Guest posting on relevant and high authority websites is one of the simplest yet strongest PR strategies.
Also known as guest blogging, this technique allows you to solidify your brand’s presence on the internet, establish your social proof, and become a thought leader of your industry. Guest posting also allows you to direct referral traffic and build backlinks to your website from websites with good traffic.
The actual process of writing a guest post blog is easy; after all, you’ll base it on a topic of your industry. The difficult bit is pitching the post in a way that it gets accepted by an editor. The editors of third-party websites and blogs are swamped with guest post pitches – so you need to make sure your pitch stands out in order for it to convert.
At ContentNinja, we’ve successfully pitched many guest posts on behalf of our clients and for ourselves and have closely followed all the acceptance and rejections. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to writing a guest post pitch, our experience suggests that there are a few things that most definitely should be kept in mind.
In this article, let’s walk you through some such things required to craft the perfect guest post pitch.
But, before you send your guest post pitch…
Since the editor who will read your pitch will probably not spend a lot of energy into understanding your topic and the article you’re pitching – the onus is on you to be clear about what you’re pitching from the first mail itself. So, before you sit to draft the guest post pitch email, you must have complete clarity of your topic and what you’re going to write.
Here’s what you can do to ensure you’re all set to write the pitch email.
It all starts with researching. Supposing you have a publication and an editor in mind, you’ll first look for the kind of articles the publication accepts. Then, you’ll check what kind of blogs have been written on the topic you’re targeting. Then, you’ll research some more on Google and come up with the final blog title. You’ll also need to research the target audience of the blog and mend your article’s tone accordingly.
If you follow the above steps and perform due diligence at each step, you’ll end up closer to getting your article published. After all, if you’ve taken the pain of doing so much research, chances are you’ll hit the bullseye with the topic.
Selecting the topic
To finally select the topic for your article, go through the blogs that have performed well on the platform. You don’t need to check any special metrics – just glance over the number of comments, views, likes, etc., to get a rough idea. These are the posts that have been received well by the audience.
Now, you don’t need to literally talk about the same thing that the top-performing blogs are talking about. There are few things that can be done here:
- Developing an important point that has been mentioned in one of the top-performing posts, but only superficially. Elaborate on it in your blog.
- Talk about the same subject but through different lenses. Bring new perspectives to the table.
- Analyze examples. If a blog lacks practical examples, make a guide dedicated to offering practical tips for the same problem.
If you wish to do something completely different, find an interesting topic related to the genre of the top-performing blog and give it a shot!
Remember that the guest post is not just about the topic; it is also about your brand building. So, you need to assess how to incorporate your specialty and offerings in the blog without making it too salesy. Once you’ve found the perfect intersection of your publication’s requirements, the audience’s requirements, and your brand capabilities, you’ll have a topic that will do justice to the platform you’re targeting.
Describing the topic
When you’re writing the guest post pitch, you’re not required to attach the final draft of the post in the pitch mail itself. However, to improve your chances of being selected by the editor, briefly describing the topic you’ve chosen is advisable. Keep the description to the point and crisp, and just summarize what you have in mind to write. If you have a solid reason for selecting the topic you selected, mention that in the description, too, along with the steps you took to arrive at the topic.
With that settled, we’re now ready to write the guest post pitch!
Crafting an Irresistible Guest Post Pitch
Your guest post pitch must speak to the editor personally while providing all the essential information about you, your idea, and your perceived outcomes. There’s an art in doing this, and if you master it, you’ll increase your chances of converting the pitch. To begin with, let’s look at the various elements of a well-crafted guest post pitch.
Writing the subject line
Many people suggest keeping a clever subject line, including puns or jokes etc., to grab the editor’s attention. However, if this doesn’t come naturally to you and you force the ‘cleverness’ in your subject line, it’ll be pretty evident to the reader. So, it’s okay to not do that at all.
Many editors prefer simple subject lines like “Guest Post Suggestion”, “Gust Contribution. The thing is – marketing and business people know the benefits of good content in terms of maintaining social media engagement and increasing organic traffic. It is always difficult to create high-volume content in-house, so editors would be open to guest contributions. That means – if you send the pitch to the right address, the message will be read irrespective of what you write in the subject line. Additionally, many of the guest posting platforms generally have guidelines that clearly state the subject line you should use (this helps them identify people who actually read the guest post guidelines).
This by no way means that you shouldn’t be creative. It just means you don’t have to.
That said, if you’re pitching to a site that has a lot of writers in the queue, asking to be published, or is from a niche where guest posting isn’t the norm as such, you might want to have a catchy subject line. Here are some ideas you can build on for your subject line, if needed:
- Mention statistics/numbers relevant to the content you’re planning to write about.
- Ask a question related to the content / domain you’re writing on.
- Use seasonal online trends / one-liners.
- Mention the editor by the first name, make it conversational.
Crafting the mail body
A good guest post pitch comes with you putting time and effort into researching first and personalizing later. Nothing worth having comes easy!
The body of the pitch is extremely important as it gives a first impression of your capabilities, including your attention to detail. Include the following elements in your pitch:
- Selected topic
- Reason for selecting the topic
- Brief outline of the blog
- Previous work links (preferably published online)
- Company link
An experienced editor can point out a lot from your pitch, looking at:
- The overall structure of the pitch – to gauge whether or not you’re capable of structuring your ideas in a coherent, easy-flowing format.
- Grammatical and spelling errors – to check your attention to detail, and whether or not you actively proofread a piece before sending it out.
- Examples of previous work – to understand your capabilities and range of writing.
- Topic description – to understand your knowledge of the topic you selected.
Other than this, ensure that you leave a link to your website or the company you work for to let the relationship begin.
We have to stray away from writing generic pitches, so personalization is the name of the game we’re looking at. Personalization shows that you really care about your article getting published and are serious about the topic.
So now that you have the subject line and a rough mail body, let’s personalize it up a bit before sending it out!
Personalizing the guest post pitches
Personalization is the single most important thing towards the success of any content piece. Whether it be your blogs or your outreach campaigns, or even a guest post pitch mail – personalization is the key to succeeding in every content work.
That being said, if you’re reaching out to multiple editors at once – firstly, don’t, and secondly, if you still are, try to personalize each email as much as possible.
Here are a few ideas you can use to personalize your guest post pitches:
- Keep it in a conversational tone, talk directly to the editor.
- Refer to some of the works by the editor and tell why you liked it.
- Talk about the publication, since when have you been following it, what makes this publication worthy of your content?
- If you’re sending previous work samples, make sure they’re relevant to either the topic you’re writing on or the publication’s niche.
- Crack a joke here and there – but don’t overdo it. Read the room.
- Mention anything personal you find out about the publication or the editor while doing your research. It could be about their alma mater, previous work experience, awards received, etc.
You don’t have to limit yourself with the above suggestions. Being a gold-tiered Hubspot Partner Agency, we can have tried numerous ways to make our emails engaging. Think of this as an opportunity for forming a professional relationship. Personalization doesn’t necessarily mean talking in the context of work-related stuff. You can also include various elements to showcase who you are, like:
- Your capabilities deck
- Puzzle or quiz
- Infotainment video related to the domain, etc.
The purpose of personalizing this pitch mail (and any content in general) is to really show the efforts you’ve put in, and you understand and care about the reader and about the content that’ll be published under your name.
Get. Set. Pitch!
If you follow the above-mentioned tips and advice closely, you’ll soon find yourself converting guest post pitches like never before. Get started with reaching out to the editors you were so afraid of sending the first mail to. Go craft a mail that’ll force the editor to talk to you and find out more about your ideas.
Research thoroughly, write empathetically, and propose confidently!
If you’re struggling with writing guest post pitches, guest posts, or any posts at all – we Ninjas are just a call (or a comment, or a form fill, or a friend request) away. If you have any questions regarding the article, please drop a comment below!