Guest posting is a common practice among bloggers and a smart move for driving traffic to your site and building your backlink profile. However, it’s tough to get started, especially if you don’t know how to write a guest post pitch.
Fortunately, once you get the hang of it, nailing your guest post pitches will feel like second nature. It’s all about thinking strategically and knowing your audience. However, you’ll need to consider your audience as both the blog you’re submitting to and the target reader.
At WordCandy, we spend a lot of time writing guest posts for other blogs. In our experience, when it comes to pitching ideas, appealing to everyone along the chain is vital for landing the gig.
In this article, we’ll discuss five key steps we at WordCandy have found helpful in pitching guest posts to other blogs. Let’s dive right in!
How to write a guest post pitch (in 5 steps)
1. Choose your target blog
When you’re desperate for traffic, it can be tempting to rapidly send off guest post pitches to as many companies, multi-author content hubs, and individual bloggers as you can find. However, this strategy is not much different than throwing fistfuls of spaghetti against the wall and hoping it sticks.
The first step to a successful guest post pitch is to choose your target blogs carefully. This can help you avoid wasting time on publications that aren’t a solid fit for your style, content, and ideal audience.
A wise place to start is by looking at…
- The blogs you read.
- Businesses where you currently shop.
Chances are, your target audience may be into the content these entities produce, too. Plus, because you’ll ideally like the publication you’re writing for, you’re more likely to feel motivated to give them your best work.
What’s more, blogs and businesses whose audiences overlap with yours can be a source of long-term future relationships. This means your guest post pitch isn’t necessarily a proposal for a one-time deal. It carries an implicit offer of further work and could lead to additional guest posts or brand deals.
Apart from these types of publications, looking for other blogs that are similar to yours and also have a small following can be mutually beneficial. Chances are other new or small-time bloggers are also eager for a chance to guest post. Offering a post on your blog could help you land one on theirs, although it’s not something we do currently at WordCandy.
2. Research your target blog (and reach out if necessary)
Once you’ve crafted a shortlist of blogs where you’d like to guest post, it’s time to do some research. Even if you think you’re familiar with your target blog, this step is still key. You may know a blog as a reader, but that’s different from knowing it as a writer.
Next, check out their archives and be on the lookout for any gaps in their content you could fill. The best pitches will offer something to the target blog which that blog currently can’t offer – such as your expertise on a subject the blog’s audience is interested in. This is where being an authority within your niche could land you work.
Note information such as:
- Post length
- Image usage
As a guest poster, you’ll probably be able to bring some of your own unique voice to your post. However, your target blog will still want your work to blend in well with their overall content strategy.
If you’re lucky, you may sometimes have sites reach out to you and offer you a chance to guest post. However, more often than not you’ll be the one who has to make contact. At this point, you should be ready to reach out and ask the target blog if they’re interested in working with you.
3. Come up with one or more topic ideas
With any luck, your research will pay off and your target blog will respond to say they’re willing to hear your pitch. This means it’s time for more research – as such, you’ll need to pitch some topic ideas.
Some of the information you’ve gathered in the first two steps will be useful, such as gaps you found in the archives or other subjects related to your niche. However, there are additional features that make up a well-crafted topic idea, too.
For starters, don’t forget about search engine optimization (SEO). Choosing topics with high-volume keywords will show the target blog you know what you’re doing and may incentivize them to accept your pitch, as a well-optimized post will drive traffic their way as well.
Trending topics can also be solid material, provided you have a unique take on them. Stay away from repeating the same information readers can find anywhere on the web and instead put a fresh spin on it.
Unless the target blog has specifically asked you not to, it’s wise to come up with more than one topic idea to pitch. This way if they reject one, there’s still a chance they’ll take another. Three to five ideas is ideal, and any rejected ideas can form part of a ‘pull-list’ for future guest post submissions.
4. Write a concise summary of each idea
Once you’ve chosen the topics you want to pitch, you’ll need to write up a short description for each of them. This should include:
- The post’s headline or title
- An SEO keyword (optional, but potentially helpful)
- Suitable ‘anchor text’ and URL. This is also optional, but will be the lead generator for the post itself, so it pays to heavily consider including it.
- A summary of what the post will include
For the summary, you’ll want to keep things brief but also provide a comprehensive look at what your proposed post will include. Start with a brief explanation of what it will cover, such as “A guide to writing guest post pitches for bloggers.”
You’ll also want to mention any key brands, products, or services you intend to feature. This will ensure you don’t blindside the target blog with links they don’t approve of. Doing so can seem suspicious or potentially spammy, which is the last thing you want.
You might also consider including any key references you plan to cite. This is especially crucial for interview-style posts, for instance. While you don’t need a whole bibliography by any means, a citation or two can make you appear knowledgeable and reputable, and hint at the depth you’ll provide.
5. Submit your topic idea(s) to the target blog
You’re now ready to send your pitches off to the target blog for approval. Make sure they’re formatted in a clear, readable way to avoid confusion. We typically use a format like the following:
- First Headline. [Keyword]. [Anchor text]. A short description of the post, followed by any points of interest we plan to include.
- Second Headline. [Keyword]. [Anchor text]. The post’s short description, then a summary of any important aspects we plan to include.
It’s also considerate to include a little personalized thank-you to the person who will be reading your pitch. Showing that you’re agreeable and easy to work with can make you more desirable as a guest poster.
Finally, keep in mind that – especially on large sites – it can take a while to hear back from your target blog. Online content is fast-paced, so hopefully, they’ll respond to you quickly. However, they also likely have other responsibilities, which could delay their feedback. In short, don’t expect a ‘quick win’ unless you’ve made direct and personal contact with the person in charge of publishing.
Guest posting can help get your blog’s name out into your niche and drive traffic to your site. Learning how to write a guest post pitch is an important skill for bloggers looking to expand their reach.
In this post, we’ve discussed five steps we use at WordCandy to write top-notch guest post pitches:
- Choose your target blog.
- Research your target blog (and reach out if necessary).
- Come up with one or more topic ideas.
- Write a concise summary of each idea.
- Submit your topic ideas to the target blog.
Do you have any questions about how to write a guest post pitch that gets accepted? Let us know in the comments section below!