Freelance writers make their living on a bit of a gamble, but perhaps the riskiest one is the national magazine pitch. Pitching a story takes precious time and effort. There are no guarantees the story will be accepted, but here are 5 steps a freelance writer can take to improve the odds of pitching a winning story.
- Research the target magazine. Know what they want and how they want it (tone, length, format and photos).
- Develop a story. Establish your main character and the story’s structure. Know your focus, regardless of outcome if unknown.
- Know your audience. Strictly for the pitch, you need to know who you will be addressing and e-mailing. Those e-mails or formats can sometimes be found through a submissions web page, but MediaBistro.com has “How to Pitch” articles that address specific magazines and their contact information.
- Test the waters. Send an introductory e-mail to your contact person with an introduction and two-sentence summary, and then ask if the editor would like the full pitch.
- Follow up. Every 1-2 weeks, send a brief e-mail reminder with a one-line story summary and ask if the editor has had a chance to look at it yet.
Finally, never give up. If your pitch hits a wall, send it somewhere else. When your story does find a home, consider custom article mounting in a frame built to stand the test of time. It can be a testament to your tenacity, as well as your writing talent. See how great it will look with a FREE online preview.