Ask The Freelance Dude #22 – A Balancing Act


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I struggle with the idea of pitching before I’ve written anything, especially when I don’t know how much time I’ll have to write the commission. Sometimes I’ll come up with an idea, will begin writing it, and realize there aren’t any legs under it or it’s pretty unoriginal. But I also understand that if I don’t send pitches and spend my time developing my ideas, I’ll be losing a ton of time writing content that may be rejected anyway.

How do you find that balance of pitching ideas and making sure ideas are pitchable?

Signed, Anthony S.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #21 – Idea Quest


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Dear Freelance Dude,

When brainstorming features, I often find it difficult to come up with themes that will be marketable to publications. It feels like focusing on current “hot topics” is simply chasing what’s already been said, but how do you go about finding fresh ideas?

Signed,
Steve G.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #20 – Shopping Around


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’m gearing up to start pitching some things but have always wondered what the hard and fast rules on pitching a single idea or spec piece are. Is pitching one piece to multiple outlets a bad idea? Also, can you keep pitching a rejected piece to other outlets until it’s picked up? Are there any other tips to speed up the process or is it best left alone?

Signed,
James A.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #19 – Pack A Parachute


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’ve been writing for a volunteer website doing news, reviews, and features – mostly news. However, being recently laid-off has forced me to search for paying opportunities, and I feel I don’t have the experience yet to attain one, freelance or staff (I’ve only been in games journalism for six months). Should I focus on writing features to submit to other websites or should I continue developing my skills until I feel ready?

And are there websites that hire staff writers that work remotely or is that, basically, freelancing?

Signed,
Anthony S.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #18 – Unresponsive Editors


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’m trying my hardest to break into the world of freelance games journalism. I’ve had a couple of paid assignments which I managed to land without needing to submit any pitches. Since then, I’ve followed your advice about what makes a good pitch, and have tried several ideas tailoring them to several publications. After waiting a reasonable time, I have not had any responses whatsoever. What can I do if I’m simply being ignored?

Signed,
David O.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #17 – Writing on Spec


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Dear Freelance Dude,

I’m a student and games editor for our university newspaper. Being a student, my loan is covering me and allowing me put time into my degree and other hobbies. I’ve secured interviews with some big names and am planning to write some features. My goal is for these to be of a good enough standard to get paid for the writing. Yet, I’m going to write these regardless of whether a publication agrees to pay me for it. Can I pitch a feature I have already completed/ partially completed? How would I go about doing so?

Signed,
Marcus B.

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Ask The Freelance Dude #16 – Pitching Reviews


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Dear Freelance Dude,

You’ve talked about reviews, but I’m curious about how pitching reviews differs from pitching features.  For instance, do you need to find a way to secure your own copy of a game or does the outlet you’re writing for take care of that? And how does the approach of pitching reviews differ from other pitches?  You wouldn’t pitch a review to a features editor when there’s a reviews editor on staff, so how would you best make the transition from one editor to another?
 
Signed,
Derek T.

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