Remote work and digital marketing efforts have made a writing career far more accessible than it once was.
There are businesses in every industry looking for talented writers to assist with content creation, whether that consists of regular blog posts, lead magnets or website copy.
Unfortunately, a job posting can yield hundreds of results, and some of the best writers get lost in the overwhelming mass of applications. Here are the skills and techniques you can use to land a writing project in five easy steps.
1. Have the Right Tools in Place
The best writers have a toolbox that consists of previously published samples, research they conducted on their niche industry, a resume, testimonials, productivity tools, and more. Everyone’s toolbox will look a little different but should consist of the same core elements: things that will help them land a writing gig and things that will help them complete it.
When you get started as a writer, it’s important to start to build your toolbox right away. As you progress throughout your career, you may eliminate or acquire new tools. Your samples may be replaced with better up-to-date versions. What matters is that you have a starting point, so you aren’t wasting time when an opportunity presents itself. With writing projects, the early bird often gets the worm.
2. Perfect Your Pitch
Here’s an editor’s secret that will revolutionize your ideas about applying for a writing project: it doesn’t matter how great your writing is if your initial pitch is awful. Take the time to read through the job posting and understand what’s required of you. Sometimes there might be something that seems ridiculous, like answering a question about your favorite type of pie. These measures are put in place to test that you’re paying attention, not just applying to every job you see.
Have a standard pitch format that introduces yourself within a few lines, includes two or three pertinent samples, tells the hiring manager why you want this project and close with a call-to-action. Use this pitch as a starting point and cater it to the specific requirements listed within the job posting.
3. Follow Up
When a hiring manager’s inbox starts to get overwhelmed with applications, things start to get missed. If they find a few potential candidates from the first fifty applications they read, they may not look at any others. Alternatively, they may get so overwhelmed that they put the hiring process on the back burner.
Set a scheduled time to follow up on your application. Not only does this put you back at the top of the inbox list, but it also helps show your enthusiasm for the role. This can resonate with editors and hiring organizations who are having difficulty finding a writer. It’s not uncommon for a writer to apply for a job then hear back months later. Constant vigilance will help shorten that timeframe.
4. Maintain an Online Presence
Having a strong online presence is essential when trying to land a writing job, especially if you’re a ghostwriter. Ideally, potential clients will be able to Google your name and have a few of your pieces pop up.
Additionally, it’s important to have social media channels that are designed with your writing career in mind. That means they take a professional approach with the knowledge that your success hangs in the balance. Businesses will often consider how large someone’s social media following is when choosing a writer as it assists with promotion.
5. Deliver and Grow
Once you land a writing project, it’s essential that you deliver on what you promised and provide your best work. This will help you continue to grow and expand, landing more writing projects in the future.
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Dedicate yourself to continued education, always enhancing your skills to become better at what you do. With each successful writing project, it becomes easier to land the next one. Remember to know your worth and show potential clients why they need your skills.
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