If you are thinking about pitches for magazines you need to be several months ahead of the curve. I know the last thing anyone wants to think about right now is snow, cold weather and roasting chestnuts, but thinking ahead is a great way to get your pitch approved.
When everyone else is thinking about decking the halls, editors are looking to spring fashions and top summer vacation spots. Thinking and working on magazine editors’ schedules will help in getting your work to the top of the heap.
When thinking ahead, writers need to balance general with specific. Editors take risks looking to trends and future happenings and if you think you have a good beeline on a trend, go ahead and pitch it. Be prepared with great sources or a record of being an expert in the field to back up your pitch.
When pitching the general, look back at the last two years or more of seasonal information. This is a lot easier now with magazines putting much of their information online. A magazine isn’t going to put out the same topics every year at every holiday season. Even if summer articles always talk about sun safety, there’s something new offered each time, new products, latest research, etc. Think about a new angle, perspective or product debut you can add to your pitch.
Baby Talk magazine had a great article this month on sun safety for moms and talked to several moms who found out they had skin cancer. They talked to one mother about how she didn’t think she could get it because of her olive skin tone. The stories took a tried and true topic and made it interesting again.
There are many components to be a great freelance writer. Being able to anticipate is one of them. What trends are you recognizing in your niche or in an area you’re interested? What magazines would be receptive and why? How timely will the information be in six months? Answer these questions in your pitch and you may have yourself a winner!