My freelance writing career started with humble beginnings. I began by pitching for writing spots on various small blogs. After getting published, I would use those writing samples to pitch businesses and major websites for paid work. These days I get pitches for my own blog. Some of the pitches are great, but most of them are not so great. Here are my tips for writing a pitch that gets you published.
Keep it Relevant
I can’t count how many times I’ve gotten a pitch with an idea that has absolutely nothing to do with my site. A publication or website owner is not going to accept your writing out of the goodness of their heart. There’s a transaction happening.
You want to get published, and they want a quality piece of writing that’s going to attract traffic and be of interest to readers. Do some research beforehand to see the topics that the website covers. Dig into the conversations on the website’s social media feeds. Look at the comment section of the blog to see what readers are saying.
Choose an idea to pitch after doing your homework and then explain in your pitch why you believe it’s a good topic based on what’s already popular on the website. You should also take some time to get familiar with the writing style of the website so you can write a post that fits the voice.
Add Writing Samples
Writing samples are important for your pitch. The editor, content manager, or website owner wants to know you can write before trusting you to deliver content for their site.
If you have no samples, don’t worry. Everyone starts out with no writing samples. You can get your first few writing samples by starting a blog and posting the type of content you want to get paid for. You can also use a site like Medium where you can publish content for free. I like to think of getting published as a snowball effect. The writing samples build upon each other until you’re featured on major publications.
Keep it Short and Sweet
Lastly, get right to the point with your pitch. There’s no time for fluff. Sometimes the person who takes pitches for a website gets hundreds of them. Get yours to stand out by being succinct.
I start out my pitches with a simple salutation. Then I explain my writing experience and why my experience is a good fit for the site. I bullet point a few of my best writing samples.
Next, I go into the idea I’m pitching and why it may be a good fit for the site based on the research I’ve done. Pitches can get buried in an email inbox, so you may need to send a follow-up email after a week. Be patient and persistent. Pitching can be a numbers game, but you get the hang of it.
Pitches take practice, and your pitches will get better with time. You’re already ahead of the game by reading tips on how to pitch. A pitch with some thought behind it stands out because so many people send out poor ones. Happy pitching!