At WriteWorldwide, we know that we’re only in the freelance writing business because of you, our readers and subscribers. It makes sense for us to try our very best to provide content that you would find useful and valuable, and the more you keep talking to us the better we’ll get at it.
With that in mind, here’s part two of our in-depth feature on how to start a freelance writing career with no writing samples.
Yesterday, we looked at the first step in the process, how to quickly build a list of high-profile blogs to pitch to. Now you need to write a pitch that will make the editors of those publications sit up and take notice.
Personalise Your Pitch
Editors get hundreds of pitches daily – hopefully, you’ve picked a niche you’re interested in and have a solid idea for an article. But even if you’re going in cold, there are some proven tactics you can use to improve the chances of your pitch being accepted. Make sure you:
Read the blog you’re pitching to and understand its audience. This one sounds stupidly obvious, but you’d be surprised how many writers pitch articles that have no place on the blog they’re contacting. You won’t have much luck if you send an article on cars to a blog about vegetables, so get a good feel for previous posts on the blog and the people who read them before you pitch.
Follow the editorial guidelines of the blog. Most blogs that accept guest posts and pitches will have set editorial guidelines on the site. Take time to read them and follow them carefully – they’ll contain rules on style, length and formatting for writers who want to send submissions in.
Write a killer pitch. Your pitch needs to be short, get to the point as soon as possible, and focus on what your article can do for the blog. Experiment with the template below and see how you can tweak it to fit your needs:
Hi <editor name>,
My name is <your name>. I’m an avid reader of <blog name>, and would love to submit an article for your blog.
<1 sentence about why you are a good fit to write for the blog> e.g. I’m a writer for the <your industry> and I have a strong interest in <blog topic>.
Please find my proposed blog post below:
Concept: <give a short description of the article you’d like to write, and why the readers of the blog will enjoy reading it>
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on my idea.
Thanks in advance,
Target your pitch
You’ve got a great list of blogs and a knockout pitch template to play around with. But your next move is arguably the most important because all that will be for nothing if your pitch doesn’t go to the right person. Remember before when we said it’s important to follow the editorial guidelines? That’s absolutely true… except one.
Most blogs will have a generic email like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ for writers to send pitches to. Ignore that rule and do a bit of detective work, and it will pay off.
Google the blog to find out who the editor is, then use a website like Email Format or Email Hunter (both of these are also available as browser extensions) to get their email address.
Seen as we’ve already given you a pitch template, here’s an email address to go with it as well: email@example.com. You might have heard of the editor it belongs to – Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post (if you’re reading this, Arianna, you did already share your email here so please don’t send your lawyers after us!).
Google on its own may even throw email addresses up for you if you put the editor’s name and the word email in quotation marks. LinkedIn is also another great option for finding emails, and you can contact people directly or add a note with a connection request as long as you have an account.
Making the effort to land your pitch in front of the editor will help you advance your writing career despite not having any writing samples. It’ll help you build social proof.
Are you excited to try this strategy? Has it already work for you? Leave a comment and let us know.