I recently put out a query through BloggerLinkUp asking
for guest posts. Having used BLU for the past few months and successfully
pitched several blog ideas, I thought hopefully half the queries I’d receive
would at least be somewhat useful and on topic.
Boy was I wrong.
Out of more than 20 pitches, I only used three posts. I was
honestly surprised at the number of poor pitches I received, and because of
that I felt obligated to share some things to avoid when pitching guest blog
post. Hopefully if you’re reading this you know to avoid doing any of the
following, but apparently several aspiring “marketers” need a refresher of what
to do and what not to do.
Don’t be a jerk
Believe it or not, bloggers don’t sit around all day waiting
for guest pitch queries. Shocking, I know. They are busy running their
business, answering emails, managing their day to day operations and answering
guest pitches from other bloggers. Don’t be surprised if it takes a day or more
for them to get back to you. Pestering them every six hours isn’t the best way
to get them to pick you for a blog post. Instead, have some patience and be
respectful. If after a week you haven’t heard back, go ahead and send a
follow-up email. Don’t send them three emails within 24 hours, pestering them
about why they haven’t sent a response to your query. Above all else, don’t be
rude. That’s the fastest way to get your pitch sent to the bottom of the slush
pile – or the trash.
Image courtesy of David Hegarty
Don’t use a template
Anyone who has been blogging for more than five minutes can
spot a stock blog pitch immediately. Don’t put together a template that you send
out en masse. While it is time consuming, make each pitch unique for the site
that you’re pitching.
Don’t wait for the blogger
to give you a topic to write about
Unfortunately, this tends to go along with stock blog
pitches. Don’t send a blogger a “pitch” and expect for them to come up with a
great idea for you to write about. They’re looking for you to generate a great idea and then in return, they’ll give you
the opportunity to publish your blog. You’re pitching them, remember? Don’t
rely on them to give you the ideas.
Don’t pitch something
If you are pitching a blog that focuses on web design or
programming, don’t pitch an idea about baking. While this is an exaggerated
example, you’d be surprised how many bloggers will pitch ideas that don’t fall
anywhere near the topic of the website they’re pitching. Do your research and
see what topics the blogger has written about. This can help you identify any
topics that haven’t been covered already, giving you a great way to present the
blogger with an idea to fill a need they might have.
Don’t bring payment
into the discussion
This works both ways. The people running blogs shouldn’t
require payment for publication, and guest bloggers shouldn’t expect payment
for their posts unless payment has been mentioned as a perk of publication.
Don’t assume you’ll be making money off your writing contributions and instead
use it as a way to show off your writing style, possibly mention your
product/service and (the best part of all) get that coveted link back to your