We’re getting close now. Only a week to go.
I don’t know what you celebrate at this time of year, but for me it’s the winter solstice. One long, cold, dark night that turns the whole year around.
Call me crazy, but I believe we all have to go through solstices in our freelance writing careers. There are peaks of giddy genius and troughs of utter despair along the way, and they’re supposed to be there.
Because without them, we can’t learn and grow. Without good days, we won’t recognise bad days. Without challenge, there’s no achievement.
I may not believe in much, but I sure as hell believe in that.
Dear gods, did I just start giving a semi-religious lecture on my blog? [And, hey, was it working? Do you feel inspired?]
OK, moving on: I’ve got a challenge for you if you’re willing to accept it.
Time for the last Pitchfest of 2014!
You pitch a blog post idea and we’ll choose our favourite ones to publish, with a $100 prize for the best pitch. I’ll explain the rules in a minute, but first…
Your theme for this Pitchfest
This Pitchfest, to stick with the notion of solstice and a new year, our theme is habits and systems.
That can include anything from developing good habits to breaking bad ones, and any system from a wall of sticky notes to a clever software integration. It’s totally up to you.
All we want you to do is tell us what habit or system you want to write about, and how you’ll create a blog post for us that’s relevant to BAFB’s audience of freelance bloggers.
For example, will your post confess to a bad habit, tell us how to avoid one, or how to fix one we’ve already got? Is it to do with writing skills, freelance business, or online life hacking? Will you show us a system you’ve created for yourself, or walk us through a system you’ve learned from someone else? Is yours a “quick fix” 3-step plan or a complex blueprint that takes several months to implement?
- 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.
- Your Pitchfest judges are Sophie Lizard (that’s me, Be a Freelance Blogger’s founder) and Lauren Tharp (BAFB’s guest post editor).
- After you submit your pitch, we’ll offer feedback to help you optimise your idea for this blog’s audience and improve your pitching skills. You may also get feedback from other entrants, BAFB team members, and innocent bystanders — pay attention, because they represent your readers here.
- 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: $100 for your guest post, paid on publication.
- Second prize: a one-month membership of our freelance blogger mentoring group in exchange for your guest post.
- Third prize: a copy of The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Quality Online Content, by Alicia Rades.
- Submit your pitch before the end of Thursday, December 18th, 2014.
- We’ll announce the winners on December 20th.
- If we choose your pitch, we expect you to deliver your first draft to Lauren by January 8th, 2015.
How to pitch
- Read our general guest blogging guidelines first, then come back here to submit your pitch.
- Start your pitch with a headline designed to make freelance bloggers want to read your 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 (or even a whole introduction) before you pitch — we’d like to give you feedback on your idea before you write a draft.
- After the opening lines, give us no more than 6 points you’ll make in your post, and provide a one or two sentence summary of each point. (If you plan to make more than 6 points in your post, only tell us the most important 6 in your pitch.)
- 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 focusing on the habit and/or system you plan to discuss in your post. So make sure you’ve told us about that, clearly and in enough detail for us to decide we want to learn more!
- To get a better idea of what Lauren and I are looking for in your pitch, study the pitches and responses in previous Pitchfests.
- Save a copy of your pitch somewhere before you post it here — if your comment gets lost in the internet, you don’t wanna have to re-write it from scratch.
OK, here we go. 🙂
Let the Pitchfest begin!