Guest posting can be an amazing way to grow the reach of your blog, especially when you’re just getting started. You’re connecting with the people you’re pitching, getting in front of a new audience, and giving search engines a new chance to find your content.
Krista here! I’ve written a loooot of guest posts since starting my personal blog. Some of them have paid off with a ton of new email subscribers and followers and some definitely haven’t been worth the effort, so it’s important to be picky about who you’re actually pitching.
But aside from that, pitching can be tricky. I’ll be honest, I hate ignoring emails, but bad guest posts pitches are the ones I ignore the most often. So in case you’re finding yourself getting ignored or turned down, today we’ll go over how to make sure your guest post pitch gets accepted.
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Connect with the person you’re pitching
One of the best things you can do before pitching a guest post is to connect with the person you want to pitch. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but spend a couple weeks casually sharing their content and replying to them every few days on social media. You definitely don’t want to sneak your way into stalker status, but you want them to at least recognize your name when you send an email.
For myself, I assume a lot of the guest post pitches I get are just people sending the same exact message through every contact form they can find, so making a connection on social media first will make sure no one thinks the same thing about you.
Read their blog and join their list
I am always in awe when I can tell someone pitching me hasn’t read a single thing I’ve written – aside from maybe the title of a super old blog post they found on Pinterest.
As someone being pitched, it’s extremely easy to tell if someone actually has a clue about what you do. For example, my personal blog is targeted towards designers, but 80% of the pitches I receive have nothing to do with designers. As you can guess, I don’t say “yes” to many of those people.
Being on someone’s blog and email list before pitching isn’t meant as a way for you to suck up to them, but truly a way for you to get clued in on what they value, who their audience is, and exactly which topics you talk about.
Although being on their list is an extra bonus because you can pitch them by replying to one of their newsletters! We’ll touch on this a bit more in one of our next points.
Pitch something super relevant
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been pitched something for an audience that is way off. So far off, that literally all they’d have to do is read through my homepage or About page to get the idea.
If you can’t think of something that would be truly relevant and helpful to someone’s audience, don’t pitch to them. It’s as simple as that.
But to get ideas, read through their latest blog posts, check out their About page, and join their email list like we talked about before. You’re bound to get a really solid understanding of the types of topics that would compliment the things they’re talking about.
And right along with that, don’t pitch a topic that the person is likely to cover themselves. You’re there to add value that they couldn’t, not invade their space.
Make it personal
I’ve heard a lot of people complain that they’re constantly getting guest post pitches that are clearly canned responses. In fact, sometimes the names aren’t even right!
I’m all for making your life easier and having a pre-written pitch email, but leave space for it to be personal.
That brings us back to being on the person’s email list. When you’re ready to pitch, wait for their next newsletter to come out and respond to that. Take some time to respond to the newsletter topic and then go into your pitch. That shows them both that you really do know who they are (you’re on their newsletter) and that you care about what they have to say (through your thoughtful response).
Give them options
And last, but not least, when you send a guest post pitch, give the person you’re pitching a few different options for post topics. Don’t ask them to pick a topic for you or just include one. Giving options increases the likelihood that they’ll like something they see and give you the go-ahead to start writing.
Go land some guest posts!
Keeping all these things in mind, identify a few people you’d like to send guest post pitches to and start connecting with them. When you’re ready to send your email, come back to this post to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
In the 30(ish) guest posts I’ve pitched keeping these things in mind, I’ve only ever had 1 person not respond. Everyone else said “yes”! So it’s totally worth a small bit of extra effort.
While we’re here, I wanted to let you know that Coded Creative accepts guest posts and would love to see if you’d be a good fit for our audience! Check out our posting guidelines and how to submit a topic here.