Rock The Pitch #14
A pitch hit my inbox yesterday from a writer. It wasn’t a bad pitch, just mediocre, but it did have obvious signs that the person sending the pitch didn’t do his basic homework before pitching.
These are very, very common mistakes and worth talking about.
If a new step only adds minutes to your pitch process, but helps you land two out of three pitches instead of one out of twenty, isn’t that worth the extra minutes?
Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2015 5:53 AM
To: Carrie Morgan
Subject: Guest post contribution for carriemorgan.com
Hope you are doing well.
I would like to inform you that I am interested in contributing blog content on your blog “carriemorgan.com“. So, kindly let me know how should I proceed ahead for contribution.
Thanks so much and waiting for hearing from you!
30-Second Tips That Could Have Made This Pitch Succeed
If it’s worth taking five minutes to write up a fast pitch, it’s worth adding another few minutes of basic due diligence. A well-prepared pitch is usually successful.
Here’s are what I would suggested this gentlemen have done differently.
All of the tips require just seconds looking at my blog and overall website before sending the pitch.
- View each pitch as a custom email. Using a template derails the process, encouraging you to do nothing more than replace the name and email address. Successful pitching requires customized attention. If you aren’t spending at least ten minutes on your pitch, don’t send it. You want to make a repeatable habit of the process, not the wording.
- Get the blogger’s name correct. If you are personalizing a greeting, using a last name instead of the first without a prefix just makes it obvious you have no idea who they are. Not only is this man NOT a part of my community, so he expects to submit a blog post opportunity without having brought any value to my community, he doesn’t even take time to get my name right. This type of error results in sending a pitch to the digital trashcan. You can’t land a pitch if it doesn’t get red.
- Make sure that particular blog runs guests posts. A single author blog is unlikely to be interested in a guest post, but might be interested in a post idea or quote to include in their work. The type of content they publish might shift how you pitch them.
- Look for pitching guidelines. If they have posted them, be sure your pitch actually follows them. My blog has guidelines that clearly state there is only one kind of pitch I’m interested in, and his pitch was not relevant to those guidelines.
- Include a few post ideas that show you recognize the audience and blog topic. Even if you aren’t a member of the blogger’s community, it shows you are familiar with their content. Don’t ask for directions to proceed, talk about the post you’d like to submit to make use of their time reading the email. Who wants to invest in multiple emails only to find out the post idea won’t work? We don’t care that you want to write a guest post or whether you ask “permission” or not to send a pitch, we care about content that contributes to the community and value of our blog. Even a single author blog might be tempted by a guest post that is brilliantly pitched and relevant. We won’t even address the issues of false friendliness, poor grammar and overly stiff language that smacks of a generic template.
Bloggers get pitched for a variety of reasons, but three seem to be most common: guest posts for a client or employer to fit a PR or content marketing tactic, backlinks for SEO purposes and personal branding.
Understanding why you’re being pitched can help you decide if any kind of response is worthwhile.
I tend to respond based on the amount of energy put into the pitch: little-to-zero effort gets no response, some effort earns at least a thank you and some sort of acknowledgement, true effort or something from an active member of my community earns true consideration and a thoughtful response.
How much time they’ve invested determines how much of my time I give back.
PR pro or not, spending time to master a few best practices can make a HUGE impact on your success ratio. They are best practices for a reason: they work.
Do you have a tip to share?