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Top Content Pitching Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Guest posts and comment pieces are an essential part of most content strategies. They provide the perfect opportunity to extend your reach whilst reinforcing your brand image, as authoritative and reliable. But to get those opportunities, it's necessary to contribute well.

 

Editors often get emails in the 100s, all about topics that might not hit their publication's nail on the head. To get ahead of the rest, you'll need to pitch it well and deliver to a high quality, giving those in charge of content a reason to choose you over everyone else. If you're worried about your pitching skills, Team Trailblazer have some top mistakes to avoid, together with top tips to help you deliver the perfect pitch guaranteed to get Editor's wanting more:

 

Flagging

The first step to getting your content pitch ignored is by flagging your email as urgent. To editors, this is a sign that you don't respect their time and practices. Instead, if the pitch is regarding a timely topic, put the time frame in the subject or if not, just leave it – they'll get to your email in their own time.

 

Deadlines

Don’t force your own deadline onto editors. They have a whole publication to oversee and plenty of content to manage that abides by their own timeline and aren't looking for more hassle attached to a story they aren't as passionate about. When pitching, make sure you understand that you're not going to hear back straight away and only mention a deadline where it's absolutely necessary. Otherwise, wait until till you hear back and, if accepted, enquire about the publishing date.

 

Mistakes

There's a sure-fire way to get yourself ignored and that's by filling a pitch with some glaring mistakes. Whether it's mucky punctuation, distasteful grammar or simply bad spelling, editors won't want content that's full of faults as it makes you look like you lack intelligence, while suggesting that they're going to have a lot more work to carry out unnecessarily. Do vigorous spell checks and even read your pitch aloud and you'll be able to spot anything that's gone awry.

 

Audience

Many editors suggest that the worse pitches they receive are from people who do not know their publication or platform. Pitching content that has no relevance to an outlet, writing with the wrong tone and not even considering the audience will find your pitch binned. The best way to prevent this, is by going through the publication and their content, looking at pieces and evaluating how the outlet presents themselves, what they cover and, more importantly, seeing who their audience is – the media is created with audience at the forefront of its mind.

 

The Pitch

So, you now know what to avoid, but what to include? Find the proper email address for the contact you need and start focusing on how to make your story idea interesting. Keep the email compact and brief, including the bare-bones of the idea in a way that will make the editor yearn for more. It's easier to stick to a four-paragraph format, opening with an introduction, following with the story idea before mentioning potential sources, and closing with your information and background. And finally, always make sure that your previous work can be found so editors can see your skill.

 

If you're looking to put together a content or PR strategy but could do with a helping hand, contact a member of the Trailblazer PR team for a non-obligatory chat via pr.info@trailblazerpr.com or call the office via 01453 887777.

 

This entry was posted on 01 February 2018 at 10:30. You can leave a response here.

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