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How I Got a Great Freelance Gig After a Royal Screw Up

Carol Tice

Frog princeWith a deep breath, I pressed “send” on an email containing months of research and my first article for a trade magazine.

It was done!

But my excitement was short-lived when my editor replied. I’d called her the wrong name. I screwed up before she even looked at my story.

I panicked. Would she blacklist me? Would she even read my pitch now? Did I just cut myself out of a potentially great freelance writing gig?

Turns out, it all worked out okay. One year later, I’m her editorial assistant.

How did I get myself out of this jam and land a great freelance gig? I focused on three E’s.



I immediately replied to the editor with an apology. Thankfully, my gaffe would be forgotten, because my story on virtual assistants was the best I’d written in a while.

She gave me another assignment! In return, every email was professional, my stories were done well and on time. Naturally, I always double-checked to make sure I called her by her correct name. At one point, she said I was a great writer. (I saved that email.)

For Your Checklist
Step one in maintaining a great writer-editor relationship: create high-quality work in a timely fashion. Use the best sources you can find, adjust to the publication’s writing style and complete edits immediately.

Always over-deliver.


I noticed a few things about my editor. She sometimes takes a while to respond. I’d have to send multiple copies of an invoice.

Turns out, she was overwhelmed with work. She revealed her job encompassed far more than editing the magazine. I became a welcome ear.

For Your Checklist
It’s easier to be annoyed with your editor than empathize with her. But try it, even if it’s tough.

If an editor apologizes for a late email, tell her you understand – everyone’s juggling work. Get to know her as a person and not a faceless entity behind an email address.


She was opening up to me, and I was grateful. One day, I emailed her jokingly that I wanted to move to where the magazine was published so I could work for her full time.

Apparently this gave her an idea. In a later email, she asked about helping more with the magazine. I’d get assigned features and assist with other sections.

A few phone calls later, it was done. I was an editorial assistant. The best part? She was so grateful for the help and included me in planning for 2015. My editor valued my input.

I made my excitement known and continue to do so. Generally, I don’t use emoticons and exclamation points in professional email correspondence. I broke that rule when I got this opportunity. I’m always grateful to do the work, even when it’s difficult.

For Your Checklist
Being enthusiastic implies, “I love my work, and I want more.”

Yep. Excitement equals assignments.

Your editors may not react the same way mine did, but trust me, these three E’s will take you a long way in your writing career.

Have you ever screwed up with an editor? Tell us about it in the comments.

Williesha Morris has a strong passion for writing and administrative assistance. You can read the successful query that landed her the trade-magazine assignment mentioned above by subscribing to her blog.

What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What is Copywriting? A Modern Definition and How-To Guide

What Is Copywriting? The How-To Guide for Freelancers. Makealivingwriting.com

It’s a question so simple, you might think everyone already knows the answer: What is copywriting?

But in my decade-plus helping newbie writers launch their freelance careers, I’ve learned not to assume. People come from all walks of life into freelance writing, and aren’t born knowing the lingo.

When I researched this question, it got even more interesting. Because I disagreed with many of the most popular posts on the topic.

What I have for you isn’t your grandpa’s copywriting definition and description. It’s a rebel’s 21st Century copywriting definition — and a how-to guide on how to break in and do it.

How copywriting evolved

Old copy hacks will tell you copywriting is the art and science of crafting writing that sells.

They’ll tell you writing that overtly sells a product or service is copywriting — and everything else is ‘not copywriting.’

That was once true — but it isn’t any more. Because the Internet changed much of what we once knew about marketing.

I’ve got a new definition of copywriting for you, one I think is more accurate for the 21st Century marketing era we live in now.

Read on to learn what copywriting is today, how to do it — and how you can capitalize on the changes to earn well as a freelance writer.

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