Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Issa Mirandilla, who writes about freelancing, writing, marketing, careers, personal finance and other business-related topics. Give her a nudge on Twitter or visit her website here.
Have you ever pitched a guest post idea to a blog, only to get a polite rejection in return – or worse, no reply at all? It hurts, doesn’t it? Rejection can either embitter you ("But this is an awesome idea! How could those blog owners think otherwise?"), or fill you with self-doubt ("Well, I guess this was a stupid idea after all.").
These initial reactions are understandable; after all, rejection can beat anyone’s ego to a bloody pulp. Regardless, when it comes to your rejected pitch, you might want to simmer down and clear your head first.
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Once you’re in a better mood, you can take a second look at your pitch and:
The thing about rejections is this: they are not meant to be taken personally. Remember that a rejection of your idea is not necessarily a rejection of you, and it can happen for a number of reasons, such as:
- The site’s guest post guidelines weren’t followed to a T.
- The topic has already been covered on the site.
- The topic is too common in the industry.
- The topic isn’t in line with the site’s niche.
- The pitch has too many typos and other critical errors.
- The pitch doesn’t demonstrate why you’re the most qualified person to write the article.
- The pitch feels more like marketing material for you than a potentially valuable resource for the site’s readers.
- Your writing style/voice doesn’t mesh with the site’s.
If any of the above seems true in your case, go over your pitch again, reflect on how it can be improved, and edit. You might want to ask for help on the editing part, lest you overlook any errors in spelling, grammar, structure, flow, facts and figures, etc.
When you’re done, send your revised pitch to your target site again. If you have second thoughts about doing this because you don’t want to appear pushy or desperate, you can…
Pitch another Website
As shown in some of the reasons above, the rejection of your pitch may have zero connection to whether it’s a "good" idea. For example, your idea on "How to Write a Blog Post" may be helpful for beginners, but if you’re pitching that to a site that has already written dozens of articles on advanced topics like "How to Combine Blogging and E-mail Marketing for Maximum Conversion", your pitch probably won’t fly.
Before you pitch any site, ask yourself: "Is this a good fit for the site?" If it’s a "Yes", send in your idea and do your best to convince the site’s owners that you’re capable of crafting a unique, creative and/or useful article out of that idea. Otherwise…
Publish It in Your Online Portfolio
What if you can’t find any site willing to accept your pitch, but you still want to turn your idea into a full-blown article? In that case, consider adding the article to your online portfolio. The great thing about doing this is that you own all rights to the piece, since you’re the one who wrote and published it on your own site.
Of course, just because you have free rein over your self-published article doesn’t give you the excuse to churn out half-baked work. Since the article is part of your professional portfolio, you still want it to show off the best of your abilities to prospective clients.
Throw It Away
Sometimes, you just have to accept that your pitch is "bad" – plain and simple. "Bad" can mean a lot of things. It could be that your idea has already been done to death, so even if you publish the finished piece on your own website, you’ll only end up with a redundant article or, worse, search engine fodder.
It’s also possible that your idea is good, but you don’t really have the expertise or writing chops to expound on it for your intended readers. When you have a "bad" pitch on your hands, it’s probably best to leave it and move on. You don’t want to stay with an idea that will give you heartaches because you can’t write or publish it, do you?
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On the flip side, letting go of your "bad" idea may turn out to be easier said than done. You feel like a mother who abandoned her baby on the doorsteps of an orphanage, even though she could’ve taken good care of her child otherwise.
Maybe you’re just not ready to construct an article out of your idea yet. Maybe you need to file it away for now, so you can come back to it later when you run out of pitches in the future. It’s always a good habit to avoid waste – especially when your "trash" today can be someone else’s "gold" tomorrow.
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A healthy dose of resilience, optimism and persistence can go a long way not just in your guest posting and writing skills, but also your freelancing career as a whole.
Don’t throw away your guest post pitch immediately after it’s rejected. Instead, try to figure out how else you can profit from it first, before you give it a one-way trip to the nether world of Ideas Best Left Forgotten.