7 Common Avoidable Cold pitching Mistakes New freelance writers make


Cold pitching Mistakes

Cold pitching is a commonest means through which writers contact potential clients for writing jobs.

Freelance writer, who are not vast in cold pitching, usually, make too many mistakes while cold pitching.

Cold pitching simply means contacting agencies, companies, startups and publications for writing jobs through email.

There are other methods of getting writing jobs online other than cold pitching. See 20 Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs (as a Beginner) for details.

There are benefits freelance writers get by sourcing for clients through cold pitching.
  • It gives writers wider geographical reach.
  • It saves time and energy.
  • It's reliable. 
  • It's flexible. 
  • It's less competitive than other methods
In spite of the benefits of cold pitching, there are avoidable cold pitching mistakes writers make.

As a result of the mistakes discussed below, many writers stay longer than expect before closing a writing gig.

1) Pitching Editors Through a Generic Email Addresses


This is one commonest, avoidable, cold pitching mistakes new freelance writers make.

 Generic email addresses of  magazines or newspaper publications include something like these

  • editor@PUBLICATION NAME.com
  • info@PUBLICATION NAME.com
  • admin@PUBLICATION NAME.com
The above email addresses are usually listed at the end of submission pages of most blogs and publications for everyone, who wants to contribute for them, to submit his/her article. Also, some of the submission pages has a contact form for contributors to fill .

Inasmuch as these generic email addresses serve many writers, it's  rare to get reply through them. It takes some luck for writers to get reply from editors through generic email addresses."

What Are You Suppose to do?

In order to avoid this mistake, Send your cold email direct to editor's personal email. Most editors publish their email addresses on their websites for a writer to see and use.

However, you can search for editors' email in google by simply typing "EDITOR's name + EMAIL" on google web address bar and send. if you do this right, you will see the editors email addresses in some of posts in the result.

How do I  Get The Name of an Editor?

The best place to search for Name of most editor's profile is in linkedin

Type the name of PUBLICATION + EDITOR in the search button located at the right hand side of the home page and the names of editors ( both previous and present ones ) will show in the result out of which you can sought out to get the one you are looking for.

2)  Pitching an Already Published Post


This is another cold pitching mistake new writers make. It's one of the reasons why editors reject proposed articles.

Freelance writing is highly competitive now, and nobody want to deal with a novice and an amateur.

Strive to keep every content spotless. I'm not talking about writing your own thought alone because there are --great tips--you can get from other writer. It's uniqueness of content that counts not volume.

Every post you send to big magazine publications usually pass through cubersome test before it is published. Most editor thoroughly check articles before they put it up for publication, and they turn down every proposed article they discover has been published elsewhere.

Pitching a blog, with a copy of a proposed post which is copyright of another writer, and waiting for an approval is a dream. No reputable blog will publish such crap.

Also, downloading from a published post of another writer, tweaking the downloaded post, and using it as your own is a clear display of incompetence.

Originality, diligence, consistency and patience are qualities every new writer should insist on and abide with.

It is better to take time and research your post before pitching than to send pitches with attach files that are not yours.

3)  Pitching Many Editors With One Proposed Article


This is another costly cold pitching mistake new freelance writers make. This is not a mistake per say because it's done deliberately most time.

 Pitching a client for writing gig is different from pitching an editor or bigger blog for an article publication. They differ both in motive and procedure.

When you pitch a client, you're looking for freelance writing job, but when you pitch an editor; you're trying to gain social proof or backlinks -- depending on your motive. So, the procedure shouldn't be the same.

While pitching a client, you can get someone email sample, tweak it to suit you, and send it to as many client as possible. But, you can't do this when you're pitching an editor or a blog for your article to be publish in their site.

Many writers do this often without knowing the consequences. See the brilliant work of Elizabeth Wager, in her post titled

Why You Should not Submit your Work to More Than One Journal at a Time

Most writers (especially young ones) are desperate to get their article publish, so they engage in every conceivable shortcuts to get editor's approval.

There are danger associated to this kind of practice. For instance, where a writer send one article to two editors, both of them may agree to publish is work, and if they do, one will be publishing a license copyright work of the other, because there is no way they can publish the work at the same day and time.

Secondly, it will amount to waste of precious time of an editor, who is saddled with numerous task, to begin to review an article that has been publish in another journal. Most editors will be angry with you, they will never reply your mail the next time you pitch them, if they discover your work has been published elsewhere.

Magazines publications and big blogs often publish their guidelines for their writers and contributors. The essence is to limit writers who may come up with poor and unrelated articles. If you're not a writer in their niche, there is no need submitting your work because their editors will refuse it at the first sight.

My advice to young writer is pitch as many editors as possible, but also try to follow their contribution guidelines. Visit the About page or Article submission page to know what the journal or blog is doing, and what they want from their writers before sending your work.

4)  Inability to Pitch a Second Idea When the First One Failed


Hardwork is what makes freelance writing an interesting job.

Freelance writing is a game of rejection and you have to gird your loins to see many.

Freelance writing requires persistence.

Further cold pitching mistake new freelance writers make is to give up on an editor who failed to  reply their mails.

When an editor/client failed to reply your mailed, many things could be responsible.


  1. It could be the editor is busy with other things.
  2. It could be the editor has seen the proposed article and felt it does not meet up the requirement of his agency.
  3. It could be he/she has glanced through the email, see some typos errors, and felt you wouldn't be able to deliver.
  4. It could be your idea is wrong.
  5. It could be he/she has deleted the email.
  6. He/she replied the first email and tell you he is"busy now". He intended to reply latter which he/she forgot to do.
The list is unending why an ediors/potential clients refuse to reply  emails
,
What you're suppose to do in this circumstance is to follow up. 

This article is not for FOLLOW UP, but I will comment briefly on it as my next point, because follow up is a topic of it's own in freelance writing.

When you try follow up and it's not yielding result, I suggest you pitch the next idea.

Search the agency's website to see if your first idea is in line with its trending topic If it's not trending idea, I suggest you pitch a second one.

There're numerous places in a blog where you will locate what the blog's vision and mission are. Check its published pages like -- the ABOUT page, CONTACT -- page etc,if you don't see them, check some of its published article. By the time you go through the pages and some publish articles of the agency, you will definitely discover their trending posts.

Couch your cold email to be in line with the agency's idea. If you don't know how to couch an attractive cold email, this post 26 Cold Email Template Which Guarantee a Response will give you an idea, or you can consult a content writer in freelancer.com (affiliate) for proper guidance.

Having prepared your email using the best idea that match what is happening in the agency's site, send it again and wait for response.

Most times, the response you will get is will change.

5)  Sending Emails With Typographical Errors

Typographical errors, inaccuracies and wrong spellings are some noticeable cold pitching mistakes new writers must avoid.They are fatal mistake that is capable of robbing you an opportunity of getting published because an editor who open an email with lot's of flaws, will simply delete it.

You have to be mindful of this type of mistake not only in the body of the email alone, but also in the attachments.

Most writers commit this blunder because they are in a haste, so they end up sending emails with lots of inaccuracies which irritates editors just on first sight of it.

Secondly, writers make this mistake when they forward email written and sent to one editor/client to another editor/client without taking time to go through it and make the necessary adjustments.

How to Avoid This Mistake


  1. Thoroughly proofread your emails before sending it. Give your email a second look before clicking SEND. 
This may sound elementary, but it's necessary.

     2.  Make necessary adjustments and amendments if what you want to send are previous sent mails.

     3.  Check your attachments to ensure there is no typographical errors before you send it.

     4.  Send a corrected version of every email you mistakenly sent.

6)  Failure to Send a Fellow up Emails

 Freelance Writers rarely get response on their first email. Replies roll in easily after several fellow up mails.

I recommend this seasoned writer, who in his post titled, " The 3-7-7 Follow Up Formular"
shared a formular he uses to get significantly more people to respond to his email.

You will be missing good gigs, if all you do is to just send the first email without a subsequent follow up emails.

Must clients need some measure of intimacy with their writers which they may not get through social media and blog referrals. "They want to hear more about you through you". This may sound illogical, but it is actually what clients want.

Potential clients do not take you serious until they see how concern you're for the work, and they want to hear you through your own emails ( not basically what others are saying about you)

Here's a sample of a guest post follow up email I sent to a client


From this fellow up email, a client is quickly reminded of my last week email. He's also notified of all that are contained in the email, and what he/she can do if she's interested in my work.

There is no other way to follow up clients than to check the sent items is your email box everyday, look for those clients you contacted for the pass three days that have not responded and couch a fellow up email (like my own above).

Fellow up is a topic of its own in freelance writing and i will be publishing more on it in my subsequent posts in this blog.

7)  Pitching an Idea With Different Attachment

Most times, some writer cold pitch an idea different from the attach files.

This kind of cold pitching mistake is pardonable because it could be as a result of oversight of the sender.

However, doing is can be harmful because it shows the writer is confuse and didn't understand what the editor/client want.

Your idea must correspond with your attachment otherwise, it's better to send the idea alone than to send it with an attach document that conveys different information.

When you cold pitch with a vague attachment, the outcome may be.

1.  Outright rejection: Your client will just reply you and tell you he doesn't need your services.

2.  No reply: You may not get any response no matter how many times you try to follow up.

So, check your attach documents properly before sending them. Check the images in the attached file to see whether they look nice and presentable. If the images are not good looking, change them with better ones -- but avoid using copyright images because they're even more destructive.

Check both the internal and external links in your attach files. Do not include much external links to your file for too much of it makes your work look more like another person's work.

I' convince you've gotten something unique in this post. So, 
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