Freelance writing: types and benefits, & how to pitch editors and get writing jobs
It would be wrong to assume every reader knows what freelance writing is. But at least some readers have an idea about it, while others who don’t can search the internet and find out some things about it. Regardless, we will provide some useful information about freelance writing.
Freelance writing is any paid writing job done by someone who is not a conventional or an official staff. A freelance writer is someone who sells writing services to different employers without having to meet them.
A freelance writer is self-employed, and typically works in a place of their choice, with their own tools, and at their own chosen hours. Freelance writers can work for just one client, website, online publication or magazine; on other occasions, they could write for several clients or publications around the same time.
The more talented and diverse a freelance writer is, the more likely they will be able to get writing jobs from reputable publishers and websites, and earn a lot of money that could possibly run into a few or several thousands of dollars per month.
Types of freelance writing jobs
Freelance writing jobs cut across the following:
- Article creation for websites, online newspapers, magazines and publishers: business plans; case studies; marketing emails; press releases; web pages; white papers.
- Blog posts.
- Direct mail sales letters.
- Ghost-writing services.
- Newsletters (physical or email-delivered).
- Radio & video scripts.
- Research reports.
Benefits of freelance writing
There are numerous opportunities that could ensure a freelance writer would likely not be unemployed under any circumstances. A lot of websites are seeking for freelance writers to execute jobs related to academic writing, non-academic writing, content development, etc.
The more a freelance writer expands their horizon, the more they would likely be paid their desired rate(s) of compensation. This makes it easy for them to earn a living from writing. In case all of this is new to you, or you just stumbled across freelance writing like I did about 7 years ago, it doesn’t matter, you can still make it within a short time.
Generally, benefits of freelance writing include:
- Freelance writers don’t have to adhere to corporate culture of dressing and frequently communicating with leaders and heads of companies.
- Freelance writing provides quick money, and good career progression for those who choose it as a career. Nowadays, talented freelance writers are able to get good work, and various companies provide good compensation for freelance writing.
- Freelance writing enables one to be independent and be self-employed.
- Freelance writing enables one to avoid boredom and insensitivity associated with traditional office jobs.
- Freelance writing enables one to work conveniently from home.
- Freelance writing provides a platform whereby one can save money that could have been spent on commuting regularly to work.
- Freelance writers who work like professionals are not bothered about getting full-time employment by any business or organization. They are in full control of their own businesses and don’t have to worry about getting employed or battling with mind games associated with traditional office work.
- Freelance writers have the opportunity to render their services to whoever is interested.
Proper management of a freelance writing business is one of the best ways to create career stability.
Irrespective of the benefits listed above, freelance writing is not for everyone:
- It’s not for those who are not talented in writing.
- It’s not for those who are disinterested in writing.
- It’s not for those who like traditional work that involves regular commuting and working under seniors and leaders.
- It’s not for those who lack coordination and can’t manage their time properly.
- It’s not for those who lose motivation after writing a few or inconsistent pieces of content.
- It’s not for those who are impatient, and would likely not be patient with editors who usually receive a lot of submissions.
- It’s not for those who think freelance writing is a get-rich-quick scheme. Depending on talent, freelance writing could actually be a get-rich-quick scheme; however, it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme in the way many people think.
How to effectively pitch/query editors in a way that could get your submission accepted
It’s possible that you’ve never done freelance writing before, or have never been paid to write or do any form of paid journalism; regardless, if you’re determined and have a little idea about how to pitch editors, you could succeed.
What is a pitch?
A pitch is a freelance writer’s description of a valuable idea or story to an editor. Pitches can be expressed verbally, or sent via email to editors.
Before you can be established as a freelance writer and receive regular payment for your writing, you have to be able to write pitches that can get you published.
In order to craft a good and convincing pitch for an editor, you have to carefully study articles on their website and gain a deep understanding of what they’ve published, and what they would possibly like to publish in future. After studying articles on websites, you would be in a better position to prepare a pitch, or many pitches.
An effective way to pitch editors
One of the most effective ways to pitch editors after studying published articles/content on their online newspapers, magazines or publications is to follow this basic format:
(1) Introduce yourself and briefly describe your idea in a short sentence
Actually when preparing any pitch, this is the only thing that is important enough to grab the attention of editors and get a pitch accepted for publication. A briefly described idea makes it easy for an editor to quickly determine whether a pitch is in line with their publication or not.
(2) Add a second brief sentence that expatiates your idea a little bit more
This should be a sentence that broadens your idea a little more and adds some more value to your idea. It could also be a short sentence that highlights your experience and previously published articles related to the content published on an editor’s website.
(3) Finally, add a third sentence to close the pitch
Close the pitch with words that express humility, and that you would be an easy-going person to work with. You could end your third sentence with something like: “thank you for your consideration”.
Typically, 2 or 3 sentences are enough for a pitch. Your ability to summarize a good idea in one sentence would give the impression you have a broad understanding about an editor’s publication/website, and the idea you are pitching.
Please note that at times it might be important to make your sentences a bit longer—this depends a lot on your idea. However, longer sentences could discourage a busy editor from assessing a pitch if there are many other pitches on queue.
Generally, a pitch with 3 sentences is all you need to send each time you are pitching an editor. If you’re pitching for a feature article on a major publication that gets hundreds of thousands or millions of views per month, then a longer pitch would be more appropriate even though you would have to briefly explain why your idea or story is worth publishing.
Bear in mind that that there is no strict format/formula for preparing pitches. Find a way to develop your own style and always use a format that works for you. What would determine the success of your pitch is the study you carry out on any publication before pitching.
The more you know about a publication and what they are interested in, the easier it would become to get published and paid. If you are very talented, it’s advisable to pitch editors of big websites because they usually pay more.
If you are interested in exploring freelance opportunities for Christian and motivation writers, click the following link: Christian freelance writing jobs: 19 websites that pay for submissions.