Get Paid to Write

Enter your name and email address to sign up to my newsletter and get my list of 47 Websites that Pay Writers $50+ Per Article (including a site that pays up to $1,000 per article)

Cold Pitching Challenge: Week 1 Instructions

Hi freelance writers,

This document is a guideline to help you succeed with Bamidele’s freelance writing challenge.

The challenge officially started on July 1st 2020. Originally, it was set to run for 30 days (until August 11th). But because of the impact of COVID-19 on prospecting, it’s been extended to 60 days. Thanks to everyone who commented on the post in the group and committed to moving forward with the 60-day challenge.

Now, down to business.

The challenge will now run for 60 days (ending on September 22nd). BUT that doesn’t mean there’s any time to waste! Businesses are still recovering from the pandemic, and they may take longer than usual to respond.

With this in mind, we’ve come up with a week-by-week plan to give you the best chance of landing work. It’s designed for people who are brand new to freelance writing and need some help getting started with the challenge. If you’re a little bit further ahead, keep going and carry on with the prospecting.

For everyone else, you’re in the right place. A lot of thought has gone into the exact steps you need to take to succeed. So, for best results, we recommend sticking to the plan for the remainder of the challenge.

To avoid confusion, this plan will be updated every week to include the following week’s plan. And we’ve left out all the difficult, time-consuming, and unnecessary steps that will only slow you down.

Ready to dive into week 1? Let’s get started!

Week 1 (Weds 29th July – Weds 5th Aug)

Determine a Viable Niche and Get Social Proof

This first step is pretty simple, and it really doesn’t need to take you longer than a week.
If you’re just starting out you need a viable niche and social proof – and week 1 is the time to get it.

Day 1: Choose a Niche 

(time needed: 1 day)

Don’t think too long or hard about this. Just take the plunge and choose a niche with plenty of prospects who need freelance writing services.

If you don’t yet have a niche, here are 10 industries that ALWAYS need freelance writers:

  1. Health and wellness
  2. Technology
  3. Digital marketing
  4. E-commerce
  5. Finance
  6. Food
  7. Agriculture
  8. Dating/Relationships
  9. Beauty
  10. Gaming

You could pick any of these and make money as a freelance writer. Want to get creative? Think of sub niches, e.g. health and wellness = mental health, holistic medicine, weight loss, etc. Type some keywords into Google and see what comes up. As a general rule, a viable niche should have at least 5,000 prospects you could potentially reach out to.

Day 2-7: Get Social Proof

(time needed: 1-6 days)

Chosen a niche? Great! Let’s get you some social proof. This step will take you a little longer than choosing a niche, but there’s no need to let it slow down your progress.

To speed things up, we’re only interested in the FASTEST and EASIEST ways to get the minimum amount of social proof needed.

Take a look at options A and B below. Choose option A to get started as quickly as possible. If AT ALL POSSIBLE, we highly recommend choosing options A and B.

This is really all you need. Again, if you can, choose option A and option B. If you don’t have time for both, just choose option A. Remember, we’re only interested in the fastest and easiest way to get started as a freelance writer. You DON’T need a website (but if you have one already that’s great!).

Option A

Get a Hubspot Content Marketing Certification

Getting a Hubspot content marketing certification is the easiest way to get social proof. Here’s how to do it: https://academy.hubspot.com/courses/content-marketing. You can complete this in 1 day.

AND/OR

Get a Google Digital Marketing Certification

This takes a bit more time investment compared to Hubspot (2 – 4 days for a complete beginner; 1 day for someone who already has a basic idea of how digital marketing works by focusing on taking the quizzes and final exam) but being Google-certified has wider appeal across niches.

In certain niches, people might not be very familiar with the Hubspot brand so being Google-certified can come in handy. If you’re in the marketing/tech/e-commerce niche(s), Hubspot alone should be good. If you’re in any of the other niches, getting just the Google certification (or the Google certification alongside the Hubspot certification) will be better.

Here’s how to do it: https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage/course/digital-marketing

Option B

Get a published sample

Getting a published sample by the end of week 1 is HIGHLY encouraged. It will definitely help you land clients faster. The quickest way to do this is by publishing on Medium. Although it is important to realize that while samples can indeed be published on Medium, some clients tend to take it with a grain of salt when it comes to social proof.

The two fastest ways to get social proof in week 1 (you can do one or both depending on how much time you have):

  1. Go ahead and submit an article to Thrive Global. Your story will need to be reviewed by their editorial team, but their average turnaround is between a day and a week.
  2. Go ahead submit an article to Odyssey (average turnaround is 24 hours to 1 week). Instructions on how to get published on Odyssey here: https://yourfirstonethousand.com/theodyssey

That’s it for week 1. In week 2, we’ll be moving onto building your list with clear guidelines for every step of the way.

Stay tuned, we have lots of fresh ideas to help you succeed if you’re willing to put in the work. Was this guide helpful? Comment on the week 1 post in the group and let us know. 

Category: freelance writing

15 Comments on "Cold Pitching Challenge: Week 1 Instructions"

Onibalusi

Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

Find out more »