First of all, let me thank you for your wonderful and helpful website.
I am just getting my feet wet in the freelance writing pond and blogs like yours have been a lifesaver.
I do, however, have a query-related question: specifically, about how to query for Craigslist postings with little/no information.
I realize that the regular method of sending a query or applying for a job is to research the company, find out who the editor is, and tailor your application to pinpoint exactly what the client wants.
In many cases, however, I find that Craigslist posts give so little information that it’s nearly impossible to do this. They will not give a company name, a “real” email address or anything to help with a google search, so you can’t do any research, and their requirements will be extremely vague.
For example, I’m trying to apply to one job that just says, “We need someone with blogging experience to run our company blog. Please submit your portfolio and your compensation requirements.”
Do you have any tips for how to write a query letter under these sorts of circumstances? Obviously following directions is one thing, but is there a way to help my query stand out even if I have no information to go off of?
Michelle Clough (in comments) - http://michelleclough.wordpress.com
Thanks for the compliments; I’m truly grateful you find the site helpful.
You’re right, ads for writers etc. on Craigslist rarely give you any information. It’s impossible to really target your response. Look at it this way:
Responding to a Craigslist ad is really an attempt to start a conversation with the prospective employer. If you get that conversation started you can then get specific.
To the ad you quote I’d probably email something like this:
Hi – I might be your company blogger. I’ve been blogging successfully for 3 years, for myself and for others, including two companies. Details on my resume at www.annewayman.com/resume. Price will depend on length and frequency of posts and how I get the information needed to do dynamite posts for you.
I’m available to talk on the phone most mornings between 9 and 11 Pacific time – other times also available – let me know what works for you.
Thanks for your interest
I’ve also learned over time that I’m lucky if I get one response out of a dozen or more pitches I send, but if someone does respond I probably get hired by about half of them. And, I have landed a few well-paying gigs when I respond this way.
It’s kind of funny when they call because I have to ask them which job they’re talking about. Generic job posts get generic responses.
I do it this way because it’s quick. If there is a web address or an email that lets me know what the web address is, I’ll take a look and may shape my response based on that. But if there is no way to figure out who they are I respond along the lines above and don’t worry about it.
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Write well and often,
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