There are five stages to pitching a story idea to an editor:
- You get an article idea
- You write the idea up, in a query letter or letter of introduction.
- You send the pitch letter in, usually via email.
- You wait, frequently in vain, for a response.
- You begin the second-guessing game, and start wondering why your article pitch didn’t get you an assignment.
That fifth stage often sends writers into an emotional tailspin, and sucks up way too much time. But it shouldn’t. Really, it shouldn’t exist at all.
There are only two basic reasons why article ideas get rejected — and once you know them, it can help you move on to writing that next query more quickly.
New freelance writers have a lot of worries. So I want to check in about that.
Are you frozen in fear, and not taking any steps to get your freelance-writing career off the ground?
Usually, that means fear has you stuck.
The good news is, a lot of worries newbies have are completely unfounded.
Today, let’s bust those fears. What you’re worried about probably isn’t an issue at all.
Wonder what I mean? Let me list the top five irrational fears new freelance writers tell me they’re plagued by — and I’ll show you that you don’t have to worry about any of them. You’re good to go!
Do you love writing? Thinking of doing it for pay? Well, there’s a big difference between writing for the fun of it, and having a lucrative, bill-paying writing career.
Every day, there are loads of things you could be writing, sure. But when you’re writing for money, time is of the essence. You’ll need to focus on the types of writing that will help move your writing career forward.
You might think, “Well, any writing is good. Because it’s all writing practice.” Right?
If you’ve got unlimited time, then sure. But if you have other commitments in your life — say, a day job, kids, a love life — you’ll need to be efficient here.
What writing tasks should you avoid wasting time on? Here’s my list:
You’re staring at the computer screen thinking about making money writing online. But something isn’t right.
You’re anxious. You’re full of self doubt. You keep thinking of worst-case scenarios. You’re terrified by the fear of failure. And that kind of makes writing online and making money hard to do.
If you’re cowering in the corner afraid to make a move as a freelance writer, you’re not alone. A lot of writers struggle with the same kind of issues, even pros who’ve been writing online for years.
But if you want to make money writing online, you can’t let fear stop you from trying, writing a query, sending a letter of introduction, networking, or going after higher-paying clients.
The thing you should be most afraid of is wasting days, weeks, months, or even years paralyzed by fear, when you could be writing online and building your dream freelance life.
Ready to move up and earn more? Punch fear in the face and kick self doubt to the curb. These 15 no-fear moves will help you make it happen.
Are you your own worst enemy, as a freelance writer? I think this career is such a head game — and strong writers don’t waste time going down an emotional drain.
It’s hard to earn a living with your craft if your brain keeps kicking out negative self-talk. I’ve always thought there’s a certain mental toughness you need to freelance, dealing with the ups and downs of different clients.
A few years ago, a post on Forbes about mentally strong people and the activities they avoid really spoke to me. And the fact that the post became one of Forbes’ most-popular ever tells me that if you struggle with keeping positive thoughts, you’re not alone! Turns out there’s a popular book about what mentally strong people avoid, too.
I found myself thinking about how the habits of mentally strong people apply to freelance writers, in particular. Staying positive is so essential to freelance success!
So I came up with my own list of bad patterns that mentally strong writers avoid. Reading the forums inside my writer community has given me a lot of experience with the mental rabbit-holes writers tend to wander down.
Want to be a strong writer? Mentally strong freelance writers don’t engage in these negative activities:
Struggling to find writing jobs? Or the ones you’ve got aren’t helping you move up and earn more fast enough?
Check your boarding pass. You may need to change your travel plans.
If you’re currently on board the Content Mill Clipper, the Job Board Puddle Jumper, or the Bid Site Balloon, it’s going to take a long time to build your freelance writing career.
You might get some clips and make a little money this way. But it’s a slow, mind-numbing route plagued with too many layovers, crammed cabin quarters, and mechanical problems. And it doesn’t have to be that way.
Get off at the next stop, and ride the freelancer’s jet stream to move up and earn more. Successful freelance writers use this fast-moving current to:
- Boost productivity
- Master marketing
- Overcome fear
- Stay motivated, and
- Charge higher rates
Ready to ride the freelancer’s jet stream? Here are 17 ways to speed up your freelance writing career: