Have a quick question or a term you don’t quite understand? Here’s a quick freelance writer reference for you.

What is a clip? A clip is simply a copy of a published article. In other words, it’s a sample of your work.

What is a query letter? A query letter is a letter you send to magazine editors or other publications proposing your writing idea.

What is an LOI? A  letter of introduction is a letter to a publication introducing yourself and telling them why you’re fit to write for their publication. Unlike a query letter or pitch, it does not go into detail about your writing idea.

What is a pitch? A pitch is the same as a query letter but is a term more frequently used in blogging whereas a “query letter” is used more frequently in magazine writing.

Do I need a contract? Yes. It’s important because it puts both you and the client on the same page and outlines things like payment terms and ownership of content.

What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It involves placing keywords and performing other functions so that your site is search engine friendly and more likely to rank higher for a certain term.

What is a byline? This is when an article has your name on it and you’re given credit as the author.

What is ghostwriting? Ghost writing is when someone else’s byline appears on an article you wrote (or book, blog post, etc). As a ghostwriter, you’re selling your client the rights to your copy, and they have the right to attribute any author to the content.

What is a content mill/content farm? A website that hires an abundance of writers to create a huge amount of copy at very low prices.

What is a niche? A niche is a specialized corner of the market. Blogging niches include things like parenting, fitness, finance, etc.

What is a cold call? An unsolicited call in an attempt to sell your services.

What is a whitepaper? It is a summary of research, a debate stance, or other type of information. Freelance writers may write whitepapers, or they may offer one to clients on their website. Whitepapers are educational and are not a sales pitch. However, they can be used as a marketing tool, or a client may ask you to write a whitepaper for them.

Why do I need a website? It helps clients make a final decision about whether to hire you or not. Plus, it makes you look professional.