So you read my last post on coming up with topics for guest posts and now you’re brimming with ideas. There’s just one problem. How do you come up with awesome ideas for a blog pitch that will land a guest blogging gig?
The truth is, pitching is pretty straightforward and once you know how to do it, you can easily make this a regular part of your reader outreach.
In this post, I’ll explain how to pitch and what to include in a blog pitch email. When you’re ready to give it a go, download my free email template and customize it to suit you.
Anyone Can Pitch a Post
When I work with authors they usually resist pitching guest blogs initially for the same reason, which is any variation of the following:
- No one knows who I am
- I don’t have any connections to bloggers
- Why would anyone want me on their blog?
In reality, all you need is a great idea for a post and a strong pitch.
Bloggers will be looking for evidence that you can write the post that you are offering (more on that later) and that the post will be of value to their audience. Beyond that, they likely won’t care if you’re a nobody as long as you can offer some level of cred.
If you have, or ever had, a blog of your own, you’ll know that it can be tough to post content consistently. It’s for this reason why many bloggers will be grateful for a guest contribution and won’t be so worried about who you are. It’s what you write that is most important.
Follow Blog Pitch Guidelines!
Some blogs, particularly larger media outlets, have extensive guidelines. Entrepreneur.com, for example, has a page of guidelines that runs to nearly 2,000 words. A quarter of those words are given over to a style guide.
Other blogs, however, will give only the briefest of guidelines. Jane Friedman, for example, has one short paragraph on her Contact page, with a couple of links to guest post pitching best practices.
If the blog you want to pitch has submission guidelines, follow them. Some may ask for a full post, others just an outline. If you fail to follow these instructions, you risk being overlooked regardless of how good your idea is.
Remember, bloggers and blog editors are busy, it’s your aim to make their lives easier. That starts with following the submission guidelines to the letter.
How to Find Submission Guidelines
It can sometimes be tricky to find submission guidelines as they aren’t something that regular visitors to a site need to find easily, so there may not be a handy link in the main menu. If the site is trying to limit submissions, they may also hide them away. In the example below from BW Expert, Dave Chesson's Kindlepreneur site, that information is in the footer at the bottom of the page.
Look for a link in the footer menu or on the Contact Us page. If you can’t find anything, you can also try a Google search for:
[website] + contributor guidelines
[website] + write for us
[website] + submit a guest post
Send a Compelling Email Pitch
So what happens if, despite your best detective work, no submission guidelines can be found? Or what if the guidelines simply invite you to send an email?
Just send an email!
There’s no need to agonize over this email because it’s not going to be very long. Simple and to the point is definitely better than a rambling email that talks about how you came to write a book and how you want to guest post to promote it.
Your email should follow this structure:
- Make it clear in your subject line that you are sending a guest post pitch
- Show the blogger you have done your research/are a genuine fan of their blog and aim to connect with them on a personal level
- Briefly introduce yourself and why you are worth listening to
- Share 1-3 blog post ideas—a headline and a few sentences are all you need unless submission guidelines have requested a full outline
- Include a link to another post you have written and highlight social proof, such as the number of shares it got (if the number was particularly impressive)
- Offer to send a draft or more detailed outline
- After your signature, you can include a bio if you wish
Let’s Dig into Each of These Steps
Your subject line should let the recipient know exactly what to expect in the email. It can follow a format like this:
- Guest Posting on [blog name]: “[proposed headline]”
- 3 Guest Post Ideas for [blog name]!
- Guest Article: [proposed headline] for [blog name]
The job of your opening sentence is to quickly make a connection with the blogger. Let them know that you're a fan of their blog, or that you have done your research and are familiar with the content. Mention a post that particularly resonated with you and why, or perhaps you followed the advice in a how-to post and can share the results. But there’s no need to go overboard.
OK, I know I said earlier that it’s alright to be a nobody, but I don’t believe anybody is truly a nobody. Everyone has credibility points—being an author is a very good one! If you haven’t yet published your first book, the fact that you are writing a book is still a great credibility marker. If you have any certifications or years of experience that are relevant to the blog topic you want to submit, you can mention them here.
Now Comes the Pitch...
Now you're at the most important part of the email, the actual blog pitch. Keep this brief and focus on the key benefits for the reader.
As I said earlier, if the blogger you are pitching likes your ideas, they will want reassurance that you can actually write a great post. It’s a good idea to provide a link or two to previous articles you have written. Mention any stats that indicate they had good engagement. If this is your first guest blog pitch, link to a solid article you have written for your own blog. If you don’t have that either, you may want to send the full post with your pitch so they can get a sense of your writing.
Before you sign off, offer to send a draft of the post or a more detailed outline. You may also offer to send more ideas, but I probably wouldn’t offer all three things in the same email as it may come across as a little desperate.
It’s totally optional, but you can also send a full bio at the bottom of your email. Most likely you will only do this if you have a lot of credibility points that you don’t want to cram into the body of your email.
Want a blog pitch email template? I hear you. Download one right here.
It’s always best to send an actual email if possible, rather than submit a form. Getting into an individual’s inbox means you are less likely to be ignored or your message to fall between any cracks.
If an email address can’t be found on the website, try connecting via social media first. Let the blogger know you have an idea for a blog post and ask for the best email address to send it to.
Get Your Blog Pitch Template
So that’s it! Now you know exactly what to include in your guest blog pitch. Next time, I’ll be getting into the details of writing your post, starting with the headline. Until then, download my guest post pitch template and start pitching!
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