Job leads, News, and Conversations with Those Who Write and Edit
Work can be hard to find when you earn your keep as a freelance journalist. Since 2010, that has been my focus, though not as focused as I would like. Not long ago, I decided to diversify and market other types to businesses. I emailed out a number of queries, which I am sure ended up in a SPAM file on more than a few desktops. I am just curious about how freelancers create their query letters or emails for different companies. When you diversify how different do the queries need to be? For news stories, which I love doing, where are some of the better markets, and how do you break in? I know I have other questions, but wanted to toss out a few and see who reads these. I have pitched these questions on LinkedIn as well, but journalist and writers on there seem to be inundated with SPAM from other sites, and are fleeing. Guidance would be wonderful.
You should try and develop a query for each market you try to write for just as you would develop a slightly different resume for each place you work at. The operative phrase is, "I present myself to solve your problem." The query is not about the writer but about filling the needs of an editor and, obviously, each editor is different with different needs. So what a freelance writer needs to do is study the publication you want to write for, address the query to the correct editor, with his or her name, and make your case. You could develop a template query and then customize it for each particular publication. When I was an editor for a literary magazine I responded a lot more favorably to writers who knew the publication, addressed me personally and so on. I could tell which writers simply sent out a mass mailing of queries trying to hit the mark and they never did.
Hope that helps a bit.