I’ve added a new type of task box to my Google Calendar.
It seems like more and more of my content marketing and journalism clients are asking their pools of writers to come up with original ideas, rather than assigning topics.
I don’t mind.
Pitching is an opportunity to write on topics of my choosing, make a positive impression on my clients by creating targeted ideas and it helps me control my workflow. I send out fewer pitches when my schedule is busting at the seams.
But, what should a writer do when short on time and knowing they need to send pitches out to keep the work flowing in the upcoming weeks?
Get creative with the time you have available. Here are a few ways I keep the ideation wheels turning and my calendar filled with freelance writing gigs.
How to Pitch Blog Ideas When You Have No Extra Time
- Make notes on your phone. I’ve been known to use both the audio and text note features on my iPhone. If I’m driving and have an idea, I’ll talk to my phone and listen to my recording later when I’m at my keyboard. This is a great way to keep fleeting thoughts at random times from being lost forever.
- Take keyword notes. If you’re working on keyword research for a client, or even your own personal blogging, keep a running list of the popular terms that you could write about in the future. When it’s time to generate pitches, look to the list for inspiration. String a few keyword phrases together and you might just have a winning idea!
- Keep an idea notebook. I used to keep a notebook of ideas back in the days when we didn’t have cellphones and laptops. I’ve decided to resurrect this idea because it’s tactile way to mix up my day. I already spend ample (maybe too much) time looking at screens and keyboards. Sometimes paper and pen just feel a little more creative, you know? I keep the notebook on the coffee table or kitchen table most days. The other night I jotted down pitch ideas while washing dishes.
- Glean ideas from conversations. Whenever someone asks me about my writing business, I take note of their line of thought and the questions they ask. Many, many times my readers, friends and family fuel my writing topics. Sometimes when you’re so deep into a topic, it’s tough to remember what an outsider might want to know. Get into the mindset that you can generate pitch ideas during your off hours, when having a beer with a friend.
- Ask your audience. Finally, I know I don’t do this enough but it’s on my radar, so watch out. If you have business-related social media accounts, use them. Flat out ask your readers what they want to read about or what questions they have. When you’re aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and Twitter while watching TV, toss a quick question out to your readers. This takes five seconds, boosts your social engagement and makes your readers part of your writing process. Win-win-win!
Happy pitching to you!