How Not to Pitch an Article

Recently, I put out a call for submissions (sorry, the deadline for submissions has already passed). As usual, I received several great pitches–and some not-so-great pitches. Here’s one that particularly irked me:

“Hi Robert, can you please provide a ballpark figure for what you pay for articles? My time is limited, so I don’t want to spend it crafting a pitch without knowing that key information. I’m sure you understand.

“Btw, this Huffington Post article will show you that I’m legitimate:”

I did not include the writer’s name or link, because I don’t want to embarrass him/her in front of his/her peers. However, I hope none of the WritersMarket.com crowd thinks this type of approach works with editors.

First off, don’t pitch to an editor if you have to ask how much they pay in advance. Most editors receive enough pitches that they don’t need such freelancers.

Second, most editors take offense to an unknown freelancer proclaiming “my time is limited” as if the editor’s time is not. Following up such a statement with a condescending, “I’m sure you understand,” just doubles down on the insult.

Finally, no editor is going to check out your Huffington Post article to make sure you’re legitimate when you haven’t even pitched an article. There are thousands of legitimate freelancers on the planet. I’m not clicking on a link from an unknown freelancer to check on his/her legitimacy.

While we don’t pay the highest rates in the business, we do pay a rather legitimate amount that is negotiated upon assignment. My time is rather limited, so I can’t share that rate with someone who hasn’t pitched an assignment-worthy article.

I’m sure you understand.

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Follow me on Twitter @robertleebrewer

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