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Here’s your flowchart – the specific steps to build the perfect guest post pitch that’s unique to you.
Things worth doing beforehand:
Build a relationship with the editor. Nothing too fancy, though. Just stay on their radar so they know who you are. Twitter and blog comments are more than enough for that.
THE ONE THING TO RULE THEM ALL:
Find the right guest post topic
Identify the current theme of the blog by looking through the 5 most recent posts
- What topics do they cover?
- What’s the common headline structure? (long vs. short, descriptive vs. click baity, etc.)
- How long are those posts?
- What’s the style of the posts? (tutorials, case studies, lists, etc.)
- Is there any particular series going on that tackles a specific sub-niche? (anything out of the ordinary for the blog)
Identify the most popular posts on the blog according to audience interaction
- Look for posts with the most social shares and comments.
- Use tools like Ahrefs, Buzzsumo, Quick Sprout to do this.
- Pay attention only to the posts published within the last 3 months.
Shortcut: Suggest a follow up to an existing popular post. (Note. Doesn’t always work.)
Find the intersection of both of these paths and suggest your headline to cover as many of the common characteristics as possible
Craft your email
Shortcut: Find someone else to make the introduction for you. Either a blogger who has already posted on the site, or even a regular reader of the site.
This is a must: Refer to the blogger by name.
If you want to, reference something they did on the blog, or the products they offer, or anything else that makes the connection personal. (Don’t go with a lame note like “I really enjoyed your last post about HEADLINE.” People can see through that. Better be genuine.)
Write with confidence. (But don’t say anything about how the audience is going to love your post … “Any man who must say, ‘I am the king’ is no true king.” -Tywin Lannister, Game of Thrones)
Prove that you’re the right person for the job:
- Provide thematically related samples of your writing.
- Best if you have links to your articles on other popular sites.
Make it short:
Have just three of the following elements in your pitch, and keep them as short as possible.
You decide which three you’ll use:
- General “hi” message. Just say what the purpose of the message is (that you have a guest post idea).
- Say something about the blogger’s work (see above).
- Provide proof (see above).
- Info about the post/headline. (Optionally: say that the content hasn’t been used elsewhere.)
- “The ask.”
Proofread. Then proofread again.
- Have a good email signature. Make sure that it links to your site and social profiles.
- Use a branded email if you have one (like, “First.Last@SomeCompany.com”, as opposed to “First.Last@gmail”).