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Have you ever asked yourself what it is that really separates average freelance writers from really successful ones?

A while back, I shared quick lessons from my cold pitching experiment, and I shared what was working for me and what I felt wasn’t working.

Two days after, I got the following email from a reader (Nabankita):

Thanks a lot for this wonderful article. I tried the ways you told to write a cold pitch and it really worked! I got 2 response emails already within 48 hours out of the 8-10 emails I had sent. Thank you for your article. Have a good day.

Essentially, this reader read my email, acted immediately and started to see results within 48 hours.

I also got the following email from another reader, Afatah, in response to the same email about my cold pitching experiment:

“I normally just subscribe to stuff but I don’t know how I decided to act on your cold pitch experiment.

Here is my first:”

(He then attached the screenshot below. You can click the image to make the image bigger and bolder)

Afatah pitching success story

By immediately acting on the lessons I shared in my email, Afatah was able to get a major publication to agree to pay him $80 for an article.

As you can see from the screenshot he sent, Afatah was asked to mention his rate and he asked for $80, which the client instantly agreed to. If he wanted, he could probably have asked for more.

Afatah is also based in a third world country but he did not create mental blocks or excuses for himself such as “I am based in a third world country, will clients take me serious?” or “I’m not really sure this will work, what if {this and that}?” Or “Oh, I’m a non-native English writer. I’m worried I’m not qualified to be paid well to write

Instead, Afatah got to work. He sent his pitch, and you can see the result.

ACTION. That’s The Key Word.

Afatah’s success, Nabankita’s success, mine and that of the many successful writers you admire is hinged on action.

At the end of the day, the key to success lies in taking action… not reading.

There’s an abundance of information, over-abundance even, on what to do and what not to do but you’ll only ever know if something works if you take action.

The two examples are from readers who acted on my free advice, and I have even more success stories from students of my premium programs (Anca, Clement, Hassan and many others).

Ultimately, it’s not about whether the information you get is free or paid, it’s about whether you act on it.

Early in my writing career, in 2011, I remember reading an article by Carol Tice calling writers out for not being bold enough to ask for what they want. She encouraged writers to embrace their “inner bitch” (now, some will find the language too strong and it’s not something I’d use myself but I focused on the message of that article, which she expressed articulately)

I was earning $80 – $100 per article and I wasn’t bold enough to ask my clients to pay more; “what if they say no?” After reading that article, I decided to start charging new clients $150 per article; not a single client complained. I later demanded $200 per article, and there was no complaint either. I have charged clients more, and I basically charge anything I want now; if I decide to go lower, there’s a strategic reason behind it.

At the end of the day, the reason Carol’s advice worked for me was because I acted. I started telling new clients “this is what I want” and I got it.

So, if you want to get clients, take action by reaching out to businesses on a consistent basis; you’ll get hired in no time!

If you want to earn more, don’t be afraid to raise your rates; ask for it, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can be worth.

Don’t just read, act. That’s the key to getting results.

PS. I go into details about my cold pitching process in The Freelance Writer’s Success Starter Guide, and the accompanying case study details my personal experience landing a $625 project, and eventually more, within 2 hours of sending a pitch. Click here to get it!


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.

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