Or, Why Losing My Job Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
Week 23 – Pitches, Pitches and More Pitches
This week was all about Pitches. I decided to cast my net a little further and had a look at publications I might not have considered before.
I’ve been targeting websites, blogs and publications that fall somewhere within my niche – which at this time is gardening – and I’ve had some moderate success at that.
But I needed to think outside the box.
I did a Google search on business publications that are taking submissions and actually turned up quite a few. Looking through some that are not too far out of my league, I focused on a few specific points.
- I looked at publications that were a little more general. For instance, I wasn’t going to try to pitch to law journals, publications that wrote about business finance or technical information. Attempting something with which I have no experience isn’t going to help me at this point.
- Publications that paid their writers well were my main concern. With a limited number of hours in a day to focus on my freelancing, I need to maximize the return on my investment of time.
- I looked through the submission guidelines, and at what each publication was looking for specifically. If they were looking for articles on subjects that I was familiar with or could easily research, I made note of them.
- I looked to see if the publication took queries or completed articles, or both.
- If their contact information was clearly listed, I added them to my tracking sheet.
Now, I’m not generally a business writer, but I do know how to do research. If I am at least comfortable with a subject matter, I am able to do some research and come up with an article.
It’s a place to start, anyway.
Once I had a list of some publications to whom I could send pitches, I started brainstorming some ideas.
One publication I found deals with business and travel in the Pacific Northwest, in the United States. In reading through their contributor guidelines, I learned that they are looking for articles on up-and-coming businesses in the Pacific Northwest.
Well, I could do that.
I did a quick search of new, trendy businesses in the Seattle area and made note of a few interesting businesses. I then sent an email off to one of them, asking if I could do an article on their business for the magazine that I had in mind.
They got back to me right away saying they would be happy to help me out and asked me to contact them for some further discussion.
Well, that was actually easier than I expected. I still have to pitch the article idea to the magazine, but now I have some great information with which to create a top-notch article.
That inspired me to look further. Now I have an excellent list of publications that I can approach. I noted the exact requirements of each publication. That way I know exactly what to send to each one.
With my list, I came up with a list of article ideas and spent most of the week sending off pitches to several of the publications.
So all total this week, I sent off eleven pitches and queries. My plan was to send of a lot more, but a good portion of my time was spent on research and doing some writing as well.
One thing that really helped me this week was running into an article at the Writers in Charge website. I found an article about 16 Business Magazines that Pay Up To $700 Per Article. The article helped me to start thinking outside of the pitching box, and gave me some really good ideas.
From this web page, I also downloaded a free list of 110 Websites That Pay Writers. That list turned out to be an invaluable resource. If you are looking for some pitching ideas, you need to hop over the Writers in Charge and download the free list that is mentioned at the top of the page. You won’t be sorry.
The main thing I have learned in fine-tuning my pitching technique is this:
By focusing my energy on one publication at a time, and by tailoring my pitches to meet the needs of the publication, I stand a better chance of landing a client.
It also helps me to land jobs that pay better.
Throughout my journey, I have also learned that writing clients are not going to come to me. I need to get myself out there, make myself known and go after the clients I want.
As well, I’ve learned that I cannot give up. I have a lot of queries and pitches out there in several places, many of which made it clear that it would take up to six months to reply.
That’s okay. The more I put out there, the more will start to come back to me later.
It’s just a matter of persistence and learning and continuously fine-tuning.
My takeaway this week: Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Take the chance and think of new ways to find new clients.
Next Week: Practice Makes Perfect
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