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Freelancing: 30 days, 30 queries challenge

One of the most useful sources I’ve found since I started freelancing, is Mridu Khullar’s blog.  It’s handy because it’s real. Mridu doesn’t build castles in the sky, instead, she blogs honestly about the challenges, success and other things that goes with being a freelancer. If you’re a freelance writer, I highly recommend signing up to her newsletter.

Now, onto the challenge.

Last year she posted a 30 days, 30 queries challenge. It is, just as it says, a challenge where you spend 30 days sending 30 queries to publications you might want to write for. Her approach was to try and break into publications she has never written for. My approach is a little bit different.

I do have dreams of being published by certain publications. The Guardian, The Economist, The Atlantic, Noseweek, The Cricketer….these are all publications I would like to write for. The problem with most of these is that it needs a concrete pitch idea. After subbing my own work, that is quite possibly my worst skill – coming up with ideas all the time.

That doesn’t mean I can’t take up the challenge, only slightly tweaked.

One of my goals this year is to make more money. To make more money I need to do more work. I have a set of skills which have been somewhat stagnating since I went freelance. Newsletters, for instance, was something I was really good at when I was working for the corporates. It was something I enjoyed doing and I was good at it, too.

So, my one challenge is to find a client who I can do a newsletter for.

I’m also looking to branch out into some non-sport stuff.  Writing shorter, fun posts which are informative, too. So, I can do posts on cheap, but nutritious recipes, I can offer to do some World Cup work for some publications who might not have a dedicated sports writer and I can offer to do some social media work for others.

I started on Sunday and I sent two queries.

The idea is, if you pitch enough, something will stick. It’s not that more pitching diminishes the worth of your pitches, it just means you are being more positively proactive.

And if you don’t pitch to those publications you dream of writing for, how will you ever know?

And, the more you pitch, the less obsessed you become with checking your email for that yay or nay reply. Because that yay or nay is the lifeblood of any freelancer. That yay or nay is the difference between shopping at Woolies for their smoked pepper humus and eating toast. If you know you are reaching out enough, you will be less obsessive about that *one* pitch and more hopeful of positive replies.

If you’re a freelancer, I challenge you to take up your own. 30 days, 30 queries challenge.

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