When building your online presence, guest posting is the easiest way to get traction for your blog and tap into a brand new, but similar, audience. You get more than new readers – guest blogging brings you quality backlinks, traffic, brand exposure and new connections in your niche.
In this article, we’ll cover the core elements of a successful guest posting pitch and how you can increase your chances of getting published.
First, Do Your Homework
Nothing is more annoying than reading cookie-cutter dry pitches from another eager blogger dreaming of crushing it with guest blogging… When pitching, the first thing you must do is to spell out what’s in it for their site and their readers.
If you truly want a chance to succeed, don’t send out a blind pitch. Take some time to read at least 15-20 posts published on their blog, read the comments, check out their Facebook page and see what their audience is talking about. Consider writing a follow-up post to one of their most popular pieces.
In order for your pitch to get accepted, you don’t necessarily need to propose more of the same content that the blog already has. Instead, a blog often needs content about related topics that showcase your expertise. Don’t try to compete with content already sitting on their site, but instead add more value by expanding on a topic or using a slightly different angle. Think of ways your knowledge or experience would add a fresh perspective to a topic already discussed within their community.
Get To Know The Editor
This is the person you need to impress. Scoop their Twitter or Facebook accounts for clues as to what type of person they are, their interests, their tone and personality.
Let the editor know that you understand their audience and your post could genuinely help their readers. Suggesting topics helps the editor assess if your idea is a good fit and that makes them much more likely to accept your pitch.
Show them why you’re pitching by saying something like “I know your blog accepts guest posts, so I’m reaching out to pitch a topic that I think your readers would benefit from.” This not only shows good manners, but also helps the editor get in the right mood to review your pitch.
Spill The Beans Upfront
Just like successful email marketing campaigns, a powerful guest post pitch starts with a punchy subject line. If you can’t make the editor want to click through and open your email, how can you expect them to want to check out your pitch?
Think about your own email subscriptions – which emails are you most eager to click on? Is it that they make you feel curious, scared or intrigued?
Instead of “Regarding Guest Blogging Opportunity On Your Blog”, think of something more buzzing, like “Hey! I believe your opinion is wrong and I have a contrasting article to prove it.” That would raise some eyebrows and surely will get people to click through.
Write short, snappy headlines and tease them with your idea. A great headline works like a magic key to a secret treasure hunt. It excites and sparks curiosity, making them want to click through to see what’s inside.When Pitching 'Write short, snappy headlines and tease them with your idea.' Click To Tweet
A good headline makes it impossible for the editor to not want to click on it. But obviously, that’s only half the battle because once inside the email, you need to make them see (fast) how the title matches your promise. Use bullets, lists and short paragraphs to summarize your idea, so the editor can get it really quick.
A giant salesy pitch letter won’t necessarily get you the results you want. An effective pitch only needs to include:A giant salesy pitch letter won’t necessarily get you the results you want Click To Tweet
- An introduction to who you are
- A good reason of why your post would be useful to their readers
- A brief list of suggested topics
- Nuggets that their audience will take away
Here’s an effective template you can use:
Subject: your readers would love a post about [your guest post topic]
Hi [editor’s name], as a keen follower of your blog, I think your audience would love to read about [name the topic].
Your previous posts [insert links back to their content] are great, and I’d like to expand/tie them with a fresh post on [name topic].
I know you may be busy, so I’m ready to write the post for you with a quick turn around. You can check out my personal blog at [add your link] to get a taste of my writing.
Please let me know your thoughts. I’ve become familiar you’re your writing style, plus I understand what your readers like as I am one of them.
Look forward to hearing from you,
And here is a quick follow-up template:
[Editor’s name], I am following up to see if you got my message about the guest post on [topic] I sent x days ago.
Regards, [your name]
Guest posting is strongly tied to your ability to sense the readership of your target blogs and bend your writing to match their style. It is also a communication experiment and a market research exercise.Pitching is 'a communication experiment and a market research exercise' Click To Tweet
The success of any guest post is in direct proportion with the value it creates for others. Let your pitch show that value and that can open many doors for you.