I’ve already gone off this blog. You probably have too. But don’t worry, we can go off it together.
There are plenty of reasons why I (and you, probably) have gone off it, the most obvious being that I haven’t really had the opportunity to offer any decent advice so far. I haven’t been able to offer any decent advice so far because I drink too much, am lazy, and have been distracted by a couple of commissions that have come in since the tail end of last week.
These commissions haven’t come off the back of my so-called experiment. In fact, out of the 21 magazines I’ve pitched so far (Accountancy; Accountancy Age; Accounting & Business; Aeroplane Monthly; Ambit; Art Monthly – you get the idea: I’m working my way through the A’s) only a handful have responded. The responses have been favourable but follow a disconcerting pattern: I’m afraid, they say, that we don’t have a budget for freelancers at the moment.
Of course that’s not the whole story. It could be that my pitches are weak and I’m pitching on subjects that I know little about. Still, I will not be deterred. When I started freelancing in January 2007 I wrote for property magazines (I was borderline homeless) and occasionally about financial issues (I didn’t even have a bank account) and so I reckon I can have a stab at writing about most things. Things were different then though: around eight out of ten pitches would elicit a response and about half of all my pitches would eventually get commissioned.
Still, I will not be deterred. Out of the 642 magazines I plan to pitch between now and the end of the year, I’m aiming at a 5% success rate. That will work out at 32 features in just over three months, a manageable figure, even with my regular assignments thrown in and with keeping this blog going, a blog that (especially after this dull post) you and I are really going off.