How to Write a Freelance Writer Cover Letter (For Beginners)

I know, applying to a gig that requires you to submit a freelance writer cover letter can be a bit confusing. In this article, I’ll be going over exactly what to include, exclude and focus on in cover letters for freelance writing jobs.

Cover letters are part and parcel of many freelance writing websites like Upwork. But if you’re a beginner, it can be that much harder to write one that actually converts prospects into clients. So, for this article, I decided to write a cover letter for a real freelance writer job as if I had no experience at all and was just starting out in the industry.

Ps: Here’s the video format of this article.

Online Cover Letter Templates Cause More Harm Than Good

Now, this is quite important to consider. I’d highly advise you against using cover letter templates available online. Instead, I’ll be focusing on breaking down all the parts of a freelance writer cover letter and explaining them so you can create your own customizable template. Obviously, you should feel free to copy a few sentences here and there.

Now, there are broadly two reasons why I suggest freelance writers not to use cover letter templates available online.

  • Most of these templates are extensively used in the industry and clients often receive the same cover letter over and over again.
  • Ideally, the client should feel like you are the best person for exactly what he needs. However, templates often don’t provide you with leeway to personalize and customize.

But does that mean you’ll have to write a cover letter from scratch for every job post?

Not at all. Instead of using someone else’s cover letter template, you should make your own according to your expertise and the type of jobs that you apply to. If you apply to 2 different types of jobs regularly (for example, blog post writing and product reviews) you can even write two separate cover letter templates for both, which is something I did as well.

Naturally, you’ll still need to edit 2-3 sentences every time you apply to a new gig, but the results are worth it.

2 Tips to Keep In Mind Before You Start

Right, so before we move on to the cover letter that I wrote for a real freelance writing job, there are 2 tips that you should be well aware of.

It’s Not About You

This took me a lot of time to understand, but once I did, it changed my cover letter writing game for the better.

Your cover letter is not about you and what you know as a professional… it’s about how your services can help the client reach his goals. When writing a cover letter, focus on what the client wants when he hires you and then target that.

For example, when a client wants blog post writers, he doesn’t want articles for his blog. Instead, he actually wants the traffic and ad revenue that will come by writing that blog post. So, if you target these points, you’ll have a better chance of getting that freelance writing job.

Put Yourself in the Client’s Shoes

Ask yourself: If I was the client, what would I be looking for in a writer? What qualities and skills would I value the most? Once you have the answer, you can pivot your cover letter according to that knowledge.

Freelance Writer Cover Letter Example

Now, let’s take a look at the job post that we’re writing our example cover letter for.

Now, here’s the cover letter:

Hey Katherine,

I was scrolling through _____________ Facebook group and saw that you’re in search of a product description writer. In that regard, I think we might be a great match.

As a product description writer, I understand how important it is to provide maximum value in a small number of words. With my writing, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to compel your readers within 50-60 words into buying your product.

For reference, I’ve attached a product description sample to this email.

PS since I’m just starting out, I’m happy to provide you 10% off in case of a long-term contract.

Regards,

[Your Name]

How to Start a Freelance Writer Cover Letter?

For the sake of this blog post, let’s imagine that the client’s name is Katherine. So, when starting the cover letter, we’ll use the first name of the client, and write something like:

Hey Katherine

Don’t use excessively formal salutations like madam, miss, and sir. Using such a salutation is a major turn off for high-paying clients because it makes your cover letter sound like a copy-paste one. I’d urge you again to personalize your cover letter as much as you can.

Now, when you use the first name of a client, that shows two things:

  • You’re confident
  • Establishes you as an equal
  • Helps you build a connection with the client

If you’ve watched the YouTube videos on my channel, you’ll know that establishing yourself as an equal is an important quality in freelance writing.

In fact, here are 3 qualities that all successful freelancers have.

Paragraph 1: Introduction

Right so now, we’ll proceed to the first paragraph where we’ll introduce ourselves and clarify the context in which we’re approaching the client.

For this specific job post, this is what I wrote:

I was scrolling through _____________ Facebook group and saw that you’re in search of a product description writer. In that regard, I think we might be a great match.

Now, this paragraph introduces me as a product description writer and also provides the client with context as to what I’m approaching her for.

Not just that, this short paragraph makes it evident that this is not just a copy-paste cover letter that has been sent out to everyone or every job that I’ve applied to. Instead, it’s been written specifically for that client and her job post.

You’ll get your client’s full attention when she sees you putting effort into properly writing an individual cover letter for her.

Paragraph 2: Sell Yourself

It’s time for the second paragraph now. This is where you sell yourself.

Why should you be hired? Why are you the best person for the job?

Right, so for this job post I’ll be targeting point number three which suggests that the word limit should be 50-60.

The reason for that is that you find keywords from the job post and then focus on them. This way, the client knows that you’re the perfect fit for exactly what she needs.

So, here I’ve written:

As a product description writer, I understand how important it is to provide maximum value in a small number of words. With my writing, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to compel your readers within 50-60 words into buying your product.

Short, really punch, and exactly what the client needs.

By this time, the client knows that you’re the perfect fit.

Now, what I like to do after this is to link to my past samples. What is a sample? It is your past work that’s similar to what this client wants. So, once the client goes through your samples, he or she knows the quality of work that you provide.

So, in this case I’ll write:

Here’s a sample of a product description that I wrote for a client in the past

[Attach link]

But I mentioned at the start of this post that I’m going to write this cover letter as if I’m a complete newbie with no experience. Since I have no experience, so I have no past work to show.

What will I do in that case? I’ll go to Amazon or any other eCommerce website and I’ll find a product related to the products that the client wants product descriptions for.

In this case, these products belong to the fashion, lifestyle, gadgets, and pet product categories. You can find these products on amazon or Ebay easily.

Next, I’ll write a product description of 50-60 words. Since I’ll already have a product description in front of me, I’ll ensure that I write something better.

So, in this case, I would write:

For reference I’ve attached a product description sample for you

…and then I’ll attach a Word file or a PDF document.

Paragraph 3: Closing

After that, the next paragraph is very simple and short. Here’s what I wrote:

Hope to hear back from you soon so we can discuss the project further.

What does that show? That shows the client that you’re positive and ready to take this forward.

But as I close, I use postscripts as well where I try to seal the deal in case the client is still wondering whether I’m the right fit for him.

And these postscripts have been a game-changer for me because I mention some past expertise that really help me to stand out from the crowd.

But in this case, we’re writing the cover letter as a beginner and have no real expertise to offer to the client. How can you seal the deal in the end?

Well here’s what I wrote:

PS since I’m just starting out, I’m happy to provide you 10% off in case of a long-term contract.

Now, check out point number 9 from the job posting.

As you can see, it states that even though this is a one-off gig, it could be converted into a long-term arrangement depending on the work provided. And using our postscript, we’ve not only addressed that but have also made our offer that much more irresistible.

The client has reason to take this long term now. The client knows that.

To end, simply write,

Regards,
[Your name]

As a reference, I’m going to be showing you the completed cover letter next. You can bookmark this page for future reference.

I’d suggest you read it through and try to break it down into different parts like the intro, selling, and closing.

Conclusion

So, that was my detailed post on how to write freelance writer cover letters. If you want to learn more about my tips and techniques to help non-native freelance writers make it big in the industry, check out my free eBook.

4 thoughts on “How to Write a Freelance Writer Cover Letter (For Beginners)”

  1. Pingback: Top 12 Freelance Writing Niches For Making $100+Per Article – Khalil Ullah Khan

  2. Pingback: 3 Factors For Making Money FAST as a Freelance Writer – Khalil Ullah Khan

  3. M Arsal Murad

    AOA, Khalil bhai,
    My name is M Arsal Murad. My age is 16 years and I am a newbie in freelancing and have joined Upwork a week ago. I am facing some problem in negotiating with my first client. I will be grateful If you read my problem and advise me on what I should do.
    My client asked me to give him a picture description which he attached to his job. When I gave him the description, he asked me about my rate of 1000 words. I told him that I am a newbie in freelancing and do not know the rates yet. He asked me how much time I would take to write 60k words. I told him that I would take about 25 to 30 days and I further said that If you want it earlier I can write it in a shorter period. He told me to calculate the time I needed and to calculate the worth of the time. I told him that I think that 30 to 40 dollars per 1000 words are good. But the price is negotiable. He then said that he has hired someone else for his job.
    The next day, I messaged him that if he needs me for any of his work then I am ready. He said that he has hired someone for 5 dollars per 1000 words. I told him that if you consider then I am ready to write 1000 words for 5 dollars. I told you before that I do not know the prices yet. He asked me to give him a sample article on ” How to make a free website on Wix.xom” I asked him about how much time I have. He said that there is no time limit, just try to write it as soon as possible. After 5-6 hours I sent him the sample article with a message that it is 100% unique. If you want to do a plagiarism test then you can. He asked me is that 100% unique? Not even a few words are copied? I answered him with a yes. I asked him whether he liked the article or not. He said give me some time. I then asked him about his opinion about 4 hours later. This is what he said

    “Man, you are too rushy,
    Don’t message me, I’ll send you work.”
    I replied to him with a sorry.

    Now almost 2 days have gone and he hasn’t replied to me.
    Now this is what I want to ask you.
    What should I do?
    Should I reply to him?
    If yes, then what should be the reply?
    I will be grateful to you if you help me in this situation.

    1. Salam Arsal,
      First up, congrats on taking your first step into this field. And that too, at a very young age.

      So I read your comment and here’s what I have to say:

      Firstly, you shouldn’t have gone into a negotiation without research. The rate that you quoted to the client was way too much. You should have discussed the rate with someone in the industry or posted about it in a freelancing Facebook group. Because you quoted such a high rate, it’s embarrassing for a client to counter that with a rate that’s 5-6 times lower.

      Secondly, you need to understand that for you, this job is a very big deal because you’re just starting out and all. I remember how I used to keep thinking about a job once I applied to it and whether the client would reply or not. But understand that it’s not that important in the client’s life. He probably has half a dozen different things to do at the time and the last thing he wants is someone messaging him repeatedly and bothering him. Just take a deep breath and relax. Give the client space. If he wants, he’ll reply. If he doesn’t, then you messaging him repeatedly will not change that.

      In this case, you shouldn’t message the client any more. He has made it quite clear that he’ll send you work if he has any.

      Now to my advice:
      Stop Upwork and start from Facebook groups. I’m not even sure if Upwork allows people under 18 to work on the platform and sooner or later, they are gonna ask you to send a copy of your ID for verification.

      Secondly, you’re a beginner right now and are inevitably going to make mistakes just like this one. We all did and that’s okay.

      The problem with Upwork is that these mistakes will reflect on your profile reviews and having a bad review on a new profile will make it extremely hard to find new projects on the platform.

      I’d recommend you to read this blog post to understand how you can start freelance writing on Facebook and grow from there.
      https://khalilullahkhan.com/freelance-writing-on-facebook/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *