How To Land A Guest Post Every Time

    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.

     

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com. Grab a copy of her free report, How to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet in Less Than 5 Hours. In her “spare” time, Mary’s also the brains behind AlistBlogging.net. and GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • Im grateful for the post.Thanks Again. Cool.

    • Hi Mary,

      This is one of the most helpful articles that I have read on guest posting and pitching and I have read a few.
      I am a subscriber but this is my first comment on your blog, thanks very much

      warm regards

      Carole

    • Liz says:

      Mary,

      If you don’t mind offering your professional opinion.

      Would you accept guest posts where individuals don’t include a resource box, but instead include only a text link to a page on their website in the content of the guest post?

      Liz

    • Steph says:

      Thanks so much for this blog post Mary. I always struggle with how to pitch and probably try to be more formal than is necessary. I always take alot from your posts many thanks,

      Steph

    • Yes, it can be a bit daunting to pitch a guest post, Melanie. What makes it easier is to first become a regular commenter on the blog you want your guest post to appear on. In that way, the blogger may know your name already – even before you pitch your guest post.

    • This post was so useful to me. I have just read an article about the importance of guest blogging in building a readership and following. I was feeling a little disheartened as there are so many blogs out there and not even sure where to start. But this has given me some clear guidelines on how to at least get the ball rolling. Thank you!

    • Vidya Sury says:

      I always enjoy the way you present these tips, Mary and yes, of course I am a big lurker. I love that I can read the entire post in my email. I remember a similar post almost a year ago where you showed examples of pitches that sucked and pitches that worked. One particular line stuck in my head – about the humor part. It was to do with your scheduling someone’s post and I think they referred to your “evil masterplan schedule” … (yes, I am cussed with a photographic memory ;-))

      And.

      Attaching an outline of the intended guest post is a good idea – as is including it in the body of the email for busy editors who don’t want to go opening attachments.

      Love the valuable tips. Thank you!

      • Well, you’ve definitely graduated from lurker to commenter, Vidya. Congratulations!

    • Thanks for this. Guest Blogging is becoming a huge part of what I do and I’ve been searching for info on how to approach it correctly.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Mary,

      You’ve posted some great examples and your ideas on how to respond make so much sense. I get guest post requests often and many of the pitches leave a lot to be desired 🙁

      I’m glad to hear you say there are just some pitches where you would do ‘nothing’. Ahh …now I feel better 🙂

      Thanks Mary,
      Liz

      • If the email is addressed to me personally, I’ll make a point of answering. But if it’s just a generic email… I don’t waste time writing back.

    • Bill Polm says:

      Hi Mary,
      We both know you know what you are talking about. 🙂
      And I still appreciate your tough but patient mentoring.
      I’m glad to see you generously share this with your readers.

      It’s one thing to get this information–fortunate those who do–it’s another to understand it and appreciate its vital necessity, and yet quite another to achieve it–that takes a bit of practice, doesn’t it?

      Regards…

      • Hi Bill, it was fun working with you – and you did really well!

        We’ve now got a new course in the A-List Blogger Club, called “The Art of Guest Posting” . It will help people to really get to grips with guest posting and become confident.

        And yes – it does take practice 🙂

    • Love this and learned so much from it. This is the type of stuff that I love about this blog!

      • Thanks, Ricardo. I really appreciate your positive feedback!

    • Like blog readers, I love lists. This is great. Thanks so much. Beth

      • Hi Beth, the real challenge is to take action. For example, you’re a good writer and could easily come up with a killer guest post for WTD 🙂

    • This is great information! Thanks! I have a question, though, since I have been working on getting a few guest posts out there. You mentioned a couple of times mentioning that the post isn’t published anywhere. One of the ones I’ve been trying to get out there to other blogs is called, “Where have all the morals gone?” and I’ve actually already posted it on my blog. I say that in the message/pitch with a link to my blog so they can view it with pictures. I also attach it in a document. Could people be turned off that it’s already on my blog? The post talks about the lack of morality in the media for teens and then at the end I plug my book as a good alternative. I’m very clear in the email that I have a passion for teens and want to get the word out, so it’s obvious they wouldn’t be the only ones sharing the post. Your thoughts?

      • If you have already published the post on your blog, most blogs will not accept it as a guest post. Remember that a blog would actually be penalized by Google for republishing something.
        So, if you want to be a successful guest poster, make sure you only offer something that’s fresh 🙂

    • Daniela says:

      Although I am long way away from proposing to write a guest post on any blog, this is very useful post. It is clear and to the point. I especially like how it offers practical examples in forms of exercises. Thank you

      • Thanks, Daniela. I think it’s always easier to grasp ideas if you can see an example


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