Yep, it’s that time again.
Time for you to show off your blog pitching skills in a real-life
battle deathmatch pitch session alongside your fellow freelance bloggers, for a chance to win big prizes.
In case you missed the previous Pitchfests, here’s how it works:
You pitch a fantastic blog post idea and we choose our favourite ones to publish here on Be a Freelance Blogger, with a top prize worth $880, including $100 cash, for the best pitch. (OK, not really cash — I’ll send it to you via PayPal or another online payment service.)
The total value of prizes in this Pitchfest is $3,240.00!
But the prizes aren’t the best thing about Pitchfest. The conversation is. Every pitch gets public feedback, so you can see how other bloggers pitch, learn to write better pitches yourself, and win more gigs.
If that sounds like fun, check out the rules (further down this post) and get your pitch on.
Your theme for this Pitchfest
This Pitchfest, the theme is evidence. Data from reports, surveys or experiments; quotes from experts, participants or witnesses; information that proves what you’re saying is true (or at least likely).
We want you to tell us how you’ll support the points in your pitch with evidence — what kind of evidence will you use, where will you get it from, and how will you present it?
And we have extra high-value prizes for the winners this time, too, so here’s the story of how that happened:
Not long ago, I surveyed Be a Freelance Blogger readers and asked, “Where are you at in your freelance blogging career? Is there anything else you’d like to tell me about your situation, problems and goals?”
When the answers came in, there was a lot of data for me to look at and try to understand. I created a spreadsheet of all the answers and tried to make a couple of simple charts, but it was kinda fiddly and some of my data was in a free-flow “type in your comments” format that really doesn’t work well for plotting on a graph.
Then an email showed up in my inbox that made it all super easy.
That email was from DataCracker, a lovely company that’s created the solution to my problem. With a DataCracker account, you can import or upload your data and they’ll automatically turn it into graphics of the most suitable kind. Here’s the bar chart DataCracker made for my first question:
See those little arrows? They tell you which results are statistically interesting. Pretty cool, huh?
But what impressed me more was the way they automatically built a word cloud out of those free-form answers my spreadsheets couldn’t chart for me. Check this out:
So now I’m a happy bunny with my fast, easy way to look like an expert in data visualisation. 😉 And I want you to have the same experience, because graphics like this will make your blog posts doubly appealing to potential clients.
To give you the opportunity to create your own awesome data-based graphics, DataCracker has donated a 1-year account for every winner in this Pitchfest. If you want more info about what a DataCracker account does for you, check out their website.
Unnecessary disclosure: DataCracker isn’t paying me, there are no affiliate links in this post, and I don’t profit from Pitchfest. I pay the other prizes out of my own pocket.
OK, let’s get on to HOW you can enter Pitchfest.
- Anybody can enter the contest by typing (or pasting) their pitch into the comments box at the bottom of this page.
- Only ONE PITCH per person, please.
- Follow the pitch format I’ll tell you in a moment.
- After you submit your entry, Sophie Lizard (that’s me, Be a Freelance Blogger’s founder) and Lauren Tharp (Be a Freelance Blogger’s guest post editor) will offer feedback to help you optimise your idea for this blog’s audience and improve your pitching skills.
- After you get our feedback, you can revise your pitch if you like and re-submit it by pasting it into a follow-up comment.
- If you win, we’ll ask you to send us a draft of at least 1000 words, so bear that minimum word count in mind when you pitch.
- First prize value: $880. You win $100 for your guest post, paid on publication, plus a complimentary 1-year account with DataCracker worth $780.
- Second prize value: $800. You win a one-month membership of our freelance blogger mentoring group in exchange for your guest post, plus a complimentary 1-year account with DataCracker worth $780.
- Third & fourth prize value: $780 each. You win a complimentary 1-year account with DataCracker in exchange for your guest post.
- Submit your pitch before the end of Thursday, October 23rd, 2014.
- We’ll announce the winners on October 25th.
- If we choose your pitch, we expect you to deliver your first draft to Lauren by November 8th.
How to pitch
- Read our general guest blogging guidelines first, then come back here to submit your pitch.
- Start your pitch with a headline that makes us say, “Ooh, I want to read that post!”
- Follow the headline with the opening lines you’d use in the post. No less than 30 words, no more than 60. You DON’T need to write a whole post before you pitch — we’d like to give you feedback on your idea before you write it up.
- After the opening lines, give us no more than 6 subheadings you’ll use in your post.
- Follow each subhead with one or two sentences outlining the point you’ll make in that section of your post.
- For each subhead, tell us what kind of evidence you’ll use to support your point, where you’ll get the evidence, and how you’ll present it in your post: quotes, videos, images, or some other format? (Bonus points if you plan to use DataCracker graphics — tell us about it!)
- Then explain in no more than 3 sentences who you are and why you’re the right person to write this post for Be a Freelance Blogger.
- Put your pitch in the comment box at the bottom of this page.
- Check the little box that says “Notify me of follow-up comments” so you’ll know when we’ve given you feedback.
- Submit your comment and if you followed all the steps above, you’re entered into the contest.
- Remember, we’re paying close attention to your evidence, sources and presentation. So put extra thought into what evidence you’ll use, explain where you’ll get it and how you’ll present it in your post. If you’ve already researched your topic, feel free to include source URLs in your Pitchfest entry.
- If you want to get a better idea of what Lauren and I are looking for in your pitch, study the pitches and responses in previous Pitchfests here, here, here, here and here.
OK, are you ready?
Let the Pitchfest begin!