How to write a successful guest post pitch

Guest posts are one of the easiest ways to get a good, legitimate link from a high-quality website. Unfortunately, the downside is that it’s also become frequently used by spammers who will mass email website owners incessantly in the hope of getting a link to their website.

As a result, there are fewer guest posting opportunities available and website owners are more cautious about who they respond to. Here are our top tips for not looking like a spammer, plus an email template you can use to contact site owners who offer guest posting.

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Guest posting guidelines

Read the guest posting outlines carefully – And make sure you hit every requirement before you send your pitch. Site owners are often busy, and often end up repeating their requirements over and over again to people who haven’t read them properly before emailing them. Get off to a good start by acknowledging that you’ve read the guidelines.

Check your spelling and grammar – People associate spelling and grammar mistakes with spammers, so triple check your email before sending.

Be personal from the start – Always start the email with the site owner’s name. If you absolutely can’t track it down on their website or via their Twitter account, then start with ‘Hi’ or ‘Hi there’. Never use generic terms such as ‘Dear Webmaster’.

Make direct references – Refer directly to one of their recent blog posts and mention that you enjoyed it, or mention their website name directly. It helps to confirm that the email is personal to them and you’re familiar with the website.

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Include a brief summary – Unless requested otherwise, write a couple of sentences summing up your proposed guest post, and add three or four bullet points with more information. Make sure you check whether they have already posted something similar on their site in the past, or they may just ignore it.

Hit the relevancy mark – Make sure your proposed topic is relevant to their website. If you can’t see it fitting into one of their existing categories, you’ll probably need to rethink. You can always fit a relevant sentence and link in your author bio, even if the rest of the post isn’t as relevant to your own site. Alternatively, you may want to rethink the types of sites you’re pitching to if they don’t seem to be a good fit.

Show you’re flexible – Say that you’re more than happy to write on other topics (give examples) if that’s what they’d prefer to your proposed post.

Include examples – If you’ve written any posts before, include links to them or mention the names of the websites you’ve written for and say you can link them to the articles directly if they would like to see them (some mail clients will reject emails with hyperlinks, so it’s best to keep the list very short if you go down this route). Bonus points if you can stick to the following: a) your better articles b) articles published on well-known sites and c) articles in a similar niche to existing articles on their site.

Tone – Read your email carefully before sending to ensure that you come across as friendly and approachable rather than cold or ‘automated’. It’s important that you get across your enthusiasm for guest posting on their website.

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Guest posting template

Here’s the template I’ve written to pitch for guest posts. Feel free to copy and paste for your own use, or tweak to match your own style. Enjoy!

Hi [name],

I’ve just been reading a few of your posts on [website] (I particularly liked [title of a post]and [title of another post]), and I saw you accept guest posts. I have an idea for a post on [topic] called [title] and I think it would be a really good fit for [their site name].

To give you more of an idea of what the post would be about, here’s a quick outline:

[title, sentence intro and bullet point list]

If you’d prefer me to write on a different topic, I’m more than happy to go with that. Just let me know and we can work something else out.

I saw the guest posting guidelines on your website and just wanted to assure you that the post will sit within your requirements. In the past I’ve worked with a number of site owners to publish guest posts. Examples include:

[brief list of links/information]

If you’re happy to me to go ahead I will start work on the post and send it over to you shortly – let me know!

Thanks for the opportunity,

[your name]

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