Content Strategy

4 Things Editors Are Looking When They Read Your Pitch

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Writer, Consultant, Lifetime Entrepreneur
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Becoming a contributing writer for some of the largest websites in the world is possible for entrepreneurs, and can be highly profitable for your business. Getting exposure in mainstream media publications can make all the difference in your business and marketing plan. It exposes what you do to a completely untapped audience. The problem in marketing--too often--is that there is overlap. You are trying to reach the same group of people as your competitors are. On a large publication--on that gets millions of readers--you get the chance to market to a fresh audience almost every time. 

I know that there are many who read Entrepreneur that would love to contribute here and to some of the largest websites in the world. When you can get your content featured in front of millions of readers on the largest websites in the world, it will lead to new business. Here’s what the editors at these sites are looking for. 

1. A regular content producer.

When editors visits your website, they want to see someone who regularly puts out good content. I can’t tell you how many websites I’ve checked out of people who were pitching me that hadn’t posted on their own site in ages. Editors don’t want to bring on one-hit wonders. They want people who would be willing to contribute content regularly to the publication -- someone who doesn’t do it on their own website is a red flag to an editor. Before you pitch any publication, make sure you are actively putting out content and have been doing so for at least a few months. 

Related: 4 Tips on Writing Guest Articles Without Ruffling Editors' Feathers

2. Know what you are talking about.

An editor wants to see you are producing content on topics you have some knowledge of. If you are writing about building an online business but haven’t built one that supports you, it doesn’t connect. An editor will look at what you’ve put out on your site, and look at what you put out in other places, to make sure you have some knowledge of your topic. Research can be your best friend in becoming knowledgeable about a topic you’re passionate about. 

3. Be willing to put the reader first.

At the end of the day, readers come to a publication and read your articles because they want help. They want to know what’s in it for them. Your article -- especially the one you’re pitching -- should have clear takeaways. Don’t just make it about your story or what you learned, tell the readers what they can learn from your experience.

Related: How to Attract Attention With a Feature Article

4. Do not come off as entitled.

One of the worst ways to pitch an editor is with an attitude that you belong in that publication because of some things you may have done -- editors don’t care. They are looking for someone who will write, follow the rules, add value to the reader and not scare readers away with pride. Yes, showcase your experience, but do it in a way that will feel like a benefit for the publication.

Related: 5 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand

I have helped hundreds of people get into publications and most were not clients. You can write an article that gets accepted and gets you in as a regular contributor. You can leverage that exposure to build your business and create new opportunities. You can reach that untapped audience and help change their lives with your content. Here’s to you and your success. 

If you have been trying to approach large publications or any other opportunity without success, compare what you are doing now to these four things editors are looking for. 

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