Tom: The following is another guest post from Paid to Blog Jobs success story Gina Horkey.
While I’ve shared my pitching tips here on Leaving Work Behind in the past, what I found interesting was that Gina has gone her own way and been successful in doing so. It just goes to show that there are varied paths available to becoming a successful freelance blogger.
Take it away Gina!
Pitching for jobs as a new freelance blogger can be daunting.
But getting that first (then second, then third) client is exhilarating. Hopefully your momentum continues to build from there.
But what if it’s doesn’t? What if you haven’t even gotten your first client yet, or you’re having trouble building your business into something dependable and sustainable?
Don’t fret, most of us started with zero clients – this definitely includes me! With that in mind, in this post I want to reveal how I went from a zero to hero freelance blogger (at least, that’s what I like to think ;-)) in just a few short months.
I’ve always learned best through trial and error and from hearing about other people’s experience. I recently shared my journey on LWB and how I’ve experienced some success in my first six months of this business.
I’ve gone from earning nothing to a projected income of over $4,000 for the month of November. I recently published my second income report (for October) on my own site in hopes that my transparency will both help others and keep me accountable to my own goals of replacing my current salary.
Now I want to expand on how Paid to Blog Jobs and perfecting my pitch have helped me to get to where I am today. It’s been quite a journey so far and I’m excited to see where it takes me – hopefully it’s to a location independent lifestyle!
My First Pitch
We all have to start somewhere, and I’ll be the first to admit that my first pitch was horrible.
I’m sure it could have been worse, but it definitely wasn’t great. It didn’t even contain any links to my work! Here it is in its full glory:
I would love to throw my hat into the ring for this freelance writing position.
I’m a regular Huffington Post contributor and currently am writing copy for a major WordPress blog.
I’m confident that I would be a great addition to your team. Please let me know what else I can provide you with,
You know what’s great though? I got the job! This became my second job – my first was as a ghostwriter for Tom, writing WordPress theme descriptions. Both jobs were sourced through Paid to Blog Jobs.
My Current Pitch
I bet my pitch template has gone through a hundred revisions – I’m not kidding! I’m a perfectionist by nature, plus I’ve gained a ton of experience through all of the paid and unpaid articles I’ve written. It is my goal to showcase the best of the best and get hired after all!
Here’s what my pitch looks like in its current form:
Your ad on [PLACE YOU SAW AD] immediately caught my attention. I’m a freelance blogger with experience in [YOUR RELEVANT EXPERIENCE] and I’d love to work with you.
I recently wrote the copy and press release for a Kickstarter campaign. It was fully funded within 1 WEEK!
I’m confident that I would be a great addition to your writing team. I’m very detail oriented and mindful of time management and meeting deadlines.
Let me know if you need any extra information about me before you make a hiring decision. I’m looking forward to working with you,
Obviously, it’s come a long way! I’m actually pretty happy with where it’s currently at, but I’m sure I’ll continue to tweak it as time goes by.
Breaking Down My Pitch
A lot of the advice I’ve applied to writing my pitch came from Tom’s Paid to Blog course.
I love when I find something that offers me a step-by-step blueprint to create something. His course totally was like that. The introduction, keeping it short and sweet and declaring my confidence are examples of this.
The nice part though is that I can modify my template (I just have it saved as an email draft) each time I send it out if I want to. I’ll take out or add different samples based on the job that I’m applying for. This helps to customize it to each job as needed.
My 3 Best Tips for Pitching
There are some things that I’ve found work well when it comes to pitching. Others not so much. Here are a few of my best tips.
1. Have a Process
Results happen best for me when I have a process in place. For pitching jobs, that means that I check in on the Paid to Blog Jobs site once every couple of days to see the new listings.
I start at the top (newest) and click on anything that interests me based on the topic and headline. I keep going until I run out of time or catch up to where I’ve last left off.
I once read here on LWB the advice to submit 10 pitches before 10 a.m. I modified this rule to submit 10 pitches each and every week. This made more sense for my schedule and my conversion rates ended up being pretty good, so it was more than sufficient.
2. Cast a Wide Net
If you’re in the process of starting your freelance career or need more clients, pitch any job that seems remotely interesting or that you’re even a little qualified for. I wrote about this before, but men tend to over assume their qualifications, while women seem to under assume theirs.
If you’re female, think like a man in this instance. It worked for me! I’m now at the point where I almost have more work than I have time for. My net is still wide, but I’m able to be more selective and have increased my rate since I started. (This guide really helped me on that front.)
In case you’re curious, it started at $50 per post and now is $75. It depends on the client/project though and I often get paid more than that.
Different projects require a different amount of effort on my part. If I’m writing a long post (~1k+ words) that I don’t have to do any research for, it could be the same fee as one that is shorter (~500 words), that I have to spend time doing research for. I have general guidelines for my fee structure, but I’ll modify it depending on how enjoyable (or easy) the project is.
3. Continue to Perfect Your Pitch
I talked about it at length above, but redoing your pitch from time to time is a good best practice. I’ll go through mine once every couple of weeks to see if something needs to be added or deleted.
Make sure you hear me when I say that your pitch doesn’t have to be perfect before you send it out. I just mean that over time you’ll have better samples to showcase or a certain style that works well for you and you shouldn’t be afraid to enhance it as needed.
Punch Fear in the Face
If you’re working on getting your first client or stuck trying to build your business, consider giving Paid to Blog Jobs a shot. I’ve been a subscriber pretty much since it first became available and can attest that the majority of my business has come from this one source. For about a buck a day, it’s reasonably priced and something you can cancel if you don’t feel it’s effective.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Tom’s one smart cookie. He’s traveled the path before me – I just plugged myself into his system and have gotten great results. I like to think my writing skills are also okay. My commitment level to this business and providing for my family are also very high.
Even if you don’t use his products, I hope you punch fear in the face and get started pitching a ton of jobs. The worst they can say is no!
Photo Credit: artolog