If you want to pitch me an article, PLEASE do not do these things...

If you want to pitch me an article, PLEASE do not do these things…

As the owner of a website that publishes blog posts and articles, I get emails just about daily from people wanting to publish on my site. In fact, it got so bad I set up a separate email address for it.

 

There’s nothing wrong with pitching an idea or an article already-written to someone for publication on their site. I’ve done it and I’m sure you have too.

 

However, there are things that will get your email an automatic NO. Seriously, I wonder if some of these people ever took a class on correspondence. Let’s take a look at what not to do in an email pitch…

 

Fail to greet me by name.

Rule 101 in writing a letter (or any correspondence) – you always greet the person by name. My name is all over my website – it’s not hard to find. Not greeting the person you are emailing by name is a total disrespect to that person. Since you went to my website to find the email address you are sending it to, you would have seen my name on the site and my about page. Here’s a variation on that –  you get my name right, but ask who they need to talk to. If you got my name, then you should see I am the person to talk to.

 

Real Examples:

team-

 

 

pointing me to best person

Advice: Take the extra 2 or 3 minutes and find the person’s name you are wanting to email.

 

Make it obvious you’ve copied and pasted your email.

Okay, I’ll admit it – I copy and paste between emails. Who hasn’t? However, it’s kinda obvious you’ve done it when you have multiple fonts and font sizes going on in the email. We won’t even touch character and word spacing. Why would I accept a post or pitch from someone who cannot even proof their own email?

 

Real Examples:

Change font & size to match the

 

Change font & size to match the 2

 

Advice: Show some professionalism and proof and spell check your email before sending.

 

Assume I’ll pay you for your article.

I do not believe in paying for guest posts. It’s a GUEST post. Do you pay people to be guests at your house? I didn’t think so. If I’m paying someone for their blog posts, they are considered a contributor, not a guest. If someone asks, I’ll tell them, but don’t just assume I pay by telling me your content is of no charge. Wait for someone to bring it up before just assuming. I am aware there are bloggers/writers who sell their articles for a living. That’s fine – just please be tactful about it.

 

Real Example:

assume payment-

 

Advice:  If unsure, ask if the person you are approaching compensates (use that term, it’s nicer) for guests posts. Do. not. ever. assume.

 

Pitch me something that is not even the industry I work in.

If you pitch me something (like the below example) that doesn’t even have to do with my industry, I’ll think you’re an idiot who didn’t do their homework. Make sure what you are pitching is relevant to the person/business/industry you are approaching.

 

Real Example:

wrong industry

 

Advice: Do you homework and make sure you are contacting companies in the right industry.

 

Send me testy emails when I don’t respond fast enough.

I hardly ever respond immediately to pitches, even legitimate ones. If it’s legit, I will take the time to research you and/or your company before responding and I will respond. I’m just as busy as you and the next person and cannot respond immediately. The last thing you want to do is get snippy following up (see below).

 

Real Example:

no patience (1)

Side note: Do not ever buy links unless you want to be black-listed by Google.

Advice: Be patient.

 

I will say I have gotten some great pitches via email – they aren’t all bad. I will respond back to legit inquiries when I get them, so if you are reading this and are interested in a possible guest post, please do contact me. Just make sure to avoid the list of things above 😉

 

Now it’s your turn – what do people need to avoid doing in their email pitches to you?

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Mandy Edwards

Owner/Social Media Strategist at ME Marketing Services
Mandy is the founder of ME Marketing Services, a social marketing company located in Statesboro, Georgia. A proud graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia she has a thorough marketing background of over 15+ years covering sales, event planning, local store marketing, advertising and now social media.In the fall you can find her along with her family at Sanford Stadium cheering on their beloved Georgia Bulldogs. Mandy has been mentioned in Forbes and Crain's Chicago Business, named to the Statesboro Herald's Top 20 under 40, has been ranked as a Top 100 Social Media Power Influencer by StatSocial and is a Sprout Social All-Star Elite. In 2016 she was recognized as a member of the University of Georgia's top 40 Under 40 Alumni.
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  • &ThenSome

    This has to be one of the most encouraging posts I have ever read to start promoting my ideas more. Aside from the errors you pointed out in the article, none of these people seem to convince you they can write an entire article in the first place. If you can’t put together an email that points out you’ve actually read the blog, understand basic grammar, and elementary communication skills, you can’t blame people for getting suspicious about your actual article.

    Now I sound kind of snobby, but I can hardly distinguish between the emails you have displayed and whatever lands in my spam filter tomorrow.

    Thanks for implying how it should be done, and when I get more familiar with your blog and have a genius idea for a guest post, I’ll be everything you wanted 🙂

    Bas

    • Thanks! I was cleaning out the inbox and just couldn’t believe some of the messages that were in there!

  • Great points, Mandy. I have received similar pitches with these all too familiar errors. I am particularly grated by the salutation, “Hey, Folks!” But at least I know that pitch went out to multiple writers. The ones that really bug me are the pitches that seem exclusive, but after I do the work and due diligence of crafting my missive and making it my own, I only discover the original story idea cut and pasted on another website.

    • Thanks JR! With most of those, I honestly doubt they are “exclusive.”

  • Great article, Mandy. Let me add to your list, don’t insult me in your pitch. I got one this week that said they had noticed I was not posting as often as I could, and since I was apparently too lazy to write they would be happy to provide me with relevant material. As you might imagine, it didn’t even warrant a reply.

    • Thanks Marie! I get those same emails as well and they quickly get deleted. Insulting a person isn’t the best way to make a first impression!

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  • PhilippaWillitts

    For me, even worse than the generic greeting (when they can’t be bothered to find my name) is getting Dear Sir. At least get my gender right!