How To Pitch An Idea To An Editor

I’m an editor.

That means I get a ton of emails a day and truckloads a week.


Each one is filled with writer’s who profess, their love, to have their writing published online. And I understand that, being a writer myself!

As an editor, it’s awesome to know people want to write for you, but there are a few things that will put an editor off if you aren’t careful.

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And that is the last thing you want when pitching editors to guest blog for well-known blogs or magazines. This even goes for if you are trying to get your book published and are looking for an agent.

You don’t want to have the editor shaking their head and clicking out of the email before they’ve even read your pitch. You want to give them a reason to say YES, not another reason to say no.

Editors are on the look out for ways to say no. That might sound mean, but it really isn’t. With the amount of emails we get daily and the other projects that need to be finished that are sitting on our to-do to do lists, saying no will actually save us time.

I want to help you out, by showing you how to pitch an editor professionaly. Becuase it’s important not to shoot yourself in the foot before you’ve even started out in the competition.

Writing is a competitive market and if you don’t WOW an editor you’ll just sink back into the slushpile.

Writing is a competitive market. WOW your #editor!

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1. We Are Normal People.

The most important thing to remember is that we are normal people. We are just like you. We wake up to an alarm clock and jump out of bed in the morning just like you.

The only difference is that we are paid to work with content, writers, and the team that we are on.

Remember #editors are real people. #writing #amwriting

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2. For Pete’s Sake Use Our Name.

I’ve gotten so many emails from writers that look like this.

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Or this…

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Sir/Mádam and Admin are not names. It’s not personal at all. Plus, it also makes an editor wonder if you’ve done any research into figuring out who they are.

When pitching an editor, you’ll want to WOW them. And since editors get so many emails a day, don’t you want to stand out?

Stand out when pitching editors by using their name.  #writing #pitchtips

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3. Spell My Name Right.

You’d be amazed to know that in a lot of the pitches I’ve recieved my name has been misspelled. This makes me not want to continue reading.

Once someone wrote me this.Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 10.56.39 AM

How hard is it to double check the spelling of my name?  My email has my name in it, so it would be super easy to double check.

Are you spelling the name of your #editor correctly? #writing #pitchtip.

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Speaking of David.

4. Make Sure You Know What Sex The Editor Is.

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I got this one once. Disappointing, right?

Today there a plenty of unique names that are being used for men and women. For example, Devin is a name that can be used for men or women.

It makes it super aggravating to have someone say Mr. if you are a lady or Mrs. if you are a gentleman. It’s definitely not respectful and it shows you didn’t research anything.

Stop making mistakes like pitching a woman and assuming she is a man from her name. #writing…

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In the digital age of the internet, you can look anything and everything up. Do some research on your editor. Look them up on Twitter and Instagram. Read their blog and leave some comments on there. The editor will most likely remember your name.

Create a relationship first.

The editor will more likely open your pitch email if they know your name and know that you’ve been commenting on their blog.

Then write a meaningful pitch to them. When you’ve done your research you’ll have a better idea of what to include in your pitch that the editor might like to hear.

If you don’t do this research (using the editor’s name, and spelling the name correctly, and making sure the editor is addressed as the correct sex.) it will cause the editor to wonder how well your writing is researched. So make sure you research your editors. This is the ultimate mistake that writers make. Not researching those things will be an automatic NO.

5. Read Your Pitch A Few Times Before Pressing Send.

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In this pitch, you can see choppy and sloppy writing that is hard to read. Not to mention his pushy writing style. Never tell an editor that your content “will be published” on their site.

Remember what I said above about not doing research? Editors like to know that you are personable and that you aren’t sloppy. That would make more work for the all-ready-busy editor. This is another mistake that I see a lot of with writer’s pitches.

In some of the emails, it appears that the writers just flung words caelessly at the page and then pressed send.

A lot of the problems could have been caught if the writer had read over his/her work a few times.

Sloppy writing easily shows in pitch emails. Editors are short on time and if your writing is going to make more work for them they are going to pass on your pitch. We are looking for reasons to say no. And that’s not to be mean. It’s just that we simply don’t have enough time to rework sloppy copy.

There is nothing worse than a #pitch that is choppy and ridden with mistakes. It screams lazy….

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6. Don’t Continuly Spam The Editor With Emails.

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I understand you’d like a response. But I honestly don’t have the time. When I see “I bet you get tons of emails so I figured I’d follow up…” doesn’t help. If you think I get tons of emails what is one more email?

First of all, I want to repeat… editors are busy.

Send one pitch and wait. I know it’s hard to be patient sometimes, but sending multiple emails will not help you. It will annoy the editor, if anything.

Please stop sending #editors multiple emails about the progress of your writing. #amwriting

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Besides some blogs, magazines, and publishers won’t write you back to tell you that your idea was rejected. It’s just kind of the unspoken rule that if you don’t hear back from an editor in anywhere from 2-4 weeks (some are even longer) you probably won’t hear back from that editor.

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This many emails in such a short amount of time is un-called for. If you aren’t careful this continual emailing habit will land your email address in the spam folder. It won’t help you out.

7. Send The Email Pitch Yourself.

Don’t have someone send a pitch on your behalf. Send it yourself.

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Send the pitch yourself. 🙂

8. Check The Attitude At The Door.

Attitude and moods are annoying. As a busy editor, I don’t want to work with people who are rude, moody, or unkind.

A few things to avoid:

  • Don’t be all up on yourself and braggy.
  • Don’t be pushy. (Example: sending a ton of emails stating that the editor will publish your writing.)

Editors want to work with nice people who will make their busy life a little easier. We don’t want to put up with drama or rudeness. Understand we don’t sit on the other side of the computer waiting for email pitches. And that not all editors respond to pieces they reject.

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What’s important for you to know is that it all comes down to ettiquette. You’d never say “Hello Sir!” to your best friend Jessica who wears stillettos at the fashion magazine where she works. And You’d never continually email a friend every single day to remind them of something. They’d get annoyed with you.

[Tweet “Please don’t be pushy when emailing #editors. #pitchtips #amwriting]

So… Let’s Recap…

  1. We are normal human beings.
  2. Use our names.
  3. Spell our name right.
  4. Know if we are a man or a woman before submitting to us.
  5. Read over your pitch a few times before pressing send.
  6. Stop emailing continually to check up. If an editor wants your content, they will let you know.
  7. Send the email pitch yourself. Don’t have another person send it on your behalf.
  8. Check the attitude at the door.

Remembering all these things will make your life easier and also will help you show off the best you possible. You don’t want to make your name mud, in this industry. You don’t want your editor seeing your name and thinking, “What now?” or worse… “You are going in the spam folder.”

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