Why Your Cover Letter Sucks - Freelance Writing Tips

Why Your Cover Letter Sucks (And What To Do About It)

This week, a good friend of mine sent me her cover letter, asking for feedback. Now, keep in mind: this friend is talented, experienced, and confident! Still, she wasn’t getting any bites when she applied to jobs.

Once I took a look, I knew why.

I also knew that many of the writers in our freelance writing community have had similar struggles in the past. Cover letters tend to be an aggravating, confusing part of the job-securing process.

After sending my feedback, I asked my friend if I could post her cover letter and my reply on the DJO blog. I had a feeling it might help some of you guys, too.

If you feel like you’re flailing in the dark when applying to gigs and not getting any replies, this post is for you.

Below, find out why your cover letter sucks (and what to do about it).

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What To Include In Your Freelance Writer Website

Here’s Exactly What To Include On Your Freelance Writer Website

Do you really need a freelance writer website? We’re going with a resounding “yes” on this one.

Some writers will argue that a website isn’t necessary. While it’s technically possible to “hack” your way to landing clients without a portfolio or web presence, treat that scenario as the exception—not the norm.

And hey, why not have a place online where your name, niche, and services are on display for potential clients? A good website is the equivalent of a 24/7 marketing machine that can produce leads for you in your sleep.

I’m slightly burnt out on the buzz around shortcuts and hacks in the freelance writing space as a whole, so let’s talk about doing things the right way from the very beginning, shall we?

Let’s start with the facts. A solid website is a great way to build your online presence from the ground up. It’s actually one of the best ways.

We website is something you control completely, which helps you build credibility and traffic over time. You’re in charge of its content, its keywords, and even the kinds of clients it sends your way.

Social media might seem like an easier way to network and build street cred, but make no mistake: relying on social alone is a bad idea.

Your website is yours. Social platforms are owned by big companies that can disappear overnight (along with your following), ban your account, or other scary things.

So, a website is a good thing. Agreed?

Let’s dive in and cover all of the bases—and examples—of a complete freelance writer website.

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Freelance Writing Tips - Not Finding Writing Clients? Ask Yourself These 6 Questions

Not Getting Writing Jobs? Ask Yourself These 6 Questions

Facts: You’re a good writer. You’re a smart cookie. You’re a hustler with a can-do mindset. So… why is it so hard to find new writing clients?

The frantic search by freelancers to land lucrative gigs seems never-ending. If you hang around Facebook groups and Quora pages long enough, you may start to wonder if this whole full time freelancing thing is total BS.

Posts and comment threads are bursting with frustrated writers who feel ripped off by an impossible dream and are ready to go back to their cubicles. I mean, is anyone getting clients out there?

Well, yeah! They are. Every day. And now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on to the obvious question…

What are successful freelance writers doing differently?

The answer isn’t complicated: They’re staying flexible.

There are many blog posts out there outlining best practices for freelance career building, but most don’t mention the fact that different strategies work for different freelancers. Your industry, your services, and your rates may all be variables you need to test to find your client-finding sweet spot.

Successful freelancers know that this is an ever-evolving process, and they change things up if their current strategy isn’t working out.

Not surprisingly, this need for trial and error problem solving can be frustrating. So frustrating, in fact, that it’s enough for some writers to throw in the towel completely.

But don’t do that.

Instead, make a cup of tea and take a long, honest look at your freelance writing strategy.

There’s a reason (or perhaps more than one reason) you’re not getting work while other freelancers are. You just need to figure out where the blockages are and unclog ’em.

Here are 6 questions to ask yourself if you’re not getting writing jobs—before you hit the panic button.

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Why You Need A Writing Niche & How To Pick One (1)

Why You Need A Writing Niche & How To Pick One

Picture this. You’re making an epic dinner. The recipe calls for an obscure ingredient, so you slide into your shoes and head out to do some shopping.

There are general groceries all over, but as you turn the corner, you see a different kind of store.

It’s a specialty grocery—slightly more expensive, a little further from your apartment. But in the window, there’s a poster featuring the obscure ingredient you need.

Are you going to waltz into the local Key Food or are you hauling ass to that specialty store to get exactly what you need?

I think you see where I’m going with this. When we have a specific need or problem, price and other factors become less important than securing the solution.

This is true in virtually every industry, from home goods and clothing to medical services and hospitality.

This concept is the reason writers who specialize—or find a niche—end up making more money than those who offer broad writing services.

Today I’m going to break down this concept a little further and show you how to choose your own niche.

Because, yes, you need a writing niche.

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How Not To Write Your Resume - Day Job Optional - Freelance Writing Tips

It’s 2018: Here’s How NOT To Write Your Resume

Be honest: When was the last time you dusted off that outdated resume? And do you really think you need one as a freelancer?

(The answer to that is, yes, you do… sometimes.)

You may be getting work through cold calling, Upwork, or other methods, where resumes never come up in conversation. Or, if you’re a little more experienced in the freelance game, you may treat your services as business offerings. Once again, during a B2B conversation, no one asks for a resume.

Maybe this is why so many freelancers are guilty of not keeping our resumes up to date.

I’m going to be real with you: I don’t even bother looking at mine unless I’m considering corporate freelance gigs, more traditional remote jobs, or other special projects.

But hey—why not be prepared?

A properly groomed resume sitting on your hard drive will ensure you’re ready for whatever opportunity may pop up.

Unfortunately, resumes have this unique potential to be the most awkwardly mistreated document one ever encounters in their professional career.

If you’ve ever hired for a job, you know what I’m talking about. On the whole, they’re bad. Most people have no idea how to represent themselves on paper. And this isn’t surprising, because most of the advice out there on resumes is pretty misleading.

You’re a writer, though, so you’ve gotta get it together on this one.

Since it’s so hard to find solid advice on creating a non-crappy resume, we put together a helpful, no-BS guide for you to follow.

Dive in and learn how not to write your resume in 2018 (and beyond).

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Launch Your Freelance Career With No Experience

DJO Podcast 002: Launch Your Freelance Career With No Experience

Episode 2 is a big one, babes! It’s all about launching a freelance career and getting those first clients when you have little or no experience.

The paradox many new writers believe is that if they’ve never written professionally, no one will hire them… thus, they’ll never get writing experience.

So how do you launch your freelance career with no experience?

While there’s no “magic switch” to turn you into a freelance writer overnight, if you’re willing to hustle and put in the effort, you can land your first freelance writing gigs sooner than you think.

Seriously, though. You can do it!

We broke down exactly how in this week’s episode, so jump below and click play!

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