Have you been trying to pitch a publication? You may have been ignored multiple times — it happens to all of us. You may have had an idea that was absolutely brilliant, and yet, you just couldn’t put it the right words to catch the right person’s attention.
You already did it all — you searched, you read endless blogs and articles about how to pitch a publication. And, if anything, all you got was generic advice about omitting this, make it this length, don’t include this until your pitch as been accepted or the conflicting “Of course you need to include that!”
I get it. We all started from scratch. And to make things clear to you, here you have what you should do exactly before you pitch, while you write your pitch, once you’re done writing, and after you pitch — along with some game-changer tips that you’ve been missing out all that time.
Before You Pitch
Choose the Right Publication
Scroll through the publication’s website, look at the niches they cover, and identify what their stance is. Do they offer equal opportunities to different, and oftentimes contradicting, points of view or not? What kind of audience do they have? How can you relate to them? And how can you make your idea relate to them if it doesn’t already?
Get Specific about Your Angle
First things first, once you pick your topic, you need to identify what it is exactly that you want to write about within this topic. In other words, pick your niche. Then, you want to determine the perspective from which you’ll cover it.
Let’s say you want to talk about abortion. So, you want to ask yourself: Are you for or against? Or are you for, but under certain conditions? Why do you want to talk about abortion in the first place? Why does everyone talk about abortion? Why should you talk about abortion? What are you going to add to the conversation? What kind of information is missing in other publications? Why is it missing? Is it missing on purpose? What specific evidence do you have to back up your claims? Who exactly are you defending? Is it your community? Then why did you choose your community specifically? Did something happen? What happened exactly? And how does that affect you and your community? Is it in a negative or a positive way? And so on.
Outline Your Ideas
This is critical. You always want to keep a file that includes all the sources you plan to use within your article before you write your pitch because it’ll help you know what exactly you want to propose in your pitch, and it’ll save you so much time once you get to writing.
My personal tip is to rank the sources: which one has the most important information? Which one has the best quote? Which one has something that backs up another thing in another source you have? Is there any source that opposes your point of view? Do you have any source to refute it? And so forth.
While You Pitch
Embellish Your Subject Line
Treat your subject line as though it’s your mega headline. When you brainstorm ideas for your subject line, keep reminding yourself that you want the editor to get curious about your pitch from this headline.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can include clickbait, because it’s definitely unethical. Just make sure that you write the whole idea of your topic in your subject line.
Craft Your Body
Before you write anything, read the submission guidelines of the publication you want to pitch your idea to because some of them may prefer a specific format. And, if you can, make sure to get to know the name of the editor you’re sending your pitch to so that you address them — which will make your pitch personalized.
Make Your Conclusion Memorable
Here, you should be informing the editor about all the stuff you included as an attachment — pictures, writing samples, links, and so forth. Then, thank them for their time.
Once You Finish Writing
Some publications can get turned off if they find grammatical errors in a pitch — especially if you don’t have any writing samples included since, in that case, your pitch will reflect your writing skills. So, only send your pitch after you check it multiple times.
After You Pitch
Once you pitch the publication, be patient. Sometimes you get so excited about finishing an article that you want it to be out so soon as possible — which can make you spam the publication with many follow-ups within an unreasonable timeframe.
Personally, I think you should train yourself to get in the habit of writing your article once you send your pitch. However, there are other writers who will advise you to wait until the pitch is accepted so you can get guidelines from the publication or editor — or so you aren’t writing something with no home for it yet. I like to write my articles shortly after I pitch, because if it is not accepted, I can always self-publish it on a blog.
However, if you already sent your article with your pitch — in case you don’t have any published articles, and you wanted to show how your article will eventually look like — then, start working on your new piece. One thing you should keep in mind here is that not all publications like being sent the whole article with the pitch; as it depends more on how the process goes in every publication. So, know that you’re not going to be accepted by every publication you pitch to, and that’s okay.
Before you write your pitch, you can ask the publication you want to pitch to for tips — you just may get a response.
Once you’re about to write your pitch, approach it with love and respect. The publiisn’t your enemy. If you’ve been rejected before, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your content was bad, because who knows? It can just mean that it didn’t fit during the time you sent it for any reason whatsoever.
Also, be polite whenever you talk with them, and remind yourself that you’re talking to real humans, not bots. So don’t send them an overly cold email when you can be nice.
Interested in pitching Muslim Girl? You can pitch your ideas to Muslim Girl at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you feel you really have a lot to say, then you can apply to join the team as a volunteer writer by emailing email@example.com.