Dream Big – Pitch Small

By on October 13, 2016
Dream Big - Pitch Small - Writer's Life.org

As a freelance writer, there is nothing more rewarding then landing that one big job. The one that means more exposure, better money, more job satisfaction.

Of course, the problem is, that often freelance writers spend so much time and effort chasing these ‘big fish’ that they forget about the smaller jobs, that when put together are just as lucrative and enjoyable.

Getting an article placed in a prominent magazine or online publication, where your words will be exposed to hundreds of thousands of readers is brilliant. However, there are many advantages to pitching your ideas and sending your work off to smaller publications too.

It’s important for freelance writers not to get too 'big for their boots.’ Just because you have landed a succession of great writing gigs, you shouldn’t consider any publication or assignment beneath you.

The best way to handle yourself in the freelance writing game is with enthusiasm and humility. You never know when work is going to dry up, and even a large lump sum in a pay check isn’t going to last forever, so don’t burn your bridges or cut ties with smaller publications, especially those who published your work and gave you a chance when you had very little experience.

So what are the advantages of pitching to and writing for smaller publications?

You have less competition. Freelance writing is a tough job. You may dream of getting your work seen in larger, widely read publications, but so does every other freelance writer out there. If you pitch to smaller, more niche publications, your chances of getting accepted are far greater. If you aren’t an experienced writer, it is also an excellent way to build up your portfolio, learn more about the industry, particularly how to work with editors!

You have more flexibility. Larger publications tend to be far more directive when it comes to telling you what to write. Smaller outlets are more likely to give you greater flexibility and free reign. This means you can write about what you are truly passionate about, come up with a more risky idea, and write with a voice that feels much more authentically yours.

You can learn from your fellow writers. Many small publications shouldn’t be dismissed just because of their distribution numbers. If you do your research, you’ll find that many of them contain some truly fascinating, original, well put together writing by very talented writers- ones who you can learn a lot from.

You can listen re work stories and ideas you have placed in larger magazines. Use material that has been placed in bigger publications and re-work it to come up with ideas and pitches for smaller ones. This means you get as much mileage out of your ideas and work as possible and also makes your life that little bit easier!

So next time you come up with a great idea for a story or article, don’t forget about smaller publications, you may find that they offer you a great deal more than you thought.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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