Weekend Reading: Query Letters

At the end of each week, I like to share a link roundup based on one of our editorial themes for the month. This week we’re going to take a look at writing query letters for freelance magazine writing. If you’re looking to perfect your magazine query letter techniques or get started in magazine writing with your first pitch, spend some of your downtime this

Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners: Where to Start

I’m a big fan of what I like to call “query-free freelancing.” That means I don’t generally pursue freelance writing jobs. I do things that attract clients to me instead. For example, I run blogs that keep me fresh in prospects’ minds and I make sure my business site is well-optimized for search engines so I’m one of the first writers prospects find when they search for

Planning For Print Publication

It’s hard to believe that the New Year is right around the corner! If you are looking to get published in a magazine or print publication in the coming year, now is the time to start planning. For most print pubs, the editorial calendar is already set, and queries right now are going out for summer issues (or even later!). While it may be hard

Magazine Writing — Gathering Intel

So you want to write for a magazine? If that is the case–one of the most important things you will do is study publications that you want to submit material to in query form. But what is the best way to go about that? Let’s face it, buying tons of magazines can be really expensive. (Fun, but expensive!) So how do you do your research

Print Writing: Getting The Goods

Today we have a few tips for “getting the goods” in print writing. Let’s begin with finding guidelines so you can craft a query… Getting The Guidelines When you are writing for print, the guidelines for the publication are the golden rule you need to follow. Problem is…not every magazine puts these on the web for you. So where do you find them? Here are

Writing For Print: Why Local Relationships Matter

If you are a writer, chances are good that you already understand that relationships in this industry matter. If you want to write for print, this can actually be a subject that is even more vital. When you write for an online publication it is fairly typical to never meet the person you are working with. Most contact is established via e-mail and subsequent information/instructions

Magazine Writing: Tools Of The Trade

Writing for print has a lot in common with writing for the web, yet they are also quite different. Today I’d like to share some “tools of the trade” that have helped me navigate my writing career–especially when it comes to magazine writing. That said, many of these can also be used for freelance writing in general. Here goes: Desk Calendar There’s nothing quite like

How to Fill a Hole in Your Schedule (the Query-Free Freelancer Way)

You have a fairly packed freelance writing schedule. You have client orders lined up for the next several weeks, and things look good. But then something happens. A project is cancelled. A client suddenly becomes non-responsive. You get a request to postpone something. Whatever the reason, you suddenly find yourself with a hole in your schedule — one that needs to be filled now at

How to Make Your Own Freelance Writing Opportunities

You’ve probably seen or heard this before. Freelance Writer A is having a discussion with new Freelance Writer B. The newer freelancer talks about how they’re struggling to find decent paying freelance writing jobs on job boards and classified sites, and even when they do find one there’s too much competition there. Writer A tells them to hang in there because there really are high

To Query or Not to Query: Part Six

Today we’re finishing up our interview series with our guests: Chris Bibey, Angela Booth, Jenna Glatzer, Kristen King, Allena Tapia, and Anne Wayman. I asked each guest to share some parting words of wisdom or advice for other freelance writers. I hope you’ll find it a fitting close to our series. Here’s what they had to say: Chris Bibey 1. Be willing to speak with

To Query or not to Query: Part Five

This week we’ll be finishing our series with successful freelancers, where we’ve been talking about queries, platforms, and finding freelance writing jobs. A major aspect of query-free freelancing is building a writer platform–your visibility and demand. There are many possible elements to a writer platform such as blogs, a professional website, published books, microblogging (Twitter), and speaking engagements. (If you’d like more examples, check out

To Query or Not to Query: Part Four

In part three of our series, our guests told you flat out what they thought of querying, and how important they considered the query process in building freelance writing careers. Before that, we found out how our guests land most of their freelance writing jobs these days. And today we’ll turn back the clock and find out how each of these writers landed gigs during

To Query or Not to Query: Part Three

In the second part of our series, our guests shared with you the type of writing they most often do for clients and how they personally get most of their freelance writing jobs. I hope you’ll notice the recurring mentions of things like repeat work and referrals. No matter how you choose to start out, these are the kinds of things you should always strive

To Query or Not to Query: Part Two

In part two of our interview series with successful freelancers, we'll take a look at the different types of writing they do and how they personally land most of their writing gigs. Why is this important? As I mentioned previously, query-free freelancing isn't the only option available to you as a freelance writer. While the Web 2.0 world makes it much easier for new writers to build a platform and their visibility early on, other tactics still have a place. You'll get a glimpse of what other pros are doing, and how some things changed over the years for a few of them.

It's also important that you understand queries or query-free approaches to freelancing can vary depending on the type of writer you are. For example, query letters will have a larger role in freelance magazine writing than they would on the Web. On the other hand cold call pitching might work in commercial writing, but it might annoy editors with national publications.

I'm regularly asked how writers earning decent rates find their gigs (or where they find their gigs). For me it's the query-free approach where my clients most often find me. I understand that alone isn't very helpful for a new writer. Our guests come from a mix of backgrounds, from ghostwriting books to writing for corporate clients, and here they share how they find new work.

Let's get to it. I asked our guests what types of projects they most often take on for clients and how they land most of their freelance writing jobs. Here's what they had to say:

To Query or Not to Query: That’s a Question for the Pros!

I announced previously that we would be hosting a sort of round table interview series here with successful freelance writers to discuss querying, platforms, networking, and the process of landing gigs. While I fully support the query-free way of doing business because of my own background, I know it’s not the only way to manage your freelance writing career, and I’ll never pretend here that

Query-Free Freelancing Means Creating Your Own Demand

If you want to become a query-free freelancer, you can’t just wait around hoping clients are going to find you. You need to create demand for your work. Today I’m going to share a story about how I not only did that, but how I created demand in a relatively new market by identifying a need and choosing to fill it. Those who have known

Kristen King on Queries and Rejections

Continuing our series of short interviews with freelance writers, I picked the brain of Kristen King (of InkThinker) on the issues of queries and rejections: What motivated you to create the InkThinker Query Challenge? What’s the most rewarding aspect of it for you personally? I wish I had paid closer attention to my early thought process, because I can’t remember as much as I would