So you’ve pitched your feature to a submission based site and *crickets* – have you ever wondered who is on the flip side of that submit button? It might be me!
Here are 5 things I’ve learned about running a submission based site, and it’s not always candy rain my friends.
1) Rejections Suck
Nobody wants to be rejected (that’s a no brainer), conversely, nobody wants to do the rejecting. The reason your shoot didn’t get picked up could be one of a bajillion (actual number) of reasons. Your niche doesn’t fit the niche of the blog, the blog has published something similar in the past, the blog is about to publish something similar, we like your work but it doesn’t draw a story line with our current editorial calendar, and so on and so forth.
Why don’t I send an actual ‘thanks but no thanks’? Chances are that even if your submission doesn’t get picked dup, I still appreciate you even considering my site! AND I don’t want to discourage you from submitting your awesome work again in the future. It all boils down to, nobody wants to be the bad guy (especially me), and there is no kind way to go about it.
2) Guest Blogging
Trying to grow your own blog, build your social media and attract your ideal client? A quick Google search will no doubt sing the praises of guest blogging. But here’s the thing with guest blogging, it has to be a mutually beneficial collaboration. Meaning, if you are going to pitch an article to a publication as a guest blogger, what are you ‘bringing to the table’? Do you work in a unique niche where you can draw on your experiences to produce a kick booty post that the publication would not normally be able to produce otherwise?
If your true intent for guest blogging is purely to grow your own audience then your train is on the wrong track and your pitch will be more transparent than rice noodles.
3) Searching for the Perfect Shoot
Sometimes, the pitches don’t always fall directly into my lap. Sometimes (ok a lot of times) I am Insta-stalking an awesome ‘tog who I adore and simply cannot wait to notice me, so I take the first step in reaching out to them. ‘Hey love your work, would you ever considered being featured’, is usually the toned down version of ‘Oh-Em-Gee, I am obsessed with you and I hope you think my site is worthy of featuring your ah-mazing work.’ If you’re ever on the receiving end of this message from a publication, we are not just blowing smoke from your puff stack.
4) It’s a Ton ‘o Fun!!
Searching for features, making connections on Instagram, drawing a story board, running an editorial calendar and emailing vendors!! Nerd Alert!!! It’s such an exhilarating feeling when your finger is on the pulse of the trend watch of the wedding industry, all while celebrating the love story of each couple that you’ve been honored to feature.
5) It’s a Labor of Love
The *ahem* financial side of things is nominal (I’m putting it rather mildly). Income comes in the form of sponsorships & ads, which are typically most beneficial to larger publications. Many of us generate income by working as virtual assistants, social media managers, copywriters, AND still working a ‘full time’ job.
The hours are long and the pay is barely enough to cove a once a week trip to Star-bees. Sometimes I am only propelled forward by fumes and my pure passion to provide a platform to serve as a voice for all of the amazingly awesome wedding vendors out there, who are coincidentally running on the same fumes as me.