And, yes, cold pitching absolutely does work, when done right.
But not like this:
I’m reaching out to see if your company is seeking someone who can contribute content to dreamoftravelwriting.com.
My name is ———–. As a professional writer for the past 7 years, I’ve been featured by CBS Las Vegas, newspapers, and various publications.
I’m available to write research articles, blog posts, SEO content, ebooks, and newsletters. I can also handle many of the additional responsibilities of content marketing.
My website can be found at ———-.com, along with samples.
Thank you for reading and I hope to hear from you!
All the best,
And in some ways it does. Because letters of introduction are inherently general.
Which would be fine if this email was intended to be a letter of introduction.
But here’s the problem: Letters of introduction are intended for editors who assign pieces regularly in the course of their work. When you write to someone who (a) is not expecting your email–or pitches from writers period, and (b) doesn’t typically assign out writing work, you’re in a very different position: your email’s primarily purpose is to convince the person they should hire someone external for writing in the first place.
Even if this letter were going to someone expecting to hire writers though, there’s still a problem.
Let’s look at an email I received in response to a listing we had looking for writers for our Travel Magazine Database (and ignore for a moment that this response completely side-steps every piece of information we asked for from respondents):
My name is ——, and I’m a U.S.-based freelance writer. Although the bulk of my work is ghostwritten, I do have an extensive online portfolio, especially in the tech, legal, and business sectors:
I can provide sourced visual content, source quotes, provide backlinks, etc. All content is SEO optimized, professionally written, and can be turned around within 48 hours (add one day for each additional concurrent assignment). I’m available on Skype or Google Hangouts for video calls and can get started as early as today.
Even as someone actively looking to hire a freelance writer, this email (and the one above) do not give me any reasons to be interested in these people.
There is nothing specific in them.
I could literally receive this exact same email from hundreds of people and the information could be absoutely true for all of them.
Am I telling you that your email needs to have “personality”? Absolutely not. But it needs to, more than anything else, do two things:
- demostrate your power as a writer and analytical thinker through the words that you put on the page
- make me feel something
That second one is probably not what anyone teaching you to pitch–especially to companies for blogging jobs–has told you in the past. But it is always what’s missing.
Specifically, I highly advise that you make the reader feel like they they are missing out (or FLYMO, as we’ve started calling it). Like there is some level of return on blogging (or social or whatever you want to pitch them) that others are having that they don’t.
A.k.a that there is something that you know that they don’t that will change their business dramatically.
Play with intrigue…but make sure that you are specific enough you’re actually intriguing!
If you still feel like you’re struggling, we’ve got an entire series of webinars that walk step by step through the process of landing content marketing clients, or you can join us this January in-person to get your entire content marketing business set up and humming in one weekend.