19 April 2012

How I got into the FreelanceSwitch?

By luck and a rather strange coincidence.

Until now I have 4 published pieces in the FreelanceSwitch. In this article I will explain how I made it happen.

This article is not a tutorial on how to write a successful guest post. This article is my real story of how I got my first work published in the FreelanceSwitch and it may have lessons for those of you who are trying to achieve the same. 

It all began when I signed up for Danny Iny's newsletter. I cannot remember what had made me signup his newsletter. Probably I was impressed by the idea of his book Engagement from Scratch! and had downloaded the free PDF copy of the book in exchange of my email id. Whatever was my reason of signing up, it turned out to be a very profitable one indeed.

One day I received the following email in the newsletter:

Hi Farhan,
Do you blog, or run a podcast?

I ask because every so often, I get an email that reads something like this:

"Hi Danny, I've been working up the courage to ask you this for a long time, and I finally decided to go for it. My blog/podcast doesn't have a huge number of subscribers, but I'd really like to do an interview with you - would you have time to do that?"

My answer is always YES - of course I have time to do it! For two reasons:

1. I'm grateful for any opportunity to spread the word about my work.

2. When I was starting out, people with much bigger names than mine took a chance on me, and I'm happy to do the same for others.

I'm writing this email because I know that for every person who works up the courage to ask about that interview, there are five others who never do.

So I'm being pro-active, and offering it to you: do you want to do an interview with me for your blog or podcast?

No pressure or anything, but if you do, I'm happy to help.

My blog was then only a week old but I had managed to get an article published on ProBlogger. So I thought perhaps he will agree to do an interview with me for my blog. In fact, later on I found out that he had given interviews to many other bloggers whose credentials were poorer than mine. Mr. Iny is certainly one of the nicest and the most generous persons in the blogosphere.

I quickly wrote a reply email saying that I would love to do an interview with him telling him a bit about my blog and my ProBlogger's article.

I received a reply soon and after some more email exchanges we fixed an appointment for an audio interview. The interview ran well, Mr. Iny liked my questions and I learnt a lot from his answers. I then edited the unnecessary parts and typed out a transcript and published the interview on my blog. 

I had submitted about a dozen articles and article pitches on the FreelanceSwitch until then but they all had been summarily rejected. I confess it was entirely my fault. When I now look back upon those articles I understand that they were all very poorly written.

Anyways, I didn't lose heart and pitched the FreelanceSwitch again. A part of my letter, the part that is relevant to this article, is reproduced below:

I can write on the following topics:
6 Ways How You Can Market Your Self Published Book: Mr. Danny Iny who once guest posted on your wonderful blog has agreed to do an interview with me. In preparing the questions about his self published book I discovered some interesting ways of marketing self published books.

I knew some already and this added information has helped me in crafting out a nice article.

Now what I meant was that Mr. Danny Iny has agreed to do an interview with me FOR MY BLOG. But fortunately (yes fortunately) David Appleyard, who was then looking after FreelanceSwitch as the editor Sean Hodge was away, thought that I was saying that Mr. Iny has agreed to do an interview with me for FreelanceSwitch. He emailed me saying that he is giving me a go-ahead for the interview. 

I was about to reply to Mr. Appleyard with a proper explanation of the matter but then I thought to take a chance by asking Mr. Iny first. Who knows? He might agree to do an interview with me for the FreelanceSwitch.

I emailed Mr. Iny telling him all about what had happened. FreelanceSwitch pays 50 US$ to all accepted guest writers and I told him that if he agrees for the interview he will get those 50 US$. Publicity would have been enough for me. He gave a reply soon agreeing for the interview!

Then I worked really hard to prepare the questions. After a dozen rejections, this was my chance to impress the editor and get inside the FreelanceSwitch. 

I emailed Mr. Iny with the questions and he emailed me back in less than 24 hrs, answering all of them and telling me that I can keep those 50 US$. (Thank you Mr. Iny!) This was the first big amount that I made through my blog.

Then I emailed the completed interview to FreelanceSwitch. The editor, Mr. Sean Hodge who had now returned from his holidays, liked it and accepted it for publication.

As they say, it is the first step that is the most tedious. Once I got my work published, my chances of future guest post acceptances increased because now the editor knew me and began to trust my writing. After that interview, I have submitted three more articles and all have been accepted.

I am not saying that merely getting one article published on a high profile blog will give you a guarantee that all your future articles will too be accepted. All I am saying is that once you are published, you will gain the trust of the editor. Perhaps he will open up your email in his inbox before he opens other emails from unknown senders. It will be your responsibility that he isn't disappointed.

Secondly, once you are published, you will get to know the publication process in a better way and this experience will help you a lot in your future article submissions.

Did this article help you in any way? Is there anything specific you would want me to cover in the future in such articles? Let me know in the comment below.

Disclaimer - Some of the links above are affiliate links. I get a commission if you buy anything from Amazon via the links above while you'll have to bear no extra costs. Even if your final purchase is not from the products listed above, it still counts towards percentages earned.
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