Tagged: Heather Lloyd-Martin

Writer’s Log #19: Better Late Than Never

By Joe Dyton

Happy Friday, everybody! Well, I’m a little more than two months into my quest to be a freelance writer, which means I was hoping to have at least one steady client by now. For those who are reading this blog for the first time, I set a goal of obtaining at least six steady clients this year, preferably at a pace of one every two months.

By time February 28 had rolled around. I still hadn’t gotten a new client, at least one that was desirable. I had a few offers, but either the pay was too low or the pay structure wasn’t desirable. I was tempted to just fold up my tent and forget about this freelance dream; two months of making phone calls and sending out emails, letters of introduction and resumes, and I had nothing to show for it. Then I reminded myself that a) no said this was going to be easy and b) I committed to this quest for a year, there was no backing out of it now. 

So, on this last day of February I was standing in line at a burger place waiting to order my lunch when my phone buzzes. I had email from my freelance writing email account. It was from a magazine that I had reached out to recently; one of their managing editors liked my work and said they could use a few more freelance writers. Everything about the situation was perfect; the pay rate is pretty good, they help secure my sources and set up the story angle and the turnaround time for stories is about two to three weeks. I’ve been assigned two trial assignments to see how it goes, but I’m confident I can deliver two good stories and make this a regular gig. I was just happy to hear they’re going to pay me for the trial articles (which will be published, too). As you may remember, I decided not to write on spec anymore.

It may have taken me the last day of my deadline, but I was able to bring in a desirable client. It’s funny how quickly one’s attitude could change with one email. Just minutes before, I was considering calling it quits, and now I can’t wait to market away these next two months and see if I can land another client or two.

The Links:

Lori Widmer shares what she’s learned from a freelance writing career.

Onibalusi Bamidele lists 30 websites that will pay you to contribute articles.

Alexis Grant explains what it really takes to grow a side gig.

Heather Lloyd-Martin offers seven tips for sales call success.

Shahzad asks eight successful freelance bloggers how they got started.

Joe Dyton (@dyton99) is a freelance journalist and copywriter in Washington, DC. He may be reached at dytonwande@gmail.com.


Writer’s Log #15: Changing It Up

By Joe Dyton

“Insanity: doing the same over and over again and expecting different results.”–Albert Einstein

I thought about Einstein’s quote recently. I have been reaching out to companies and publications looking for freelance work since the start of 2014. Over the last six weeks, I’ve sent out the same letter of introduction along with my resume. I haven’t landed any clients with that letter; just a few “We’ll keep your info on file” or “We don’t use freelancers” type of responses. And unfortunately, a lot of non-responses. Those are the worst. 

After all of this time with no results, I thought it might be time to change things up a bit. I looked at my current LOI, and realized it was just asking companies if they were looking for freelancers and then listing my experience. I didn’t spell out what I could do for a company if it hired me. So, I went back to the drawing board. I kept my intro about the same, but rather than just list what I’ve done, I listed what I could do for my potential clients. I kicked myself for not thinking of this sooner. I mean part of my day job is writing direct mail letters, which mostly explains how a product will benefit the reader. That’s exactly how my LOI reads now.

I don’t know if the new letter will trigger more responses, but it’s worth a shot. It would have been insane to keep sending out the same letter and expecting a different result. At least according to Einstein.

The Links:

Angela Booth lists four things you can do to increase your freelance writing income.

Jennifer Mattern presents 20 things you can do to market your freelance writing services.

Heather Llyod-Martin offers suggestions for anyone who has ever thought about closing down their freelance writing business.

Elizabeth Grace Saunders explains how to delegate when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Joe Dyton (@dyton99) is a freelance journalist and copywriter in Washington, DC. He may be reached at dytonwande@gmail.com.