What Nobody Tells You About Writing a Successful Guest Post Pitch

Successful guest post pitch

Image courtesy of Cameron Connor and the Blog Comment Community

You know them already. The unwritten rules that are supposed to all but guarantee you a lucrative guest posting spot. Add in essence of relevant content, sprinkle in some lovely flavoured headlines, and then add a liberal helping of great writing to convince your guest post host to anxiously await the date that they can post it to their blog.

Yet it doesn’t work. Maybe they sent back a polite “no thank you”. Or maybe you got the kiss of death – an empty ringing silence. You to cry yourself to sleep every time you end the day without getting as much as a whiff of a possible guest posting spot.

Of course, any writer or blogger worth their salt knows the importance of guest posting. But what many don’t know is that a good idea and god writing often aren’t enough to get a guest post pitch accepted. In fact, the good guest posters, the ones that you envy as their names get plastered around the internet, have a number of things that they do to almost guarantee that they get the guest post slot long before they ever both to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

These “tricks of the trade” are rarely ever shared with others. It may be simply a case that for many of these great guest posters, they don’t even know that what they do is increasing their likelihood of success. But these tips and tricks can make the difference between success and failure.

Here are 4 things that nobody ever told you about guest posting:

1. Make a personal connection with your guest post host

The person that runs the blog you’re writing for?

They’re kinda important.

Interacting with your guest post host is the most important thing that you can do to raise your chances of getting a guest post slot. Many potential guest posters overlook the importance of having a personal connection with the person running the blog, but it cannot be understated. For example, Danny Iny of Firepole marketing managed to get his first big guest post on Copyblogger, thanks to a personal relationship with one of editors there at the time, Jon Morrow.

Of course, not everyone is going to get a chance to get the inside track to the editor of one of the biggest sites on the internet! Thankfully, it is relatively easy to establish a personal relationship without having to pay to join an exclusive blogging program. One way to doing so is to interact with the owners of the website. By showing genuine interest in them and their business by posting relevant and worthwhile comments, you can almost instantly grab their attention and foster a feeling of familiarity. That way, when they see your email in their inbox, you’re not just another faceless email address, but an actual person who they feel familiar and know about.

2. Wait to send in your pitch

Don’t send in your guest post pitch the first time you notice a blog that you would like to send in a guest post for. Instead, take a few days (or weeks) before you send in that pitch. Go through past articles which will allow you to get a feel for the host and the community. Find out what the blog owner values, and relevant questions or concerns that their community may have. Read through the comments section and make comments yourself. Have a look at other topics the blog owner may have an interest in. When you’ve done all of that, if your guest post idea still stands, then feel free to fire away.

3. Write something new or different

If your guest post pitch isn’t new or different, then there isn’t a point in sending it. People derive value in learning something, and this can only happen when that information is new in some way. Writing another guest post that covers the same points with the same information covered numerous times elsewhere isn’t of any use to the reader or blog owner.

Thankfully, there’s a quick and easy way to get around this. By making your content different in some way, then you will instantly add value to it, making it more attractive to readers. This could be done in a number of ways, for example by writing on your topic from a different topic or angle, or by adding in more information than other articles contain. An article on “how to ride your bike” might be a bit overplayed, but an article titled “what blogging taught me about how to ride a bike” probably wouldn’t be!

 4. Work your way up

Unless you have advanced experience or knowledge in a topic, it probably isn’t the best idea to target the highly popular publications at first. For example, if you’re a new writer with no clips and credits to your name, you probably won’t get that lucrative guest post pitch to Forbes on your first try!

Instead, target the small to medium sized blogs at first. Many of these blogs are just dying to get good guest post content, and being published on them will still serve as a platform to display your expertise. That way, when you do decide to approach the bigger sites, you will then have bona fide examples to show to them that will display your knowledge and experience.


Do you have any guest post stories that you would like to share? Do you need help crafting a guest post pitch? Let me know in the comments section below!

8 comments on “What Nobody Tells You About Writing a Successful Guest Post Pitch

  1. Shan says:

    Hey Daryl. Thanks for these tips on guest posting. It’s a good idea to take your time and get to know the ‘feel’ of the blog and comments before diving in with a request.

    I liked your mention of “working your way up” from small blogs to larger ones. That’s a piece of wisdom.

    I like your writing style – informative without being “in your face” :)
    Shan recently posted…You Can Start OverMy Profile

  2. Hi Daryl,

    Sweet post you wrote. My readers at boomerpdx get encouragement for everything baby boomer and beyond and I wonder if they give up too soon?

    Too many writers, too many people in general, make a goal, take a shot, then accept the negative results and quit instead of using it as a stepping stone.

    Failure in anything has more in common with failure than anything resembling success and it’s hard to see where failing better is a step in the right direction. But it is.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    David Gillaspie recently posted…Older Boomer Means Old. Then What?My Profile

    • Daryl George says:

      Thanks David! The successful people are the ones who continue to try even after they’ve failed, and even my guest post pitches aren’t always successful.

      Unfortunately failing isn’t “sexy” and the story of the people who’ve worked 16 hour days or years without vacation before finally making their big breakthrough often doesn’t make it into the news pages. But you can be assured, almost everyone who is successful has probably failed more times than they could count. Instead of letting that failure get you down use it as fuel to work harder and do better the next time.

  3. Lauren says:

    Hi, Daryl– thanks so much for posting this. I tend to look at failure the same way-as a stepping stone to the real success (but I still need a reminder that other people do that too). As someone just shifting gears from writing a personal blog to trying her hand at real freelancing, this is very helpful.
    Lauren recently posted…Rediscovering Western North Carolina…Part OneMy Profile

  4. Darius says:

    Great post! Making a personal connection with your guest post host is very important.
    Darius recently posted…A Coffee Startup Taking on StarbucksMy Profile

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