What is a pitch request?

Modified on Tue, 20 Jun 2023 at 09:01 AM

A pitch request is a great way to get ideas from freelancers when you want to produce certain types of content.


What is a pitch request?

Pitch requests invite contributors to submit ideas for the topics or formats you need. Once a request is submitted to a team or to someone individually, they pitch ideas using your pitch guidelines for direction. 


How do I create a pitch request?

Click on the "Create pitch request" button to get started.


What should I include in my pitch request?

  • A friendly greeting

  • Context: what types of pitches you're looking for and why

  • Audience the freelancer will need to reach

  • The business or marketing goal behind the story

  • Format preferences (Blog post? Reported long-form stories?)

  • A few thought-starters or sample headlines

  • Examples of the kinds of stories you're looking for

  • Anticipated timelines for pitch review

  • Turnaround expectations and estimated publish date or month

How long should my pitch request stay open?

Contently recommends leaving pitch requests open for 5–7 business days, but the time period varies based on your pitch requirements and the scope of the pitch request.

For example, you may want to extend the pitch request to 10 business days if freelancers have to do heavy research or outreach in order to submit ideas. On the other hand, you may shorten the pitching window to three days if you're seeking quick-turnaround, of-the-moment ideas for short articles. You should also consider holidays and other seasonal factors that may impact response time.


I really like a freelancer's pitch. What do I do?

Once you receive a pitch from a freelancer, you have 21 days to take action until it expires. Prior to expiration, there are three different courses of action available to you:

  1. Accept the pitch: If you receive a satisfactory pitch that meets your pitch guidelines, click "Accept." The contents of accepted pitches are automatically migrated into the corresponding story's "Requirements" tab.

  2. Decline the pitch: If the freelancer missed the mark or you're not interested in a pitch, click "Decline." Note that declined pitches are the property of the freelancer and can be pitched elsewhere. When you opt to decline a pitch, the system will prompt you to leave feedback for the freelancer; Contently recommends that you do so to help freelancer improve submissions during subsequent rounds.

  3. Comment: You can comment prior to accepting a pitch if you have questions or suggestions. You can also comment to ask the freelancer to modify a pitch before you accept. For example, if you have a similar story in progress on that topic, you can ask the freelancer to suggest a different angle.

Can I accept an expired pitch?

It's not possible to accept expired pitches on the Contently platform. However, you can message freelancers directly to ask whether their expired pitches are still available. Like declined pitches, expired pitches are the property of the freelancer and may have been pitched elsewhere.


What if I didn't like the pitches?

Here are four steps you can take when you are unsatisfied with the results of a pitch request:

  1. Decline the pitch and leave detailed feedback, and consider allowing the freelancer to modify the pitch. Feedback helps freelancers better understand your strategy and can help them improve submissions during subsequent rounds.

  2. Consider improving the pitch request.

  3. Host calls with freelancers to explain your content strategy and to throughly review the pitch requirements. Give freelancers a chance to ask questions and resolve any confusion about the direction pitches should take.

  4. Request new talent if necessary and remove those freelancers from your team who submitted subpar ideas or none at all.

If you have a managing editor on your account, consult with them on the best course of action.



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