How to Write a Pitch – Anatomy of My Writing Pitch (+ Pitch Letter Examples)

Do you know how to write a pitch?

I know it can seem a bit tedious at times, but I tell my course students that knowing how to write a good pitch is the best way to quickly land consistent and decent paying jobs.

It’s how I first got started with freelance writing.

How to Write a Pitch – Anatomy of My Writing Pitch (+ Pitch Letter Examples)

I had no experience how to write a pitch for an article and no clue where to look to pitch. I’m sure a lot of you feel this way, right? You go to the job boards, pitch your little heart out, and then hear nothing.

No email, phone call or tweet. And the worst part is? You have no idea if you could have gotten the gig if only your writing pitch was better.

A while back I wrote a post on my proven pitching process for new writers. In the post I included my first writing pitch ever. Pitching was horrible. I had no idea how to pitch. It clearly showed how unqualified I was to even write a pitch, let alone land the gig!

But with any new skill, it takes practice to refine and improve how to write a pitch. And that’s all pitching is, something to get better over time.

So, I wanted to look back at the email pitch examples that landed me my first legit freelance writing job. I want to see – in hindsight – what was it about this particular pitch to the editor that convinced a prospect to hire me?

By analyzing and dissecting my first win-pitch, maybe it can help you with writing your pitch and cut the time you waste sending ineffective writing pitches.

Because who has time, right? I’m a work-at-home mom with twin toddlers and a house to take care of, so if I can find a way to write more, pitch better or streamline my work, I’m all ears!

My Lead Up to The Writing a Pitch That Won the Gig

Before I landed my first real freelance writing gig I was doing a lot of things to build my presence online.

For any new freelance writer, you have to realize there are hundreds, probably thousands of content writers online. You need to find a way to stand out and get noticed!

So, to help me set myself apart from all the other freelance writers I:

  • Moved my profile from Guru – a freelance marketplace like Upwork – to my own self-hosted WordPress website
  • Worked on guest posting
  • Opened up more social media profiles like Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Went to popular blogs and commented on them
  • Started a blog and wrote a post a week

On top of all this I was also learning where to pitch and how to write a pitch for an article.

I suspect I must have sent at least 40 or 50 pitches before I landed my first freelance writing job. So, if you’ve been sending writing pitch after writing pitch, don’t feel like you must be the only writer sending dozens and dozens of failed writing pitches.

I did the same thing!

How to Write a Pitch

Out of nowhere I get an email from the content marketer of an online automobile newspaper saying they wanted to set up a phone interview.

Uh, come again?

They read MY writing pitch and were interested in getting to know me more? I was floored. Here I was feeding my twins dinner and I get a response to one of my pitch emails.

Want to see the pitch that wowed these prospects? Learn how to write a pitch right here.

Pitch Letter Examples

Below is a sample pitch letter. This is the first pitch that helped me land my first legit writing job.

first-client-pitch-email

It’s hard for me to believe that this article pitch email landed me the gig, but it did! I sent this writing pitch without:

  • Any experience
  • Relevant samples. The samples I sent were PDF’s and not related to the niche topic
  • A clear niche

And you know what this means? If you are brand new without any freelance writing experience or with a portfolio or niche it is possible to land a gig!

So, let’s break this writing pitch down and see what I did well and what I feel was the defining feature of my pitch that interested these prospects the most.

The Anatomy Of How I Landed My First Freelance Writing Job

Let’s go over the positive things I did in this email that you can use this when you have to write a pitch.

1. I Had Some Blogging Skills

This job ad was for an auto enthusiast blogger. They were seeking a blogger with a social presence online.

I stated right off the bat that,

I also have my own blog that I use to develop my blogging skills and provide informative yet relatable topics.

It’s not a strong sentence, but it showed the prospect that I was familiar with blogging. And if they went to my site and saw my blog they would clearly see I could write engaging blog posts.

2. I Clearly Showed What I Can Do For Their Blog

I wanted to express to a prospect what they will get if they hire me. Since prospects are seeking a writer, I wanted them to see the value I provided with each blog post I submitted.

In the middle of my writing pitch I included a bullet list of blog elements that I would provide.

If you hire me, you will be assured that each article I produce will have:

  • an eye-catching headline
  • a compelling introduction
  • examples, stats, and resources when applicable
  • a call-to-action for your readers
  • an engaging and entertaining voice

This bullet list was a new feature I added to my writing pitch and it proved to be a winner. In fact, I still use elements of this bullet list in my current pitches.

3. I Padded My Inexperience

You’ll notice in my freelance pitch I give a link to my CV on LinkedIn. I explain that if you click on this link you’ll see my freelance writing experience:

You can find my CV on LinkedIn which outlines my freelance writing experience. You can view my profile at…

Even though I had no experience I still provided a link to my bare LinkedIn profile. But my lack of experience was all padded by having the prospect click on a link to verify my experience (extra work for the prospect).

Maybe for this prospect the act of just having that link and saying that it will outline my experience was enough.

But, was that it?

Was that all it took to land the gig? I don’t think so. The elements I highlighted aren’t unique to me. Any writer could have said these exact same things.

So, what was it?

How I Turned My Pitch Into a Winning Writing Pitch

After looking at the email pitch examples I realized I mentioned one thing that probably alerted this online automobile newspaper that I was the writer for them.

It was,

[A]nd as a woman and mother from (hometown) Canada, I can offer my insight on life up North!

The job ad wanted a woman blogger from Canada. While this is a broad requirement, they either didn’t have many women bloggers from Canada apply or it was my location – and that I am a mother – that piqued their interest.

In either case, I was able to squeeze past other applicants and win the gig.

So, how can you do the same when you write a pitch for the first time? When you analyze a job ad, find ways you can personally relate to it.

For example, maybe there’s a job ad from a new start-up in the productivity app industry. You can offer insight as:

  • a work-at-home busy mom
  • Millennial student/parent
  • project manager with a small team to overview

You can also relate to the job ad by location – maybe you live in the same city or state and can offer a unique colloquialism, fact or joke.

Here are article pitch examples I sent that were light-hearted article pitch examples after the job ad specifically said to use the word, “woodchuck” in the email subject line.

get-email.

This quirky intro caught the eye of the prospect and I got a response.

It’s these relatable things you can inject in your pitch that can often help new freelance writers get noticed and get hired.

How to Write a Pitch That Lands the Gig!

There are many ways to land a freelance writing job. Using job boards is just one of them. I started off my freelance writing career relying on job boards to land clients and it’s proven to be a successful avenue.

And if you’re new to freelance writing just know it is possible to land that gig without experience.

Over to you – how did you land your first freelance writing job?

Please pin me 🙂

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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97 Comments

Hi Elna, I am a writer, not at its best, but I realized I’m on the right path. Thank you for helping me believe in myself and keep doing the one thing that I can get good at!Reply to Shamrina
Hi Shamrina, You’re welcome! So glad you are inspired and motivated to keep freelance writing!Reply to Elna
Hi Shamrina, Thanks for coming over! When I started freelance writer, I had to learn how to write online and pitch for sure! It takes time and good luck!Reply to Elna
When I am at a loss on what next step I should take as a freelance writer, I always look to your content, Elna. I will edit my pitch now, thank you.Reply to Honey
Hi Honey, Thanks for letting me know! Good luck on how to write a pitch for editors and clients!Reply to Elna
Excellent refresher. I took a few months off — and this article is exceptionally helpful, Elna!Reply to Alee
Hi Alee, Thanks chica! No go out there and write a pitch!Reply to Elna
Thanks a lot for this Am a total newbie in freelance writing and I have no samples yet. Where can I write to show samplesReply to Joan
Hi Joan, I would create mock ups and either host them on Contently’s portfolio page, LinkedIn’s publishing platform or your own blog!Reply to Elna
I love this because pitching is STILL not my favorite thing to do. But it’s obviously necessary to get good clients and the more you do it the better it gets. I always love your advice especially in areas like this where we want a proven formula that works!Reply to Heather
Hi Heather, Yes, pitching isn’t my favorite also, but it’s a great way to land some amazing clients! Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, thanks for blog post. I have been looking for an opportunity to hone my skills in freelance writing, editing and proofreading. I had been on paid job but now wish to go freelancing.Reply to Celestine
Hi Celestine, That’s so great to hear! How to write a pitch as a beginner can be challenging so I’m glad you read the post and I hope you find more clients!Reply to Elna
Hi, Elna. Thanks for sharing your experiences as a writer. I would want to write about medical topics because I have experience in this field; at this moment I am making my pitch, hoping that work, but I will write more and more. Your advice will be helpful.Reply to Xiomara
Hi Xiomara, You’re welcome! Good luck writing your pitch and landing some writing jobs!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna. Thanks for sharing your experiences (failures/successes) especially when it comes to pitching. Honestly, I’ve never really had the need to pitch since I had 2 major clients who wouldn’t let me and my small team of writers off the screens. Now I feel I MUST relearn how to pitch and start sending out those “dozens and dozens of failed pitches,” – we have 3 more writers and would like to secure more gigs for the now bigger team. This was helpful. You really now how to grasp the reader’s attention from the get. I’m confident I can land some good gigs with your advice up my sleeve. 🙂Reply to Joseph
Hi Joseph, Thank you! Sorry to hear that you have to go out and hustle again! But knowing how to write a pitch is important so happy to hear you are learning! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for that compliment about my writing!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! Thanks so much for these great tips! I’m still new to freelance writing and pitching. This post is so helpful!Reply to Sameena
Hi Sameena, That’s wonderful to hear! So happy to know how to write a pitch will help you land some amazing gigs!Reply to Elna
Hey Elna! I’m hopping on the Freelance Writer wagon! This is all due to your inspiration! Thank you so much!Reply to Emily
Hi Emily, That’s awesome to hear! Glad you want to become a freelance writer! Have fun learning more about freelance writing!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! You’re the best, thank you. I love your style and the way you write, simple. After reading all those hyped-up advertisements that do not deliver, made me think, mmmm, maybe I’ll change my niche using direct response, content marketing or even digital marketing. Thank you for what you do!Reply to Janet
Hi Janet! Thanks so much! So glad this post inspired you! You’re doing so well with the course material and taking action! Glad you are figuring things out!Reply to Elna
Thanks so much for all your help!! It’s great to have a successful Freelancer tell us exactly the types of things we need to include in our pitches!! Love the idea, too, of “scheduling.” I’m not good at that. I tend to be in my phase of Adult ADD ….and never get much done. Appreciate your help. SarahReply to Sarah
Hi Sarah! You’re welcome! Over time, your Adult ADD will quiet down and you’ll be able to pitch with confidence!Reply to Elna
Thanks for this, Elna! I believe that pitch won because of its simplicity, too. You were straightforward and showed the client you were serious. T Your simplicity is obvious in your blog posts. Keeping it precise, on-point, simple, yet detailed. However, my biggest worry is about knowing my niche. I really don’t know what interest me much. I don’t think I can start pitching till I’m sure of the niche to write for. Right now, I’ll try to write more and see how it goes. Once more, thanks for your useful posts.Reply to Claudius
I love the tip about adding a personal touch! It’s a great way to stand out and keep it light (and not so serious). Thanks so much for showing us your actual pitch. It’s nice to have something to compare your own pitch to. Like you said, when you don’t hear back from someone, you start wondering if your pitch was just terrible or if there was some other reason for the lack of response! Mostly, I’ve learned not to take things too personally.Reply to Melody
Hi Melody! You’re welcome! I love helping out new freelance writers and do my best to show them what I did and what I’m doing now! Glad you liked my first freelance writing pitch that landed the gig! Looking back I can’t believe that pitch landed the gig! It’s a tad generic and doesn’t show any credible things about me! Ha! At least I took action!Reply to Elna
I must say your writing is breath taking, have read at length and I can’t seem to get enough of it. I admire you, I hope one day I will attain such good command in writing, you got me engaged and I believe your genuineness.Reply to Robert
Thanks for the informative posts I love your writing style.Reply to Neda
Hello Elna! I must say that I’m addicted to your blog, I’m just starting out in freelancing and it’s so overwhelming to make sense of everything how to get started? where to find jobs? pitching, samples, guest posts… etc I’m reading all your posts you know what are you doing and you’re very informative please don’t ever stop writing 🙂 NibelReply to Nibel
Hi Nibel! I’m so happy to hear this! All those questions are answered in various blog posts! Have fun!Reply to Elna
Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I was able to glean a lot from this page.Reply to Anna
Hey Anna! Thanks so much for commenting on this blog post! Glad you enjoyed it!Reply to Elna
Wow, what a great article full of ideas for those of us just getting started! Well, I’m not looking to be a writer at the moment, as I prefer editing and proofreading. Even so, there are tips here that I’ll incorporate. The bullet list idea is fantastic! I’ve been proofreading for years as an in-house translator, but I’m just entering the world of freelance proofreading and editing; I don’t have a huge official portfolio yet.Reply to Erica
Hi Erica! You’r welcome. I’m glad that this breakdown to my first freelance writer’s pitch helped you dissect yours! Have fun!Reply to Elna
Wow thank you so much for this! it has really helped me create my own pitch your website has been very helpful 🙂Reply to Jess
Hi Jess! That’s fantastic to hear! Good luck on landing your freelance writing job!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I have to admit that I have wasted precious time trying to do more than is required to launch my freelance writing career. If I had done much of my research on your website since I first visited over a month ago, by now I would have started some work. Thanks for the informative articles on Pitches and Portfolios. I’ve benefited immensely from them. Once more, thanks for being generous with these info. Let me study and practice some more.Reply to Akpobor
You’re welcome! Glad you found some tips for creating a pitch for freelancing!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I’m new to the freelance writing business and would love some information on what happens after a client wants to move forwards. Do you discuss a contract first? Do you discuss a payment plan first? Some clarification on this would be lovely.Reply to Susan
Hi Susan, Great questions. If a prospect has agreed to hire you then you can come back with a service agreement or just an email detailing the project. By this time the client should know your rate and your process but if not, just detail that in your email of how YOU do the project. I hope this helps!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Is this kind of thing detailed in more depth in your Write-to-1k course? I’m thinking of biting… Cheers, AndyReply to Andy
Hey Andy, My Writeto1k course goes more into all things for starting your freelance writing! You can check out the sales page if you want to see all the modules!! https://writeto1k.com!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, I am currently interested in becoming a freelance journalist. My niche I guess would be sports, more specifically -tennis. Do you think I should create a website first, or should I land a gig first before making a website? As I just finished high school, I am planning to pursue an English degree (expected graduation 2022), do you think clients will be reluctant to hire a student that just finished high school and with no degree at the moment. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Kind regards,Reply to Eric
Hi Eric, Thanks for stopping by! Great questions! You can get started without a website, but it will be a bit more challenging to show your credibility and professionalism. Here’s a YouTube video of this discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mablKYlEWY As for clients being reluctant to hire you, I wouldn’t think so as long as you don’t highlight that you are fresh out of HS! Show online your professionalism and writing skill, and that will prove to clients to hire you.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! I was looking for some valuable information on how to write a pitch for freelance writing. I have been writing freelance on and off as a student and I’m planning to spend more time to develop this career. I also created my self-hosted site for this purpose. Hoping for the best. Thank you for the very helpful insight. Wish me luck! 🙂Reply to Mic
Hi Mic, That’s awesome you added freelance writing services for your blog 🙂 Good luck pitching as a new freelancer!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Your writing is so helpful,atleast now i have an idea of how to pitch.ave taken your six day course hoping to enroll in the advanced one and to be honest it was very helpful.i have a wordpress account all thanks to you.Reply to Roasemary
Hi Rosemary, Thank you very much! I can’t wait to welcome you into Writeto1k!Reply to Elna
Just to say thank you for your blog. I am looking at trying to do work as a freelance content writer and there is a wealth of good information throughout your site. One quick question regarding articles for examples of my writing. Do they need to be published, or can they simply be articles I have written to give an idea of my style and standard? Thanks again for your hard work in providing this information.Reply to Nicholas
Hi Nicholas, Thanks so much! You can create your own samples and place them on your blog or on Medium or in a Google Doc. Then you can link to your sample in your pitch. Ideally, they should be published somewhere like your blog so you have that live link. In saying this, however, I landed my gigs in the beginning with PDF samples. So it is possible.Reply to Elna
Thank you so much. Pitching is probably the most important part of applying for a freelance job. Blogs, profile, samples come later. You have shown me the perfect way to make a pitch. I will add my own salt and pepper and shoot a pitch.Reply to Sukanya
Hi! That’s great that you know! Good luck with your pitching.Reply to Elna
I saw you on Jordan’s Facebook page. BDW, this post was very helpful and hope to land my first writing gig soon.Reply to Arpan
Thanks! ElnaReply to Elna
I loved the article as a whole, Elna. I’ve got to say though, my favorite but was about how you provided a link to your LinkedIn. I thought this was a very clever, and honest move. So much so that I went and made some edits to my own LinkedIn! Thank you for the great idea!Reply to Blake
Hi, Your website is really useful for newbie freelance writers like me, especially this post. Will try this idea for my future gigs. ThanksReply to Sulaksha
That’s great! I hope you land your first client soon!Reply to Elna
Wow. I am in love with this wealth of knowledge. Thanks a million Elna.Reply to Esthylovelyn
Hi! You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! I’m severely late to this post, but I just wanted to say how inspiring and helpful this post and all of your posts on this blog are! I’ve wanted to break into freelancing for a while, and finally jumped in and did it. Your blog has helped me IMMENSELY so I want to say thank you. Compared to setting up a freelance business website, writing articles and building my portfolio, pitching is this thing I was most nervous about but your posts gave me so much confidence. So, again, thank you!!Reply to Kileen
Kileen, Thank you so much for letting me know this 🙂 I love LOVE love helping aspiring writers get their freelance writing biz off on the right foot. So happy that you are taking action and please email me whenever you need help or have a question! [email protected]Reply to Elna
Will definitely do! Thank you 🙂Reply to Kileen
Hi Elna, This post is inspiring for a new freelance writer like me. I love the way you were intentional in your pitch. Thanks for sharing.Reply to Laura
Hi Laura! Thank you so much. I’m glad you found my pitch helpful! It was the first pitch that helped me land my first gig!Reply to Elna
Very inspiring for a new freelancer such as myself. Thank you so much for sharing.Reply to Tanya
Hi Tanya! You’re welcome. Glad you found some useful advice!Reply to Elna
Stumbled across your site today (via Wanderful World) and already am loving it! I’m a travel blogger and freelance writer who is in the process of vamping up my online business. Your tips are all great (especially the templates for cold pitches). Thanks for providing such valuable resources! Quick question: do you use a contract with each of your freelance clients? Or are some on a more “casual” basis? Most of my work in the past has been in this casual style, but I’m wondering how to smoothly make the transition. Thank you!!Reply to Amy
Hi Amy, Thanks so much for your support! I love Lizzie’s site on Wanderful World and am so happy she has her freelancer course up and running! Did you attend her webinar? I’m planning on doing some webinars in Feb (well one for now) and I’m getting excited (and nervous!). So glad you picked up the cold pitching templates. I hear they are working quite well and people are landing gigs from them! For your question: when I first started I did use contracts. I started at around $.04/word so the clients I was attracting weren’t my ideal. So, to feel safe that I was actually going to get paid, I did institute a contract. Also some clients request you fill out a contract too! But now that I’m attracting higher paying clients I know they are good for it and I don’t bother with a formal service agreement (although I do provide a service agreement for my course participants in Write Your Way to Your First $1k). I just make it clear in the email what the project is, get their PayPal address before and get to work! It seems to be going well. If you have any questions just email me!Reply to Elna
This is awesome Elna. Thank you for sharing it. What holds me back is the pitch letter, so I appreciate you sharing your letter with us and breaking it down the way you did. Very inspiring for wannabe freelance writers like me. 🙂 Thanks again for sharing! Hope you’re having a great week! CoriReply to Corina
Hi Corina, Yes the pitch letters is a big one. While I don’t think the pitch I showcased is all that great, it is a starting point. Make sure you pitch is more specific and highlights your accomplishments (oh and what you can do for the prospective client). I’m sure you’ll do fantastic!Reply to Elna
Hey Elna, Nice post you have here! Thanks for showing newbies that they don’t need to start from content mills (low paying sites) to land writing gigs. So many people needed to hear just this. Thanks Elna.Reply to Mercy
Hi Mercy, Yes, I think more an more writers should tell other aspiring writers that places like Upwork are just not worth it. There are so many better places to land a gig and I mean look at my story! I landed a gig without a portfolio to show! It happens and it can happen to you too!Reply to Elna
Now this will surely help me in making my first successful pitch online, I am pretty good offline but didn’t know much about all this online thingy… To be honest I thought it would just the same as offline but no there are nuggets that I would have missed if I didn’t visit your weblog esp. this piece! Thank you so much Elna! I will let you know if I get some deal there… pray ;pReply to Arshad
Hi Arshad, Thanks for your kinds words! Yes online marketing is a tad different than offline right? There are little things that are different and pitching may be one of them. I hope you land a gig with your pitch soon! If you do, tell me all about it.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna This is an awesome post. The step by step directions is what I like about your posts. Keep up the good work.Reply to Rita
Hi Rita! Thanks so much. I learn best in that format. Step-by-step breaks everything down and just works right? I hope you found some nuggets of gold in my post to help you with your pitch!Reply to Elna
thanks for the informative post but I am wondering why you decided not to post any writing samples on your website? thanksReply to sam
Hey Sam, ElnaCain.com isn’t my professional freelance writer website where I house my portfolio and writing samples. You can view them when you visit Innovative Ink.Reply to Elna
Hey Elna! I love this! It’s so helpful to see the exact steps other succesful writers took to get where they are. I love that you find a point in each pitch that’s personally relatable. That’s something I’ve learned from you and it’s been bringing me lots of success. Thanks for another inspiring and helpful post!Reply to Cheri
Hey Cheri! So happy to hear this! Yes, sending a pitch that’s personal and unique goes a long way. But, it still doesn’t hurt to have a template to work off of. I have several templates I use depending on the type of pitch, but I do my work and find a way to relate to the business or entrepreneur. Thanks!Reply to Elna
Hey Elna, Always giving freebies. That’s who you are, a giver. I receive it with pleasure and thanks for sharing. Anyway, I’ve just started pitching for some opportunities on elance now Upwork. So I find this post helpful. Hope I’m permitted to copy how you did it. Nobody in this life is original, we all learn from somewhere to get to where we want to be. As a complete beginner owning a blog, I think I’m on the right start but need to keep on practicing hard, follow your steps to improve my skills. I realize passion alone is not enough. There should be more to it and I know there is. Best regards Francis.Reply to Francis
Good luck Francis! I’m in the process of creating a webinar for new freelance writers on how to find a freelance writing job using job boards (not places like Upwork). You might be interested! So keep an eye out for that in Feb!Reply to Elna
Oh my gosh! This is great to take a peek at your email that got you your first client. I think for me and many others starting to freelance, it can seem scary to send out a pitch with not much experience, but your tips really give me the confidence that I can land a client soon. Thank you!Reply to Renayle
Hi Renayle! So happy you feel this way. It is quite scary sending your pitches when you haven’t landed the gig. But, like I tell my course students and coaching clients, the more you pitch the better chance you have at landing that first gig. So take action and keep on pitching.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Thanks for sharing your first winning pitch. I think it is both simple and punchy, but shows that it doesn’t have to be anything overly complicated to secure a gig. I think if you’re comfortable about the gig itself – the type of content required – then you will write a more natural pitch, and this shows in your winning pitch above. Thanks for all your advice and tips! – DavidReply to David
Hi David! Thanks so much. Drafting a winning pitch does take practice for sure. I think for me, the job ads that interest me the most makes me work harder to create a good pitch. It does elevate your skills for sure!Reply to Elna
Thanks for this, I am just starting out and really appreciate the shared wisdom.Reply to Pam
Hi Pam, Glad you found it helpful for your pitches. Keep me updated on your progress!Reply to Elna