The Email That Got My Foot In The Door at a Big Online Publication

When I was first pitching my ideas around to various sites, I started small. Smaller sites with smaller audiences felt safe.  

But before long, I decided to take the plunge and start reaching out to larger publications with big audiences.

And that decision led me to SheKnows, a media and publishing site with almost 1 million followers on Facebook alone. 

948,449 to be exact. That's a pretty massive audience in my humble opinion.

Before pitching to SheKnows, I had been published on a few other sites. But I had yet to go viral on my own site with my article about how I wished I could be a better friend

So I wasn't a big name, by any means. Just another faceless voice in a sea of writers looking to be published.

And yet... I got noticed. Here's the email I wrote, and I'll tell you why I think it worked below.

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The rest of the email is cut off, but I continued with the full article written in the body of the email. Here's the nice response I got from the editor. I was rejected, but I'll tell you why I think it's still a win.

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She passed on my article because I hadn't done my research and didn't realize that they had already covered this topic quite a bit. My bad. BUT she told me she liked my voice and wanted to hear from me again.

I was in.

Just like that, I had the beginning of a relationship with an editor at a huge publication that published in my field of expertise (parenting). 

Here's what I think worked and what didn't work in the email.

  • I kept the email short and concise. Busy editors need that!
  • I gave a short intro about myself and told them why I thought I was the right fit for them
  • I listed the sites that I had been published on previously, BUT I think it was a big miss to not include links to my written piece so they could see my tone and style of writing
  • I tried to give the email a bit of my personality, so it would be clear that this wasn't a form-letter type pitch
  • I linked to my website with my full portfolio
  • I put the entire article in the body of the email so they could start reading immediately and get an idea of where I was going
  • One thing I think I should have done was put the title of the article in the subject line and further up in the body of the email. I actually don't know that I love the subject line I used at all. It was "Contributing to your parenting section". (But then again, it was opened!)

I ended up not pursuing writing for SheKnows because shortly after this, the article I published on my own site went big, and I started writing for a few other sites as well. 

However, I went from being unknown to having a foot in the door, all through email.

And I think that's all it really takes sometimes.

I hope this helps with your pitching. What other tips do you have for pitching? Would love to hear them! 

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