Pitching Your Story To Magazines And Blogs
Most magazines are structured differently than television and newspapers. Magazines often have freelancers write for them rather than a staff writer. And instead of stories needing to be very timely, magazines and blogs are often more interested in evergreen content.
Because of this stark contrast between television and newspapers, you will want to tailor your message and approach when pitching to magazines and blogs.
1. Freelance Writers
Because of the changing media landscape, magazines are frequently hiring freelancers to write for them and their digital sites. This means they are finding freelancers for specific topics. Freelance writers are writers who don’t work for one magazine or blog. Instead, they jump from publication to publication.
For example, a business magazine might hire a freelance writer who writes about business and finance. A women’s magazine might hire a freelance writer who has a focus on female issues.
If you pitch a story to a magazine writer, chances are they’re writing for several different publications. This means there is no guarantee it will land inside the publication you initially wanted.
Instead many freelancers take ideas they were pitched, and shop them around to different magazines to see who might be interested.
Another way of getting covered in a magazine is establishing yourself with freelancers whose niche aligns with yours.
For example, if you’re in the tech product industry, aligning yourself with tech writers will allow them to come to you if they need a perspective or comment for an article.
Aligning yourself with several freelancers will help streamline your efforts when pitching to magazines.
You’ll also become a trusted source for freelancers, which will help you gain credibility within the industry.
Another aspect of pitching to magazines is timing. While they don’t have tight deadlines like newspapers, magazines often have editorial calendars that they follow. They may want freelancers to write about specific topics at certain times of the year.
So go online and find these editorial calendars (they are often posted!) It can help you pitch timely stories for upcoming issues.
Editorial calendars often include:
- Events – Depending on your industry or the niche of the magazine/blog there will be certain events that are very important to their particular audience. For example, if you are in the tech industry, you know every September Apple has a huge event where they unveil new iPhones, AppleWatches, and more. So be mindful of upcoming events that directly correlate with your industry.
- Themes/Topics – Many magazines and blogs follow national holidays for topics and they may also create their own theme for every month or every quarter. After you’ve narrowed down the specific publications you’d like to pitch to – follow them closely. See if there is a theme or topic that they continually publish. If so, tailor your story for that.
- Publication Cadence – How often does the magazine/blog publish new content? If it’s monthly, they’re probably compiling stories/articles several months out. So, be sure you are pitching with enough time to be published.
- Distribution – Almost all magazines and blogs push their content to social media. Check to see how and when your preferred publication publishes on social media.
The more you can tailor your story to what a magazine is looking for – the better chance you have at getting published.
Every industry and niche has thousands of blogs dedicated to each topic. While this may feel overwhelming, the good news is blogs are often easier to reach out to. You can sometimes reach out directly to the person managing it yourself. Keep in mind, blogs usually cover a very specific topic.
When reaching out to blogs you’ll want to consider the following:
- Do they accept guest or freelance posts?
- Do they consider a product or business-specific post sponsored? In other words, will they charge you to publish on their site?
- Who is their audience?
- Does your business/product/service make sense on their site?
Make sure if you are pitching your topic, that it is relevant to their audience.
Most blogs have a very specific niche that caters directly to their audience. A big part of having a successful blog post is authenticity.
Magazines and blogs often have the benefit of not being constrained by time. This means they are more generous with evergreen content. They don’t typically cover what is happening today or tomorrow. They care more about broader things while having an industry focus.
Regardless of whether it is a freelancer, blogger, or editor, figuring out their topic of interest and aligning your pitch to those topics is the best way to get noticed by them.
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