Crafting the perfect pitch can open the door to serious website traffic, backlinks to your website, or even position you as an authority in your industry.
Naturally, you want to get in on the action. Problem is, so does everyone else, and there’s no question that pitching your services to blog editors is tough. The process can be an unreliable and unpredictable grind, even if you’ve done everything right.
If the blog gets a lot of traffic, then chances are the editors are getting dozens – if not hundreds – of cold pitches every day. They see the full range of pitches, ranging from great (very few) to something they can work with (a small percentage) to downright bad (everything else).
Pitches get turned down for a variety of reasons. These include incomplete pitches, poor timing, ideas that aren’t fully fleshed out, or even pitching the wrong outlet or editor. Pitching truly is a numbers game, and being relentless will increase your chances of eventually getting through. Here’s a framework you can use to write the perfect pitch and better your chances now:
Adapt Your Pitch to Your Audience
High-traffic consumer tech blog editors vs SaaS company blog editors may have very different goals in mind for their content. One may want beginner-level content that applies to the masses. Another may be looking for in-depth articles only intermediate or professional-level users would grasp.
One way to figure out what type of content they’re likely looking for is by reviewing their past content before pitching. Obviously, being an active reader is ideal because you can truly say you’re a fan and compliment their work in a genuine way. This is not a requirement, though. Reading a few recent posts will give you a better understanding of the quality, tone, intended audience, and subjects they tend to cover.
Some sites will even give you a leg up by offering guidelines for pitching to them. To find such cheat sheets, start by typing one of these phrases into Google along with the name of the blog you’re looking to pitch to: “guest post”, “guest post guidelines”, “submit a guest post”, “write for us”, or “accepting post guidelines”.
Offer Your Value Proposition
Remember the most important question when it comes to pitching:
What’s in it for them?
That’s your value proposition. It tells them not only how you’re different from other writers but what benefits they’ll reap from working with you. Leading with why they should care is a surefire way to get them to keep reading.
The trick here is selling them on results, not actions. You’re not selling a guest post or an article idea – you’re selling views, clicks, shares, downloads, conversions, or profits. Be specific and don’t be afraid to name drop either. Doing so offers you instant credibility. For example:
“I write for [B2B sales tech and MarTech startups] like [competitor name] and brought them XXXX social shares on my last post.”
Keep Your Pitch Short
Again, keep in mind that blog editors are wading through boatloads of pitches, so it’s best to get right to the point. Ideally, your pitch should be 3-4 lines to make it easy for them to read (or skim) and end on a call-to-action that makes it easy to say yes.
Somewhere in the middle, you’ll want to offer up a headline as well. If you have a specific article you’re looking to get published, then consider typing up a short outline or synopsis to link with your headline. That way, you can keep the email short but still offer up greater context if they’re interested.
Craft the Perfect Subject Line
The best pitch in the world is useless if your email doesn’t get opened. The key to boosting your open rates is crafting a subject line that creates intrigue. Something compelling and ideally personal. Definitely something short and, if possible, action-oriented as well.
Here are some examples:
“Tyler, help me help your audience get more website traffic”
“How can VoilaNorbert’s audience finally master SEO?”
Verify Your Contact Data
You’ll never have a fighting chance if your perfect pitch and compelling subject line never reach their intended inbox. If you want to reach a real person and avoid getting blacklisted, then keeping a clean email list should be a top priority.
Voila Norbert is your champion since it will take your email list and remove duplicates, filter out invalid email formats, and verify the email address is valid and active. It’s as simple as copy-pasting your list or uploading them into Voila Norbert’s system, and after a short while, downloading a clean list that’s campaign ready.
Know When to Move on
Rejection comes in many forms. Some editors will give you a hearty slap in the face telling you exactly why your pitch or content isn’t up to par. Others will downright ignore it. If you don’t hear back with a couple of weeks, you should be persistent and follow up, but know when to move on to the next pitch.
The trick is to not take any response you receive personally. You’re going to hear a lot of no’s before you get to a yes. Wear it as a badge of honor. Start collecting no’s as soon as possible to get yourself closer to that sweet yes. With enough persistence and pivoting, you’re bound to find something the editors will find interesting.
Remember, these are guidelines, not rules. You have complete creative freedom here and are not only welcome but encouraged to experiment. Test out different headlines and switch up the subject line and whatever else you think might change the outcome. Only through testing will you find what works for your pitch style the best.
What pitches have worked for you recently? Share them in the comments below: