If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re wanting to get started in the world of freelance writing, and you’re wondering how to write a pitch for an article.
As an editor who has reviewed many an article pitch over the past few years (some good, lots bad!), I’m here to give you the insider secrets, tips, and real-world examples to help you create a pitch that grabs an editor’s attention and increases your chances of getting published.
So let’s get straight into it.
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Step one: Do. Your. Research.
Before you even think about writing your article pitch, it’s essential to do your homework.
Editors are usually pretty short on time, and there’s nothing more annoying than reading a copy-and-paste pitch (yes we can tell) that shows us you haven’t even bothered to look at the website you want to write for.
I know it can be a bit of a drag, but taking the time to research the publication you’re pitching to can really increase your chances of getting an article published.
Take a look at the type of content the website typically publishes, and read the submission guidelines. Editors appreciate writers who show a genuine interest in their publication.
Example: Let’s say you want to pitch an article about sustainable gardening. Research a gardening magazine like “Green Thumbs Monthly.”
Find out if they have a specific section for sustainability-related articles or if they have recently published similar content. This research will help you tailor your pitch to fit the publication’s style and content preferences.
Step two: Don’t try and get clever with your subject line
Your subject line is the first thing an editor sees in their inbox. And I’m going to go against the grain here and say, please don’t try to be intriguing or clever.
Your subject line should be concise and related to the content of your pitch.
An editors inbox is usually inundated with spammy emails or people wanting something for nothing. So it’s important to make it clear what your email is about, for example, ‘Guest article pitch’ and a few words on the topic you want to write about, such as; ‘Social media marketing’.
By being super clear in your subject line you’ll have more of a chance of your email getting opened and responded to.
I know it can be tempting to try and go for something intriguing or clever, but as the old marketing saying goes, ‘Clear always beats clever’. Don’t make me work to decipher what your email is about, get straight to the point.
Step three: Come up with a unique angle
If you’re pitching to a well-established website or publication, chances are the topic you want to write about has already been written about.
This is why it’s so essential to do your research before you send in your article pitch. Editors don’t want 20 articles on essentially the same topic.
Brainstorm some angles for your article and then search the website to see whether your idea has already been written about it. If it has, go back to the drawing board and come up with something fresh.
That being said, if you’re super keen to write on a particular topic but an article already exists, check the publish date. If it’s been a few years since the article was first published you could always offer to update it with fresh insights and a different perspective.
As an editor, I absolutely love it when writers do this kind of research before reaching out. It definitely makes an impact.
Step four: For bonus points, suggest a structure
If you really want to impress the editor of the publication, provide a brief outline of how you intend to structure the article too. It’s always good to see you have a clear plan in mind.
Example: “I envision the article being divided into three main sections: ‘Getting Started with Sustainable Gardening,’ ‘Case Studies: Remarkable Eco-Gardens,’ and ‘Top 10 Sustainable Garden Practices.’ Each section will offer actionable advice and inspiring stories.”
Step five: Mention your deadline
Editors appreciate writers who are organized and can meet deadlines. Be sure to mention when you can deliver the completed article if your pitch is accepted.
Example: “I can submit the finished article, including high-quality images, within three weeks of receiving approval.”
Examples of a great article pitch
Now let’s take a look at some examples of how to write a pitch for an article:
Subject: Article Pitch: Unraveling the Secrets of Minimalist Living
Dear [Editor’s Name],
I’m writing to propose an article idea that I believe will resonate with your readers and align with [Publication Name]’s focus on practical lifestyle content.
Title: “Unraveling the Secrets of Minimalist Living”
My article will delve into the following key points:
- The Essence of Minimalism: I will introduce the concept of minimalism, explaining its origins and how it has evolved in recent years. This will serve as a primer for readers unfamiliar with the topic.
- Minimalism in Everyday Life: Through real-life examples and expert insights, I will illustrate how anyone can incorporate minimalist principles into their daily routine, from decluttering their living spaces to simplifying their digital lives.
- Minimalist Success Stories: I plan to feature interviews with individuals who have fully embraced minimalism, sharing their personal journeys, challenges, and the profound positive impacts it has had on their lives.
- The Environmental Aspect: With sustainability at the forefront of many minds today, I will explore how minimalist living can reduce consumption and its ecological footprint, making it a timely and relevant topic.
- Practical Tips and Resources: To empower readers to take action, I will provide practical tips, recommended reading, and online resources that can help them embark on their minimalist journey.
- Visual Appeal: The article will be supplemented with high-quality images, infographics, and a minimalist design to engage and guide readers effectively.
I believe this article aligns perfectly with [Publication Name]’s mission of providing valuable, actionable content to its audience. It’s a fresh perspective on a widely discussed topic, offering both inspiration and practical guidance.
If this idea resonates with you, I’d be thrilled to discuss it further and provide a detailed outline or any additional information you may require.
Thank you for considering my proposal. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to [Publication Name].
[Your Contact Information]
Subject: Enhancing Your Content: Article Update Proposal
Dear [Editor’s Name],
I’ve been an avid reader of [Publication Name] for some time and have noticed your commitment to delivering informative and up-to-date content to your readership. I’m reaching out today to propose an article update that I believe will add value to one of your existing pieces.
Article Title: “[Existing Article Title]”
I recently came across your article titled “[Existing Article Title]” and was impressed by the quality and relevance of the content. However, given the ever-evolving nature of the subject matter, I believe there’s an opportunity to enhance and refresh the article to ensure it remains a valuable resource for your readers.
Here’s how I envision the update:
- Current Research and Trends: I will conduct extensive research to identify the latest developments and trends related to the topic covered in the article. This will include recent statistics, case studies, and expert insights.
- Updates and Relevance: I will review the existing content to identify any outdated information or references. I will then update the article to reflect the most current and accurate information available.
- Additional Resources: To provide readers with even more value, I will add relevant resources such as links to recent studies, tools, or practical tips that have emerged since the original publication.
- Engaging Visuals: I will enhance the article with visually appealing elements, including updated graphics, charts, or infographics to improve readability and engagement.
- SEO Optimization: I will ensure that the article is optimized for search engines to maintain its visibility and relevance in online searches.
- Repromotion Strategy: After the update, I will work with your team to develop a strategy for repromoting the article to ensure it reaches a wider audience and continues to drive traffic.
I believe this update will not only improve the article’s quality but also extend its lifespan and usefulness to your readers..
If you’re interested in discussing this proposal further or if you have any specific articles in mind that you’d like to see updated, please let me know. I’d be happy to provide a more detailed plan and timeline for the update.
Thank you for considering my offer to enhance your content. I look forward to the possibility of collaborating with [Publication Name] to deliver even more valuable resources to your audience.
[Your Contact Information]
Crafting the perfect pitch for an article may take some time and effort, but it’s a crucial step in the journey to becoming a successful freelance writer.
Remember to do your research, engage the editor’s interest from the start, and clearly communicate the value of your article.
Use the examples and tips provided here as a guide, and don’t be discouraged by rejection—every writer faces it at some point.
With persistence and dedication, you’ll increase your chances of seeing your byline in print and sharing your knowledge and passion with a wider audience.
Happy pitching, and best of luck in your writing endeavors!
Guest Author: Rachael J. Low is a freelance copywriter and editor who works with a number of marketing agencies producing high-quality copywriting for their clients. You can find out more about her services at https://www.rachaeljlow.com