Monday, September 23, 2013

How to Cut Your Time Writing Emails by at Least One-Third

Three or more years into your freelance career, you'll probably find it necessary to write a variety of emails. Since jobs and projects won't miraculously fall into your lap, you have to get yourself in front of your potential client's face (literally) and make them know what you're capable of doing. 

But the type of email you would need to write depends on the results you'd like to achieve. And to make writing less tedious and time-consuming, you need to have several email templates prepared and filed into your Draft folder so you can easily retrieve the right one to serve its purpose.

Flexibility applies not just in creating a schedule and setting your own pace, but in writing as well. So as a professional freelancer, concentrate on getting better in writing these five types of email:

A template that can be turned into query letters intended for magazine editors.

Freelance writers who relish seeing their bylines in widely circulating magazines and newspapers are unanimous in saying that the rate of their success depends on the number of queries they send to editors each month.

To illustrate, the honorarium rate of the majority of magazines here in the Philippines is Php1,000 for every published article. Should a freelance writer make it a goal to earn Php20,000 within a year, he must get 20 of his manuscripts published in different magazines.

But here's the tricky part: a magazine's staff adheres to an editorial calendar and strict editorial guidelines. A managing editor won't give a chance to just about anyone who emails him because he fancies himself a writer.

If the magazine you're targeting comes out monthly, you must think at least two to three issues ahead. To illustrate, offering an article about Halloween may not make it to most magazines' deadlines, since next month is already October. However, an editor may put serious consideration into an article that they can publish for their holiday edition.  

Another thing to consider is this: managing and associate editors are like the mid-level executives in a company. They're the ones who vie to be the editor-in-chief, hopefully after several more years of experience tucked under their belt.

So imagine the enormous amount of effort they make when they plod through numerous queries and manuscripts. A freelance writer, if he were wise, would make an editor's job easier by keeping his query short yet relevant, and with proof of his ability to write (e.g. links provided, PDF of clips attached, etc.).

Stay tuned, because in my next several posts, I'll cite the remaining four email templates that are most important to freelance professionals. 

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