You write a pitch letter, send it off, and get nothing.
That ever happened to you? Every freelance writer knows what it’s like.
You crank out queries and letters of introduction to editors and marketing managers.
You try some heavy-lifting techniques to engage prospects and land assignments.
You even flex your writing muscles and try different approaches to crafting pitch letters.
That’s exactly what you should be doing. But your pitch has to be strong enough to get noticed.
If your pitch letter is weak, it’s gonna feel a lot like working out at the gym, even though you’re not really sure if what you’re doing is working.
And that’s not what you want. You want to connect with prospects, land assignments, and make a living writing. Right?
If you’re not getting the results you want when you send a pitch letter, it’s time to get some help.
Ready to buff up your pitch letter? Here’s a chance for a free review:
Are you looking for freelance writing jobs?
Here’s a hint. Content mills, bid sites, and job boards might seem like an easy place to go to find freelance writing jobs, but they’re usually a waste of time.
Too much competition, flaky clients, low rates. That’s usually what you’ll find there. And it doesn’t have to be that way.
You’re better off looking for freelance writing jobs by pitching magazines and websites that pay writers. It’s called pro-active marketing. And it’s a game changer if you’re serious about full-time freelancing.
Instead of sitting around waiting for the Mysterious Force to drop some assignments in your lap, pitch a story idea to a magazine or website. Study the market. Come up with a story idea. Do a little research and mini-interview. Then write a great pitch letter and send it off. Rinse and repeat.
Need a little help figuring out where to pitch your bright ideas? We’ve done some of the hard work for you. Check out this updated monster list of 135 markets (from posts we published in 2018) in a variety of different niches, and start pitching.
Want to write for magazines?
It’s the dream for a lot of freelance writers.
Maybe you’ve got your sights set on getting published in a glossy consumer magazine with millions of readers.
You read every issue. You study the headlines, writing style, and topics. And you think about story ideas for your dream magazine…a lot.
That’s a start. But how do you turn your story ideas into an assignment with a contract, your byline in a popular magazine, and a check in the mail?
One freelance writer took the challenge to get published in AARP: The Magazine…a highly-competitive niche magazine that pays $1/word.
At first she didn’t see a clear path to break in. But with a little effort, she discovered a strategy to write for magazines that really works, whether you’re just starting out or a pro.
Want to steal her idea to break into your dream pub? Here’s what you need to know:
Want to get paid to write about writing? If you know a little something about the business and craft of freelancing, you can cash in on your ideas and experience.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
It’s no secret that finding a niche is a smart strategy to grow your freelance writing business. Everyone should have a niche, or two or three. And writing can be one of them.
In fact, there’s a number of online and print markets that serve freelance writers and some pay up to $1,500 per assignment. Pitch these places great story ideas, and you can get paid to write about writing. For example:
You’ve got some insight on how to write great headlines.
You’ve learned a few interview tricks over the years to get sources to spill the beans.
You’ve some great connections with thought leaders in writing and publishing you can interview and write a feature about.
Or maybe you’d like to write about the art of the pitch and interview pros who know how to do it.
Want to get paid to write about writing? Check out these markets that cover the business and craft of freelance writing, and start pitching.
Is your query letter good enough to make an editor fall in love with you?
Admit it or not, you’re probably at least a little emotionally invested in that query letter when you send it off to an editor.
You work hard on it, interview sources, research, and chip away at writing the perfect lede and headline.
And it would be nice to get a little something in return. Right?
An email. A phone call. A text message. A letter in the mail. Smoke signals. Anything that let’s you know your query letter hit home when the editor read your pitch. Or even better than that…a contract.
But let’s face it. Sometimes the writer-editor relationship is, well, complicated. You put your heart and soul into a story idea, send it off, and nothing happens.
So how do you write a query letter that gets you noticed? Here are X ways to make an editor fall in love with your pitch:
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.