How to Get 2 High Paying Freelance Clients in 7 Days (With a Killer Pitch)

Are you a new freelance writer struggling to find a writing gig that actually pays?

You ask, how do I start freelancing and get freelance clients?

Or, are you stuck working for pennies and want out?

How to Get 2 High Paying Freelance Clients in 7 Days (With a Killer Pitch)

There’s a ton of freelance writing jobs available, but if you don’t know where to find good, reliable and high-paying freelance clients, you’re not going to make it.

Many writers don’t know where to look for decent paying clients.

Where Are the High Paying Freelance Clients?

When you ask freelance writers where the high-paying freelance clients hang out, they typically tell you they don’t hang out in freelance job boards. But, I beg to differ.

I’ve landed some great paying freelance clients from freelance writing job boards. Lately though, I haven’t used job boards to land my recent clients because:

  • I’m not currently looking for more work, but this doesn’t mean I’m not open to inquiries
  • Clients are coming to me on a regular basis
  • Clients are referring me to their network of people

But, I do know that many participants in my free email course Get Paid to Write Online, may be struggling to land a high-paying client.

So, I decided to do a little case study. I thought it would be a good experiment to see if I can land a writing gig from a job board.

My Case Study to Land A Freelance Client from Pitching

I gave myself a week, from August 27th till the end of September 3rd to land one freelance writing gig. I ended up landing two (and am working on one inbound lead).

My criteria for pitching was to:

  • Use only freelance writing job boards
  • Avoid looking on social media for jobs
  • Find ads that fit my niche or one that I’m trying to break into (WordPress)

As you can see, I didn’t include a minimum rate as many job ads don’t often specify the pay. But, I did set a minimum rate for myself – $.06/word – and did not go below this (Note: my normal range is $.10/word-$.30/word but for this experiment I wanted to go at it as a newbie freelance writer).

Here is the breakdown:

August 27th – ProBlogger – Mommy Blogger

August 28th – ProBlogger – Copywriter

August 29th – Blogging Pro – WordPress Blogger

August 29th – Craigslist – Financial Writer

August 29th – MediaBistro – Career Blogger

August 29th – Craigslist – Health Writer

August 30th – Indeed – Lifestyle Writer

August 30th – Contena – SEO and Content Marketing blogger

September 1st – ProBlogger – Content Marketing blogger

September 2nd – ProBlogger – Online Marketing blogger

Out of the nine pitches, three of them responded. One prospect offered $.05/word so I didn’t take that job. The other two agreed to my rate ($.10/word) and landed those two gigs.

Not bad, right? Out of nine pitches, I landed 2 high-paying gigs – 25% close rate.

Update: Since this post was published, I’ve landed another gig from this pitching stint making it a %75 close rate whenever I use my current pitch.

You might think I landed these jobs because of my reputation and some of my high-profile clients, but I honestly feel it was how I pitched and the pitch itself that landed me my gigs.

So, let’s get into the specifics about my experiment and then I’ll give you some pointers for your killer pitch.

1. I Looked at Job Boards First Thing in the Morning and Late at Night

For the first three days, I was only looking at the job boards in the morning. So, instead of checking my email, I would spend a few minutes checking ProBlogger, All Freelance Writers, Media Bistro and all the other job boards on my list.

I sort of became obsessed after the first few days and decided to check the boards one more time before I went to sleep. This proved to up my game because many new leads were added at night so that first thing in the morning, there would be new ads on the board.

2. I Made Sure to Read the Job Ad

I’ve been known to skim and miss important details from time to time. I mean I have twins vying for my attention, housework to take care of, several blogs to manage, and about a zillion other things WAHMs have on their plate. I’m amazed I remember to put on deodorant in the morning!

So, for this experiment I made sure to read the ad and take notes if necessary. For example, one job ad required a special word to be included in the subject headline. Another ad gave precise topic choices and how many posts a month they wanted.

3. I Proved My Value During the Negotiation Process

Just because you get a response from your pitch, doesn’t mean you’ll land the gig. Most likely, the email you received was also sent to a handful of other applicants.

Most responses you receive from your pitch is to know more about your rate or services. For my responses, two out of the three asked for my rate.

I was able to quote a rate within my range because I proved to have value above and beyond being a writer. So, for example, I often included in my rate that I will upload my content to their CMS and that I will promote my content for them on my social media channels.

I also re-iterated my expertise in the type of content the blogger or business needed.

These specific things helped justify my rate and land me the gigs.

Writing a Killer Writing Pitch

In my complete freelance writing course I offer several templates that I frequently use when I do a lot of pitching. They have a high success rate and it’s gotten me some great clients.

But, I decided to develop a new pitch to see if I could improve on my old one. I did and it worked even better than my old and trusty version.

So let’s look at some core elements to creating a killer pitch.

1. Tailor Each Pitch You Send Out

When companies put out a job ad online, they receive hundreds of applicants tootin’ their own horn trying to land that gig.

As a way to stand out, you need to tailor each pitch. This doesn’t mean you have to create a new one each time – in fact, I don’t recommend this.

What I mean is include the name of the person who will read your pitch and – if possible – include a personal story that relates you to the company. For example if I know the company is based out of Toronto, I could then mention that I’m a fellow Ontarian.

This makes your pitch a little more memorable and stands out amongst all the generalist types of pitches the person in charge is probably reading.

2. Include Your Best Samples

While you do have an advantage if you have samples from popular and recognized sites, you can definitely land a gig with just having good content.

What do I mean by this?

  • Your headline stands out
  • Your sample relates perfectly to the type of content they require (this is big when you don’t have guest posts or published pieces from notable sites)
  • Your sample shows you know how to write for an online audience.

3. Show Your Confidence

This is key to landing the gig. I know your first attempt at landing a freelance writing gig can be anxiety-provoking.

Having fear is a HUGE thing when you’re the boss and you realize if you don’t land the gig you don’t get paid. So, sometimes you just have to fake it to make it.

Prove in your pitch that you are the one for the writing gig. Show your expertise, knowledge and write as if you have already landed a hundred writing gigs.

Ready to Up Your Game?

Pitching should be a daily thing when you’re first starting out. At the same time though, if you want to attract clients to you, you also need to work on building your freelance business.

I haven’t been dedicated to pitching now that I have steady work, but this experiment has proven to me that having a process to pitching and being confident when you pitch can really up your game when it counts.

Over to you – do you have a system in place when you pitch? Tell me all about it!

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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29 Comments

Hi Elna! I’m addicted to your posts. Not in a flattery, figurative way; it’s totally technical! Every time I see pink words I automatically go *right click, open in new tab* and read the next article after the first. Hence, my staying online everyday ’til around 3:00 am! Anyways, in your last section, Ready to Up Your Game, you mentioned the necessity to “build your freelance business”, would you be able to clarify what that would include? I’m assuming social media sharing, etc. But, I just wanted to make sure, and as implied before, I can’t get enough of you. Thanks!Reply to Sonya
Hi Sonya, Building your freelance writing business means doing everything possible to get out there and get known. People need to know you’re a writer. This is fundamentally what I teach in Writeto1k!Reply to Elna
This is great Elna – thanks for breaking it down step by step and providing details! I have this bookmarked for when I’m ready to start pitching!Reply to Ellen
Hi Ellen, Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed this step by step strategy on how to land 2 clients in 7 days! Good luck! 🙂Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I can’t imagine a better way to appreciate your heartwarming efforts towards helping other freelance writers. I think the world needs more innovative, skillful and relentlessly passionate souls like you. I’ve been pitching for a while and finally landed a gig, but I totally relate to low confidence. I think we’re worth more than we think we are as writers. Thanks Elna, Peter.Reply to Peter
Great tips. I’m rebooting my marketing efforts and having a CRM is helping me get organized. I look at what emails get opened and adjust my subject lines.Reply to Sharon
Thanks, Elna, for another exceptional post! You do a superb job at including links to your previous posts at appropriate places that lead me to more great advice! It’s really all connected.Reply to Jeanne
Hey Jeanne! You’re welcome! Glad you finding these posts helpful 🙂Reply to Elna
Thanks so much for this post. I have two small children and live in South Africa. I am trying to get into freelance writing so I can stay home with them. I have done your 6 day course and read loads of your blog posts. Thanks for all the helpful info!!Reply to Rebekah
Hi Rebekah, That’s great! So happy you found some ways to find freelance writing gigs!Reply to Elna
I love this post, Elna! One of the major things I’ve always had trouble with is showing my confidence. In my mind, I know I’m good enough to get the job done successfully but it’s hard to express that confidence for some reason. Whenever I get on a call with a prospect before they hire me, there’s always a few seconds of awkwardness for me as I wonder what I should say. My mind goes into overdrive as I try to figure out how to express my aptitude for the work they need to have done. I’ve learned over the past six months what to say to make sure they realize the value of hiring me over someone else. I suppose that’s why I prefer cold emailing.Reply to Lizzie
Hey Lizzie, Talking with clients is always makes me nervous! I would try to write things down before talking to a client or prospect and don’t over ask 🙂Reply to Elna
Very impressive Elna! Nothing succeeds like success! So what pray tell, will the nay sayers use as a perfectly valid excuse for still failing now!LOL! Because all you did, by carefully outlining your successful process from start to finish, was take their excuses and 101 rationalizations for their lack of success thus far and blow them up!LOL! And personally I’m glad you did, because it’ now time for them to decide, either to get some much needed expert coaching/consulting or look in the mirror & take full responsibility for their current results or lack thereof!LOL! How much more prudent evidence do they need, their approach doesn’t work!Reply to Mark
Hi Elna I came to know about your blog through your Blogging Wizard guest post. You present your articles with lots of data and research. As this is my first comment, I want to start our digital journey by telling about myself. Last year, I entered the field of blogging. I learned a lot of things from my first site. After getting featured on authoritative sites, I came up with my content writing site this month. This small journey was not possible without the support and love from my blogging friends, my mentors, and readers. Coming back to the post, I love the fact you got your clients from free job boards. I am also going to work on my pitch. You talked about uploading the content on your client’s site directly. I want to ask one thing. Do you add images (if required) and work on the SEO part from your end also? Or you just focus on the content part only.Reply to Yatin
Yatin! Thanks for stopping by. I love writing for Blogging Wizard and I know how important it is to back up your research with quality facts and stats! It’s a quick way to be a better blogger by far! I saw your portfolio and am totally impressed! Consider writing an eBook or course on how to land guest spots on those sites! You would do well! The rest of your site looks good! Good luck. I’m sure you have the connections and network to be successful (as well as your writing ability!). In regards to posting my content on the client’s site directly – I am usually responsible for providing a feature image and to fill in the SEO part (usually SEO Yoast). Every client has different requirements so at other times I may just upload my content and images and provide an alt tag. If you need help with your pitch you can always ask me! Good luck! You’re a fantastic writer btw.Reply to Elna
I love that you did a mini case study on this, Elna! And I completely agree that avoiding job boards completely is silly. Yes, you have to be selective about what you apply to and what you accept. Yes, some people just want to pay $5 for 5000 words. But I’ve found some great clients from job boards, especially when I was first starting out. It’s all in how professionally you show yourself, your skill, and your work.Reply to Katharine
Hey Katharine! Love your new site btw! Yeah, glad you feel the same about job boards. I don’t use job boards that often (now that clients are coming to me), but it’s a great source for jobs when you need some work in a pinch. And, yeah, I’ve landed great writing gigs ($.18/word gigs). See you have a new post! Will bookmark for future read!Reply to Elna
I’m there right now Elna, pitching for my first clients. Checking the ads late at night is great advice I never thought of. I’m starting that today!Reply to Vicky
Hi Vicky! That’s great. Glad you are pitching and checking the job boards at night (you can beat everyone out by being the first pitch they see if you send it at night) Cross my fingers you land a client or two or three! Way to go. I’m rooting for you and I know you have it in you.Reply to Elna
What a great post, Elna! I’ll have to give job boards a try, so far I’ve been focused on sending cold pitches, but responding to a prospect’s immediate needs for content sounds much better. Not easier, of course, but better. Fear is definitely a big obstacle to get past, and unless you do something about it, it will only lead to more frustration, and a self-confidence rolling down the hill. Thank you for the wonderful posts, it’s a pleasure to read every single time.Reply to Ralitsa
Ralista! Good for you for cold pitching. That’s something I don’t do often, but highly enjoy. This is where you have to really put your copywriter’s hat on and sell your services. Yes, fear is a big thing. For me though, is, if they don’t respond, oh well, it’s time to move on. I don’t think of it as rejection, just that I didn’t apply in time (i.e. wasn’t one of the first few to apply).Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I’ve been reading your posts for months now and I am impressed by the wealth of information you share. Very actionable and practical! Especially this one. I’ve never tried pitching before because like you, most of my clients are referrals from existing and former clients. However, I think this will be helpful once I’m ready to take on more clients and scale my writing biz. This is one for the bookmarks! Thank you. I’m looking forward to your future posts!Reply to Angela
Hi Angela! So happy to hear you are a loyal reader! I never know if my posts resonate with my audience. I’m switching gears a bit and focusing on newbie freelance writers since I have a free email course for aspiring writers. I also want to talk about my business and will, I think, on my next post. Yeah pitching is awesome! I don’t do it often because, like you said, I get mostly referrals. In fact, when doing this experiment, I landed two other clients via referrals! So, go figure I have four new clients, maybe 5! Good luck!Reply to Elna
This is so true, while I just got an opportunity to write for an upcoming site!! I think I should meanwhile prepare to pitch to write for other sites as well!! Thanks for the tipsReply to Marwa
Hi Marwa, Good to know you’re getting yourself out there! That’s the first step and a good pitch can help you with that. I know for me, it took me a while to find a pitch that worked, but once I did, I made sure to refine it over time and make it better. Good luck!Reply to Elna
Thanks for another great post with advice, Elna. I’ll be testing this from this month on on a daily basis as I’ll be testing my writing skills to create new pitches for the next couple of weeks. Can’t wait to see how this’ll help me.Reply to Mariken
Hi Mariken! Great to know that my post will help you write a killer pitch! Go for it and own it! While you do have to compete with hundreds of other writers when you pitch, you still have a chance and these tips will get you one step closer to sealing the deal. Good luck.Reply to Elna