You want to get hired to write. It’s a real challenge. But what if it were easy? It can be. I’ve been publishing my writing journal for a few weeks now, and I’ve received many plaintive “how do I get HIRED” email messages. One message was 2,856 words. (I counted them.)
Here’s the gist of the reply we sent to these writers:
You can write. Your message proves it. Write more messages, and send those messages to companies which can hire you…
So, that’s one way. Send messages to companies which hire writers.
A digression. Usually I’d say “companies and publications”. However, clicks are harder to come by these days. Online publications are low-balling writers. Avoid them.
A Simple 60-Minute Strategy.
If you’re a new writer, this strategy might take you longer than 60 minutes. Everything takes longer when you’re just starting out. So if the strategy takes you four hours, that’s OK. You’ll get faster at researching and writing the more you do it.
1. Decide What You Want to Write.
What do you LOVE to write? If you’re like me, and just like writing anything and everything, narrow it down. Maybe you want to write:
- Web content, like blog posts, or straight webpages;
- Copy – you enjoy copywriting, and want to get hired to write marketing materials like press releases and advertising;
- Fiction. This is still amazing to me: you can get hired to ghostwrite novels and short stories, and the pay is excellent.
Choose what you’d like to get hired to write. Here’s why. People don’t want to THINK when they read email or answer the phone. So if you approach companies saying: “I’m a freelance writer” they’ll either delete or file your message.
On the other hand, if you say something like: “I noticed that your blog hasn’t been updated since 2013, here’s a sample of what I could do for you”, they’re more likely to pay attention. You’ve identified a problem they have, and you’re offering a solution.
2. Write a CUSTOM Sample.
Let’s say that you want to get hired to blog. You’ve got a blog. You blog conscientiously. You look on your blog as a writing sample, as indeed it is. However, remember what we said: people don’t want to think when they read email, or answer the phone.
So whatever kind of writing you want to get hired to do, write a custom sample before you approach your prospects.
Some bloggers are excellent at this, especially mommy bloggers. They choose their target audience: companies which will pay for advertising, or product reviews, then they write blog posts which will be attractive to that audience. That’s a longterm strategy.
For your 60-minute strategy, write a product review as a sample. If your chosen prospects are in the beauty industry, write a product review of your favorite skin care cream, or lipstick. If your prospects are in tech, review a gadget you’ve purchased recently.
Today, every company is looking for content. Reviews are hard to come by, so if you approach companies showing that you can write reviews, they’re likely to be interested in what you can do for them.
3. Send CUSTOM Email Messages to Companies Which Can Hire You.
Customize each message you send out. Paste your product review into the message, to make it easy for your recipients to scan the message. Assure your recipients that you’re happy to write reviews for them.
Tip: the product reviews you create can be short – 300 words. Assure your recipients that that review is a sample. You can write reviews in their chosen style, and at their chosen length.
Let’s look at what we’ve done here:
- You chose what you enjoy writing;
- You chose an industry, or a profession to approach with your custom writing sample;
- You customized each message.
The above process shouldn’t take you longer than 60 minutes before you’re sending out your first message. Keep sending out messages. Remember what we said about selling your writing being a numbers game.
One of my students got hired to write for a company a few minutes after she sent her first message. She’d written for this client previously, and she offered to write publicity material. Her sample focused on the latest news in his industry, and it appealed to him. By the close of business that day, he’d sent $1200 to her PayPal account, because she turned him into a retainer client, by offering to write a press release a week for him.
One student, bless him, sent out over 50 email messages over a couple of weeks before he got a nibble. He was happy. This client also became a retainer client.
To wrap up: approach people who can hire you, and offer them something that’s relevant to them. You’ll get hired.
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