Everyone is trying to secure guest post opportunities nowadays. And who wouldn’t? It is one of the best ways to brand yourself online and show your expertise to the world. If used the right way, it can also help boost your website presence and lead to more potential customers.
However, there are too many people who don’t fully understand the process of guest posting. As such, websites are inundated with so many emails that it is not hard to understand why so many guest post pitches get rejected.
With that in mind, there are a few things you can do to help improve your chances of being accepted as a guest contributor to any website. While this is not an all-inclusive list, these are some of the best ways I found to help you land an opportunity to guest post.
Stop Being Generic
There are too many guest post pitches that are generic. When you do not personalize your pitch, the odds of you being accepted are slim to none. You need to send something that stands out and speaks to the website owner. So why do people send out generic pitches?
It comes down to the “spray and pray” theory. They figure the more pitches they send the more likely they will find someone to accept them. This is true to a point, but it creates a lot of work.
Generally, my acceptance rate for guest posts is around 33%. That means for every three pitches I send, there is one site that responds favorably. This percentage used to be lower, but increased dramatically when I started to personalize each pitch.
Imagine only sending out three emails in order to get one guest post opportunity. That beats sending out hundreds of generic emails in the “hopes” of getting one. It saves me time and is also more satisfying as you start off on a good foot with the publication you want to write for.
A personalized pitch shows that you took the time to read about the publication. It also shows your actual interest and that you are not just there to benefit yourself.
As a rule of thumb, always address the blog owner by name (or the editor you are sending the email to), mention the blog by name (don’t use words like “your blog”) and always say something personal about the blog so that the recipient knows you are not just sending out bulk template emails.
Provide Article Ideas AND Outlines
You will find people telling you to provide sample article ideas in your guest post pitch. This is great, but what exactly does it mean?
Quite simply, don’t just pitch a niche. You need to be as specific as possible. Don’t just provide a topic, but provide a sample article title and outline for your idea. Here is what I mean.
Let’s say you want to write a guest post on a website that deals in marketing (I don’t know, let’s say the website Marketing Insider Group?). When you pitch the site, don’t just say you want to write on “marketing topics.” What you need to do in order to increase your chances of guest posting is to provide something more specific.
It is always good to pitch a specific topic (in this case, let’s say “how to increase your chances of getting your guest post accepted”). Then, pitch a sample title. Finally, create a small outline or bullet point list of items you want to cover within the article.
Why include an outline or bullet points?
Well, there are numerous articles out there about increasing your guest post opportunities. Simply pitching that idea is not going to increase your chances of being accepted. However, if you include specifics about what you are going to write about, you can show the editor that your ideas are different than others already published and it will bring an increased readership to the website.
Hopefully, that all makes sense. Remember that you want to keep your email brief and to the point while still pitching this information. See the image above for an example of how I would pitch this article to Marketing Insider Group.
Follow Up, but Don’t Annoy
You need to become a salesperson when pitching guest posts. In this case, you are selling yourself and need to convince the website owner that your writing is valuable to their audience. After all, it must be beneficial for them first in order to even consider you as a guest writer.
In 2013, Business News Daily reported on a study from Dartnell Corp. that showed how important it is to follow-up on leads. The results are astonishing and you need to keep them in mind when pitching a guest post.
According to the study, 48% of salespeople give up after the initial contact if they do not close the sale. 72% of the remaining group will give up after the second, with 84% and 90% giving up after the 3rd and 4th attempt respectively.
What does this mean for you?
Well, only half of the people pitching guest posts to the same publication will be following up. Of those that follow-up a second time, only a few of those will follow-up again. If you are someone who does follow-up with your pitch, the likelihood of you being accepted increases due to sheer numbers.
How do you follow-up without annoying?
You have to give it some time between your first and second contact. There is no general rule for length of time, but I suggest a week. Many people are busy and larger publications are inundated with emails. Give the recipient a little time to come up for air before hitting them with a second email.
When you send a second email, don’t just ask if they are interested. Make it about “them,” not “you.” Again, make it personal and pay them a compliment, such as commenting about a recent article you saw since you first pitched them. Always start with the fact that you sent them a pitch, but don’t just make your follow-up about getting an answer.
If you still have not gotten a response, change your pitch. This could be magic.
There is a chance that your first pitch idea just didn’t resonate with the webmaster. As such, simply change your pitch to something else that you think will work for the site. Your second article idea could be the one that wins the job.
Final Thought On Improving Your Guest Post Opportunities
There are many ways that you can improve your chances of getting accepted as a writer for a website. However, these three are the top ways to increase your chances. Make sure to always personalize your pitches, provide specific article ideas, and follow-up with the website you want to write for.
While doing these things will not guarantee your acceptance, they will help you stand out from people who don’t. What are your ideas for improving your guest post opportunities? What have you used that has worked (or not worked)?