How to Pitch a Guest Post and Drive Traffic
If you’re building a business, placing the right guest post can boost your prospects. Plenty of blogs allow readers to submit guest posts. It’s win-win: the blog gets interesting content written by a fresh voice and the writer gets to build their reputation, backlink to their site, and drive traffic.
While lots of blogs want content, lots of business and freelance writers pitch guest posts to them. Some blogs can get as many as 200 pitches a week – 40 every weekday. Your email can easily get lost in the shuffle.
We’ve worked with and been editors ourselves, so we can help you craft a pitch that lands you a post. First and foremost, email the editor directly and don’t waste their time. Don’t drown them in details. Remember those 40 emails per day? Imagine if each was two or three pages talking about their resume, how they found this idea, what they had for breakfast, and so on. You’d skip that email, too.
Try to limit your pitch to five paragraphs at most, sticking to who, what, and why:
- Who – Who are you and why should you write this post? Are you CEO of FancyHats industries? Did you grow up with a dozen purebred dogs? If you’ve got a name in the industry, that may be enough. Otherwise, hone your value proposition into an elevator pitch.
- What – What exactly is this article about? “Five tips to do X” doesn’t cut it. Give the editor a taste of those tips. And no, they aren’t going to steal your idea. They’re too busy as it is.
- Why – Why will this help their readers? Are you making their life easier? Revealing a secret known only to Minnesota hog farmers? Delving into the nuances of celebrity book clubs? In short, why should the reader care?
Once you know the questions to answer, fill in details that answer these questions effectively. Make sure you’re familiar with the blog and what they’ve already covered before starting, especially who has guest posted there before. Do they have a lot of posts from a certain type of person? Check social shares using a tool like SharesMetric to see which articles have gotten the best responses. Use these successes as models – you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Finally, make sure they understand why your viewpoint is valuable. Guest posting works when readers get a fresh new perspective. Let them know exactly why your readers will want to hear from you on this topic. If the blog has covered it before, why is this article different? Give them a juicy headline, so they can see how a reader could get hooked. Better yet, pitch multiple ideas. You have a better chance to hit the more times you shoot.