When to Send Article Pitches (and Other Important Emails)

By Stefanie Flaxman

"Forcing a project to completion, you ruin what was almost ripe." – Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

It feels good when you’ve done your research before pitching an article idea to an editor:

  • You know the publication’s audience
  • You know your topic offers value in unique ways
  • You know the editor’s content preferences and pet peeves

But you’re not done yet.

Although hitting the “send” button on your email seems like an inconsequential step in your article pitching process, I recommend pausing before you take that action.

That moment of excited impatience could spoil all the important research you’ve just performed.

Caution: avoid these days of the week

Have you ever suggested a fun activity to a friend, significant other, or family member when they’re in a bad mood, and they immediately decline?

Although they would normally love your idea, you’ve asked them at a time when they don’t want to be bothered.

I compare that experience to submitting an article pitch to an editor on a Friday or Monday.

Friday is a day to wrap up the workweek before the weekend and organize upcoming tasks.

Monday is a day to catch up from the weekend and start juggling pressing priorities.

When you reach out to someone you don’t know, your email might get lost in the hustle and bustle of those busy days. If you’ve worked with the editor before, it still might not be a priority to review your article pitch promptly.

Another warning

My theory about Fridays and Mondays is absolutely not a strict rule. After all, an editor may have requested that you submit a pitch to them on a Friday or Monday.

It’s simply a way to think about reaching out to someone when they might be more receptive to hearing your idea.

Keeping that guideline in mind, I’ve had a high success rate of getting responses from editors over the years.

Short-term and long-term to-do lists

We all have to prioritize our work, and there are two common types of to-do lists.

  • Short-term to-do lists: work that must get done that day … or that week
  • Long-term to-do lists: work that is not a top priority but needs to get done eventually

If you send an article pitch on a Friday or Monday, the editor might want to respond. But as they prioritize their work, your email could end up on their long-term to-do list (or even their I-keep-forgetting-about-that list).

Instead, if you send an important email on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, replying to your email might be viewed as a short-term to-do list item. It’s often a lot easier to tackle work as it comes in once the week is rolling along.

I used the phrase “an important email” above because this advice can also be applied to optimize your chances of reaching anyone (coworkers, managers, dental hygienists, etc.) at a favorable time.

People are people

You’re not sending a message to a continually enthusiastic robot that reviews all of the emails they receive with perfect objectivity and care.

You’re emailing another person … a human being.

Ask yourself:

How important is the content of this email for the recipient? Is it helpful to have this information right now? Or, is it just important to me because of the time and effort I’ve spent crafting it?

If it’s mainly important to you, is there a better time to send the email?

There may not be.

But pausing here gives you a chance to think about whether or not the person may prefer to receive it at another time.

What do you know about their current schedule? Do they have more free time the following week? If it’s an article pitch, would waiting to submit your idea until later in the year be beneficial?

Unless an email is urgent, I’ll wait a few days and then decide if it makes sense to send it or continue to wait.

What if you don’t hear back from the editor?

Of course, there is no guarantee you’ll get a quick reply — or any reply — even if you carefully choose when to send an email.

I like the Two-Week Rule when following up with an editor. One week can go by quickly, but after two weeks, it’s reasonable to check in to see if the editor is considering your topic.

And if you do get a response, it might not be the “Yes” you want to hear.

Pitches that are poorly researched or have grammar errors and typos will likely get marked as spam.

If you submit an article to a publication that doesn’t review unsolicited pitches, you likely won’t get a response no matter how compelling your topic is.

For example, Copyblogger does not currently review unsolicited guest post pitches.

There are also many factors out of your control, so be patient and don’t take any response personally.

Trust the editor’s judgment.

A different publication may be an even better fit for your idea … and a rejection from one editor creates an opportunity to explore other options.

Over to you …

What are your tips for sending article pitches to editors? Are there any days of the week or traps you avoid?

Let us know in the comments below.

The post When to Send Article Pitches (and Other Important Emails) appeared first on Copyblogger.

Source: Copy Blogger

    

The most effective ways to respond to negative reviews

By Amanda DiSilvestro

Customer reviews are one of the most important pieces of your marketing campaign, and research has indicated they may have significant impact on your ranking in search.

In fact, 84% of consumers trust an online review as much as they would a personal referral. However, not all reviews are positive. At some point throughout the history of your business, you’re going to run into negative reviews.

Fortunately, this doesn’t always have to be a bad thing – negative reviews can work in your favor as a business opportunity if you know how to react. Read below to learn the most effective ways to respond to negative online reviews.

Stay positive

Anyone who’s ever worked customer service knows how difficult it can be when a customer is attacking you. A negative review may get you upset, and as a human being your first instinct is to go on the defense, but that doesn’t mean you should become a keyboard warrior and attack the reviewer (unless you’re Wendy’s, of course, who recently spouted off Twitter battles with McDonald’s and customers alike). Unless you’re a multimillion-dollar fast food company, we don’t advise getting snarky.

Approach all negative reviews with a calm, positive attitude. Let the customer know you’ve heard their concerns, but never point fingers. Even if you’re not in the wrong, you shouldn’t make the customer feel like the victim.

It also doesn’t do you any good to simply ignore the review. The general public would prefer you respond than simply ignore the situation. Responding with a positive comeback will show that your business cares about its customers.

Offer a solution

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Sorry won’t cut it”? This is the case when you’re responding to negative comments or reviews. Simply offering an apology to your customer won’t do – a customer will want a solution to their problem. When you’re responding to a negative review or comment, let the customer know how you’ll fix the problem.

Below is an example of a great response that offers a solution. A JetBlue customer tweeted that their in-flight TV was not working. JetBlue immediately responded with this:

This response shows that JetBlue is empathetic towards their customer’s concerns. Then they follow up with an immediate solution.

It’s safe to say this customer appreciated the time this company took to solve their problem in a timely manner. They instantly redeemed themselves and showed their customer’s happiness is their priority.

Reiterate your company’s policies

You may fear that a negative review will make your company look bad. This is only the case should you ignore the review entirely. When you respond to a negative comment, flip the negative to a positive. Use this as an opportunity to reiterate your company’s good qualities.

For example, you can respond by saying, “We’re sorry you had a poor experience. We’ve been doing business for several years and most of our customers leave happy. We’re sorry we didn’t meet your expectations this time around.”

Take the conversation offline

When you receive a negative review online, you should always respond immediately on the same platform. This not only satisfies the original poster, it’s also a public place that all your potential customers will see.

However, some things can’t be addressed online. Issues involving a customer’s personal information, for example, should be discussed in person or over the phone. When addressing these types of negative reviews, provide a direct contact for your customers.

Taking the conversation offline shows that your business will go the extra mile to resolve any customer complaints or issues. However, you should only use this method for severe cases.

Does your company have a customer service line? This can also be a great way to incorporate an offline conversation. In your response, give the customer the line to your customer service department to resolve any issues that can’t be taken care of online.

Approach the customer as a real person

We’ve all experienced the nightmare that is automatic bots. Calling into a customer service line and hearing a robot on the other end is one of the most frustrating situation a customer can go through. Consider this when you’re responding to your customers. Leave out all the industry jargon, and speak to them like they’re a real person – because they are!

When you use plain language and speak to the customer as a human being, you’ll sound more genuine. Chances are, your customers will see you as a human as well, and not just as a business.

Google has also taken measures to ensure that you, the business owner, isn’t dealing with automated customer reviews. This solution is called verified customer reviews, and I’ve previously written about ways that you can use the feature to come out on top.

Ask for an update

If you’ve responded to the customer’s review and solved the problem, don’t hesitate to ask for an updated review. Often times customers will take this upon themselves and either delete or update their negative review. Here’s an example of an updated review after an issue was solved:

As you can see, many review sites, like Yelp, will show that this is an updated review. Once you’ve solved the customer’s issue, politely ask them if they’ll update the review online.

Having trouble thinking of a nice way to ask? Once you’ve followed up with the customer, ask them something such as, “We appreciate your feedback, and would like other customers to know how we’ve solved your issue. Would you mind updating your review to reflect this?”

Always make sure you thank them for their feedback, regardless if they update the review or not.

The takeaway

As soon as you see a negative review, your heart instantly sinks. But no matter how stellar your business is, you’re not going to make everyone happy. A few negative reviews won’t be the end of your business. Use these reviews as an opportunity to showcase your company’s outstanding customer service.

The sooner you rectify any issues your customers have, the sooner you’ll build better rapport with your customer base.

What tactics would you add to this list? Let us know the comment section below.

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer for HigherVisibility, a full service SEO agency, and a contributor to SEW. You can connect with Amanda at AmandaDiSilvestro.com.

Source: Search Engine Watch

    

test didn’t pass yet: how to fix deprecation warning

By User

Initially I had code that had DEPRECATION WARNINGS:

Ruby on Rails: Deprecation Warnings

I’ve changed this code follow some suggestions.
thanks

But I still has one warning.
See the warning and code as below.
How to fix it and got green test?

thanks.

DEPRECATION WARNING: Using positional arguments in integration tests has been deprecated, ETA: 00:00:30
in favor of keyword arguments, and will be removed in Rails 5.1.

Deprecated style:
get “/profile”, { id: 1 }, { “X-Extra-Header” => “123” }

New keyword style:
get “/profile”, params: { id: 1 }, headers: { “X-Extra-Header” => “123” }
(called from block (2 levels) in at /home/ubuntu/workspace/origin/test/integration/following_test.rb:30)
68/68: [=========================================================] 100% Time: 00:00:04, Time: 00:00:04

Finished in 4.25284s
68 tests, 336 assertions, 0 failures, 0 errors, 0 skips

require 'test_helper'

class FollowingTest < ActionDispatch::IntegrationTest

  def setup
    @user  = users(:michael)
    @other = users(:archer)
    log_in_as(@user)
  end

  test "following page" do
    get following_user_path(@user)
    assert_not @user.following.empty?
    assert_match @user.following.count.to_s, response.body
    @user.following.each do |user|
      assert_select "a[href=?]", user_path(user)
    end
  end

  test "followers page" do
    get followers_user_path(@user)
    assert_not @user.followers.empty?
    assert_match @user.followers.count.to_s, response.body
    @user.followers.each do |user|
      assert_select "a[href=?]", user_path(user)
    end
  end
test "should follow a user the standard way" do
    assert_difference '@user.following.count', 1 do
      post relationships_path, followed_id: @other.id
    end
  end

  test "should follow a user with Ajax" do
    assert_difference '@user.following.count', 1 do
      post relationships_path(followed_id: @other.id), xhr: true
    end
  end

  test "should unfollow a user the standard way" do
    @user.follow(@other)
    relationship = @user.active_relationships.find_by(followed_id: @other.id)
    assert_difference '@user.following.count', -1 do
      delete relationship_path(relationship)
    end
  end

  test "should unfollow a user with Ajax" do
    @user.follow(@other)
    relationship = @user.active_relationships.find_by(followed_id: @other.id)
    assert_difference '@user.following.count', -1 do
      delete relationship_path(relationship), xhr: true
    end
  end
end

Source: Stack Overflow

    

object oriented programming differences

By arianpress

I am a beginner programmer that I am newcomer to some concepts like OOP, polymorphism, abstraction and so on,but when I searched google,I faced some questions:

1-python is multi paradigm but java is not.what does it mean?
2-ruby is pure OOP,means everything is objects,but what’s the advantage of this?
3-is OOP in go language is different with other languages like C++?I’ve read that programmers like Thompson and Torvalds didn’t accepted OOP in C++ while Thompson that has made golang, added OOP to it.
4-what are good resources for OOP, polymorphism, abstraction concepts???

Source: Stack Overflow

    

Getting a Force Close in Mpcharts for Onchartvalueselectedlist in android

By Sam

i’ve implemented OnchartValueSelectedlistener for Bar Charts in MpChart Android Library,but whenever i click on something which has no value,it force closes as Null Object Reference,is there any workaround for this?

Here’s my code

barChart.setOnChartValueSelectedListener(new OnChartValueSelectedListener() {
                @Override
                public void onValueSelected(Entry e, int dataSetIndex, Highlight h) {
                    if (e != null)                        
                        get_month_data(e);

                }

                @Override
                public void onNothingSelected() {

                }
            });

I’m trying to do something with the entry,but since even null objects are getting passed,i’m getting a “trying to implement .toString on a Null Object reference” i guess,any inputs would be appreciated

Source: Stack Overflow