Now, let’s be sensible about this.
Most of the people who read this post will never get a million dollars for a photo they’ve taken. It’s unlikely, though not impossible.
But a million views, ah, that’s a different matter. It’s totally possible for a good blog post with awesome photos to get a million views. Yep, even one of *your* posts for a client whose blog is moderately popular.
Sometimes a post goes viral purely on the strength of its visuals. How many times has a photo caught your eye on a social network that isn’t dedicated specifically to images? Like on Facebook or Twitter, say, or on LinkedIn.
You may not go there intending to gawp at photos of other people’s cats, lunch, home office setup or accidental sideboob flash, but all those images are there just waiting to jump in your eyeballs as you scroll down. (OK, not so much sideboob on LinkedIn. But TBH it really depends who you network with — even LinkedIn has lively subcultures of burlesques, erotica writers, vajazzlers and other deviants.)
Why are those images there? Because someone shared the post that photo or video was featured in. Why did they share it? Because of the visual elements that make it more fun, more surprising or more insightful. More cool. More meaningful. More worth pointing out to a friend.
Point is, you can either:
(A) Write a brilliant blog post, or
(B) Write a brilliant blog post with an information-rich graphic, a funny stick-figure illustration, and a sequence of photos or screenshots that show YOU doing whatever you’re talking about in your post.
As the editor-in-chief of this reasonably popular blog you’re reading, I can tell you that I’d pay a writer more for Option B.
And now I’m giving you a chance to win $100 by creating *your* version of Option B.
Yep, it’s Pitchfest time!
In case you’re not familiar, Pitchfest is a blog post pitching contest we run every 3 months. You tell us your blog post idea and we choose our favourites, with prizes of up to $100 for the winners.
The contest starts today — but first, let’s talk about how to win.
Your theme for this Pitchfest
This time, we’re not asking for posts on a specific theme — it just has to be useful to freelance bloggers. But we’re gonna be looking closely at your use of supporting media. We want you to tell us what media you’ll submit along with your post if we choose you as a Pitchfest winner, and how it will add to the reader’s experience of your post.
- 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 pitch, Lauren and/or Sophie will 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. And yes, that means you can offer us a completely different idea if we’ve told you your first idea definitely won’t work for this blog.
- 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: $50 for your guest post, paid on publication.
- Third prize: A 3-question mentoring package via email.
- Submit your pitch before the end of Thursday, September 10th, 2015.
- We’ll announce the winners on September 12th.
- If we choose your pitch, we expect you to deliver your first draft to Lauren by September 26th. (But if you need a little longer, let us know and we’ll work around it.)
How to pitch
- Read our general guest blogging guidelines first, then come back here to submit your pitch.
- Suggest at least one 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.)
- Explain what media you plan to use to support each of your points: will you bring us video clips, photos, infographics, audio recordings, comic strips, or your best hand-drawn Venn diagrams? How will they add to the meaning and value of the point you make?
- Then explain in no more than 3 sentences why this is a great post for Be a Freelance Blogger and why you’re the right person to write it.
- 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 your explanation of how you’ll use additional media to make your post even more awesome, so give us plenty of details!
- 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.
- Your comment may get held in a moderation queue, especially if it contains hyperlinks. Don’t worry if that happens; we’ll get to it and reply!
OK, it’s time.
Let the Pitchfest begin!