How are your query-letter writing muscles?
Go ahead…flex. Take a good look at your best writing assignments. Happy with your results? Feeling stuck? Or just starting out?
If you’re looking for ways to move up, earn more, and land better assignments as a freelance writer, there’s always room for improvement.
Think of it like this…Writing a great query letter is a lot like lifting weights. You get stronger one rep at a time. It’s hard. It takes practice. But when you follow the right steps, you WILL get better at it.
Want stronger query-letter skills?
Maybe you’re new to freelancing and your pitch skills are weak. Or maybe your query letters are landing zero assignments, and you could use a little help.
Maybe you’re standing in the middle of the gym with a confused look on your face. It doesn’t have to be like that.
Ready for a query letter workout to strengthen your pitch skills? Let’s do this.
So you want to get into travel writing?
Every day you flick through dozens of glossy magazine features. You scroll past hundreds of aspirational Instagram posts about travel writing.
You’ve probably even heard about some Irish guy who started with a $50 ad on his travel blog and went on to earn $1 million in three years from travel writing.
It all sounds so romantic, like stepping into Ernest Hemingway’s shoes and galavanting across the globe chasing travel writing assignments. And you start to have thoughts like this:
- Thought 1: Here I am in an office cubicle, staring at a screen that’s way too bright.
- Thought 2: Where the hell’s the dimmer switch? Wait, maybe I am the dimmer switch.
- Thought 3: I want a million dollars. Maybe I can earn that much from travel writing.
Is travel writing all fun and frolics on beaches with cocktails? No. But you can make a great living as a travel writer…I’ve been doing it for more than a decade.
Want to be a travel writer? These six tips will point you in the right direction…
You take the time to write a solid pitch letter, send it off, and then you wait…and wait some more.
It kind of feels like you’re in the boxing ring, circling, waiting for some action, or a reply.
Maybe nothing happens. What’s your next move? Was there something wrong with your pitch? Should you pitch again? What can you do to engage an editor or marketing director to land an assignment or get a new client?
Long before you step into the ring and hit send, you’ve got to get your pitch letter right.
And that doesn’t happen overnight. You’ve got to learn how to dodge and weave, jab and move, and deliver the kind of punch in your pitch letter that rings a bell for your editor.
If you’re new to freelancing, or you keep getting knocked around when you send a pitch letter, it’s time for a little help.
Want to know how to punch up your pitch letter? Go to your corner and check out this advice from a pro editor ready to show you the ropes.
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.
You write a pitch letter, send it off, and get nothing.
That ever happened to you? Every freelance writer knows what it’s like.
You crank out queries and letters of introduction to editors and marketing managers.
You try some heavy-lifting techniques to engage prospects and land assignments.
You even flex your writing muscles and try different approaches to crafting pitch letters.
That’s exactly what you should be doing. But your pitch has to be strong enough to get noticed.
If your pitch letter is weak, it’s gonna feel a lot like working out at the gym, even though you’re not really sure if what you’re doing is working.
And that’s not what you want. You want to connect with prospects, land assignments, and make a living writing. Right?
If you’re not getting the results you want when you send a pitch letter, it’s time to get some help.
Ready to buff up your pitch letter? Here’s a chance for a free review:
Want to write for magazines?
It’s the dream for a lot of freelance writers.
Maybe you’ve got your sights set on getting published in a glossy consumer magazine with millions of readers.
You read every issue. You study the headlines, writing style, and topics. And you think about story ideas for your dream magazine…a lot.
That’s a start. But how do you turn your story ideas into an assignment with a contract, your byline in a popular magazine, and a check in the mail?
One freelance writer took the challenge to get published in AARP: The Magazine…a highly-competitive niche magazine that pays $1/word.
At first she didn’t see a clear path to break in. But with a little effort, she discovered a strategy to write for magazines that really works, whether you’re just starting out or a pro.
Want to steal her idea to break into your dream pub? Here’s what you need to know: