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.
It’s no secret that jobs for stay at home moms can be hard to come by.
Where can you get a job with a wildly flexible schedule that leaves you time for things like:
- Meal prep
- Soccer-mom duties
- And the inevitable “your-kid-just-threw-up” phone call from the school principal?
Some work-around-your-schedule jobs for stay at home moms might be just the right fit to make money.
But if you know anything about diaper duty, local play dates, or how to handle tween-age drama:
Writing Skills + Life Experience = Money.
There’s an entire niche of parenting websites and magazines with writing jobs for stay at home moms.
Check out this list of 36 paying markets, and start pitching…right after that terrible-twos tantrum is over.
Are you a digital hoarder? There’s a good chance the way you organize your freelance writing jobs is a complete mess.
Take a look at your inbox, computer, and work space. If there’s clutter, junk, and “important” information everywhere, you may have a problem.
When I started freelancing, I hustled a ton of work just to make money writing. Getting started was great. But it didn’t take long to realize I wasn’t organized.
I wasn’t doing a very good job at keeping track of assignments, pitches, contact information, deadlines, story ideas, invoices and payments from clients for freelance writing jobs.
My digital hoarding habits were preventing me from being able to move up and earn more. And I knew something had to change.
If you think digital hoarding habits may be preventing you from freelance success, it’s time for an intervention.
Use this strategy to organize your freelance writing jobs:
If you want to land more freelance writing jobs, you want to try and throw strikes every time you pitch a market, a magazine, or a niche blog.
Think of it like you’re trying to win the World Series of freelance writing.
It’s a numbers game. The more you practice, the more consistent you’ll be at landing assignments. And the more money you’ll score for the home team.
What should you do before you pitch a story idea? Start with a warm-up.
Study the market. Read back issues. Check the site or publications for the writer’s guidelines playbook. Do a little research or even a pre-interview with a source.
Then wind up and throw a pitch in the strike zone with a great idea for a story or blog post.
Looking for freelance writing jobs? Pitch these 99 markets to move up and earn more:
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:
“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: