GET PERSONAL! Selling YOURSELF to Get More Writing Assignments – by Mohamed Saad

GET PERSONAL! Selling YOURSELF to Get More Writing Assignments – by Mohamed Saad

Many publications, faced with shuttered offices due to the virus, are hiring freelancers for jobs that were once performed in-house. How can YOU land these long-term, lucrative positions? Some of them are even full-time!

Back when I attempted freelance writing for the first time, I was able to publish an article on my academic writing experience through my very first pitch to WritersWeekly!

In this article, I am sharing with you four steps to make the most out of your article pitches, and how to turn those into ongoing assignments.

1 – Find the Right Publisher for YOUR Work

There are countless websites that pay freelancers to publish their articles and there are lots of other websites (like WritersWeekly.com) that compile and categorize them.

Browse through these, and see if any are currently accepting articles on a topic that touches on something you’ve experienced in your life. You will find such information under “Writers Guidelines,” “Submission Guidelines,” or “Pitch Guidelines.” In the process, beware of scams and low-paying websites.

Once you find at least three or four websites that match your preferences, make a list of them, and choose the one that has most potential for the article you have in mind. Contact that publication first.

2 – Adapt to the Publisher’s Needs

Most publishers make their expectations clear on their websites. They do so to avoid wasting their time and yours. That is why you should always carefully read their guidelines, and apply those to your pitches.

Also, take a moment and skim through a few articles on the website, and observe the commonalities across them in terms of style, format, and message. That should clarify what they’re looking for. The closer your pitch matches their style, the higher your chances of landing a gig.

3 – Be Yourself

One essential element that makes an article a success is originality. This means you must deliver content that is based on a unique experience (or a unique topic), and you must have a clear, personal voice.

Trust me, your story matters. That’s what people want to read and that’s what editors want to buy. Focus on building an article or a story out of a personal experience that creates value for their readers.

Avoid rehashing information you’ve found online. Your unique experience will sell far better than recycling someone else’s story.

4 – Carefully compose your query

It’s time to grab a cup of coffee, and get to work! Create a well-edited and structured pitch that exactly matches the publisher’s criteria. Remember, you want it to sell! Clearly summarize your article, and focus on its selling points.

Many publications permit simultaneous submissions so don’t be afraid to tailor your pitch to other publications’ writer’s guidelines as well.

After you get a writing assignment, turn it in early and error-free. If you do this, editors will want to hire you to write for them in the future as well. Whatever you do, never, ever ask for a deadline extension. That is industry suicide.

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Mohamed Saad is a freelance writer from Egypt, experienced in academic writing and informative articles. Besides writing, Mohamed is an engineer and he is interested in guitars, music, social dancing, arthouse cinema and TV series. 

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