Guest blog posts put your brand in front of an already established community of readers who may not be familiar with you or what you offer.
With guest blogging, you do not need your own following or even your own website. You are able to borrow someone else’s audience while providing them content that helps to keep their blog relevant and unique. When guest blogging is done correctly, it is a win-win situation.
The Basics of Requesting a Guest Blog Post
Make sure that you have read any instructions they provide for guest post submissions and follow those instructions.
For example, if they only accept submissions through an online form, do not try to email them directly or call them. If they only want posts with a maximum of 800 words, do not offer a 2,000-word post. Make sure you show them that you are paying attention and you are willing to follow the instructions they have taken the time to put together. There is a reason they want guest posts handled a certain way and you should respect that.
The post you want to submit should also be relevant to their readers and be content they can be proud to have on their website. Put yourself in their shoes. They are worried about their website and not your promotion. If they have a blog that talks about politics, for example, they probably do not want a guest blog post on how to start a business.
However, if you use a little creativity, they may be interested in a post about how to start a political consulting business.
This could be relevant content for their readers and a guest post they probably do not have the expertise to provide on their own. Make sure that you put some thought into your post topic and make it something that benefits your target blog and its readers.
Make your pitch personal
It helps if you know something about the blogger and if you have already attempted to connect with them on their blog and social media by liking, commenting, and sharing. This gives you an opportunity to learn about them and for them to know who you are before you pitch them. When you make your pitch, you can refer to the different ways that you have personally interacted with them in your pitch.
Make your pitch specific
Tell the blogger exactly what you want to cover with your guest post. For example, “I want to teach your readers about how they can start their own political consulting business.” You do not want to be ambiguous or leave the blogger wondering what you really want to write about. Giving a title of the post is not enough; you need to be specific.
Explain the benefits
If your post has no benefit to their readers, why should they post it? You need to explain how the post is relevant; do not expect them to make the connection. For example, “Since your readers are very involved in politics, they have a lot of expertise in the political process that they may want to turn into a business. However, they lack the resources or business experience to understand the steps they need to take to start that business. This is where my expertise in starting businesses can help.”
Make your pitch brief
Popular bloggers receive a lot of pitches and they do not have a lot of time to read pitches that are the length of an essay. Show them that you have respect for their time. When you are brief, you also allow the blogger to think about some of their own ideas they can add to the pitch. This could help make getting your post placed more likely.
Do not overly use buzzwords
Your idea should be specific and straightforward. When you use jargon and buzzwords, you detract from what you are really trying to accomplish.
Do not be overly persistent
If you are obnoxious about following up and contacting them, you are less likely to build a positive relationship. Give them time to respond and make sure you always follow the contact guidelines they outline in their instructions.
Guest blog posts can be a powerful tool to help grow your business. Just make sure that you stay on the good side of Google by using guest posts for reasons other than getting backlinks for SEO purposes. In order to successfully take advantage of guest blog posting opportunities, you need to be able to pitch your posts to bloggers and make them want to use your content.
The importance of different pitch elements
• The top 2 reasons why your pitch will get declined is because of grammar and spelling errors and when it is obvious that you are using a mass outreach template (which can also be looked at as the lack of personalization).
• If there is one thing that can save your generic guest post pitch from getting rejected is including an engaging topic description/outline that shows your expertise.
• Two things that editors value the most are interesting topic suggestions and highly personalized emails.
• 20% of editors told us that 90% of pitches they receive are so bad that they do not even bother to read them properly. If we expand our view a bit, we can see that 67% of editors think that every other pitch they get is, well, straight garbage.
• More than 60% of editors don’t like cheap compliments such as “You publish great content…”. One of the reasons for that is probably because those kinds of sentences are often included in many mass outreach templates you can find on the net which again infers lack of personalization.
It is interesting to track how the focus on personalization follows the growth of automation in marketing. It just goes to show you how important it is to carefully choose which parts of your marketing campaigns (and outreach campaigns) you want to automate and which ones you want to personalize.