If you’re a freelance writer using Constant Content, a key part of building your reputation and getting paid writing jobs involves applying for public writing requests.

A public writing request – or casting call – is created by clients who want suitable writers to message them about working on a specific project. If you’re interested in a job, you simply contact the client by clicking the “Apply” button next to a request. But what do you write?

In this post, we’ll look at how you should properly apply for public writing requests and then highlight five things you should not do when making contact with clients. Let’s dive right in…

Best Practices When Applying for a Public Writing Request

1. Do Your Homework

If possible, familiarize yourself with the company or website that you’re pitching to, so that you understand what they’re all about and get a feel for their style. If the brief doesn’t contain this information, think about what the client wants and be realistic. Will you be able to complete the job adequately and on time? If not, don’t apply.

2. Be Polite and Professional

Tone of voice is important for any writing assignment, but it’s also key when applying for a writing job. You will be judged by your use of language and how you express yourself. Start with a greeting and the client’s name (if you know it) and then mention the job in question. For example: “Hi John, I’m writing to you about [Project X]…” Be polite, but not too casual. At the end, thank the client and “sign” the message with your name.

Related Reading: Watch Your Language: Communication Techniques to Sell Yourself as a Writer

3. Highlight Your Qualifications

Clients want to know that you’re a good fit for their project, so give them a brief summary of who you are, including any relevant experience and qualifications. For example: “Having gained a bachelor’s degree in information technology, I specialize in writing about IT management, website development, and programming…” You can also mention any websites or publications that have featured your work.

4. Keep It Brief

Clients are busy and don’t have time read long-winded pitches, so one or two paragraphs should suffice. Keep each sentence short and get to the point. This way, you’ll hold their attention and make sure they read your entire application.

5. Check Spelling and Grammar

It may seem obvious, but make sure your application is free of any spelling and grammatical errors. Any client reading an application with even one spelling mistake will think twice before wanting to work with you. For many clients, any mistakes will disqualify you from consideration for a job. Check your application two or three times to make sure every word is perfect and you make a good first impression.

What Not to Do When Applying for Public Writing Requests

1. Don’t Reply with a Vague One-Liner

When we say “keep it brief,” this doesn’t mean a single sentence is appropriate. For example: “I’m the writer you’re looking for – message me!” is uninspiring and won’t impress the client at the other end. One-liners in response to casting calls are unprofessional and are likely to be ignored.

2. Don’t Oversell Yourself

You may be confident in your own abilities, but if you seem too confident in your application, it can come across as sounding boastful. Remember that the client knows what they’re looking for, and they won’t want to work with someone who thinks they know it all.

3. Don’t Be Overfamiliar

Similarly, coming across as too friendly can be a turn off for some clients. In any application, keep it friendly but professional. The person reading your message has their own personality and preferred style of communicating with others. Wait until you know a client better before being too forward.

4. Don’t Message Multiple Times

If you don’t hear back from a client, it’s either because you’re not exactly what they were looking for this time, or they’ve already found someone else that is a good fit. Sending another message is unlikely to change their mind and could damage your prospects for future work.

5. Don’t Worry

If you don’t get accepted for a project, try not to worry about it. Every freelance writer experiences rejections, so don’t take a rejection personally; it’s part of the writing game. Applying for a project is a small achievement in itself! Focus on your current writing jobs or start looking for your next job opportunity. Stay positive!

Learning to apply correctly for public writing requests is important if you want to increase your chances of writing success on Constant Content. Use these tips for writing more effective applications; you’ll get noticed by more potential clients and hopefully boost your writing income in no time.

Related Reading: How to Create an Impeccable Writer Profile