Freelance Writer's Cover Letter: 5 Basic Writing Rules

To become a successful freelance writer, you must first master the skill of putting together an impressive cover letter. Since it’s a piece of writing, a cover letter is not just the first impression you make on a client, but also an indication of your abilities. Freelance writing projects attract a lot of replies, so it’s important to separate yourself from other applicants early on. Here are five basic rules for creating a well-written and effective cover letter:

  1. Be concise in your introduction.
  2. Two or three sentences are enough to introduce yourself as a writer. Respond specifically to the person who posted the ad. Be formal to show your professionalism, but not so formal that you don’t sound like a real person. You are applying for a job, so don’t tell the client your life’s story. If your introduction is too long, he or she might just skip over the whole cover letter.

  3. Customize your letter to each project.
  4. Read every job listing carefully and understand what each client is looking for. Answer every question asked in the ad, but don’t include any unrelated information. Focus on the qualities and skills mentioned in the listing. For instance, if someone is looking for a technical writer, they don’t care about an applicant’s creative writing skills or their experience in journalism.

  5. Explain why you are the perfect candidate.
  6. You need to explain why you are professionally suited for the job as well as demonstrate that you are excited about the opportunity. Show your passion for the type of writing the client is requesting. Try to make a personal connection. For example, tell him or her how you relate to the topic of the project or its purpose.

  7. Use an effective closing statement.
  8. Try to make your closing statement sound friendly and original. You need to catch the client’s attention, so forget about formalities. Come up with something relevant to the position, but make sure it is not boring. You can make up a funny but daring provocative statement, but leaving on a positive note can be just as effective.

  9. Adjust your approach based on responses.
  10. Over time, based on the replies you receive, you’ll notice which methods work best for you. You should still try new strategies, but don’t use writing methods that failed in the past. Additionally, if you focus on one field of writing, you can put together a list of successful introductions and closing statements and tailor them to each new client.