How Not to Reply to a Pitch Request (And Tips to Do Better!)

I just spent the last ten minutes musing over some beautiful reflections.

A loving father talked at length about his memories of teaching his young daughter how to drive, including all the cringy trials and tribulations.

I also read sentiments from a woman who reflected on her father’s passing, a true car lover as evident by the list of antique makes and models she rattled off in her mini-essay.

The tales were warm and heartfelt, but not exactly right for the response to a pitch request made by a busy content marketer. These pitches were:

  • Too long
  • Too personal
  •  Not focused on the client
  • Didn’t follow the pitching guidelines

Disclosure: This blog is reader-supported, which means this post contains affiliate links and advertisements. I earn a small commission if you shop through them, which helps fund this website so I can continue to bring you amazing content. Thank you! ~Angela

What is a Content Marketing Article Pitch?

Hear me out: I love a good reflection piece filled with bright detail and relatable anecdotes. They have their place on the page/screen/journal. But, when it comes to pitching, keep those warm gooey moments to a sentence or two, not a full-screen email.

Why?

A pitch request is a call for an article idea or topic. Some ask for a brief outline. Others request a succinct paragraph.

And all pitches should directly showcase what the marketer was asking for from the writer. This might include how the topic ties back to the brand or a specific campaign, why the angle matters to their audience (not you) and how a new product or service mention can be woven into the text.

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All About The Perfect Pitch

As a writer working in content marketing, I manage pitch requests, and replies, on a weekly basis. It’s also a popular topic I tackle for my marketing clients and on the Web Writing Advice blog, so I write about it often.

Here are a few blog posts that might also be helpful in your pitching adventures.

The Pitching Game: 4 Freelance Pitch Examples and a Template

All-star writers pitch current and potential clients weekly. Reaching out and proposing ideas shows interest, dedication and foresight into a brand’s mission. Plus, it proves you’re a go-getter.

When culling through freelancers, marketers want self-starters who see projects through to completion. Pitching timely, on-target ideas makes you stand out.

I block time on Google Calendar each week to generate ideas and write pitches. The number of proposals leaving my keyboard depends on my current workload. In short, I send fewer pitches when my calendar is booked several weeks out.

But, what exactly goes into creating a pitch? There’s ample background work to do before typing up that succinct pitch paragraph or two.

Continue reading this post on the ClearVoice blog here.

The #1 Writing Tool

Do the Work: Stop Hoping and Start Connecting, Pitching and Writing

If I could summarize the number one takeaway from the hundreds of posts on this website that relate to landing, finding and crushing freelance writing it’s this: Do the work.

It takes daily effort to turn this into a profitable, successful venture.

When I chat with colleagues and readers, I often notice raised eyebrows and confusion when I mention that I market myself and the projects I complete for clients every single day, in addition to the research, writing and editing work I have mapped out, hour by hour. Why? I’m continually filling my calendar with writing projects to fuel my income as a small business owner.

Bottom line: I do the work.

Continue reading this post on Medium here.

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Pitching: The Writer and Editor Relationship [PODCAST]

Check out this evergreen 2017 conversation among Carrie Smith Nicholson (@carefulcents) of Careful Cents, Angela Tague (@AngelaTague) of Web Writing Advice, Jess Ostroff (@jessostroff ) of Convince and Convert, and Chels Knorr (@ChelsKnorr) of ClearVoice for the do’s and don’ts of pitching from the writer and editor perspective.

Here’s one of my takeaways:

Angela Tague: As a writer, pitching is scary, but in my experience, over the years once you can get over that fear, you can definitely grow your business. I know a lot of starting-out freelance writers reach out to me and say, “Hey, Angela. How can I get more work? I’m a great writer, I try to put myself out there. What can I do?” And I always say, “Have you reached out to the publications you would like to write for, or the brands, or the companies?” You need to put yourself out there, if you want to get the work. That’s why pitching is so critical as a freelancer.

Read the blog post and hear the podcast here.

What’s holding you back from reaching out to the publications, websites and marketers you admire with some polished pitches? Reflect a bit, then get busy. You have some pitching to do!

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