Rejections happen. The other day I got a note back from a pitch request that said my idea was declined. That’s it. No explanation.
My heart sunk.
I had spent almost an hour brainstorming the perfect angle, finding sources and writing up a pitch that aligned with the client’s editorial guidelines.
Then I remembered strategies, audience targeting and content goals that fuel the world of content marketing continually ebb and flow. My idea might have landed in an inbox at the wrong time.
The takeaway? Sometimes it’s not you. It’s them! Really!
Today I’m sharing a list of reasons your pitch may have been declined that has absolutely nothing to do with you, your writing skills, your ideas or your talent. Keep these possibilities in mind next time you feel deflated over a rejection letter.
The blogging budget was cut.
I’ve sent unsolicited pitches to ongoing clients and had the ideas declined simply because the content budget was slashed or eliminated. These changes can happen with one quick decision in a meeting and not be communicated to the team of writers for days or weeks. Your pitch might get caught in the middle.
The company is rebranding.
If you have a client you routinely send ideas to, outside of specific calls for content, you might just send your winning idea at a time when they’re internally planning to focus on new topics, objectives or audiences. You would have no way of knowing about this shift unless you were part of the strategy team.
The topic is oversaturated.
If the article you’re proposing has been written about ad nauseam, it might get rejected. Always scan the publication for similar topics before sending over a pitch. Sometimes that’s not enough because the publisher could have several articles in a queue waiting to publish that you don’t know about.
The campaign is shifting.
Behind the scenes, the publishers you write for are watching how their audience responds to the content published. Is it meeting internal goals? Does it align with audience needs at this moment? If not, content strategists will pivot and launch a new approach ASAP. This might mean your pitch is outdated simply because it aligns with the old strategy — which may have been relevant just yesterday.
Have you had a pitch declined with little to no reason given for the rejection? It’s unfortunate, but it happens. There’s a good chance the decision had nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the client. Chin up. Keep writing!
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