Website DIY #7: Pitches/Submissions

How we handle pitches and (anonymous) pitch review.

Our submission process summarized:

We have our submissions page, it had a submissions form (now disabled; but pictured below), and we sent key (but anonymous) info to another app where we’d review the pitches. We’ll elaborate on each step below:

Submissions form

So, like I say, on form submission (with our expensive, paid 😢 WP Forms Pro plugin), we use an add-on to connect to an app called Zapier. Zapier basically lets you connect various apps together with an ‘if this… than that…’ logic (IFTTT, or If This Then That is a competitor in this space, as it happens). Meaning, in our use case, ‘if a submission form is… submitted, then send some of its info – stripped of the name, to keep review as unbiased as possible – is sent to our Trello board for review.

Here is a screenshot of that, blurred out since we are still reviewing some and since we add titles for reference once we know which pitch is our favourite (so don’t want to spoil people’s material):

And then it just goes through the highly-scientific 2-person review process. (We’d love if we were more people, but it’s skeleton crew ’round these parts for now.)

And then we take way too long to give detailed feedback via email on everyone’s pitches, regardless if it’s an acceptance or a ‘we’d love you to repitch’ (which we try to be universally encouraging of – if people read our notes and it shows, we wanted to reward them. No free labour from (potential) contributors and all good vibes is how we try to run things.)

That crappy response time is the #1 thing we’d have liked to have cleaned up. The really caring is looking like you really don’t, or maybe we’re just bad at it.

More in the series

  1. Website DIY #1: Intro & Domain
  2. Website DIY #2: On Starting A ‘Magazine’
  3. Website DIY #3: Site Setup
  4. Website DIY #4: Monetization (Quick Overview)
  5. Website DIY #5: Newsletters
  6. Website DIY #6: Social Media
  7. Website DIY #7: Pitches/Submissions
  8. Website DIY #8: Analytics/Traffic
  9. Website DIY #9: Accessibility
  10. Website DIY #10: Podcasting
  11. Website DIY #11: Equity
  12. Website DIY #12: Email & Responding To Pitches
  13. Website DIY #13: Payments
  14. Website DIY #14: Admin Tools/Apps
  15. Website DIY #15: Networking
  16. Website DIY #16: Audience
  17. Website DIY #17: Stock Assets (Photos/Illustrations)
  18. Website DIY #18: Finances (How To Lose Money!)
  19. Website DIY #19: Wrap Up: Wins & Losses
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