Building an effective pitch is always among the first main obstacles in every guest blogger’s career.
I mean, there are just so many possibilities and so many questions to answer.
How long do I make it? Do I send it via email? Should I introduce myself first? Should I include some examples of my work? Should I get right down to business or should I sugar-coat it? Etc. Etc.
These questions are all valid; a good pitch has a lot of elements to it indeed. Plus, the only way to find the one that’s the most effective for you is to just try a lot of different things … and also fail with a lot of things along the way.
So just to help you out with this failing part, I’m presenting the following tutorial on how not to build guest post pitches. Or better yet, how to do them the wrong way.
I find this sort of reversed guide much more enjoyable to read than the standard go-and-do advice. I hope you’ll enjoy it too. But I should probably start off with a short disclaimer: If you want to learn how to write a proper guest post pitch, do the exact opposite of what’s written here.
So here we go, I give you the 10 steps to building the crappiest guest post pitch the world has ever seen:
1. Don’t mention the name of the blogger
When sending your pitch, you could refer to the person you’re sending it to by their name. Absolutely; you could do that.
But who actually has the time to find out what that name is, am I right?!
It’s much quicker to simply start off with something like “hey there” or “dear sir/madam.”
And let’s not forget about the absolute grand slam of email greetings: “to whom it may concern.”
2. Pretend you’re their reader
It’s a common practice to begin your message by complimenting the blogger on their work. People say that it’s just fine and dandy and that it improves your chances of getting through by some percent.
So, yeah, do this!
But don’t spend too much time on it. Just visit the blog, take the newest headline, and in your email say something meaningless like this:
“I’m really enjoying your post on Insert Headline Here!”
That’s all. Just simple copy and paste.
3. Pretend you’re not using a template
Bloggers don’t like receiving template messages, so you need to trick them into thinking that yours isn’t one!
Do this by using the name or the URL of the blog somewhere near the beginning of your email. Like:
“I really appreciate the work you’re doing at http://example.com!”
That should trick them!
4. Use the expression “quality original content” a lot
Hey, that’s what bloggers need, right? Quality content on top of quality content on top of quality content.
So in your guest post pitch, make sure to promise that quality content is exactly what you’re going to deliver.
Don’t go into detail, though. Trying to explain what you mean by quality content is not necessary.
“I’d really like to offer you some quality original content in the form of a guest post!”
5. Say that your post is going to be epic!
Saying that your work is going to be a prime example of “quality content” is not enough, you also need to ensure the blogger that their audience will absolutely fall in love with what you’re going to write.
Be uber-confident about this. This is crucial!
“I’m sure your audience will appreciate this article and share it big time with their friends and family!”
6. Mention the number of words the article will have
Bloggers really do care about numbers of words more than they care about their dogs. Really! It’s the most important parameter of everything they publish.
Plus, you want to set expectations right. If you don’t mention this, the blogger might get mad when you send a post that’s way too short and lacking substance (that’s another thing).
Oh, by the way, keep the number below 500. Writing longer articles takes too much time and requires more planning (not sexy).
So let’s tweak one of the previous examples to mention the word count:
“I’d really like to offer you some quality original content in the form of a guest post (450 words long)!”
7. Make sure you’ll get your links
Let’s face it, you want the links. Why else would you guest post, right?
So just to make sure that everything will go smooth with the post and all, say openly that you expect to have at least two do-follow links (within the post) pointing to your sites.
Plus, don’t forget to mention that the links will have optimized anchor texts (important).
“In exchange for the article, I only require to have two do-follow links pointing to my sites and using optimized anchor texts of my choosing.”
8. Pitch an unrelated article
The method is simple: You can always pitch whatever article to whatever site. True story (soooo many people do this, it’s ridiculous).
The site’s about cooking and you’re a real estate marketer? No problem, a “buy a home in San Diego” -article will look great on a “Baking with Alice” -blog.
Really, don’t sweat over this too much.
9. Slap a really lame subject line on your email
There isn’t even that much to explain here. Your subject line needs to convey what the deal is right away, leaving no place for interpretation (preferably so your recipient can easily identify it in their inbox and mark it as spam right away).
Here are some gold examples:
“Guest post opportunity for http://domain.com”
“[GUEST POST] from Your Name”
“We’ll write a quality original guest post for http://domain.com”
10. Don’t personalize anything
Finally, the one guideline to rule them all!
Never ever personalize anything about your template.
This would take too much time and effort. Just take the template, include the site’s URL wherever necessary, and send it out. The more pitches you send, the better chance you have at getting in!
Remember that you’re basically pitching the same articles, so there’s just no point in personalizing the messages. Be just as blank as hundreds of other guest bloggers before you.
BACK TO REALITY
Here at GBT, we put a lot of effort into constructing our guest post pitches properly, testing new things and optimizing the hell out of every little detail.
But at the same time, the majority of the pitches we receive across our blogs tend to be really poor, to say the least. This brings me to the conclusion that, as it turns out, the “crappy pitch” is actually the industry’s standard.
Granted, using that sort of pitch will still land you a guest post spot probably once in every 200 tries or so, but that shouldn’t be your goal.
You should aim at one in two, not 200.
And this is something you’re only going to be able to achieve if you build your pitch in a way that stands out from the pack. Bringing something unique to the table is the only way to get noticed and achieve the one in two success rate. Unique and honest is the approach that just works, regardless of the market you’re in.