If you’ve done your research and taken the time to write a pitch that is targeted to the audience, you should be confident about sending your pitch. I get all the mental stuff that goes with pitching, because after 15 years of pitching the media, I still get a feeling in my gut. It’s a cocktail of excitement with a sprinkling of the “what ifs”.
The good news for you is that we are doing this pitch on email, so really you only have a few possible outcomes:
1. They like the pitch and say yes.
2. They like your pitch and forget to respond to you.
3. They don’t think it’s a fit and delete it.
Not so scary now is it? You can totally deal with being deleted. No pain in that one. You won’t even know about it.
Notice I didn’t say anything about being yelled at or publicly called out? If you’ve followed along with the past few posts, you are going to be pitching the right way. I’ve got you covered. So no fear of ending up on the Bad Pitch Blog or being the subject of Ash Ambridge’s ire.
Before You Hit Send on the Pitch – The Top Five Check List
So, you’ve got your pitch, you are nearly ready to hit send, so here’s your last minute checklist to ensure you don’t come off looking like the freakin’ amateur hour. Hard to look like an expert when you make rookie mistakes, right?
1. No Dear Editor. Make sure you are pitching the right person and using their name. Do everything you can to find the name instead of just sending them to “hi editor”. Double check spelling and names.
2. Review Guidelines. Do a quick review on any guidelines they may have to ensure your pitch complies.
3. Have a Clear Subject Line. This is not the time to get all cute and clever. Be clear with your subject line using something like Idea for Guest Post or Proposed Guest Post for X Site.
4. Proof It. Double, triple, and quadruple check that your pitch is correct and complete. Typos are a deal breaker.
5. Send More than the Pitch. Remember you want to send an intro, your pitch, your two line bio and a couple writing samples. Make it simple for them to say yes to your guest post.
Are you ready to hit send? Do it, you’ve got nothing to lose and expert status to gain. Deep breath and go!
If they don’t get right back to you, do not despair. How many unread emails do you have in your inbox. Exactly! Your pitch probably hasn’t been read or was missed. After a week or two, go back and follow-up to see if they are interested. The key is to be gentle. Usually then they will get back to you with a yay or nay.
If they don’t get back to you, feel free to recycle the pitch for another target. Whatever you do just don’t threaten to do this in your follow-up pitch, because that’s like stomping your feet because you are pissy. Not cool.
The key to great guest post pitching is to be professional and patient. And just know that not every single pitch will be a success. It’s all part of the game.