I’m trying to think of a time when a freelance writing cover letter was the difference between me landing a gig and not…
…I can’t honestly say it has ever made a difference.
Imagine you’re a business owner posting a writing gig on one of the many job boards. You get flooded with applications.
You’re mostly looking to see if:
- They fit your company culture
- They can handle the work
- They’re not completely inept
What you’re not doing is spending the extra 5-10 minutes scanning through a cover letter. It’s a waste of time. You’re looking for links or seeing if they’ve attached writing samples.
What You Should Do Instead
Nothing too long, though.
The email should:
- Introduce yourself
- Say what value you’ll bring
- Show your work
You’re not pointing someone to your resume from the cover letter. You’re not making some formal introduction. It’s not about wooing them with buzzwords to trip their keyword filters.
You’re sending an email to a fellow human being. Keep it simple.
Hell, you could add your freelance writing resume samples right in there. You won’t need to bother them with the resume at all.
Bonus points if you have them linking up to a portfolio site. This’ll let them dig around and find extra value since you’re treating blogging like a business (you are, right?).
Here’s an email pitch I used in place of a cover letter:
That landed me a follow-up and more back-and-forth. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the gig (boo!) but I copied the direct nature of it in other pitches which faired well.
I think it works because it gets to the point.
I didn’t bother with a resume or tons of examples. I told them my experience, shared a few topic ideas, and wanted them to get in touch.
It’s not like before, getting businesses entertaining content marketing. They know content marketing is effective, they have budgets for this stuff.
It means you shouldn’t stress about the pitch. This goes doubly so if wasting everyone’s time with a freelance writing cover letter.
Send an email. Tell them what’s up.
If they don’t respond? Whatever. There are thousands of other businesses in need of writing work. Hell, you may old businesses you pitched later contacting you once your brand builds.
I hope you got at least something out of this. Get at me.