January 9, 2019
How To Write A Perfect Guest Post Pitch (We Asked 84 Editors)
PV Team

As an agency that uses blogger outreach as the main link building method, we’ve always tried to find different ways to understand what editors want to see in the pitches we send away.

This time, we decided to make a survey and ask them directly what they think how a perfect guest post pitch should look like.

To help us connect with more editors we partnered with Pitchbox, an influencer outreach tool that we have been using ever since we sent our first guest post pitch.

So what did we ask them?

The first part of the survey covered some statistical info about the number and quality of pitches they receive, devices they read them on, how much should you wait before following up and similar.

The second part of the survey tried to distinguish what are the most important elements every guest post pitch should contain, what are the worst mistakes people constantly make, what kind of subject lines they prefer and many more.

The third, and last part, is where we asked editors to leave any advice they want to share with the world. We’ve got a lot of interesting insights from editors that work for top marketing publications, so be sure to read their comments (which are at the end of this post).

Besides the survey results, we decided that this is a perfect opportunity to actually discuss how to write a perfect guest post pitch, based on the actionable data we collected.

Breaking down the statistics of the survey

Before we move on to the numbers, a few words about the survey itself.

As you’ve already figured out from the title, the statistics you are going to see are based on 84 responses. We reached out to medium and high authority sites as those are the ones that you (and we) usually look to get featured in.

Another thing you might be interested to know is that we concentrated on blogs and influencers from the business and marketing spheres. Mostly because these niches are highly saturated with content and have to deal with tons of guest post pitches each week.

Without further ado, let’s check the results!

1) General guest posting statistics

General guest post statistics

One thing that surprised us a little is the number of pitches the editors get each day. You can see that 80% of respondents said they receive up to 10 guest post pitches a day. While the number might seem on the low side, keep in mind that this it is most likely much higher as there are many pitches that end up at wrong addresses and don’t even get to be reviewed properly.

Something that definitely didn’t make us raise an eyebrow is the fact that the number one reason for rejecting contributed content is its low quality. It seems that contrary to politics, fake credentials and making promises you can’t keep will actually not let you get elected – for publishing that is. 🙂

We, for one, are glad that editors insist on quality content as that is the only way to keep this marketing competition fair and reduce the amount of filler content in general.

2) Subject line conundrums

Subject line statistics

Something that was obvious from this research is that editors want to make the submission process as streamlined as possible so they are able to review everything in a timely manner. So everything you can do to speed up the process is a plus.

For example, it seems that the editors in content saturated niches prefer simple subject lines like “Guest post suggestions” so they immediately know why are you contacting them. After all, guest post pitches are not the only thing you would find in their inboxes.

3) The importance of different pitch elements

Different pitch elements

There is a lot of information you can pick up from these graphs but here are 5 things that we would like to highlight:

  • The top 2 reasons why your pitch will get declined is because of grammar and spelling errors and when it is obvious that you are using a mass outreach template (which can also be looked at as the lack of personalization).
  • If there is one thing that can save your generic guest post pitch from getting rejected is including an engaging topic description/outline that shows your expertise.
  • Two things that editors value the most are interesting topic suggestions and highly personalized emails.
  • 20% of editors told us that 90% of pitches they receive are so bad that they do not even bother to read them properly. If we expand our view a bit, we can see that 67% of editors think that every other pitch they get is, well, straight garbage.
  • More than 60% of editors don’t like cheap compliments such as “You publish great content…”. One of the reasons for that is probably because those kinds of sentences are often included in many mass outreach templates you can find on the net which again infers lack of personalization.

It is interesting to track how the focus on personalization follows the growth of automation in marketing. It just goes to show you how important it is to carefully choose which parts of your marketing campaigns (and outreach campaigns) you want to automate and which ones you want to personalize.

How to write a perfect guest post pitch

If you’ve come here to find one exact formula you can use to write a perfect guest post pitch and quickly get featured on top authority sites, then we have some bad news for you.

As every blog…

  • has different requirements
  • gets read by a different audience
  • has different editors that value different things

personalization is the only way to avoid all of those roadblocks.

However, while nobody can give you an exact formula, what we can do is show you which ingredients you need to use and how to mix them together.

1) How to write a subject line

While many guides will tell you that you need to have a clever and bombastic subject line to grab the editor’s attention, our research suggests otherwise.

It seems that editors prefer simple subject lines like “Guest contribution” and “Guest post suggestions”.

Here’s the thing.

Marketing and business niches are aware of how good content can help them maintain engagement on social networks and increase organic traffic in general. Since it is hard to create a high volume of original content in-house, many of them are open to guest contributions.

That means that if you send your guest post pitch to the right address, your message is going to get read disregarding of what you wrote in the subject line. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get creative – it just means you often don’t have to. Additionally, many of these blogs will have guest posting guidelines that clearly state which subject line should you use (which helps them identify who actually read their guidelines).

Now, if you are pitching to a site that doesn’t publish a lot of contributed content or is from a niche where guest posting isn’t an everyday occurrence, having an interesting subject line might increase the open rates of your pitches.

Here are a few ideas for spicing up your subject lines:

  • mention an interesting statistic relevant to the content you plan to write about
  • ask a question relevant to the content you plan to write about
  • mention the topic you want to write about
  • leave a catchy message
  • (ab)use (seasonal) trends
  • mention the editor by name
  • try to connect on a personal note by finding something you have in common

The last thing we want to mention here is that you shouldn’t be concerned with the length of your subject lines. Since an overwhelming majority (over 90%) of editors go through these contributor pitches on desktop computers, trying to shorten your subject line so it can be read on smartphones is just a waste of your time.

2) How to write the body of the email

Before we go into any specifics, let’s take a look at which elements you need to use to build a great guest post pitch.

body of the email

Writing a good guest post pitch is not that hard, as long as you put enough time and effort into research and personalization.

But as the saying goes, nothing worth having comes easy.

The reason why it is important to take your time to write a perfect guest post pitch is that the pitch itself gives an impression of your capabilities and attention to detail.

There are many things an experienced editor can read out from your pitch:

  • the overall structure of the pitch shows if you are capable of structuring your ideas in a logical and an easy to follow the format
  • the absence of grammatical and spelling errors shows you can proofread your content
  • topic suggestions show if you understand what their blog is about and what is their audience interested in
  • examples of previous work and topic descriptions can show if you are capable of writing in an engaging way and indicate that you have the necessary expertise
  • not leaving a link to your website and not mentioning who you work for can be a warning sign that you are trying to hide something (like a brand misalignment)
  • generic pitches that lack in the personalization department can leave an impression that you are not really putting a lot of effort into your outreach campaigns and that you are doing this just to get a link
  • if your pitch doesn’t follow their simple pitch submission guidelines, how can they trust that you will follow the rest of their guidelines?

As long as you put in the effort and care about these details, you are good to go.

3) How to personalize your guest post pitches

Sending out personalized outreach emails is the single best way to improve the success rate of your outreach campaigns.

That being said, doing a bigger outreach effort with limited resources means that you often can’t take your time to write every email from scratch.

The good news is that you can use an outreach tool like Pitchbox to streamline most of your outreach process and concentrate on personalizing the parts of your email that matter.

Here are a few ideas on how you can personalize your guest post pitches:

  • mention the editor by name
  • refer to one of their post you liked and tell them why you liked it
  • adjust topic suggestions to the blog you’re pitching to
  • if you are sending examples of your previous work, try to list content that is relevant to their niche and/or to the topics you plan to write for their blog
  • mention something personal you’ve found out while doing your research (the person they look up to, a conference they attended, places where they find inspiration, things they retweeted…)

Don’t limit yourself with the above suggestions.

Personalization doesn’t have to only reflect your knowledge of the blog you’re pitching to. You can include some elements that showcase who you are:

  • include a meme/GIF/custom graphic in your pitch
  • add a quote at the end of the pitch
  • invite them to check/share your latest guide
  • ask them for an opinion on a certain problem

The personalization is here to show that you’ve put the effort into researching their needs and that you care about the quality of the content that is going to be published under your name.

Alex Gopshtein, Co-founder of Pitchbox, nicely summarizes this:

Do your homework before sending an email. Curate your list, verify that each website you are reaching out to accepts pitches, make sure your content is a good fit, and most importantly, personalize your emails.

Find a way to work research directly into every step of your outreach process. For us at Pitchbox, that means having a defined workflow approach that allows curation, personalization, and sending. Don’t stop at the website level, check out social media to learn more about the people behind the email addresses.

Guest post pitch templates and examples

If you scroll down to read the tips from the editors, you will notice that several of them mention you shouldn’t use guest post pitch templates.

The problem with any kind of copy/paste templates is that they quickly spread around and become generic mass outreach templates.

That is why we decided to go in another direction.

By downloading the lead magnet below, you will get 10 examples of guest post pitches and 3 types of follow-ups you can modify or use as a source of inspiration for writing your own outreach emails.

Here is an example of one simple but effective guest post pitch that we used in one of our projects (the screenshot was taken directly from Pitchbox, that is why the personalization fields have the names they do):

Guest post pitch templates

Note that this pitch is sent to blogs where it isn’t obvious if they accept guest content and where the topics only partially cover what they usually write about. There are a lot of nuances here but it gets easier to thread the line as you gather more experience.

At the end of the day, if you don’t have the necessary skill or resources to do it yourself, consider outsourcing your link building to an agency. Not to toot our own horn, but we are pretty good at it  🙂

Tips from the editors

One of the goals of the survey was to give editors an additional platform they could use to let all of us know what they expect to see in the pitches they get and what are the things you should avoid.

Here are some personal thoughts you can use to make their daily life easier by sending better guest post pitches!

Dario Supan, Content Strategist and Editor at Point Visible

It pays to put a lot of effort into topic descriptions and topic matching (ensuring that the topic is a good fit for the blog and hasn’t been covered recently). Many editors will overlook the fact that you have an average pitch if you have really interesting ideas and a clear picture of what you want to write about. Also, don’t bother suggesting topics you can’t cover at the level required for that blog – you’re just wasting everybody’s time and hurting your brand image along the way.

Alex Gopshtein, Co-founder of Pitchbox

Sometimes a simple follow-up is all that it takes to spark a negotiation that can build into a lasting relationship. There are going to be times where you reach out to someone, you know it’s a good fit, but you don’t hear from them because…life gets in the way. You can’t plan for and accommodate every type of scenario, but with follow-ups, you can level the playing field.

At Pitchbox, we have done big data analysis over the years, and follow-ups, when done right, can increase response rates by over 101%. But we all know that manually following-up is incredibly tedious, so we highly recommend automating the process to save time.

David Campbell, Digital Marketing Specialist at Voila Norbert

Personalization is key. I’ve found that mentioning a piece of content you like from the blog your pitching to can increase outreach success by 50%. Be sure to follow up twice as well after your initial email. Don’t be afraid to contact a few different people in the company you’re actively trying to guest post for.

Robert Katai, Content Marketing Manager at Bannersnack

There are several tactics you can use to win with your guest posting. One an example I stole from Aaron Orendorff: “Here’s my article for you”. But the real catch behind this tactic is a lot of work. So before you start writing the articles and send them to publications, you first have to work a lot on it. Start with a research. Use Buzzsumo to look up on their website: what articles are the most shared, what articles get the most backlinks.

After this, find out the best topic and use a keyword on which one you can build your content (tools to use: Moz Explorer, Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest). Write the content, don’t forget about their guidelines, and make sure you have some strong and powerful content that people will love to read and share.

Marc Apple, SEO at ForwardPush

Please stop sending me the same pitch structure that everyone else has been sending for years. It does not work. I know you’re not a fan of our blog and haven’t been following us for years. Be honest and you’ll get my full attention.

Julia McCoy, CEO at Express Writers

Stop the madness of cold pitching content that isn’t even related to the blog you’re pitching! I can’t tell you the amount of pitches I get that have * NOTHING * to do with what I actually publish on my established blog. It only takes a minute to read over the person’s blog before you pitch them. Also, what happened to proofreading? I see so many grammatical errors in typical pitches that come our way, down to misspelling my name and my brand name, that it’s absolutely horrendous!

Joanna, Editor at Copy Hackers
Don’t overlook any part of a blog’s guest post pitch guidelines. I guarantee the editor will not overlook the fact that you decided to disregard their request and actually make their life harder by doing whatever you wanted to do.

Rachel Blakely-Gray, Content writer at Patriot Software, LLC

To me, guest post pitches are all about establishing credibility and knowledge in a condensed, organized email. I look for these key things when reading pitches: an introduction, at least three original article ideas, and examples of past guest posts.

Sarah Mitchell, Founder at Global Copywriting

I usually don’t accept unsolicited guest posts. I’d much rather invite someone to post as then I know the quality is going to be high and I’ll receive something suitable for my audience.

Here’s the thing; nearly every unsolicited guest post I receive is more about the person sending the query than it is about my audience. Also, following up more than once is a bad idea. All you do is irritate me and make me more determined not to work with you.

Maros Kortis, Head of Marketing at Mangools

Start with research, personalize as much as possible, don’t be too cheesy (I don’t care whether you like my blog or not) and give a reason to publish your monumental piece of content 🙂

Michael Pozdnev, Founder at Iwannabeablogger.com

When creating guest posts, find out which articles of your target get the most search traffic and shares. Great helpers are Ahrefs and Buzzsumo. This study will help you understand topics that are popular and interesting to their audience. Then conduct a topic/keyword research so that your post gets as much organic traffic as possible. Your efforts will be appreciated. When you contact the site owner, write what preparatory work you have done and what advantages your article has.

Remember that the more authoritative resource on which you are going to publish your guest post is, its owner has less free time.

You can also try to be noticed in advance. A good move is to leave a comment and share the latest article. Personally, I like first to send a thank-you email, where I praise the owner/editor and explain why I enjoy their work. Be a kind person! Try to give more than you get.

Danny Goodwin, Executive Editor at Search Engine Journal

Know the publication you’re pitching. Pitching ideas that have already been published on the site is a waste of your time and my time – unless you have some new/unique spin on it. Pitch ideas that are relevant to the audience of the publication. If a topic won’t be a good fit, why bother pitching? Your email is also an indicator of the quality of your guest post. Spelling or grammar errors are a warning sign to editors about the quality of the actual post they can expect. So read, re-read, and self-edit mercilessly.

Also, don’t pitch yourself and then ask ME to give YOU ideas. You’re pitching – so impress me with YOUR ideas. Otherwise, I’ll think you really don’t have any expertise or anything original and interesting to share or say.

Jason, Founder at NIP Source

Pitches should always align with the content and topics discussed on the website. I throw away most outreach emails because the person didn’t take the time to understand my audience, their needs, or the type of content they’re most receptive to.

While marketers might see these guest posts as an opportunity to fill a content gap, you should always think about what impact that might have on alienating your existing audience. Too much thin or fluff content may be the very reason they turn away from your brand.

Andrew Optimisey, Owner at Optimisey

Good outreach is hard. It takes time. And it can be utterly thankless and soul destroying – to send a bunch of emails out only to get no response – leaving you crying into your keyboard. Tools can help you scale but they can’t make you good. Spend the time to do it well. Plan ahead, think about links *before* you create your content. Your tear-stained keyboard will thank you for it.

Noemi Twigg, Editor at FWJ

Write your guest post as if you’re writing for your own site. Make sure you’ll be proud to have your name associated with it.

Juliana Casale, Head of Marketing at Crazy Egg

Guest post pitching is a lot like applying for a job. It’s easy to get frustrated when you don’t hear back, especially when you’re qualified, but think about it from the hiring manager’s (or in this case, editor’s) perspective: they are slammed by terrible pitches, sometimes dozens per week.

 Most of the time editing guest posts is not their sole job, so they have to balance slogging through the queue to find diamonds in the rough with other content marketing tasks like social media, website copy, email, etc. If you’ve truly crafted a beautifully researched pitch, by all means do some digging to find another point of contact at the company, or try another method of communication to get eyeballs on your proposal. But if you’re simply copy/pasting as a numbers game, leave the poor editor alone after the second attempt. You’re making it worse for everyone else.

Emma Labrador, Head of Marketing at OnCrawl

My best tip would be to really know the company you’re targeting and what they’re talking about. In our case, we receive too many pitches that don’t really focus on SEO. Be straight to the point, avoid random compliments like “I’m a huge fan of your blog” and don’t pitch too many ideas but instead give details about each subject. Our favorite guest blogs are articles sharing practical experience and giving actionable examples.

Jason Chow, Site Manager at Buildthis.io

A straightforward and direct approach is important in guest post pitching – be it on the subject or the email content. From my experience, a well-structured pitch gets positive responses – use short sentences and put it in paragraphs. This makes it easier for website owners to “scan through” your email.

Jenna Scaglione, Blog Managing Editor at Foundr Magazine

Editors are your friends and we want to help! We want you to get published and garner some exposure. As long as you follow the directions and you genuinely want to educate our audience with your content, you will get very far.

Mor Mester, Head of Marketing at Automizy

It shines through if the person that reaches out puts some effort in the pitch. General, mass templates can only work if the other aspects (previous work, topic suggestions, etc.) are really great.

Ryan Robinson, Blogger at Ryrob.com

By far, my most common reason for deleting a guest post pitch in 2 seconds is when someone reaches out cold to ask for a guest post without actually providing any value to me first. When someone starts a relationship with me by just immediately asking for something, it’s an instant no for me 99% of the time.

I need to clearly see either some sort of return on my time or a strong possibility that this could blossom into a genuine relationship beyond just a content transaction.

Colin Loughran, Content Creator and Editor-in-Chief of the Unbounce Blog

We get a fair number of pitches that hit the topics we cover but are also aimed at a less informed audience than we’d like to target. (We have our own educational pieces elsewhere and don’t need them in the blog.)

I’d advise anyone making a pitch to read through the latest contributed pieces and discern the audience type – is this beginner material? is it aimed at experts? somewhere in between? – before coming up with a pitch. And if your own knowledge level isn’t where it needs to be to produce something suitable for a particular blog, maybe reconsider pitching to them altogether.

Anthony Santiago, Director of Marketing at Newswire

Relevancy is key. Take a real look at our blog and see if you cover any related topics or if you had a follow-up topic to a blog post which we might consider. Secondly, please link your Linkedin, it’s one step closer in vetting who you are.

Naser Alubaidi, Growth Marketer at Venngage

Guest post pitches these days have been redundant, following the same strategies and being “personalized” in the same general way.

However, a great example that I even shared with my marketing team, was a pitch where the person actually did the keyword research necessary before sending us their guest post pitch. They showed us how easily we can rank for a keyword that our competitors are ranking for and what topic they’ll cover to help us rank for that word. They also mentioned how they’ll help promote it and how many backlinks we need to get to rank on the first page of Google.

This approach works well because it shows that the person is not only thinking about themselves, but they are also considering how you’ll get a possible win by posting their guest post.

Nadya Khoja, Chief Growth Officer at Venngage

I think it’s important to understand the angle/tone of content on a site before pitching a random article. I get tons of pitches from people saying they created an infographic and think it would be a good fit (just because Venngage is an infographic maker). It’s clear they have never actually read our blog and seen the quality of content we publish and frequency at which we publish.

John Zappe, Editor at TLNT

Great pitches and interesting topics guarantee nothing. I’ve bought into a pitch only to be disappointed because the article is on an entirely different topic. Or, more commonly, the writer ignored our guidelines or submitted an article too generic and basic for our audience.

Elizabeth Harrin, Director at Elizabeth-harrin.com

I wish more guest post pitches were transparent. I don’t mind links back to your client or your own website, but I resent not being told who they are at the outset to see if they are a good fit for my readers. I’ve been pitched great topics by good writers with good samples, but when I take the discussion forward, it becomes clear that they want to include a link to a site that is totally irrelevant to my readership.

Outreach and guest posting only works for SEO purposes when search engines can see that there is topic alignment. There’s no semantic sense in my blog pointing to an Australian carpet cleaning firm (yes, that was a real pitch!). I’m good at working in angles when I’m writing for clients, but even I would find that a bit of stretch.

Miles Date, Content Marker at Email Vendor Selection

Don’t lie in your pitch. Many will say they have been a follower for years when obviously this is not the case. Also, don’t pitch a generic or non-matching piece.

Ben Sailer, Content Marketing Lead at CoSchedule

Don’t use generic outreach email templates unless you’re going to sufficiently edit and personalize them for the outlet you’re pitching. I see two or three of the exact same emails from different people nearly every week and they instantly get deleted.

If you want to pitch reputable blogs and publications, forget about automating guest blogging outreach too. I can spot a generic pitch nearly immediately, and it sends the message that you’ve never actually read our blog before (even though your template probably says you “love our content” even though you write about dentistry or something else that has nothing to do with marketing), have no idea what our editorial expectations are like, and won’t follow direction.

On that last point, when an editor or content manager gives you guest blogging guidelines, follow them. I’d put that in bold flashing text if I could. This is the number one reason I often have to send back finished drafts for updates and changes. If you don’t want to put in the work, then don’t pitch. There are no useful shortcuts here.

This may sound harsh, but the reason I’m being blunt is that over 90% of all the pitches I receive are low-effort junk. When you see countless poorly-targeted, poorly written, and ultimately self-serving pitches week in and week out, then something is wrong with the culture, attitudes, and expectations of our industry.

However, this also means that if you do follow direction, put care into your work, and make an honest effort, you’re extremely likely to stand out and make an editors day. A great pitch can often be the start of a strong and lasting working relationship, and the rewards are there for those who strive to do quality work.

Jordan Teicher, Editor-in-Chief at Contently

One of my biggest editorial pet peeves is when pitches just include a list of titles. I always tell potential contributors not to do this, because it suggests you’re throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. (It also doesn’t include enough information on any of the ideas, so I can’t tell what kind of writer you are or how you’d approach the topic.) Coming from a journalism background, I was taught to research the publication and focus on one thoughtful idea.

Sheejo, Inbound Marketer at AeroLeads

Everyone wants to get featured and if you create a win-win situation then the editors will be more inclined to publish or promote your articles.

Galen Gruman, Executive Editor at InfoWorld

We don’t accept guest posts. And people pitching guest posts clearly have no idea of what they are pitching. Rarely are there any details of the pitch, and even rarer do they have any connection to our content focus. It’s clear that these are almost all robo-pitches, not real engagement. Which is why we don’t even look at them anymore.

Brandon Rafalson, Content Marketing Manager at Bizzabo

At the end of the day, it’s about building a relationship. It’s not about being over-solicitous or domineering. Pitch people at eye-level and they are more likely to meet you there.

Emily Sidley, Senior Director of Publicity/Blog Assignment Editor at ThreeGirlsMedia

If I tell you I’m not interested in your guest post idea, don’t pitch the same idea to other people – all pitches are forwarded to me so it shows me you can’t listen. Also, following up multiple times on the same idea drives me crazy. If I don’t reply to your pitch, assume it wasn’t a good fit for us and suggest something new if you want to reach out again.

Natasha, Editor at Insights for Professionals

Don’t make assumptions about the publisher. Nothing irritates me more than when people make broad assumptions and actually tell me what I’m supposed to think when the topic is not even relevant to our audience.

Tom Pick, Digital Marketing Consultant at Webbiquity LLC

#1: Use my first name. It is not “Hi there.” It takes three seconds to find this on my blog.

#2: Visit my blog before pitching me. It has clear rules for guest posts (such as #1 above). If you violate rule #1, I know you’ve violated rule #2.

#3: Do not tell me how you just discovered or stumbled across my blog. It’s been out there for nine years, contains more than 700 published posts, and has won multiple awards. Saying you just now came across it makes both of us look stupid.

iEva Zelca, CMO at AccuRanker

Personalize your pitches. You would not like to be bothered with irrelevant and generic communication, so respect the people you reach out to. Keep it short but personal.

Casie Gillette, Director of Digital at KoMarketing

We have contributor guidelines and an entire page about what is required. If they can’t figure out how to find that and follow instructions, I’m not really interested.

Ann Smarty, Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas

Establish a connection first, then pitch (so your name can be recognized in the inbox)

Sherilyn, Manager at Home Business Mag

Editors love exclusive content! Submit a high-quality (and relevant) article in an initial pitch to a blog and there’s a good chance it will be accepted. It makes the process easier rather than replying back and forth on topic ideas/requirements. Make sure it is not promotional in nature and leave your company link in the bio

Jack, Founder at Vyper

Reach out through Facebook, LinkedIn, our Facebook Group or other channels. Email is becoming saturated and writers need to get more personal and targeted with their pitches. Go for quality, not quantity.

Matt Osborn, Sr. Marketing Manager at Apruve

It goes a long way if someone’s article links to previous blogs on my site – it shows that they have truly done their research and that it was written specifically for me

Joshua Hardwick, Head of Content at Ahrefs

Pitch articles around topics that have organic search traffic potential.

Mike Schiemer, Owner at My Frugal Business

When it comes to accepting guest blog posts, it pays to keep an open mind. A lot of website owners do not accept them, or at least not many of them, and they’ll end up losing a lot of potential traffic. Guest blog posts can generate significant traffic on social media and earn your site some high-quality backlinks over time.

Josh Barney, Director of Content at Einstein Marketer

Make it clear that you actually want to contribute, don’t just chase backlinks.

Andy Crestodina, CMO at Orbit Media Studios

Please never send me a cold email. It’s way better to interact with us on social media first.

Adam Connell, Founder at Bloggingwizard

Stop using garbage templates you found online. The web is full of outreach templates and guest post templates are no different. But none of them should be used. By the time you get to use them, they’ve probably been blasted out to 100,000+ website owners. And chances are anyone you email has probably received the exact same template 10-20+ templates. That means poor conversion rates and wasted time. Who wants that?

Just spend a bit longer and write out your own email. Even if you’re going to use it as a template, it’ll still improve your results. Just be sure to include the important things like; personalization, who you are, your “ask”, sample links, email signature (so people know you’re a real person), etc.

But then you craft your “ask”, go beyond highlighting the benefits of “free content”. Offer to reply to comments, promote it heavily, link back to it in future guest posts, and put some paid promotion behind it – hardly anyone offers this stuff and it should be done more because it’s in everyone’s best interests.

And be sure to focus on developing long term relationships. Most guest bloggers don’t care about nurturing relationships – but it’s those relationships that can get you a boat load of opportunities in the future. Finally, if you want to stand out more than anyone, do some pre-outreach. The quickest way to do this is to get to know bloggers by signing up to their email list and engaging with them before you pitch a guest post.

Karla Renee, Content manager at Lucidpress

Despite the fact that I provide very clear guidelines on what we’re looking for, 55% of guest bloggers ignore it completely and send me an irrelevant pitch. That means half of the pitches I receive get thrown out right from the start, because they didn’t spend the 2 minutes it takes to review our topics of interest.

As for follow-ups, here’s the thing: evaluating guest blog pitches is only part of my job. I’m juggling a bunch of other responsibilities, and I set aside time twice a week to review pitches. I start from the bottom (oldest messages) and work towards the top (most recent). If you keep bumping your message, you’re probably delaying the response.

Cibin K S, Content Marketer at TechWyse

If you pitch a website for guest posting do some background research about the niche and topic that are a good fit for that site. And also describe your pitching topic in brief (a great way to do that is to add the subtopics that you want to cover in your piece). By including this, the editor can easily understand the article structure and let you know if it provides value for their site.

Hendrik-Jan Francke, Lead Strategist at Bright Orange Thread

I dislike the pitch that is clearly sent out to a lot of people but pretends to be personal. If it goes out to a lot of people, I don’t mind. But the faking is the worst.

Roula Amire, Managing Editor at Ragan Communications

Prioritize the audience, not your product (or yourself). Keep your word count down. For the love of Pete, read the publication you’re pitching.

Shane Barker, Digital Strategist, Brand & Influencer Consultant, Shane Barker

The key to writing the perfect guest post pitch is personalization.

If you want to contribute to a blog, then you need to take the time to understand their style. Spend some time on their blog to learn what topics they cover, how they write, and how in-depth their posts are.

Try to build a connection with them through interactive and meaningful comments on the posts you like. You can ask them a question or offer a suggestion of something you think would add value to their post.

Once you’ve built a connection with them, you can approach them through an email. Make sure that your address them very carefully. Your email copy shouldn’t be about you getting a backlink through a guest post. Instead, it should be about how your post will provide value to their readers.

Crafting a good guest post pitch can be difficult. But you can ace at it through personalization, great content ideas, and value addition. 

Survey results (infographic)

Guest post pitch statistics infographic

If you have any questions about the survey or have anything else to discuss, feel free to send us an email or schedule a call.

If you get the urge to republish the infographic, let us know and we would be happy to write you a custom intro!


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PV Team
This post is the result of a team effort, with pointers taking their time to research, discuss, design, and write everything you see on this page. It may or may not be the cause of excessive coffee consumption.


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