How to Pitch Freelance Articles to Print Publications

There are many opportunities for freelancers in the current world of print, but don’t expect to make money right away.

One of the problems is that you need “previously published clips”. If you don’t have “previously published clips” then most publishers won’t even consider hiring you. So how to get these published clips? One way is to start at your local newspaper. If they’re like most newspapers, they’re in need of fillers from time to time.

Many of the small local newspapers need freelance reporters during the holiday season. They won’t pay much, but this must not be your goal. In the beginning your goal should be to get published. In addition of getting those “published clips”, you’ll also gain valuable experience. Talk with your local newspaper’s editor. Tell him/her that you need some publishing experience in order to build your portfolio. If they need a little push, say that you’ll work for free (for the first few articles).

Tip: Be persistent. Most editors will remember how difficult it was to break in. They tend to respect someone with great ideas and who is persistent over someone with solid clips who acts entitled to contribute to their publication.

Another way is write some articles about a certain subject and submit them to the less-established publishing outlets. When writing these articles try to match their overall style, word limits and formatting. (In your pitch letter you could tell them that they can use these articles for free. Only thing that is required is that they mention your name.)

Tip: Also remember that most news companies publish articles online. In most cases these articles are different then the articles they used in the printed press. So in your pitch letter tell them that they can use your articles on there site (as long as they use your name).

After you get those “previously published clips” you can try to sell your articles. Don’t be discouraged if you are rejected, be persistent.
And when the opportunity comes, make sure that it is your best work and that it doesn’t contain errors (factual inaccuracies, misspellings and other grammar mistakes).

So be persistent, it is possible!

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