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 query response
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 off topic
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 website.