Many of us writers pitch our articles and blog posts. We do all the right things for those pitches, we identify the audience, explain why our article fits the publication, and we include the word count and resources we’ll be quoting. Perfect.
And when our pitch is accepted, we are overjoyed. We set about writing the article and we send it in, knowing that we’ve done a good job. We’ve finished the job and it’s time for a celebratory beer, right?
But not so fast. If you’ve forgotten to include this one single trick when you pass in your article, you’re missing out on easy opportunity to consistently get more work.
That trick? Always be sure to include a suggestion for another project.
“Like this article on the behavior of local bears at the dump in the winter? How about another one on how the local fox population is dwindling due to residential development?”
“I’ve included a blog post on the best way to use social media, how about another follow-on post on best practices for using social media to create a network?”
I *never* return a project without suggesting topics for new ones. In fact, I have one editor with whom I rarely even return an email without pitching another story. Fortunately, she and I have a good working relationship and I know what kinds of stories she is looking for. But still, I’m not going to wait around to be assigned a story especially if I have a few ideas in mind.
I want the work now.
The same goes for marketing work. Whenever I submit work (website content, blog posts) I’ll always include suggestions on how to make something else better.
“You know your “About Us” page? It’s not clear exactly what it is you offer your customer. Want me to take a look at that to make it stronger?”
“Here are 4 blog posts, want me to get started on another 4 for next month so you’ll have a queue ready?”
When you make additional project suggestions, not only are you seen as a go-getter, but you are also viewed as someone who is a critical thinker. Someone who is always wondering “how can we make this better?” and “what will keep the audience engaged?”
Editors tend to like those kinds of people.
I don’t know of an editor or a marketer who doesn’t appreciate additional article and work suggestions. In the case of the editor, you are helping to fill the publication. You’re actually making her job easier. In the case of the marketer, you are helping to sell work, and guess what? Marketers like to sell work, that’s their job. When they know you can upsell like that, they are going to come back to you for work.
Again and again.
This past week I was contacted by an editor who sent me a request for an article idea I had submitted last summer as an attachment to a finished project. She couldn’t use the idea then, but she did want me to write the article now. Could I still do it? She asked.
Not only will I do it, but you can be sure that when I send the finished article over, I’ll be pitching a few additional articles ideas for her consideration.
Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.
Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (www.simplethrift.wordpress.com)
How about a post next week on the top 5 questions to ask when writing content for a website?