query letter

Writing a Pitch: Use These Tools to Build Your Freelance Business

Writing a Pitch: Tools to Land More Clients. Makealivingwriting.com

How do you go about writing a pitch?

If you’ve been slaving away in content mills or spending all your time replying to job ads, you might be a bit confused about what writing a pitch actually means.

So you ask Google.

One writer-guru claims that if you master the art of cold pitching, you can land your dream clients.

Another recommends sending letters of introduction, or LOIs, so you can build relationships for ongoing work.

And yet another touts the advantages of writing a pitch to an editor as the way to land an assignment.

So, which of these should you use to build your freelance writing business?

The answer: All of them.

Because all three are powerful tools, proven to help you get freelance writing gigs.

Want to learn the craft of writing a pitch to land more clients? Here are the tools you’ll need:

Tagged with: , , , , ,

11 Mind-Blowing Epiphanies to Go from Broke to Professional Writer

Mind-Blowing Epiphanies for Professional Writers. Makealivingwriting.com

“You don’t know what you don’t know.” Not exactly the most mind-blowing piece of advice when you’re trying to go from broke to well-paid professional writer.

This quote frustrates me every time I hear it—of course you don’t know what you don’t know.

As a newbie writer, I spent way too much time making mistakes, working for low rates, and racking my brain trying to figure out how to find well-paying clients. I didn’t know.

Fortunately, I’ve learned a lot from the school of hard knocks and other professional writers. And I thought it was about time to give that tired quote a makeover for up-and-coming freelancers:

“Here’s what you don’t know, that I do. Learn from me, and you’ll be ahead of the game.”

Ready for some mind-blowing epiphanies about being a professional writer? Here are 11 things you need to know:

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Get Paid to Write: 15 Political Writing Markets for Freelancers

Get Paid to Write About Politics. Makealivingwriting.com

Want to get to paid to write about politics?

Maybe you’re one of those news junkies who follows government trends, key political players, or the issues and policies that have an impact on everyday people.

Find a fresh angle, and you can get paid to write about it.

Can you really get paid to write about politics? Absolutely. As a newbie freelancer, I actually landed my first assignment with a national magazine to write about a succession of events that shaped the trajectory of our current president.

Maybe you want to get paid to write about your political views, opinions, and life experiences impacted by politics and government. There’s a market for that.

And if you’re interested in digging deep into government and politics as an investigative journalist, feature writer, or contributing freelancer, you can find markets to get paid to write those types of articles, too.

Want to get paid to write about politics? Check out this list of political writing markets, study the guidelines, and start pitching:

Tagged with: , , , ,

Pitch Accepted: The Newbie Strategy That Landed a Major Magazine Assignment

Get a major magazine assignment with no experience. Makealivingwriting.com

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.

Tagged with: , , , ,

4 Free Email Lookup Tools To Find Editors & Marketing Managers

Easy-to-use email lookup tools for writers. Makealivingwriting.com.

Ever waste half a day in a fruitless search for the email address of an editor or marketing manager? Well, I recently found a simple email lookup system that reliably reveals whether you have the right address.

There’s one catch here: If the person you seek doesn’t use any social media, this system won’t help you sleuth out their address.

But since most folks in business are on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ — some social media platform or other — this system is highly useful.

I’ve found this combo better than Rapportive, or Email Hunter (now known simply as ‘Hunter‘), or any of the other popular email lookup tools you may have heard about.

There are four free things you need to use my system:

  1. A Gmail address (just get one, if you don’t already have).
  2. Google Chrome as your browser.
  3. FullContact for Gmail, a Gmail extension for Chrome only. (Heads up: You may need to refresh your Gmail after you install.)
  4. An email permutator that suggests all the likely possible email address formats for any given name (I use a free handout from Rob Ousbey at Distilled that you can download from this page). You could live without this if you’re highly creative in guessing emails, but I found this tool a real time-saver that helps you easily track which versions of your target name you’ve already tried.

You may know that I’m not very tech-savvy, so I want to reassure you these are easy installs to do. I was able to get this hooked up on my own, and didn’t even cry once.

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

How One Query Letter Got $6,000 in Assignments

How one query letter got $6,000 in assignments. Makealivingwriting.com

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.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,