Guest posting (or guest blogging) is an important inbound marketing tactic. Publishing your posts as a guest on other blogs is a great way to build quality links and boost the authority of your website/blog. Mind you, guest posts are not meant to be promotional; they should be primarily geared towards educating the audience.
The best places to publish your guest post are on blogs related to your niche that have the categories of readers you are targeting. Make sure the blogs you choose are highly respected in the industry and have high domain authority. There are many high-ranking websites that accept guest posts.
If you have found suitable guest posting opportunities, the next step is to write a convincing pitch. Many guest post pitches get rejected for many reasons, of which the most common are the following:
- The subject line is not convincing enough; the editor does not even open the email.
- The author lacks credibility
- The topic idea(s) are not related to the blog’s subjects
- Blatant disregard for prior guidelines
- The topic is irrelevant to the readers of the blog
Craft a compelling subject line
The problem with ‘Guest post inquiry’ or ‘Guest post idea’ and other similar subject lines is that they feel too bland and come across as generic. Use a subject line that grabs the editor’s attention maximally. After all, what’s the point of a convincing pitch without a compelling subject line?
Check out the following subject lines:
- I’ve got something special for your blog. Check it out!
- Interested in publishing an article about XXX?
- A special guest post proposal for your blog
To create a compelling subject line:
- Keep it simple
- Create curiosity
- Make the value of your email apparent
A proper introduction must succinctly capture the purpose of the email.
One tactic that can give you a great edge is establishing a human connection with the editor by personalizing your email. Include some light praise for the blog but don’t fall into the flattery trap. Effusive comments can come across as insincere or otherwise simply be a huge turn-off.
I read your blog every day, it is totally amazing
Start with something like:
I read and enjoyed the ideas in XXX article and thought you might like to publish a distinct perspective of the same subject.
Why should an editor be interested in publishing your post? Though guest blogging is mutually beneficial for both the publisher and the writer, the publisher is mainly concerned about their audience. Many editors complain that guest posts are too promotional. If you want to promote the awesome product you have built, send a PR pitch to a media outfit instead. Guest posts should be educational.
Your pitch should demonstrate the value that your idea brings to your audience. This may be a completely unique idea, a trending topic, a fresh perspective to a popular subject, or a rejoinder to another post published on the blog.
Improving on the example given in the preceding section, you can tweak the introduction to say:
I read and enjoyed the ideas in XXX article and thought other readers of your blog might like a distinct perspective of the same subject. I would appreciate the opportunity to write a guest post for your blog.
My article will be examining XXX from a XXX point of view. More importantly, I’ll be analyzing the intersection between XXX and YYY. In light of recent trends in XXX, I am convinced that this idea would help professionals in YYY field, many of whom read your blog, transform their XXX.
Of course, it is expected that you must have chosen that particular blog because your target audience includes readers of the blog. Therefore, when suggesting topics, put forward specific topics that speak to the audience. Generalized topics are often too vague or too broad for discussion. Pick a precise topic and show how you will expound on it.
Your content must be what the audience wants, and it must be what the blog wants too.
Follow the Publisher’s Guidelines
Familiarize yourself with the guidelines. For instance, some editors like pitches with a ready post for publishing; other publishers want only topic ideas. Therefore, the rest of your email might go:
My article will be examining XXX from a XXX point of view… Therefore, I’m proposing the following topics for your consideration:
My article will be examining XXX from a XXX point of view… Find attached a link to the draft I have been working on.
Nevertheless, whether or not there are set guidelines, you should read a few posts on the publisher’s website to get a feel of the kind of stuff they publish and the predominant writing style, tone, format, and length of the posts on their websites. In your post, you can even link to some resources on the publisher’s website; this demonstrates that you are very familiar with the blog’s writing.
Pitch topics that are relevant to the overall theme of the blog. Don’t go pitching an SEO topic to a web development website, unless, somehow, you are bringing a perspective that bridges both fields. In essence, research the website. Even if you have been an avid reader of the blog, that’s different from approaching it as a writer.
Prove your worth
Explain why you are the right person to write on your proposed topics. This means putting forward your credentials, attaching past written works related to your pitch, etc.
Also, project confidence in your pitch. This is particularly important if that is your first pitch to that publication. Assume that your idea is good enough to get accepted and pitch with that impression. Be careful not to cross the fine line into arrogance, though. Approach the editor with poise.
A section of your email might go along the following lines:
The article will cover some lessons from my experience and knowledge working as a XXX. Some of my works have appeared in reputable publications like *XXX, YYY, and ZZZ.
*Here, you can link the specific articles you have written to the names of the respective publications.
Another useful tip here is to use a good email signature that contains links to your social media accounts, your personal website, or your brand website, as necessary. Email signatures are a fine way to exhibit professionalism. Sending the pitch via a business email address has the same effect.
Once you send your pitch, allow the editor enough time to review your post. If the guest post guidelines don’t specify a minimum waiting time, give the editor a week, at least, before sending a follow-up email. A follow-up email should be even shorter than the first email.
This simple message is enough:
I understand how busy you are. Have you had the chance to review my guest post idea yet?
If you suspect that the editor has passed on your email (most likely the case if it has been a very long time since you sent your pitch), you may include something like this.
If you’d be passing on my idea, I hope you don’t mind giving some feedback on how I can improve in future.
Note this: no matter how good your pitches are, you won’t always get accepted. But that’s okay. In fact, the average acceptance rate for most writers may not be up to 50%.
Sometimes, pitches don’t get accepted, not because they are not good enough, but because of the publisher’s own constraints. What’s important is that you get enough positive responses.
Take time to edit your pitch over and over again. Particularly look out for grammatical errors. How do you convince an editor that you can write a high-quality article if your pitch is riddled with typos?
Don’t forget that editors are humans too, and they are busy. There are probably hundreds of pitches like yours in the pipeline. Keep your pitch short and sweet, go straight to the point.