I recently got the chance to write a publicity article for Foundr, a digital magazine and blog for entrepreneurs and startup founders. Since I started working on the post, I’ve gotten tons of questions about how Foundr works behind-the-scenes.
I thought it would be helpful to interview their awesome managing editor, Jenna Scaglione! She gave me the inside scoop on what it’s like to be a managing editor, the best way to pitch Foundr, and what to do about those tricky follow ups. Check out her full interview below!
What is your role at Foundr and what inspired you to start working with them?
My role at Foundr is to manage the blog and interface with all writers and contributors and take them through the contribution process. I also manage the editorial calendar and ensure our pieces are up to our standards and also get published on time.
I was inspired to work with Foundr because of the quality of content we produce. Before I came on to work with Foundr, I spoke to Nathan, our CEO, about his goals and vision for the blog and I knew then that I wanted to work with him. He has a strong focus on pleasing his customers and audience first with amazing content and that has always been my focus as well with my own company.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Besides working with the awesome Foundr team, my favorite part of my work is meeting so many interesting and amazing people. We have contributors write in from all over the world who are successful in their respective fields and have so much great experience to offer. I learn something from each of them and most are a pleasure to work with.
Could you walk us through the editorial process at Foundr?
Our editorial process is quite extensive as we have so many working pieces that feed into the blog, but I will try to simplify it to explain.
As an overview, we have a 3-4 week process from pitch to publish…rather I should say from final draft to publish. When I work with contributors, I do not schedule any pieces to publish until the draft is final and I have signed off on it. Once the draft is final, it gets scheduled into our calendar and about two weeks before, it gets sent to our copyeditor.
My job is to ensure the piece matches our style, is on-brand and doesn’t need any “big picture” changes. Once it goes to our copyeditor, he does the fine detail work and makes sure the piece has proper grammar and flows nicely. Once copyediting is final, it goes to layout where it gets uploaded to WordPress, the images get enhanced, all of the SEO details are added and approved, and once I sign off on it, it gets scheduled to publish. Once published, it goes through a promotion checklist and added to our weekly newsletter.
What are a few common pitching mistakes that totally turn you off?
I wouldn’t so much call them mistakes, but rather oversights. When pitching myself or any blog editor, one thing you never want to do is rush it. I can tell when potential contributors are just trying to get their piece published and they do not care about our audience. That is a major turnoff.
One of the telltale signs are a lack of following instructions. When I get pitch messages that leave out key items that we stress in our instructions, I may not reply to that pitch. Sometimes potential contributors may get all of the basic requirements into the pitch message, but the topic will not be relevant to our audience. This tells me they did not even read the blog. I usually don’t respond to pitches like this.
“The more you pay attention to what matters to us, the more we can pay attention to what matters to you and get your piece published on our blog.”
– Jenna Scaglione: Managing Editor, Foundr
In your eyes, what makes a good pitch?
A good pitch is one that not only follows all of our directions, but also shows that the potential contributors have read through our blog, digested it and understood our brand enough to write an intelligent pitch.
I would rather a shorter pitch but on-topic and brand-specific, than one that is super detailed, but drones on about topics our readers would not want to read about. Keep in mind that as editors, we receive a lot of pitches and our time is valuable, so the more you pay attention to what matters to us, the more we can pay attention to what matters to you and get your piece published on our blog.
I love helping contributors get published and get exposure! We have millions of social followers and hundreds of thousands of email subscribers the post may get exposed to! But, I also have a job to do and each piece must adhere to our guidelines to get published. All I ask of potential contributors is that they pay attention to our style guidelines and what our blog audience likes in return. We are somewhat strict, but I am pretty lenient with the blog process and work hard with contributors to help them get published. As long as they are willing to work with me and the effort comes from both sides, it’s always a successful process.
One other thing I want to say about this: Some people want to contribute but they are afraid to because they aren’t professional writers. You don’t need to be an experienced writer to get published on our blog. That’s what we have a copyeditor for. 🙂 We are more interested in working with passionate people who want to share their experience and expertise with our audience. I love working with people like this and it’s one of the best parts of my job!
If someone doesn’t hear back from you, what’s the best way to follow up with you?
I don’t mind email follow-ups. But, if I don’t return a contributor form entry message within a few days, that is because I didn’t choose to go through the contribution process with this person for whatever reason. If I get emailed personally with a pitch message, I typically respond either way.
What’s the best way to reach out to you?
If you want to contribute to the Foundr blog, you can view our instructions here.
You can either fill out the form or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with your pitches and information.
You can also find me on LinkedIn here.
There you have it folks, a behind-the-scenes peek at what it’s like to work with Foundr! I hope it’s shed some light on this powerful publication and made the prospect of contributing to an influential blog seem more attainable.
Tell me, what step can you take today to write a guest post for one of your dream blogs? Leave a comment below!