Guest posting is a great way to create awareness online and should be a part of your content marketing strategy. It’s also the ideal way to boost rankings and drive organic traffic back to your website. But, if you’re just diving into internet marketing, then there are a few things you should know when it comes to pitching a guest post.
Over the past few months, I have received numerous inquiries about submitting guest posts to my website. And, after doing this for clients for several years, I’ve learned a thing or two but, more importantly, I’ve learned what NOT to do.
So, let’s dive in.
Don’t Contribute A Guest Post ONLY for YOUR Personal Benefit
We all know the end-goal with guest posts IS to get brand awareness but the person on the receiving end of your pitch doesn’t need or want to know that.
If it sounds like you’re trying to get free advertising or are just doing it for a link then it’s a total buzz kill. And, I’m not just saying this because it’s how I personally feel but it’s how other bloggers and editors feel too.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
The very first sentence is automatically asking for a link. Big NO NO!
You need to relate to the blogger somehow. Do a little research, read their bio, stalk them on social media and find something; anything. Even if you have nothing common – make something up and include it in the email.
Then, they continue ‘I stumbled across your site while searching for others’…ok, great way to make me feel like 1 in a million – not. You need to make bloggers feel appreciated and build a relationship with them first.
And, as if the first sentence that asked for a link wasn’t enough, we have yet another confirmation of their intent to acquire a link. Ugh, just stab a fork in my neck now!
Don’t make people think
Webmasters and editors already have too many hats to wear and don’t need to put more on their plate. If you’re requesting topic ideas for content, then you’re basically asking the person you’re emailing to put in 20 mins of unpaid time to do YOUR job.
Here’s an example:
While I appreciate this writers expertise in marijuana news, laws and recipes, the majority of editors would much rather receive a few bullet points outlining 3 different topics and a short summary of each. Since you’re making the guest post pitch easier to read and more digestible, odds are – you’ll have a better response rate.
Don’t Forget the Technical Aspects
If you want people to open your email then you need to make them click. Basic subject lines like ‘guest post opportunity’ will most likely get thrown in the trash. Popular bloggers and especially large publications receive hundreds of these kinds of inquiries a day. So, you need to stand out and make the most of your email.
Here’s an example:
One technical aspect that’s important and very overlooked is the email address that the inquiry comes from. The example above came from a Gmail account and not a domain based email.
Just FYI, when you do it this way it’s more likely to get thrown into the spam folder and never be seen. But, an email coming from firstname.lastname@example.org or something similar looks more serious and automatically boosts your credibility.
Another important factor is your signature. Almost all of the emails I receive don’t have a signature. Like everyone else, this is what I am going to look for so I can stalk you. Be sure to include your name, title, URL, business address, phone number, social media profiles and a logo. These are essential to brand awareness.
Provide VALUE to whoever your pitching
Placing your articles on another website is obviously going to benefit you. But, it also needs to be beneficial to THEM, not just your brand.
Do your research, take a look at their blog, understand their audience, and try to come up with topics that are relevant to both industries.
But, make sure where you’re placing your article is going to ultimately benefit you too. When you’re prospecting, make sure the site you plan on reaching out to has a good amount of inbound traffic, a high domain authority, and is attracting a similar audience. Also, check to see if they’ve accepted guest posts previously. If it doesn’t look like it, then don’t waste your time.
Lastly, Don’t Forget to Follow Up!
Almost 99% of the time, I won’t get a response on the first try. But, when I follow up, then they know I mean business. And, even if they don’t respond a second time follow up for a third – you can even try calling. This is totally unexpected but it works! After the third try, consider it pretty much dead.
Instead of randomly sending an email here and an email there, have a spreadsheet set up with columns for the url, domain authority (DA), type, opportunity, email address, date, follow-up, notes/pitch.
It doesn’t have to be set up exactly like this but at least this way it’ll help you keep track of who you’re reaching out to and what pitches went where.
Ever wonder the best way to find exactly who accepts guest posts? Try using these search engine queries:
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “guest blog”
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “guest blogger”
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “guest column”
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “guest article”
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “guest post”
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “guest author”
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “write for us”
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “write for me”
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “become a contributor”
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “contribute to this site”
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + inurl:category/guest
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + inurl:contributors
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “guest blog” +inanchor:contact
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “guest blogger” +inanchor:contact
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “guest column” +inanchor:contact
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “guest article” +inanchor:contact
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “write for us” +inanchor:contact
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “write for me” +inanchor:contact
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “become a contributor” +inanchor:contact
Keyword/yourCompetitorName + “contribute to this site” +inanchor:contact