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.
Wondering how to blog for money and make a living writing?
Maybe you’re pitching businesses and magazines to blog for money, but you never hear back.
Or maybe your pitch to blog for money is good enough to get a response, but you keep getting rejected.
Been there, done that? It’s happened to me a lot.
The catastrophic-thinking part of your brain tries to tell you: “There’s no way in a million years they’re going to hire you. Don’t even bother trying.”
But the truth is, if you do your part to craft a well-written pitch to a prospect, that’s almost never the case.
Don’t give up that easy. You’re smarter than that. That prospect could be your next freelance writing client worth thousands of dollars.
Before you totally write off a prospect that rejected your pitch to blog for money, or gave you the “not-now-maybe-later” answer, take a minute to try and understand why. Follow up. Ask a few more questions.
Here’s how I turned a not-so-sure-prospect into a gig that pays $500 per blog post.
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.
Ever wonder what magazine editors are thinking?
You know they sift through a ton of query letters and pitches. And many of those end up in the slush pile.
They’re always on a deadline. Probably a little stressed. And they count on freelance writers to help produce great content for their publication and readers.
But what is it that magazine editors look for in a pitch or query letter? And how do you get past the delete button when an editor opens their email?
If you want to write for magazines, even pro freelancers will tell you rejection is part of the gig.
But if you can learn to think the way magazine editors do, you’ll significantly increase your chances of making a connection and landing assignments to make a living writing.
We recently caught up with two smart freelancers to learn more about what it’s like for magazine editors, what they’re looking for, and how to stand out when you pitch a story idea. Here’s what you need to know: