Last week we took a look at what a pitch is and why you need to make them. Building from this, we’ll be taking a look at how you write a pitch to an editor. You’ll probably want to practice this a little bit before actually sending out any emails or letters.
When coming up with a pitch you’ll want to check your idea against the following list:
- Is it topical? / Is it relevant right now?
- Does the idea look at a topic from a different perspective or has it been covered before?
- Who does the story appeal to?
If you can answer these questions, chances are your article is worth writing. Thus, it’s worth writing a pitch to send to an editor.
Writing a Pitch
When sitting down to write a pitch, you’ll probably want to write 2-3 versions of the same one. At least, until you get used to writing pitches. In an ideal world you’ll be able to condense your pitch into 4-5 lines of text. So it’s not too long for an editor to read while also containing all the needed information about your idea.
You need to explain the following:
- What the idea is
- Why it’s currently topical
- The people you’ll try to interview (be realistic and if you’re not certain about naming specific people then name a few developers or say you’ll speak with fans)
- And most importantly, why you should be the one to write it
If your pitch can do all of these things then you have much better chances at landing the gig.
Some other tips
- Make sure your writing style suits the website or magazine (they’ll reject you if it doesn’t)
- Address the editor by name if you know it
- Remember, the pitch is a sample of your writing so if it’s bad or if there’s mistakes in it then they won’t look twice at it
- Be friendly but try to remain somewhat professional