All Posts in Category: Pitching
Such an obnoxious term.
As an adult, with years of experience at something, anything, it feels icky to have to start at the bottom of the totem pole in a new profession.
But, I’m not here to tell you that’s what you need to do when you are ramping up or transitioning into a new freelance travel writing business.
And, yes, cold pitching absolutely does work, when done right.
But not like this:
I just got off two coaching calls in a row with writers who have been writing for low- or non-paying outlets comfortably with good relationships with their editors but are intimidated to make the jump into paying markets.
Here’s the thing.
If you have been writing for an editor who doesn’t give you edits or in some way teach you about the industry and move your career forward, no matter how low or high the pay for those assignments are, or how quickly you can get the work done, or how easy the work is because you write it off the top of your head, you’re losing money in two ways:
- you’re missing out on mentoring, which is, like “exposure,” one of the things you should be getting in a bargain for lower rates (a.k.a. anything less than $1 per work—and I even mean online)
- you’re solidifying bad habits that are keeping you from getting future work from better markets, because these editors are examining your work with a fine tooth comb
Due to some requests from our readers outside the New York area, we’re making this Saturday’s workshop on how to Master Magazine Pitching available to attend even if you aren’t able to join us in person.
We’ve tested the streaming in the event space and the speed is excellent, but we’ll have someone onsite specifically attending to those tuning in remotely to make sure that you can share in all the exercises and get your questions answered as if you were there in person.
Why is this workshop special?
Before I left the 9-to-5 world to freelance, I had several jobs that required editing publications, from letter-length to book-length with lots of magazines and printed newsletters in between, but that type of work stopped sparking for me after a few years.
A lot of editors (the ones you really want to work in particular) get a really high from perfecting a piece of writing–taking what the write meant to say and making it indelibly clear for the reader.
When discussions of grammar and style arise among writers, it is very rarely with that same verve, that sparkle with which editors discuss it. And, more often than not, it’s because writers misunderstand its purpose.
A+ grammar and crystal clear style is not intended to drown out your voice or make your writing sound just like everything else out there.
Quite the opposite.
I often find it quite comical that my job is (and was for several years even before I was a freelancer) to be a paid writer in English.
While I am a native English speaker, my degree is in Italian language and literature, and I had originally planned to become an Italian professor, so even when I started writing professionally in my pre-freelance full-time job, I didn’t immerse myself in the tenants of journalism, its writing style, or its specific stylistic rules.
Many of you tell me that you are in similar situations with your own transition to freelance travel writing. Your prior experience is in an area so divergent (science or technical writing, law, engineering and the like come up often) from mainstream journalism that you feel as if you’re coming from another language, even if it is English.
Every week, we scour the web for every job posting of interest to the travel writers on our email list.
These aren’t always strictly travel (we know you all have many interests and writing subject matter expertise areas, and that’s a great way to diversify your income!), and we always kick in the quirkiest–and simply bad a$$est–jobs we turn up as well.
Wanted to make sure you heard a few quick things about today’s call:
Our webinar will take place today at a very different time than usual as I need to catch a flight to a get down to a writing conference in Nashville before our weeklong boot camp starts on Sunday.
(I’m so excited to see some of you there! We have been working so hard on the outings, set up, and menus for this week to welcome writers coming from as far as Argentina to take their career to an entirely new level! If you’re interest in joining us for next spring’s bootcamp, you can take 25% off now in our summer’s last hurrah sale!)
Our topic for today may literally be the most important thing that we will every cover in a webinar.
There are a lot of changes coming to our at-home programs–the versions of our live events, like Pitchapalooza, that take place over several weeks that you do from home rather than our location in the Catskills.
- major changes coming to ensure participants participate and finish their programs
- moving to a university-like model in many ways–your lessons and homework are when they are, and they’re due when they’re do–to move further away from the issues with online courses that people never finish
- new TravelContentCon and IdeaFest programs on the horizon
- IdeaFest (live or at-home) will now be a prerequisite Pitchapalooza (live or at-home)
- groups will be smaller and prices for some programs will change, but there will be much more personal attention as a result (in some cases more similar to a limited-term intensive coaching program, like at the retreats) and it will allow me to even run programs with just three people at a time if that’s who we have at that time (see–extra personal attention!)
- participation in group discussions (on a discussion platform for pitch- and idea-related programs or in group calls for TravelContentCon) will be a core component as it is essential to success–MFA programs are based on group critique sessions for a reason Read More
Welcome to the Dream of Travel Writing–the Monday Mailbag! We often get questions from readers, folks in our accountability group, or coaching program members that we think would apply to a lot of you.
Now, with permission, agony-aunt-style, we’ll be sharing a new one with you each Monday. If you have a question you’d like to see included, please send it to us at questions [at] dreamoftravelwriting.com and make sure to include a line saying we have permission to reprint your question.
On to the tricky travel writing questions!