For a variety of clients, I manage their blogs and content calendars every month.
Typically, we have our direction all squared away ahead of time to keep each round smooth when dispatching to writers. However, we always leave room for the occasional pitch to allow fresh ideas and perspectives from new and existing talent. And I try to make the guidelines as simple as possible—give us a title, a brief outline, some external sources for support—but somehow the majority of pitches end up looking like a crude grocery list that’s hard to make sense of.
At Fiverr, we want freelancers to succeed and gain the most jobs. Especially now during COVID-19, being able to clearly share ideas and attract new clients is huge, and to do that, it all starts with a compelling pitch.
To help ensure that your ideas are being taken seriously, here are 6 things to do before you pitch to a client’s blog:
1. Read their Guidelines
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people submit pitches without reading the guidelines set up by the editorial team.
You may think that you’re a creative genius with the best ideas, but that’s not the point here. Content teams have an overarching topic or direction they want their blog to go, and typically, they should have guidelines somewhere on their site that explains how your pitch should be structured and where to send it to. For example, here are the pitch guidelines for the Personal Story section on HuffPost.
That said, use their guidelines whenever possible to give your ideas the best chance of getting picked up. However, if you can’t find any guidelines and there’s only an email address to submit to (Forbes is a good example of this), there are a few more steps you can take.
2. Have Multiple Titles
I’ll frame this from what I like to see from writers who submit pitches to the Fiverr blog.
After your basic introduction, make sure that your idea has multiple, catchy titles for me to choose from.
This means that you should have variations of titles that speak to a topic in line with the type of content we produce. Fiverr is a freelancer platform and marketplace, so that means content ideas should fall under those concepts. So, let’s say that your first title is “Why Freelancers Need Dual Monitors to Get Work Done.” Now, come up with two more that provides somewhat of a different takeaway or perspective:
- “The Best Dual Monitor Setup for Freelance Work”
- “Working from Home: Are Two Monitors Better than One?”
With each title, you get a slightly different angle to work with that provides a unique perspective for an editor to consider. Overall, these are just basic examples, but you get the idea.
3. Create an Outline
With your titles listed at the top, you’re now ready to support them with an outline that gives editors an idea of what the piece will look like.
And don’t worry, this doesn’t have to be some drawn-out explanation. Instead, you can simply use headers to break up the information and provide 1-2 sentences of support for each section.
Referencing back to our dual monitor idea, an outline for the piece may look like this:
- Titles listed at the top
- Intro paragraph setting up the tone and direction of the piece
- 1st header (The Problem with Using One Monitor)—why using one monitor presents issues for multi-tasking and ultimately wastes time when balancing several projects at once
- 2nd header (How A Second Monitor Increases Productivity)—list the benefits of using a second monitor and provide examples of what dual monitor use looks like
- 3rd header (Affordable Dual Monitor Setups for Freelancers)—list affordable dual monitor options from reliable brands that freelancers can purchase
- Conclusion header and CTA to Fiverr
Doing this only took 5 minutes and it easily helps an editor understand what they can expect from your piece. Plus, if and when it gets picked up, you already have an outline to follow to streamline the writing process.
4. Provide Reliable Sources
After your outline is complete, it doesn’t hurt to provide some reliable sources to help bolster your pitch.
You can include 2-3 external links that you would reference in the assignment, or you can add 1-2 similar posts that already exist on other sites to give the editor an idea of what you’re shooting for. Also, be sure to include high-level, reliable sources—don’t include spammy articles from sites no one has ever heard of because then it will hurt your credibility as a source yourself.
5. Include Your Rate
You can either include this at the top of the pitch after your titles or at the end in your closing message to the editor.
Some people prefer to know your rate right off the bat, but in my perspective, you can hit an editor with the value of your pitch first and then let them know what they’re paying after the fact.
If you list first that your pitch is going to cost them $200, then you’re already giving them a lens to compare it to. I think it’s always better to do the opposite—set the hook with what you bring to the table, hook them with the outline, then reel them in with the price.
*Try to frame your rate as a realistic one—lots of blogs pay writers on the lower end of $.10-$.20per word unless they specify pricepoints beforehand.
6. Add Experience and Examples
Finally—and this is something I like to include in my own pitches—be sure to add your experience as a writer and provide examples for an editor to check out.
After all, you’re selling yourself and your idea to someone, so don’t be afraid to showcase your work with links to some of your best articles or attach a resume for an editor to look over. I think one of the best tools you can use as a freelancer is LinkedIn because it allows you to have everything packaged in a clean profile with your work experience, recommendations from other professionals, and your very own blog to showcase your writing.
To amplify your pitch and sell yourself, consider adding your LinkedIn profile, and most of all, you can use Fiverr to help seal the deal.
Use Fiverr to Your Advantage
Since you most likely have a profile on Fiverr (or if you plan on making one), you can easily use it to your advantage to showcase your work and professionalism.
Your Fiverr Seller profile allows you to create gig packages to explain your expertise and rates, and more importantly, it serves as a hub to connect with new clients and grow your success. Along with growing your freelance business on Fiverr, remember to use it in your outside pitches to new platforms.
Once an editor sees how put-together your ideas are and how dedicated you are to growing your reach, they’ll give extra consideration to your pitches.