Have you ever submitted a pitch to a magazine editor and received radio silence? Frustrating! Understanding magazine editors can be the key to unlocking more assignments and building a successful freelance career. Here, I reveal some of the secrets behind what editors are looking for and how you can make your pitches stand out. So
It's time to get inside the mind of an editor!
Let's start at the beginning:
- They're busy. Magazine editors are responsible for a lot of content, both in terms of print and online and in some cases social media, newsletters, advertising and marketing, so they receive a lot of emails every day.
- They're knowledgeable. Magazine editors are experts in their fields and know what will resonate with their readers, period. Learn from them instead of pitching to them.
- They're passionate. Magazine editors love what they do, and they’re always on the lookout for great stories and great writers that will delight and inform their readers and meet a deadline.
Knowing these characteristics will help you tailor your pitches and submissions to their specific needs. It’s also important to take the time to research the editors and publications you’re targeting. This will allow you to craft pitches that are specifically tailored to their interests, needs, and style.
Use the cut and paste method - take a recent story introduction and title and recreate your idea in this format. Include the title in the subject line of an email or DM and await a response.
If you want to connect with magazine editors and land more assignments, here are some secrets to understanding them:
1. Find out what kind of person they are. Some editors are extroverts who love to network, while others are introverts who prefer to work alone. Knowing which type of person you're dealing with will help you tailor your approach.
2. Learn about their interests and hobbies. This will give you something to talk about when you first meet them.
3. Be aware of their deadlines and schedules. Most editors are extremely busy people, so don't take it personally if they seem rushed or distracted.
4. Keep your pitches and submissions professional and concise. Editors appreciate brevity and directness.
5. Follow up after your initial contact, but don't be a pest. A simple email or phone call a week or two later can make a big impression.