Sending your work out into the world can be intimidating. But whether you’re looking to make money with freelance writing or submitting guest posts to build your audience, it doesn’t have to be a daunting hurdle. Here are five ways to help you clear the fence.
What grabs the audience’s interest? What’s the tone? How many sources are cited? Demonstrating that you understand the publication you’re targeting helps craft pitches that get a response – and a response is often as good as an assignment. It means the editor is opening the door for future ideas.
2. Find the Hook
Pitching your trip to Bali won’t get you very far. Pitching your trip to Bali to visit a new restaurant that’s part of a fresh trend of sustainable island eateries might just land you an assignment. Timely angles are what get stories in front of readers’ eyeballs. If none of your pitches find a home before your trip, write the story anyway. You can always sell it later.
3. Why You
Why are you the best person to write the piece? Do you have a background in the subject? Do you have access to great sources? Is this something you’ve experienced firsthand? You don’t have to be the world’s foremost canine expert to write a piece about show dogs, but be sure to note any special qualifications you have. Don’t worry, the answer to the “why you” question can be as simple as “because I had the idea.”
4. Send Several Ideas at Once
Show editors you aren’t a one-trick pony. Send several ideas, each in their own tight, concise paragraph. Who knows, you may get assignments for all of them. If you don’t, send your ideas on to the next suitable publication. Persistence always wins.
5. Send It Out
Writers are often thinkers and thinkers are often perfectionists. Don’t get caught in the trap of endlessly polishing or, worse, endlessly fretting. At some point, that pitch just isn’t getting any better or any more done. Give it a good-bye kiss and launch it into the world.