I have never pitched for guest blogging. If I ever did, I have forgotten – maybe in the late 2000s. But I definitely get pitched on a regular basis.
Mine is a decently successful blog. Therefore, every day I get at least one guest posting pitch. I mostly ignore them not because I don’t want to publish guest posts. I need to regularly publish content on my blog and if I’m getting free content, why not? Especially if it is well written and provides value to my readers.
Why do I ignore most of the guest blog posting pitches? Because they are not directly written to me. They are template pieces. They sometimes don’t even refer to my website properly.
Here is what I recently posted on Twitter:
They don’t even sometimes take enough trouble to go through the blog and try to find out what sort of content I publish.
Hence, even if I don’t pitch for guest blogs, I certainly know how not to pitch. Here are a few things you can do to get a positive response from a blog publisher.
Carefully go through the blog you’re pitching to
Not knowing what sort of content the blogger is publishing and despite that pitching for a guest post can be quite annoying.
People send me pitches for beauty products, cloud-based software, gaming mobile apps, search engine optimization, web design and all sorts of professional fields. Rarely do they go through my blog and send me an appropriate pitch for a blog post title that would be appropriate to my niche – content writing, copywriting, blog writing, email writing, and to an extent, content marketing.
Mention in the subject why you are writing
I won’t pretend that I get a ton of email and one needs to be specific to be noticed. I notice almost every email that arrives in my inbox.
Nonetheless, if you are writing to a very busy blogger, clearly mention in the subject that you are proposing a guest blog post. If possible, even suggest the title although, in the subject line it may be a bit difficult.
Describe why the blog post will be useful to the blog’s audience
Every blogger publishes content for his or her audience. Hence, while talking about the subject you have chosen, describe how the subject is going to help the visitors of the blog and what value it is going to add.
Include samples of your previous writing, preferably published
It doesn’t matter to me, but it may matter to some bloggers. When I find a good guest post idea, I don’t worry much about samples. I simply tell the person to send me the draft along with the author profile. If I like the draft, I publish it, if I don’t like it, I either request the person to revise it, or simply refuse to publish.
Ask if a blogger has a preferred format
I have a particular way of publishing blog posts and even writing them in MS Word or Google Docs. I have a style sheet defined. For example, for the main name of the blog post, I use the title tag. Then for all the headings and subheadings, I use the <h2> and <h3> tags (in MS Word, these can be simply H2 and H3).
I don’t like long, convoluted sentences. I keep the paragraphs preferably short although, longer paragraphs are fine too if they maintain a flow. Up till six months ago I was publishing paragraphs that were just one sentence long. Since then, I have abandoned the practice because it sounded quite phony and just catering to the search engines.
Main points should be described in bulleted points.
Anyway, if you ask for a preferred style, it shows that you care about the blogger’s time and you’re going to send a blog post that will be easier to publish.
These are the basic points. My main gripe is that most of the people pitching for guest posts send a mass email. This is not a good way of approaching a blog publisher, especially someone who works hard at creating focused, quality content.
It hardly takes a few minutes to go through a blog and get the gist of what type of content is being published. Prepare a direct, personal messages. Address the blogger by his or her name. Give an example of the blog post – from his or her blog – you have really liked to strike up a conversation. Again, let it be known that you’re specifically writing to that particular blog and you’re not sending the template message.