Pitching is critical for getting more guest posting opportunities. A Referral Rock survey found that 50 percent of marketers reach out to 1 to 10 websites per month to pitch guest posts, while 27 percent pitch 11 to 25 websites per month. To give you an idea of their success rate, 60 percent end up writing 1 to 5 posts per month, while 27 percent write 6 to 10 guest posts per month.
Great pitching will get your foot in the door time and time again, so you’re consistently writing 6 to 10 guest posts per month, not just 1 to 5. Editors are sick of tired, overused ideas that aren’t relevant or interesting, which means you need to send targeted, value-driven pitches.
If you’re ready to master the art of great pitching, and get more guest posting opportunities in the process, keep these tips in mind next time you’re doing outreach.
1. Pitch Relevant Guest Post Ideas
First and foremost, review the website to understand their brand. Browse blog post headlines and read a few to get a feel for their audience, tone and voice. This may sound obvious, but I can’t tell you how many pitches I’ve gotten that are completely irrelevant to the blog I’m managing.
Funny enough, I’m not alone. According to Influence & Co.’s State of Digital Media Report, 56 percent of editors say they receive content that isn’t a fit for their readership. If you want to get any response at all, the pitch needs to be relevant to the blog’s audience.
When perusing the site, always look for guest posting guidelines. Many blogs have a specific page dedicated to guest posting and adhering to their guidelines shows that you did your homework and respect the editor’s time (many websites have specific guidelines even for pitching).
2. Leverage Your Expertise and Knowledge to Win More Opportunities
When you speak from experience and expertise, you show that you have what it takes to write a post that’s valuable to the blog’s readers. You can always tell when a writer is covering a topic they’re passionate about and well-versed on because the pitch is more interesting. Not to mention, topics that fall within your wheelhouse allow you to back up your claims with real-life wins, case studies, and professional experiences, which also bode well for sending a great pitch.
Don’t forget to include 1 to 2 sentences in your pitch about why you’re the best person to write this piece. Include relevant experience, years in the industry, recent wins, etc.—whatever seems appropriate for the topic.
Read more in my blog post about building thought leadership with guest posting.
3. Send Editors a Unique Guest Post Angle
Do a quick search of the site for articles related to your pitch. If your topics has already been covered in some way, the editor won’t want to publish about the same thing again. Instead, become a master at crafting your pitch by finding a new angle that’s both compelling and fresh. Here are a few examples of how to do this.
Search for related data that can give you a fresh angle.
Instead of: Why Marketers Should Plan Ahead
Pitch: 5 Data-Based Reasons for Creating a Marketing Calendar
Find a personal experience that you can turn into a topic.
Instead of: 10 Tips to Write a Better Blog Post
Pitch: 8 Lessons I Learned From Writing 100 Blog Posts
Spin the idea.
Instead of: How to Improve Your Finances
Pitch: 5 Unknown Hacks for Financial Freedom
To give your pitch more value, include how you’ll reference their related post in yours, as a way to supplement the content. Editors want to have internal links in each blog post (and need to, to maintain great blog SEO), so this can also help you win them over.
4. Pick a Complimentary Blog Topic
If you don’t already have an article idea, use this tactic in reverse, as a way to get more guest posting opportunities. Look for a blog post that’s related to your area of expertise or find one that’s performed well—a good indicator is the number of social shares; use Buzzsumo’s content analyzer tool to find this.
Once you pick the post, brainstorm complementary angles that you can pitch for yourself. For example, if a blog already has a post about evergreen content, you can pitch a post that covers seasonal content with a reference about how you’ll include the blog post that’s already live.
Feeling stuck on blog post ideas? Get my free guide: 30 Catchy Blog Post Titles to Customize
5. Pitch Blog Ideas Based on High-Volume Keywords
High-volume keywords help blogs gain organic traffic for years to come and the goal for most blogs is to increase the site’s traffic and rankings. Get on the editor’s good side by choosing a keyword-work based topi.
If you pitch an article topic with a designated keyword, you speak the editor’s language and show that you care about more than just getting your article live. This makes you a proactive and knowledgeable guest blogger and makes the editor’s life easier—a win-win.
Learn how to do keyword research with your free keyword research guide.
6. Craft a Winning Pitch Email
After writing 700 guest posts myself, I know that getting more guest post opportunities is all about the email you send. Here are a few tips for getting your email right.
- Follow guest posting guidelines for pitching your idea if the site has them. Guidelines often state who to send your ideas to, as well as how to format your pitch—in most cases, your email will be ignored if you forgo this step.
- If you know the right person to reach out to, but don’t see any guidelines, directly reach out to that person to ask if they accept guest authors before sending any article ideas.
- If you don’t know who to reach out to, and don’t know if they accept guest authors, email the best person you can find. Ask to be connected with the person who manages the blog, don’t send article ideas right away.
In my 8+ years of link building and guest posting, I’ve found that the third email option is the one you’ll use 95 percent of the time. Keep it short and sweet to avoid asking a question that the person doesn’t have an answer to, which is an easy way to get ignored or deleted.
7. Don’t Over-Do It When Following Up on Guest Post Ideas
My tried-and-true rule is to send one follow-up email seven days after your initial email. If I still get no response, I’ll find someone else to reach out to within the organization, in hopes of getting in touch with the right person eventually.
Do NOT follow up with the same person 3, 4, or 5 times if you’ve never heard back from them. Not only is this annoying, but it makes your email look like spam. The second I get a third or fourth follow up, I immediately delete it. This is poor practice—the editor isn’t responding for a reason.
If you did get a response, and sent ideas, but the editor is slow to give the yes or no on your pitches, I allow two more follow-ups. The contact has been made, but they may just be too busy to get back to you right away. Keep your follow-ups short, simple and kind—don’t be pushy, or you’re sure to be ignored.
Win More Guest Posting Opportunities With Better Pitching
If you can develop value-driven, unique pitches, you’ll start to get more guest posting opportunities on a regular basis. Don’t know where to start? Let’s connect—I help businesses and individuals alike build their brand authority, SEO and traffic with targeted link building and outreach.