Become a Top Blogger Tips By Mary Jaksch You only get one chance to get a guest post accepted. That’s why writing a good pitch is so important. There are many different ways to write a pitch, but it needs to contain some important factors in order to work. Here is what a good pitch should include: Address the blogger or editor by name. You can usually find the name by reading the About page or by googling the blog. Say why you love the blog you’d like to write for. The best way is to give a link to a post you especially enjoy. Tip: Choose a post written by the blogger, and not by a guest poster. Introduce yourself briefly. Mention your background, what you’re passionate about, and the name of your blog. One sentence should do it. Here is a elegant example: I also hold a PhD in Creative Writing and teach the topic at a UK university, although that’s more of a confession than a boast 🙂 Give a reason why the blog’s readers would benefit from your guest post. Say why the post would be useful. Maybe the topic hasn’t been covered yet, or commenters have asked questions about the topic you’re proposing. Introduce your proposed guest post. Make sure you give it a snappy title and offer the blogger a bulleted outline. Mention that it has not been published anywhere. Check the guest posting guidelines Many blogs have guest posting guidelines. If so, you need to follow them carefully. Make it a no-work offer Bloggers are busy. You could offer to send the post in the body of an email for easy reading, as well as attaching a ready formated html version as a txt file. Like this: If you would like to take a look at my proposed guest post, I could email it to you and attach a txt file with a fully formated html version, as well as some suggested images. Link to one or two of your best posts. The blogger you are emailing will want to know how you write. Link to one of your best posts, making sure the topic is one that would work well for the blog you want to write for. Do a discrete name-drop. If you have landed a guest post on a bigger blog, name the blogger and give a link. Finish with a call to action. You need to state what you would like the blogger to do next. The best strategy is to focus on getting to the next ‘yes’. For example, you could say something like, ‘Please let me know if you would like to have a look at my proposed guest post‘, or ‘ What do you think? Should I send it over?’ If the guest post guidelines state that you should send the proposed guest post straight away, attach two different documents, one in Word (for easy reading, and one as a txt file with all the HTML formatting included Tip: start a new blog page draft (not a post!) on your blog, write and edit your guest post on it, and then copy/paste your html version a txt file. Once you’ve created the .txt file, delete the draft page. Keep the pitch is short. Bloggers are busy and don’t want to wade through a long email. Take a look at the following pitches to see check out whether they include any, some, or all of the features above. They are real-life examples of pitches for Write to Done. Imagine that you are an editor and must decide upon reading the pitch whether to follow up or not. Hi, I am William K… I am interested in writing a guest post for your blog. I would like to know if you accept a post titled as “Tips for writing a perfect marketing plan for an online wholesale enterprise” on your blog. Looking forward to hear from you soon. Regards, … Would William’s pitch go into the trash pile, or would you follow it up? I’m sure you would do what I did with this pitch: Nothing. It’s not worth answering because the sender has just sent out a generic email to a heap of blogs – without even doing the most basic research – which is to find out the bloggers’s name. Another unfortunate aspect of this pitch is that three out of four sentences start with the word I. Another guest post pitch I got was addressed like this: Dear Ali, That was the name of the author of the guest poster whose post was up on WTD at the time. This told me that this blogger didn’t bother to read the About page to find out whom to address. Let’s take a look at another pitch: Hello, My name is Sam M…, chief writer/editor for …com. I’d love nothing more than to share some of my opinions and thoughts with the readers of your blog. If you have any guest author guidelines, don’t hesitate to send those along in the meantime. I look forward to hearing back from you, and hopefully we can figure out a way to work together! Kindly, Sam What do you think about this pitch? A good question to ask is: who benefits? In Sam’s pitch, there is no sense of being in service to the readers of the blog he wants to write for. He’s keen to trumpet his opinions – but what about the readers? How would they benefit? I’m also unhappy about the phrase, hopefully we can figure out a way to work together. I wouldn’t consider working together with someone who sends me a pitch out of the blue. A word that comes to my mind when reading Sam’s pitch is: opinionated. What about this pitch: Hey Mary, I’ve been a big fan of yours for a while now. LOVE your content. So good. I wrote a post the other day called “Instant Flow: How to Train Your Mind to Think Creatively”…and it occurred to me that it would be a great fit for your audience. I know a lot of writers struggle with writer block and I think your readers would get a lot out of it. To get an idea of my writing style, you can check out my recent post over at Illuminated Mind here. What do you think? Should I send it over? Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you, Logan What do you think? Would you take this further? I liked the pitch and Logan got his guest post. The only thing he could have improved is to say that the post he’s proposing is unpublished. That’s a very important point! Here’s another pitch: Hi Mary, I just want to thank you for your wonderful blog. I keep coming back to it for writing inspiration. It’s a tough job to keep a blog going and I truly appreciate it. I have written a blog post about seven resources to take your writing to the next level that I think would fit nicely on WTD. I have attached it here for your consideration. Please let me know your thoughts. Peace, Tabita What do you think about Tabita’s pitch? What was good, and what could she improve? I had a look at Tabita’s guest post and it was well written and informative. I accepted her guest post. The tone of her pitch is lovely. I would have liked to know a bit more about her. Just one sentence would have been enough. And I would have liked to see a couple of links to her best posts. As you can see, the good pitches showed most of the features listed above. If you want to write a guest post for WritetoDone, please check out our Guest Posting Guidelines. What do you think of the pitches above? Please share in the comments below. About the author: Mary Jaksch is Editor-in-Chief at Write to Done. Grab her FREE report How to Write Like an A-List Blogger. Mary has helped thousands of students successfully create outstanding and profitable blogs at A-List Blogging and is the blogger behind Goodlife ZEN.