Freelance Writing Formula

Is yOur Mission:


Tired of pitching ideas, writing great articles or blogs, and being met with a wall of silence?

Want to discover how the most successful writers and journalists sell their articles regularly and consistently? 

The Freelance Writing Formula has been created for anyone who wants to know the tricks to becoming a freelance writer editors love to work with.

With insights and advice from some of the world’s most accomplished editors and writers (New York Times, CNN, Travel+Leisure, Outside magazine and more) it’s a COMPREHENSIVE, FAST-TRACK course on freelance writing with a focus on the most effective, practical ways you can maximize your chances of selling your work.

Don't miss out! Scroll down to read more about the course, then sign up to the mailing list to collect your FREE MINI-MODULES and take advantage of the BIG DISCOUNT for early bookers, once the course launches (early 2019). 


Hi, I’m James Durston

Over nearly 20 years I’ve written and commissioned articles for CNN, Travel + Leisure, SCMP, GQ, Condé Nast and more. And now I’m revealing exactly how I sell articles as a freelancer, and what I’m thinking when I buy them as an editor.

The FWF is a compact, practical and fast-track guide to rapidly master and then apply everything I’ve learned over those years.

Who it's for

No prior writing experience/qualifications 

  • you're thinking of a career change

  • you're between jobs

  • you're a stay-at-home parent or spouse

  • you have always wanted to write but never knew how to start

Some prior writing experience/qualifications

  • you're already a freelance writer, but want to perfect your skills and knowledge

  • you're already a blogger or content producer, but want to crack the high-profile publications

  • you're a journalism student and want some real-life insights into this trade

  • you're a PR manager considering the move into content

  • you're an in-house journalist looking to go freelance



dollars per project

How to approach the magazines, newspapers, websites and brands that pay proper fees. You'll make back the cost of this course (and more) with your very first job.



Years buying and selling

I've been writing for high quality publications for more than 18 years and buying articles from freelancers for more than a decade. You'll learn everything I know in super-quick time, so you can start earning immediately. 



7-day support

I'm available seven days a week during the course to answer questions, offer guidance and help you through any issues or problems. I genuinely want to provide real quality and value - that's one of the lessons of the course! 


Everything you need

Freelance writing can be the greatest of careers - offering independence, travel opportunities, self-growth and financial success. And anyone can be a freelance writer; you don't need any special qualifications. But you do need the knowledge of how to go about this highly competitive trade, from coming up with ideas, to structuring pitches, to knowing what to offer editors, and how to be their go-to guy or gal. 


The Course

Over the years of writing, pitching, selling and buying articles in the media, I've worked out a formula for what makes a great freelance writer. This course goes into the details of that formula so that you too can be a freelance writer with consistent work, able to live the life of freedom that makes freelancing such an attractive lifestyle. Apply this formula each and every time and you'll be among your target editors' favorite writers. 


How to find great ideas

The quickest way to become a go-to writer for many editors, is to consistently come up with great ideas. This module explains how to do that, where to find ideas, what makes them great and more. 

how to write, how not to write

There's nothing more annoying for editors than buying a great pitch, only for the story itself to fall flat. This module describes the writing that sings and the writing that whimpers. 


how to establish credentials

It's the age-old dilemma: you need experience to get hired, but you need to get hired to gain experience. This module provides some snappy routes to showcasing your skills. 

how to pitch like a champ

Too many writers appear to consider the pitch an annoying chore. Wrong! The pitch gives your story life. Without a good pitch, your story won't get sold. This module explains how to stand apart. 

How to get hired and stay hired

The best way to maintain a regular income month to month is to get regular work. This module explains what editors need to feel confident employing you on a 'retainer'. 


How to make editors come to you

The ultimate sign of a successful freelance writer is when editors start to approach you with job offers. Apply the lessons in this course, and you could be one of those fortunate few.


what others have said about my advice

Thank you so much for such useful advice! I’m getting into freelance writing and this is so helpful.


I absolutely can’t wait to read your book James, and have been loving your detailed, super-helpful posts!


Thanks for this list, James, and for this blog. You’ve inspired me to work smarter at getting published in travel publications.

My blog readers /



The writer says…

“James is an exceptional editor and writer who rocks the media world with snazzy headlines and smooth prose.

“A fantastic communicator and people-manager, James is also extremely punctual, swift to respond and able to deal with difficult problems with calm assurance.

“He is also a thoroughly decent chap and a pleasure to work with.”

- Robert Michael Poole, travel influencer and former CNN Tokyo editor

Need more proof?

As well as nearly two decades as a working journalist and commissioning editor, I also run a blog giving advice on how to sell travel articles, have authored two books on travel writing under the Travel Write Earn series, and am the founder of a website designed to help freelance journalists, writers, copy-editors, photographers and videographers find editors and jobs. It's called Pitchwhiz. As part of this course, you will also get my books (rated 4.7/5) absolutely free, and free access to Pitchwhiz for three months. 


some of My book reviews

"EVERY travel writer should read this book!"

"Great to get an honest review of what editors deal with so I can steer clear of being annoying. Really helpful and lots of great insight."

"I was in the middle of reading his book when I took his advice and changed a pitch. I got an immediate acceptance from the editor!"

"As entertaining as it is informative. Packed with practical, highly useful advice for any writer, it's a great read"

praise for pitchwhiz

"I've already scored one assignment through Pitchwhiz and it never would have happened if the editor hadn't seen my story idea on the site."

"A life-line to other freelancers out there and makes me feel less alone! Keep up the good work!"

"It's so ingenious you wonder why it wasn't invented sooner."

"I've been a writer for over 25 years. Pitchwhiz is one of the most useful sites I've come across. Thank you!"

"I recently sold two stories to BBC Travel that I'm very excited about doing. Thank you very much for providing this valuable service"

Read some of my blog posts

How This Freelance Writer Consistently Wins Jobs With The World’s Best Travel Magazines: Read here

Always Pitch An Idea – Otherwise You’re Just Begging: Read here

4 Very Different Travel Pitches, All Successful: Read here

Why Editors Don’t Answer Your Emails: Read here 

How The ‘Million-Dollar Blogger’ Makes His Money: Read here

The Worst Headline I’ve Ever Read (I Wrote It Too): Read here