Like every blogger on the planet, I receive guest posting pitches. Most of them are awful. And not because the senders don’t know what they are doing. In 70 or 80 percent of cases, they are spammers whose job is to send mass, pre-formatted emails. They don’t even look at your website.
Two years ago, after a long series of those emails landed in my inbox, I decided to call out the practice publicly by creating a blog called Bad. Pitches. Period. There, I share examples of terrible pitches, as well as scams and regular spam.
The result? A majority of the people who contact me now have actually read my guest blogging guidelines. The pitches are better, but also more targeted and personalized. It’s very encouraging.
With that said, I still see many folks genuinely struggle with the guest blogging process.
You do not become a great contributor overnight. Not only do you need to practice, but you also have to follow specific rules.
So, today’s post is a short guide for anyone interested in improving their approach. I hope you’ll find it useful.
- Spend some time on the blog to find out its main topics.
- Read nine or ten posts to understand its style and tone.
- Build a rapport with the blogger. Leave comments under their posts and tag them when sharing their content on social networks.
- Take a gander at the guest posting guidelines (mine are here). If there is none, chances are pitches are not accepted.
Contacting a blogger
- Personalize your email. A “Hello” followed by a name will go a long way.
- Pay attention to the spelling of the recipient’s name.
- Introduce yourself briefly.
- Show that you know the blog and explain why you want to write for it.
- Offer relevant ideas, with a short introductory blurb for each.
- Be polite and professional. Have your email proofread to avoid embarrassing typos and grammatical errors.
- Cut the “crap”. Do not demand anything, resort to praises, or claim guru-ism. Instead, let samples of your writing do the talking.
- End your email with a polite phrase, such as “Best regards” or “Thank you for your time”.
What to do afterwards
- Be patient. Bloggers are usually very busy.
- Wait at least 72 hours before sending a follow-up email.
- No response? The blogger is probably not interested in your ideas. Offer different ones. But don’t be pushy.
What to do when your pitch is accepted
- Write the best article you can. Show off your expertise!
- Make your submission skimmable and easy to read. Short paragraphs (75 words max) work wonders.
- Include pictures and/or other kinds of visuals. For example, if your post features case studies, attach screenshots.
- Secure permission for all the photos you use. And give credit where credit is due at ALL times — even with screenshots.
- Have your content thoroughly proofread before hitting the “Send” button. Glaring typos and grammatical errors will result in a rejection.
- Comply with the blogger’s editing advice. They know their readers better than you.
If your submission is published
- Thank the blogger for the opportunity.
- Ask if they would be interested in another contribution from you in the near future.
- Mention them on social media when you share your article.
- Monitor activity around your post.
- Respond to comments.
If your submission is rejected
- Don’t get discouraged. It happens to everyone.
- Always ask for constructive feedback. You could learn a lot from that experience.