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Monday, December 16, 2013

The Power of the Template

I've been writing this blog for more than four years now, and its stats tell me what topics and which posts garner the most hits. Out of the top 10 posts of all time, four out of ten are templates, or samples. One is a critiqued pitch for a memoir; one is a letter of introduction, or LOI; another is a query; and the last is a query which I critiqued for a reader

Why are these posts so popular? Because they give readers a guide to follow. It's much easier (and faster) to follow someone else's model than to create your own query or letter of introduction from scratch. It's more effective, too. Successful freelancers have developed their own templates that they then customize, depending on the market or type of work they're pitching. 

I have several that I use: 

The more types of work you do, the more templates you should have on your own hard drive. Remember, though, that the template is only the starting point. It's how you customize it for the market you're pursuing that is likely to help you get the gig. 

**I know how important templates and examples are, which is why I include everything from queries to invoices to contracts to "pay-or-die" letters in my books for freelancers like Six-Figure Freelancing, Second Edition

And my latest book, Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs, and More, Second Edition (Kindle), includes templates of LOIs that content marketing writers and ghostwriters use, along with sample contracts, nondisclosure agreements, and bids. Don't have a Kindle? Download it here.

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