Pitching your work can be one of the most daunting tasks that bloggers encounter. We’ve talked about pitching your work a few times this year on Food Bloggers of Canada, but we know that you probably still have a few questions about the process. Especially regarding “what” to pitch.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to familiarize yourself with the publication's content. Of course you can do this by reading the publication (whether it's print or online), but that’s not your only option.
Most publications share their media kit and editorial calendar for the upcoming year on their websites. Finding these documents is easy — you just have to search for them on Google. Try searching for the name of the publication, along with the words “media kit” or “editorial calendar.”
Once you navigate to the page with the kit, you can usually download a PDF version to your computer. Hang on to these files so you can reference them again later in the year.
So what do you do you with these documents once you have them?
Well, they're often packed with information like reader demographics, publishing guidelines and other facts that help you understand who reads the publication and what kind of stories are published. Sometimes companies will also share their ad rates, which may help you understand why print publications pay so well compared to online publications!
These documents are sent out to investors, potential advertisers and other stakeholders, so there’s often a lot of information in there. Media kits can be over 10 pages long!
If all of the information is overwhelming to you, here are three key pieces of information that you should look for. These tidbits will help you to figure out what to pitch to the publications.
3 Key Elements to Look For In A Media Kit or Editorial Calendar
Ok, I guarantee that it’s not going to be called that exactly.
What you’re looking for is a description under the title “food” that talks about the kinds of recipes that the publication shares. It could say something like “we share healthy and nutritious recipes” or “publishing the latest food news,” etc.
Obviously, if the publication only shares healthy recipes then you shouldn’t pitch a decadent chocolate cake recipe to them! Make sure your pitch fits their food philosophy.
This is sometimes referred to as “reader summary” or “consumer profile” and contains information like the sex, age and family status of the publication's readers.
This information helps you to understand who reads this publication. If the audience is made up of young single men, then you wouldn’t want to pitch a story about how to pack lunches for children.
Yup, we’re not the only people who use these things! Many publications plan out their stories (or at least the themes of their stories) an entire year in advance. If you luck out, they may even note submission deadlines for each month.
Don’t let this discourage you. You can use this information to figure out what to pitch, and possibly see what else has already been covered.
Keep in mind that magazines work several months in advance, so it’s not uncommon for their Christmas issues to be ready to print in early July.
One last thing … you might see “media rates” or “national rates” listed in the media kit, along with some very attractive gross revenue numbers. Sadly, these numbers do not apply to you. These media rates are for potential advertisers, which help them decide where to place their ads.
You won’t find the rate of pay for freelance contributors in the media kit because those rates often change depending on the work being done.
For more tips on pitching, check out these articles:
- 6 Tips On Pitching An Editor
- How to Pitch An Editor Like a Pro
- Media Kits & Pitching Your Blog for 2016
Blogger Quick Tip: Finding Media Kits and Editorial Calendars for Publications was written by regular FBC Contributor, Shareba Abdul. Shareba is a food blogger and freelance writer. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Applied Arts in Media Studies, a Diploma in Journalism, and has a passion for writing, photography, and blogging. You can check out her yummy discoveries at InSearchOfYummyness.com or connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+.