Have you ever come up with a bunch of good freelance ideas and then tossed them in the virtual trash?
You brainstorm some freelance ideas for a query or letter of introduction to land an assignment. You even write up a partial pitch.
And then for whatever reason (fear, procrastination, shiny-object syndrome, or too many open windows on your computer), those freelance ideas never make it to the Great Beyond.
Been there, done that?
If your hard drive looks like the inside of a hoarder’s house stacked with unfinished freelance ideas in every corner, it’s time to put on some rubber gloves, and start digging through the trash.
Why? Some of your discarded freelance ideas are worth money, an assignment, your next best client.
Having a little hoarder freakout about now? Here’s what you need to do:
Are you a writer in search of an article idea? These days, the big-earning article writers have loads of ideas for editors.
But if you’re someone who really finds idea generation tough, there’s another way to earn well. You can do it by getting more mileage out of your short stack of ideas.
Get out of the habit of coming up with one article idea, landing an assignment, and then moving on.
Instead, think in terms of spinning that one little idea straw into a big pile of gold.
How? Here are ten different ways:
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.
Do you feel like everything has already been said? That it’s impossible to be original, in an age where everyone has instant access to everything?
Well, I disagree.
Fresh, original writers and bloggers emerge every day. Each of us is an utterly unique human being.
Yet originality remains a struggle for many writers. Here’s a typical comment I recently got on one of my blog posts:
“I run a blog and I’ve been trying to be original in my content. The more I try, the more I get less original.
“What’s your advice on this?” –Ifeanyi
When you feel like you have nothing fresh to contribute, it’s time to take a step back and shake up your creative process.
I put together this list of 18 originality-enhancing ideas because in Hebrew, the word for life, chai, has the numerical value of 18. Pump some new life into your writing with these!