Pitching to potential clients is an important step in creating a successful freelance writing career. Making mistakes in your pitches, on the other hand, will hinder your chances of getting hired and tarnish your reputation as a professional writer.
We will look at 10 typical pitfalls to avoid while selling freelance writing jobs in this article. Understanding these blunders and learning how to avoid them can boost your chances of having your pitches accepted and progressing your freelance writing career.
Therefore, let’s get started and learn how to improve your pitching skills and stand out as a qualified and professional writer.
Before pitching, conduct a study on the publication or website to increase your chances of acceptance. Here are a few explanations of why this step is critical:
Every newspaper or website has a unique style and tone that appeals to its readers. Understanding the tone and style of the newspaper allows you to tailor your pitch to their preferences.
A magazine targeted at teenagers, for example, may use a more casual tone, whereas a financial newspaper may use a more formal tone.
Understanding the type of content published by the publication or website can assist you in developing ideas that are pertinent to their audience. For example, if the website focuses on health and wellness, you could pitch a piece about the newest fitness trends or a healthy eating guide.
Understanding the publication’s or website’s audience is critical for producing content that resonates with them. This will assist you in developing a pitch that is customized to their interests and needs.
For example, if the publication’s primary audience is young professionals, you could pitch a piece on how to balance work and personal life.
Researching the competition allows you to identify market gaps and propose ideas that will set you apart. For example, if you observe that a popular blog in your niche lacks video content, you could pitch a video series that supplements its current content.
Overall, studying the publication or website shows that you care about your work and want to create content that is a good match for their audience. It also assists you in avoiding proposing ideas that are irrelevant to their editorial style.
As a freelance writer, you must avoid sending out boilerplate pitches to many magazines or websites. This is why:
A generic pitch shows that you haven’t done your homework on the publication or website, which can turn editors and publishers off. Personalizing your pitch shows that you understand their audience and are interested in generating material that meets their needs.
A general pitch may not be relevant to the readership or substance of the publication or website, limiting your chances of acceptance. You improve the likelihood that people will be interested in your proposal by tailoring your pitch to their needs and interests.
Submitting a boilerplate pitch can harm your industry reputation by making you appear unprofessional or sluggish. By making the effort to personalize your pitch, you indicate that you are dedicated to producing high-quality material.
Editors and publishers receive a large number of pitches every day, and a generic pitch is more likely to be overlooked. You may distinguish yourself from the competition and enhance your chances of being noticed by personalizing your pitch.
To summarize, personalizing your pitch is an important component of the pitching process that can help you stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of being accepted.
It demonstrates that you have taken an effort to understand the readership of the publication or website and are committed to generating material that is relevant and valuable to them.
When pitching freelance writing work, it is critical to follow submission criteria. Here are some reasons why this step is critical:
Guidelines often set the word count for articles. It is critical to stick to the word count for your article to fit inside the limits of the magazine. Ignoring this condition may result in your article being rejected or heavily modified.
Guidelines may define the font size, font style, line spacing, or other formatting requirements that you must meet. Following these standards makes it easier for the editor or publisher to read your pitch or article, increasing the likelihood of acceptance.
Guidelines frequently include contact information, such as the editor’s email address or the publication’s submission form. Use the relevant contact information to reach the appropriate person.
Guidelines may specify deadlines for submitting your pitch or article. Submitting your work after the deadline may result in rejection or missed possibilities of getting your work published.
Some newspapers may choose a particular editorial style. Certain periodicals, for example, may favor British English over American English. To maximize your chances of acceptance, adhere to the editorial style of the newspaper.
It guarantees that your pitch or piece meets the publication’s guidelines and raises the likelihood of acceptance. As a result, it is critical to read and comprehend the submission rules before submitting your work.
It is crucial to provide sufficient details about the topic you are proposing because it helps the editor or publisher understand your idea and decide whether it is relevant to their publication or website.
Here are some specific reasons why providing enough details is important:
A clear and well-defined idea is more likely to capture the editor or publisher’s attention. If your idea is ambiguous or unclear, it may be disregarded even if it has potential.
Providing enough details about your proposed topic helps the editor or publisher evaluate its relevance to their publication or website.
For example, if you are proposing an article about the latest trends in social media, you should provide details about what these trends are, how they are impacting the industry, and why they are essential to the publication’s readers.
Providing enough details about your proposed topic also helps the editor or publisher comprehend the scope of your article. This enables them to determine if it is suitable for their publication or website.
For example, if you are proposing an in-depth analysis of a complex subject, you should provide details about the research you have conducted, the sources you will use, and the article’s structure.
Providing enough details about your proposed topic also demonstrates your expertise in the subject matter. This enhances your credibility and trust with the editor or publisher, increasing your chances of acceptance.
In conclusion, providing enough details about your proposed topic is critical to getting your pitch accepted. It helps the editor or publisher understand your idea, assess its relevance and scope, and evaluate your expertise in the subject matter.
By providing enough details, you increase your likelihood of making a good first impression and getting your pitch accepted.
When pitching for a freelance writing job, it is vital, to be honest about your talents and expertise. Here’s why this is crucial:
Building a positive reputation as a freelance writer requires honesty. If you make promises you can’t keep, it might harm your reputation and limit future career possibilities.
Conversely, being honest about your talents and knowledge generates trust with clients and editors, which leads to more business.
Overpromising and underdelivering might have a detrimental impact on your work’s quality. If you claim high-quality writing but lack the necessary abilities and expertise, you risk dissatisfied clients, unfavorable reviews, and fewer future work prospects.
Taking on too many projects that you are unable to complete on time might harm your reputation and result in missed deadlines. This might lead to time management issues and a decrease in work quality.
In the freelance writing sector, strong client ties are essential. You may manage customer expectations and minimize problems by being honest about your talents and knowledge.
Finally, being truthful about your talents and knowledge is critical for keeping a great reputation, creating high-quality work, managing time effectively, and developing solid client relationships.
It is preferable to underpromise and overdeliver than the reverse. In the freelance writing market, your most significant asset is your reputation.
If you don’t hear back from the publication or website after a reasonable amount of time, follow up with them. Here are some specific reasons why following up is crucial:
Following up shows that you are professional and dedicated to the opportunity. It displays your willingness to devote your time and effort to the process.
Sometimes, a publication or website may receive numerous pitches, and it can be easy for your submission to be overlooked. Following up demonstrates that you are persistent and willing to go the extra mile to get noticed.
Following up can provide clarity on the status of your pitch. If you don’t hear back after a reasonable amount of time, following up can help you understand if your pitch was rejected or if the publication or website hasn’t had time to review it yet.
Following up can provide an opportunity to receive feedback on your pitch or proposal. If your pitch was rejected, the publication or website may be able to provide some insight into why it wasn’t accepted. This feedback can be valuable in improving your pitch for future opportunities.
Following up can help maintain a positive relationship with the publication or website, even if your pitch was rejected. By staying in touch and showing continued interest, you may be considered for future opportunities.
Overall, following up after submitting your pitch can demonstrate your professionalism, persistence, and commitment to your work. It can also provide clarity on the status of your pitch and an opportunity for feedback to improve your future pitches.
Avoid being too pushy in your freelance writing job pitches or follow-up. Here are some reasons why maintaining a professional and respectful approach is important:
Editors and publishers are often busy and may receive many pitches daily. Bombarding them with too many follow-up emails or being too pushy can be off-putting and may lead to them rejecting your pitch outright. Respect their time and allow them to respond at their convenience.
Being too pushy can seem unprofessional and damage your reputation in the industry. This can reduce your chances of landing future writing jobs or freelance opportunities.
Freelance writing jobs often rely on personal relationships and reputation. By being respectful and professional in your pitch and follow-up, you can build a positive relationship with editors and publishers. This can lead to future opportunities and recommendations.
If you receive feedback on your pitch or writing sample, use it as a learning opportunity to improve your skills. Being too pushy or defensive can harm your reputation and may lead to missed opportunities.
When following up, keep your message brief and to the point. Avoid sending lengthy, detailed emails or demanding a response. A polite and concise message is more likely to receive a response than a lengthy one.
In summary, maintaining professionalism and respect when pitching for freelance writing jobs is crucial.
It demonstrates your willingness to build relationships and collaborate with editors and publishers, which can lead to future opportunities and recommendations. Being too pushy can harm your reputation and reduce your chances of landing writing jobs.
Incorporating writing samples in your pitch is a critical aspect of the pitching process. Here are some specific reasons why this step is crucial:
Including writing samples in your pitch allows the editor or publisher to evaluate your writing skills and whether your style is appropriate for their publication or website. It conveys your seriousness about your work and your expertise in writing within the relevant genre or topic.
Having published work or writing samples establishes your credibility as a writer. It demonstrates that you have experience writing for publications or websites and have received positive feedback from past clients or readers.
If you have a niche or specialized area of expertise, including relevant writing samples can help showcase your knowledge to the editor or publisher. For example, if you are an expert in environmental policy, including a sample of an article you wrote on the topic can demonstrate your experience and expertise.
Incorporating high-quality writing samples can differentiate you from other writers who may be pitching similar ideas. It demonstrates that you possess the skills and experience to deliver top-notch content that meets the publication or website’s standards.
When including writing samples in your pitch, make sure they are relevant to the publication or website you are pitching to.
Select samples that demonstrate your ability to write in the appropriate genre or topic and highlight your strengths as a writer. It’s also a good idea to provide a brief introduction or summary of the sample to give context and explain why it is relevant to the pitch.
Being adaptable and open to feedback is critical when pitching freelance writing work. Here are a few explanations of why this step is critical:
Editors and publishers may give suggestions for refining your pitch or planned content. Being receptive to their suggestions and eager to make changes can lead to a stronger final product.
Working as a freelance writer frequently entails interacting with editors and publishers. Being adaptable and open to feedback can make the collaboration process more efficient and fruitful.
In the freelance writing market, being adaptable and open to change might help you flourish. Responding to fresh criticism and ideas can help you advance as a writer and broaden your horizons.
Being open to feedback and collaboration can aid in the development of stronger connections with editors and publishers. This could lead to more work and opportunities in the future.
Being adaptable and open to feedback indicates professionalism. It demonstrates that you are dedicated to producing high-quality material and are prepared to collaborate with others to reach that aim.
Finally, being open to feedback and eager to change can lead to greater relationships with editors and publishers, better writing abilities, and more possibilities in the freelance writing profession. Remember that feedback is not a personal assault, but rather an opportunity to grow as a writer.
This highlights the significance of centering your pitch on how your content can benefit the publication or website and their audience, rather than solely on yourself. Here are some specific details on why this is crucial:
Your pitch should demonstrate that the content you propose is pertinent to the publication or website and their audience. This means emphasizing how the content will be helpful to the readers and why it is essential to them.
The content you propose should provide value to the publication or website and their audience. This means presenting information, insights, or perspectives that are not readily available elsewhere.
The content should be engaging and captivating to the readers. This means presenting the content in a way that captures their attention and encourages them to read further.
Focusing on the benefits to the publication or website and their audience helps to establish your reputation as a writer who comprehends their needs and can provide valuable content.
By focusing on how your content can benefit the publication or website and their audience, you are more likely to establish long-term relationships with editors and publishers. This can lead to more freelance writing opportunities in the future.
Thus, by concentrating on the benefits of your content to the publication or website and their audience, you demonstrate your understanding of their readers’ needs and your commitment to creating valuable and engaging content.
This helps establish your reputation as a writer who can provide high-quality content and build lasting relationships with editors and publishers.
Finally, pitching freelance writing jobs involves some skill and attention to detail. Avoiding typical blunders like submitting generic pitches, failing to investigate the journal or website, and failing to follow submission criteria will dramatically improve your chances of acceptance.
It’s also critical to be adaptable, open to input, and focused on adding value to the publication or website and its readers.
You may strengthen your pitch and stand out from the crowd by following these tips. Remember that a well-crafted proposal can lead to interesting chances and advance your freelance writing career that makes good money.