The life of a freelancer usually involves sending off pitches to editors and waiting on a response, whereas the life of an editor can often mean sifting through hundreds of freelancer pitches.

While the smallest of details can sometimes be the difference between hearing back or not, Tim Herrera, Smarter Living editor, New York Times says often pitches fall into the categories of great, workable and bad.

To help your pitch fall into the first pile, here are his dos and do nots when it comes to getting your pitch accepted.

“A bad pitch is not the same thing as a bad story idea,” he writes. “But most bad pitches are bad for the same few reasons, and they’re often salvageable with some tweaking.”

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