Cold Pitching: How to Find Great Writing Jobs Directly (Without Job Boards)

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Freelance writing job boards can be a valuable resource, but what if you could bypass the competition and secure writing jobs directly? Cold pitching allows you to do just that. This is especially important if you’re a newbie without much experience or a portfolio.

By proactively reaching out to potential clients who haven’t advertised an open position, you can introduce yourself, showcase your skills, and build valuable relationships. 

What is Cold Pitching?

what is cold pitching when searching for online jobs

Cold pitching, in essence, is contacting a potential client out of the blue to express interest in working together. Unlike a “warm” lead (someone who already knows you or has expressed a need), this involves getting noticed by someone who might not even realize they could benefit from your services yet. It’s about creating an opportunity, rather than responding to one that already exists.

Cold pitching used to be primarily through email. Today, with social media and online platforms, the methods have expanded. However, the core principle – reaching out proactively – remains the same. Other methods are

  • Letters of Intent (LOIs): In some cases, a well-crafted Letter of Intent (LOI) outlining your understanding of their needs and proposed solutions can be a powerful introduction.
  • Networking Events: Although less common now due to virtual connections, physically delivering a concise pitch at a targeted networking event can leave a memorable impression.

Where to Find Leads for Your Cold Pitch

The success of your cold pitch hinges on identifying the right leads. Here are some strategies to find high-quality prospects with great writing jobs.

  • Industry-Specific Sources
    • Crunchbase: Target startups in your niche. Crunchbase allows you to filter companies by industry, size, and funding stage.
    • Clutch: Ideal for reaching marketing agencies. You can search for agencies specializing in your area and target those actively growing their services.
  • Strategic Google Searches: Go beyond basic keywords and refine your searches. For example, if you write about health and wellness, try searching “gyms near me + content marketing” or “latest trends in fitness + freelance writer.”
  • Reverse Engineering Job Postings: Even if you don’t see a perfect fit on job boards, analyze postings in your niche. The type of content requested and the company profile can reveal businesses that might benefit from your skills, even if they haven’t advertised a need yet.
  • Location-Specific Websites: If you target local businesses, explore chamber of commerce websites or local business directories to build a targeted lead list.
  • Social Media Power: Use advanced search filters on LinkedIn to target decision-makers at companies within your niche by title, industry, and keywords. You can also follow industry hashtags and keywords on Twitter (X) to find potential clients and engage in relevant conversations.

What to Do Before Pitching for a Writing Job

what to do before pitching for a writing job

Before crafting your pitch, invest time in researching the potential client. Dive into their website, social media profiles, and recent press releases. The goal is to understand their target audience, content strategy, and overall goals. Research will allow you to;

Identifying Problems and Showcasing Value

Research isn’t just about understanding them – it’s about identifying a problem you can solve. Maybe their blog content hasn’t been updated in months, or their website struggles to convert visitors. Knowing this allows you to tailor your pitch and lead with value by demonstrating how your writing skills can address their specific needs.

Finding the Right Contact Person

Research can also help you find the right person. The right contact person can make or break your pitch. Don’t settle for generic “info@” emails. Target the decision-maker who has the authority to hire writers. Titles like Marketing Director, Content Manager, or even the Founder (in smaller companies) are a good starting point.

You can use tools like to find the right email addresses if it is not present on the company website or social media handles (Twitter and Instagram). LinkedIn is also a powerful tool for finding your contacts. 

Here’s how LinkedIn can help you connect with your ideal client:

  • Advanced Search Filters: Narrow down your search using a combination of keywords, titles, industries, and locations.
  • Company Pages: Research the company’s LinkedIn page and identify relevant employees who manage content or marketing initiatives.
  • Groups and Communities: Join industry-specific groups and participate in discussions. This allows you to build relationships and organically connect with potential clients.

How to Craft Your Cold Pitch

  1. Attention-Grabbing Subject Lines: Your subject line is your hook- it must be strong enough to attract the reader. It needs to be clear, concise, and pique the recipient’s interest enough to open your email.
  2. Hook Them from the Start: If your headline is strong, your first sentence must be stronger. The first sentence needs to grab their attention and demonstrate your understanding of their needs.
  3. Focus on Value, Not Your Resume: Keep your pitch concise and to the point. Nobody wants to read a novel in their inbox. Focus on the value you can offer and highlight your most relevant skills and experience.

Follow-Up Strategies: Persistence Pays Off

Don’t expect an immediate response. Most people are busy, and your email might slip through the cracks. A polite follow-up shows initiative and demonstrates your continued interest.

Typically, you should wait at least a week before following up. When doing so, keep it brief and friendly. A simple “Just checking in on my previous email…” is enough. Avoid excessive follow-ups (2-3 attempts maximum). You can also try alternative contact methods.

Take Action

Cold pitching may feel intimidating, but it’s highly rewarding and gives you far greater control over the writing jobs you get. With consistent practice and a focus on personalisation and value, you’ll see positive results.

Remember, every “no” or unanswered email is a step closer to a “yes.” Each contact you make builds relationships and expands your network within your niche. Embrace the outreach process as an opportunity to market yourself, showcase your expertise, and ultimately land exciting writing projects that propel your freelance journey forward.

Have you used cold pitching to find writing jobs? Share your successes (or even your struggles!) in the comments below. Let’s learn from each other and inspire a proactive approach to freelance career growth!

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