When you’re a freelance content writer, you are constantly applying for new projects, positions and opportunities. Applying to so many things can take up a ridiculous amount of time. If you’ve ever spent all day, fueled with nothing but Kool-Aid, applying to project after project after project, you know how hard it can be on your health and sanity. Creating one pre-written application cover letter just doesn’t work. If you apply to someone looking for marketing writers with your letter full of references to your content articles, you can forget being considered. Here’s a better way to apply to everything you’re interested in without wrecking your health in the process.
A resume and cover letter is pretty standard for applying for expert writing gigs. And as you may already know, they need to be highly targeted toward what the client is looking for. A generic spiel is incredibly easy to spot. If you’ve been around the content-writing block, you’ve probably seen them before. They aren’t well suited for any particular position, and they are often ignored for that reason. That’s why your spiel needs to be specialized.
To keep the process streamlined, you need several spiels all at the same time. I have a Word file with six spiels in it, and each one is targeted to a different type of writing. A client who is looking for product descriptions just wants to hear about your experience with those—not with the many blog posts you’ve written over the years. My product description spiel has a rundown of my years of experience with them as well as several links to descriptions I’ve written. There are occasions when I have to add a sentence or two to a spiel to make it perfect for a potential client, but for the most part they can be copied and pasted as-is.
In addition to keeping a couple of original writing samples at the end of my spiel file, I also have tons on links in it. At the end of each spiel, I have targeted links of my work that make it simple for the client to see what I can do. For an effective application, you need those links, and you can’t take all day to look for them if you want to apply to more than one thing.
I use Google alerts to let me know when something with my name on it is published. Then, I can paste the new link directly into the Word file after the appropriate spiel. Once you have a few links after each one, you can look at the new links and decide whether they are better than the ones you already have in the file. With this method, you keep the best quality of work in your spiels and make it easy to apply to anything in little time. You can put away the Kool-Aid and sit down to a real meal, even if you’re applying to dozens of projects that day.
Lizz S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.