You may be a published author, or dreaming to be one.
You know that writing a book is one if the single most powerful things you can do to establish yourself on the international stage.
Writing a book sends the signal, “I know my stuff, I’m driven, and I want to share what I know with others.”
But have you ever considered pitching an online or print publication some article ideas to gain more recognition for your work (with less stress and headache)?
Over the last four years, I’ve written over a hundred bylined articles for print and online publications. I’ve been interviewed for publications like Huffington Post, NBCNews, Glassdoor, and others. I’ve also ghostwritten over 500 articles for various clients.
I know a thing or two about pitches.
I’ve helped my clients gain media and press attention for their book launches, products, and brands.
Content marketing is what I do, it’s my passion, and it gets results.
Guest posting for, and contributing articles to, high profile publications can:
✔️ Increase your following
✔️ Work in your favor for SEO purposes
✔️ Spread your message…you know, that idea you’re so passionate about spreading!
But, I get it, we’re all busy, and pitching takes time. There’s research, networking, email pitching, following up, etc.
The process can take weeks, even months, for a newbie to get a toehold. It can also take years to cultivate a great relationship with an editor.
Let me make your life easier…
Here are the six cardinal DOs of pitching publications. Follow these and you will be making fast friends with editors everywhere.
1 – Research
Read the publication to get a feel for previous work. Understand the publication’s target audience.
Then, find where there are holes to fill in categories where they could use more articles and posts. Pitch ideas that fit those sections.
2 – Get to the point
Editors are busy. So busy they don’t even really want to respond.
Introduce yourself quickly, lay out the pitch, and invite them to follow up to discuss in more detail.
3 – Give choices
Pitch in batches. List 2-3 article ideas (briefly – two to three sentences max) outlining your ideas. Show your breadth and depth. Outline the scope of the article.
Explain why your ideas are the OMG perfect fit for their audience. (This is where your previous research will come in most handy.)
4 – Wait
If they *do* respond (and don’t completely ignore your queries) it will be almost immediately or in six + weeks. There really is no in between. Trust me.
If they don’t respond within two to three days, they weren’t in love with any of your ideas. They may ask you to pitch a filler article later, but I’m sorry: you’re not their first choice.
You’re honestly better off pitching the idea elsewhere to the next publication on your list. Life is short. Don’t hang your hopes on maybes.
5 – Be punctual
Once your pitch is accepted (Yes, this will eventually happen!) Write the article on time and *exactly* to the publication’s specifications. Word count, style, spelling guidelines, link guidelines, whatever. Follow their rules to the letter.
6 – Summon your inner editor
Edit your article backward and forwards. Read it again and again. Apply last week’s tips on writing for the web if the article is for an online publication.
Also, if you’re writing in a language other than your native language, get a native speaker of that language to proofread it first. Your editor will be thrilled to receive your submission with minimal edits required.
If you follow these tips you will ensure publications are happy to entertain you and 10x more likely to accept your pitches and/or hire you again.
Now, I want to hear from you!
What have been YOUR biggest struggles while pitching and writing for magazines and other publications? What have been your biggest wins?
Let me know in the comments below.