Do you make a habit of pitching a blog editor? Basically, once online content became all the rage, and the print industry started dying out, print journalists brought their knowledge of pitching stories onto the internet.
Whereas many of them used to pitch stories to magazine editors via query letters, they started pitching a blog editor the same way.Mind you, blogs with a high-traffic following, like Business Insider, Harvard Business Review, or Huffington Post.
Like any super-successful guest blogging, it changed the way editors saw their high-traffic sites from, “please write for us” to “line up and hope I choose you to write for me.”
If you’ve been using this tactic, here’s how you can up your game (practice small sites first if you need to build confidence):
Say Something That Shows You Read Their Blog
Blog editors want to see evidence that you know them and you know their audience. This ensures you’ll write according to their brand.
Pitching the blog editor should include a statement like, “I loved the piece you covered on XYZ. It really surprised me to learn ABC.”
There’s no point in sucking up, but show that you are interested in more than a paycheck in working with them.
Give Them Great Ideas
Nothing catches the interest of a blog editor more than a great idea. It should be just as engaging as a run-of-the-mill headline, but something they wouldn’t typically cover themselves, “Did you hear about how this beetle is poisoning the water in Malaysia?”
If that’s your lead-in, follow up by pitching a blog editor with your interest in writing for them, and then your story. So, “After reading ABC, I would like to write you a story for your World Affairs blog about … “
Dig Into the Story With Links
A blog manager I worked with wouldn’t approve topics unless she was provided valuable, meaty source links. She did not accept Wiki as an idea source, either. Her pitches from me looked like:
10 Shocking Food Politics Documentaries
- <Name of doc><sentence about it>
- <link to other articles showing audience/interest>
- <links to facts about the documentary>
In other words, I had to support my title by showing her other people were interested in the subject and there was more than sufficient, interesting new information to spin into a new blog.
Push Back Just a Little If Necessary
The worst they can say is, “No.” And if you’re a writer, get used to lots of rejections. If I had $10 for every time I was told no, I would be writing this blog from the islands.
If you are offered a job with a response like, “We only pay new writers X,” don’t just accept the response at face value. Push back a little. Even getting a response shows they liked your ideas.
“Hi, Jane, I’ve been writing for 10 years as a journalist and have a Master’s Degree in PR. Would it be possible to request X, which is the market rate for this type of blog? Will I be given a backlink to my writer’s website and a biography page?”
Of course, just remember that there are two types of guest blogging and you need to ensure that, even if you’re the one pitching a blog editor, it’s right for you.
What tactics work for you when you’re pitching a blog editor? Tell us in the comments below.