started.
Are you looking for freelance writing jobs?
Here’s a hint. Content mills, bid sites, and job boards might seem like an easy place to go to find freelance writing jobs, but they’re usually a waste of time.
Too much competition, flaky clients, low rates. That’s usually what you’ll find there. And it doesn’t have to be that way.
You’re better off looking for freelance writing jobs by pitching magazines and websites that pay writers. It’s called pro-active marketing. And it’s a game changer if you’re serious about full-time freelancing.
Instead of sitting around waiting for the Mysterious Force to drop some assignments in your lap, pitch a story idea to a magazine or website. Study the market. Come up with a story idea. Do a little research and mini-interview. Then write a great pitch letter and send it off. Rinse and repeat.
Need a little help figuring out where to pitch your bright ideas? We’ve done some of the hard work for you. Check out this updated monster list of 135 markets (from posts we published in 2018) in a variety of different niches, and start pitching.
Ever wonder if the latest cryptocurrency news has anything to do with freelance writing?
Well, there’s a handful of niche magazines and millions of webpages dedicated to covering cryptocurrency news, bitcoin trading, and digital currencies.
If you’re already writing about the intersection of finance and technology, you’re probably at least familiar with cryptocurrency.
But if you need proof cryptocurrency is a real thing, here’s just one example. There’s a $325 million luxury resort under development in Dubai, and investors are funding the project in bitcoin.
If you’re looking for a niche, there’s a growing demand for cryptocurrency news you can write about.
But it’s also a new way to get paid. In a recent survey of 1,100 freelancers, 29 percent said they prefer to be paid in cryptocurrency.
Want to learn how to tap into this niche and get paid in digital currency? Here’s what you need to know.