Guest blogging can provide a tremendous opportunity for establishing yourself and your brand within your niche. It’s also a popular tool for building back links from reputable sources. However, pitching a guest posting opportunity can become increasingly difficult the more reputable the source. Pitching a guest blog requires a fair amount of preparation if you want to get accepted. Here are a few things you need to do once you’ve found a blog you want to pitch to.
Become Familiar with the Content
If you’ve done your homework, you should already be familiar with the kind of content that’s on the site and whether it aligns with your own ideas and philosophies. However, there are other things you should learn about the content. Kristi Hines of KissMetrics has a few examples:
What level of audience are they writing for (beginners, intermediate, advanced)?
What type of audience are they writing for? If your business is B2B, then you will want the blog audience for your guest post to be businesses, not general consumers.
What type of content do they write? Is it mostly general concepts or specific, detailed tutorials? Do they like lists?
Also, there is a good chance that the blog you’re targeting already accepts blog posts. Check out how well they do and if they generate engagement in the form of comments and social sharing. If the target blog has a large audience but tends to only pay attention to the blog owner, it won’t do well if your goal is to build traffic back to your site or establish your authority. You’ll also want to identify who has guest posted on the blog already. Check out if you can identify with them as this will be important when you pitch your guest post to the owner.
Ideal Opportunities for Pitching a Guest Post
There’s never a best time to pitch a post since an email sent now might be read later in the day, the week, or not at all. However, there are key things you should look out for that indicate you should pitch a guest post when they arise. According to Kristi, these include:
When the blog mentions you in one of their posts or on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.).
When the blog lists you, your business, or your product in one of their posts.
When the blog specifically advertises they are looking for guest posts.
When the blog publishes another guest post.
Needless to say, if something like this pops up and the target blog qualifies as an ideal guest posting opportunity, pitch as soon as you can.
Some Best Practices When Pitching a Guest Post
Most blogs that accept guest posts already have guest blogging outlines. You will commonly see guest blogging outlines that require a certain number of words and that you conform to a relevant topic. Some will also specify the number of links back to your site they will allow – usually only one or two. In case a blog doesn’t have such outlines, don’t forget to ask about them in your pitch.
Also, never submit a general email that looks like you ripped it off a template somewhere. An email pitch that starts with Dear Sir/Madam is just asking to be ignored. Danny Goodwin says:
Do a bit of research: Find the ‘About Us’, ‘Staff’, or ‘Contact Us’ page on the website or blog/publication you want to write for. There, you’ll likely discover an actual name of a staff member, editor, or webmaster. Show the blog owner or editor a signal that you know who they are. Make it personal.
You should also make it obvious you’ve already put some thought into the article you want to write for them. Ramit Sethi says:
[Avoid] writing the guest post before you pitch me. Please send me multiple story ideas, with bullet-pointed sub-points, and let me suggest the best one for my audience.
Even better, you can pitch a headline with a blurb to give them a better idea of what the article will look like.