Sh!t Writers Say: How to Write a Horrible Pitch Letter

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It’s often said that the freelancer’s life is one of feast or famine. It’s a constant process of searching for new clients to replace those who fade away or run out of work for us. The main tool every freelancer uses in this search is the pitch letter. This one page has to grab the client’s attention, promote our talent and experience and convince them that we’re the perfect writer for the job. If you’re determined to do a horrible job and lose the gig, here are a few pointers to help you along the way.

Don’t Bother to Spellcheck

You’re a writer, trying to get a gig writing for money. A potential client can base a decision only on what he sees in the pitch letter. If you’ve sent in a sloppy pitch full of misspellings and poor grammar, the client is going to think your work will be of the same less-than-stellar caliber.

Don’t Follow Directions

If a potential client asks for links to two examples of articles online in her genre, go ahead and send seven links to your blog on a totally different subject. She probably put that request in the ad or casting call as a short test to see if you can follow directions, and you’ll pull ahead of the pack of those who can’t.

Disrespect Former Clients

Try to impress the new client by letting him know how much better his site or company is than your former client. After all, it will make him feel better about his company. It probably will never dawn on him that you’ll turn around and do the same thing to him after your job is done.

Don’t Personalize the Letter

Don’t bother crafting a personalized letter for each new potential client. After all, a job’s a job, right? You’re a great writer and that’s all the client needs to know. She should be able to figure that out by reading your website and your two generic links that you send to everyone.

Don’t Let Them Know Why They Should Hire You

Again, you’re a great writer. Don’t bother giving clients any of your background, don’t elaborate on your experience in their field, and never let them know how much you have written on the subject. Anyone can write about anything, and 10 years of specialized experience counts for nothing these days.

Victoria B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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