If you’ve been blogging for more than five minutes, I bet this form email looks awfully familiar to you:
Hi there, My name is [redacted] and I’m sure you get load of people inquiring about this so I’ll just come out with it – I’d love to submit a post for your website blog. If you’re still accepting guest posts, please let me know and I can put together a draft for your approval. Look forward to hearing from you.
And that’s one of the better ones!
Here’s the thing: Guest blogging for other websites is a great way to get your name out there and to earn a little side-hustle income. However, pitches like the above just won’t land the gig.
Let’s take a look at how to craft the perfect guest blog pitch:
- Familiarize yourself with the blog before you pitch. This sounds obvious, I know, but trust me. As Director of Content at BlogPaws, I receive many, many pitches each week, and I’m astounded at how many are inappropriate to the content we publish. If the publication has various sections, identify which one your post fits in and read a bunch of recently published posts to make extra sure it’s the right fit. Get a sense of the style and tone of the site–and replicate it in your pitch. If there are contributor guidelines, read them. It’s a nearly unrecoverable mistake to have the editor shake her head and ask, “Did this person even look at our homepage?”
- Create a compelling email that is both thorough and concise. Capture the editor’s attention with an irresistible hook. One or two sentences should do the trick. Then, show the editor that you are familiar with the site. In a short paragraph–four or five sentences, tops–outline your idea in a way that conveys what you’re going to cover and proves it’s the perfect fit for that blog. End the piece with a couple sentences about you and your background. Don’t include every detail, just the ones relevant to the blog and to the pitch.
- Edit. Then edit again. Then edit one more time. The pitch above has a couple small errors, but many are submitted full of spelling errors and punctuation mistakes. You want the blog editor to realize what a brilliant writer you are–and those mistakes ensure that doesn’t happen! If possible, get a second set of eyes on your pitch before you hit send. Also, familiarize yourself with these 5 Common Grammar Mistakes Bloggers Make, and check for (and fix!) them before you send off that email.
Landing a guest blogging gig can build your portfolio and grow your income. Be thoughtful and careful in your pitch, make sure it’s appropriate to the blog, and you’re sure to land the job!
Your Turn: Have you pitched a blog for a guest post? What helped you land the gig? What advice would you add to this list? Or, share a pitch letter that you’re working on in the comments below to gather community feedback!
Maggie Marton serves as the BlogPaws senior editor. When not hiking with her two pit mixes, Emmett and Cooper, or playing with Newt the Cat, Maggie writes about them (and the pet industry) at ohmydogblog.com and maggiemarton.com.