There are all different kinds of writing, but pitch writing is a very specific skill. You can be an absolutely marvelous prose writer and still write awful pitches. So don’t feel badly if you are confounded by this particular task. Instead, follow these 3 tips to write a better pitch and make sure your next pitch has a fighting chance.
Write the first paragraph of the pitch letter about the problem you are trying solve.
Not about you.
Not about your background.
Not about your passions. (For goddsakes, definitely not about your passions.)
The best way to grab someone’s attention and get them to listen to what you have to say is to start with what they care about most: themselves.
Think about what gets your attention:
Lose 5 lbs by next weekend!
Double your income in 2012!
Get your kids to help without yelling or bribing!
See? Stick to the problem you plan to solve, and talk about yourself later. Much later.
Give the person reading your pitch letter a reason to believe you.
The fact that you are a blogger on the topic is almost NEVER a good enough reason. After all, anyone with a computer and access to the internet can start a blog these days.
Instead, explain what it is about your experience as a blogger that sets you apart. Have you won any awards? Has a semi-famous person mentioned you? Do you have insane traffic to your blog? Have other brands raved about working with you? Say so.
Even better, get testimonials, so that others will be saying it for you. The point is, you must come up with SOMETHING that makes the reader say, “Yes, now I know why I should take you seriously.”
Don’t pussyfoot around the issue of compensation in your pitch letter.
If you want to get paid, say so in your pitch letter, and say how much. Be ready to justify your fee by explaining why you are worth what you are charging.
This does NOT mean you can say, “I am a blogger and bloggers today are very influential, so I should get paid.” The bigger the brand, the generally less impressed they will be by statements along these lines. (I don’t care how big your blog is, in the grand scheme of things, an individual blogger’s impact is a relatively TINY fraction of a brand’s overall marketing plan.) So be cognizant of that and make sure your fee and your proposal make sense.
An example of this would be if you want to ask a brand to pay you manage their Facebook page. Normally, they would pay an agency a FAT fee for this. So you can reasonably say that you will do it for half of what an agency will charge AND do it better because you are so much more in touch with their target demographic.
Makes sense? Of course it does.
Now go out there and write a great pitch!