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Andrew Russo

Bustle Seeks Writers to Pitch Shareable Social Content for Its Young Female Demo

Just over a year old, Bustle is the women’s lifestyle website that blends hard news with stories about the injustice of Orange Is the New Black’s Emmy snub. The site publishes about 150 stories a day, from listicles to personal essays, with the intention of fostering a “positive and inclusive website for women,” says features editor, Rachel Krantz.

Bustle is actively recruiting journalists, essayists and photographers to join its roster of contributors — especially those who fall into its demographic of 18 to 34 year olds (including recent grads). Editors encourage writers to submit hyperlocal and hyperspecific content that share well on social media. However, as always, it’s important to keep in mind the tone of website. Krantz explains:

A lot of websites might have that feminist perspective, but it might not inform every piece. But we draw the line. We’re not going to do weight-loss content or ads around it, even though that content tends to do very well.

For more information on what to pitch to get the editors’ attention, read: How To Pitch: Bustle.

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SEO and Other Terms to Know for Digital Media Success

As print publications continue to close shop or move content entirely to the Web, more and more writers and editors will need to adapt to the digital landscape. And with this new environment comes a new language every online journalist should know.

At the top of the list is SEO or search engine optimization. No doubt you’ve heard of it. ”SEO… determines rankings in Google, Bing and Yahoo searches,” said Brande Victorian, deputy editor of MadameNoire.com. She added:

It’s sort of this game of picking out keywords that are going to make the content that you write show up in these searches so that you’re getting more page views than anyone else.

Once you have your keywords (another important term) determined, the next step is to incorporate them in your headline, dek and body copy — in a cohesive, natural way. Forcing keywords into your copy won’t fool Google — and does a disservice to your readers.

For more vital words digital journalists should know, read: 7 Terms Every Digital Media Journalist Should Know.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses

Pitch Travel Stories With a Strong Journalistic Hook to Roads & Kingdoms

In a world of listicles and quizzes, Roads & Kingdoms, launched in 2012, seeks to fill a void in travel journalism with a focus on in-depth reporting of destinations. Instead of critiques of new hotels or a roundup of luxe resorts, Roads & Kingdoms delves into the dynamics that affect a region’s culture, politics and economy. It presents travel writing in a more journalistic light. Editor-in-chief and founder Nathan Thornburgh says:

Our target readers are people who are already well traveled and are looking for stories from more distant places they don’t know yet. That, and they like good writing.

Roads & Kingdoms also has partnerships with both Sports Illustrated (for international soccer stories) and Slate (for stories on foreign affairs), so there’s the possibility for freelancers’ work to appear on either outlet in addition to Roads & Kingdoms.

For more information on what editors are looking for in a query, read: How to Pitch: Roads & Kingdoms.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Grandparents.com Seeks Freelance Pitches on Modern Grandparenting

Grandparents.com is a site for the modern grandparent. Its readers are interested in traveling, staying healthy and, of course, finding fun things to do with the grandkids. After all, explains editor-in-chief Ellen Breslau, the average age of a grandparent today is only 52. So freelancers interested in pitching the site should steer clear of stories on hearing aids or assisted living.

Instead, Breslau says she wants “more health stories and smart takes on financial matters, such as estate planning or the best part-time jobs for baby boomers.” You should also note:

Articles typically average 500 words and include one to two expert sources. Slide shows are another popular format on the website and should be made up of quick, easily digestible tips. The tone is conversational — “as if your best friend or neighbor were speaking to you,” says Breslau.

For more details on what to pitch the site, read: How to Pitch: Grandparents.com.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

The Root Seeks Smart, Timely Pieces Affecting African-Americans for Its 60/60 News Cycle

Time has seen the news evolve from monthly and weekly reports on current events to the 24/7 news cycle. However, digital outlets like The Root, a hub of news, commentary and analysis from a thoughtful black perspective, aim to satisfy the masses that demand updates on a minute-by-minute basis. Managing editor Lyne Pitts calls this the 60/60 news cycle.

For writers pitching The Root, timeliness is just one component. Pitts recommends that freelancers focus on quality writing and reporting on issues in pop culture, politics and more that affect African-Americans. Stories should be about something current and the tone should be “very reactionary” and “smart in that reaction.”

Pitts adds that:

If you’re thinking it, we’re probably talking about it. That’s the way pitches need to be in terms of timeliness, focus and reaction to what’s going on. If you send me a pitch on Friday about something that happened on Wednesday, we may have already moved on.

For more on what editors are looking for, read: How to Pitch: The Root.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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