So you’ve decided to freelance? Awesome!
You’re sitting at your desk on a normal working day and reading a particular magazine to see whether they take freelancers. As you browse through the publication, your mind is filling up with potential story ideas.
mistakes new freelance writer
You quickly jot them down, perhaps mind map these and open your email to write a pitch to the features editor. You do some quick research, find stats to support your idea, write it up and hit send. That’s your first mistake guaranteed not to land you a commission.
Mistake #1: Being overeager to send a pitch
The process from having an idea to finally pitching it can be long often taking over a few hours to a few days.
Don’t be in a hurry to send a half-baked pitch to the editor especially when  you’re starting out, sleep on it, flesh it out and make sure it’s a great pitch.
A fantastic pitch will improve your strike rates by landing you more commissions and help in building a relationship with the editor.
Mistake #2: Not reading the magazine
This error has to make any list that talks about the mistakes made by new freelancers.
Not reading the magazine is like going to swim and not knowing how to float (maybe a bit dramatic but true!).
One writer said on her blog that a freelance writer who’s thinking of pitching to a new magazine needs to read and analyse it with more concentration than a college textbook.
Going in blind is never a good idea plus it’s a time waster and the editor won’t take you seriously.
Mistake #3: Getting nervous about writing
As a freelancer who’s been in the business for over three years now, I can guarantee that the hardest part of freelancing is getting a pitch commissioned, not actually writing the article.
If you’re still feeling queasy about writing the article, plan ahead by contacting and interviewing your experts as soon as you’re commissioned and give yourself plenty of time to write two to three drafts so you can get the article perfect before submission.
Treat the article the same as if you’re trying to eat an elephant – one mouthful at a time!
Happy writing!