The number one question I get when I tell people what I do for a living is how I got into working from home. The work I do online isn't hard, pays well, I enjoy it, and the best part is that I can do it from anywhere with an internet or steady data connection. Many people have told me that I am living their dream and look at me as if I have three heads when I tell them that they could be living their own dream too - that they could do what I do.
I got my start working online by cold-pitching submissions to write articles based on subjects I already had an interest in. It opened the doors to many other opportunities, but I didn't get here alone. I first had to convince editors that I was the real deal by pitching them ideas.
Pitching isn't hard once you get the basics down. There are also different styles as well as websites and online groups dedicated to getting the perfect pitch on social networking sites like Facebook and Linkedin. There are writers out there that also dedicate time to teaching others to pitch; it truly is a big deal!
(And let's be real, if you write a bad pitch that's full of errors or doesn't make any sense, you be assured that you won't be getting any freelance gigs anytime soon.)
So, how do you write a pitch? I've decided to detail how I pitch, which is a tried and true method I have been using for over a year, when I decided to get serious about freelance pitching and working from home - and it's all going to be right here in this blog so you can have access to the details without paying a dime!
1. Figure out the publication you want to pitch and find their masthead or contact information.
Most larger publications will have a masthead, which will list each position at the publication, their names, and usually an email address or way to contact that person by mail. This can often be the hardest part of the pitch, especially for the publications that have not updated their masthead or simply do not have one. In that case, you'll want to do some research and look for the editor on social media. Do NOT pitch the editor on social media. I can promise you that they're not on Twitter to read pitches in their DMs. It is okay; however, to tweet or DM them to ask how to contact them to pitch them.
2. Write a great subject line.
This should be straight to the point and include the word PITCH in there, so they know exactly what they're getting inside. If it is timely or urgent, that should also be noted in the subject line.
3. Address the editor by name in your pitch.
This seems simple enough, but it really shows you went the extra mile to find the correct email address AND their name, which is a whole lot more personable than "Dear Sir or Ma'am."
4. Introduce yourself.
If you're new to the editor or haven't pitched them in awhile, tell them about yourself. Try to give details that relate to the matter at hand and why you're contacting them. If I'm pitching a parenting publication, I'm sure to tell them that I am a parent, for example. You don't need to give them your whole life story, but give them some brief details about yourself that are interesting and relate to your pitch.
5. Spill the beans.
In the next paragraph, you'll want to quickly detail what your pitch is, how long you intend for it to be, why you should be the person to write it, and why you think it's a good fit for their publication. Keep in mind that editors can read hundreds of pitches every day, so you want to get straight to the good stuff.
6. Thank them and sign off.
Take a moment and simply thank them for their time in considering your pitch. Regardless if you get the piece assigned to you, a little gratitude can go a long way in building a relationship and a friendly rapport with that editor. Also, remember to sign off in your email so they know who you are beyond your email address itself.
7. Check over your work.
You'll want to make sure that there are not crazy grammatical errors within your pitch, that it makes sense, and the sentance structure flows well. If you need a second set of eyes, have a trusted friend that knows their grammar stuff take a look at it. If you need to find grammar friends, I've found that people are pretty friendly and willing to help within the writing communities that I've found online.
And there you have it. How to pitch in seven easy steps!
Tara Glenn is a Digital Strategy Specialist that loves writing and photography and how they can make or break your business! I'd love to chat with you about how I bring your business to life - check out my Work With Me webpage!