There’s an evergreen dispute going on in the guest blogging community. It’s about whether you should pick a target blog and send a finished guest post right away, or maybe start by pitching only the idea first.
This might not seem like a real problem at first, but it quickly becomes one once you start guest blogging on a regular basis.
Even though guest blogging is great on many levels (brand building, SEO, traffic, networking and etc.), the main problem with it is that it simply takes time – make that massive time if you’re targeting some high profile sites.
And not only is writing itself time-consuming, there are also loads of other tasks to do. You have to pitch, wait for a response, follow up, wait for publication, and so on. Sometimes it takes up to 2 months or more to get a guest post published (not exaggerating).
Losing this time and not getting anything in return is kind of tough. That’s why finding the most effective way of pitching your posts matters.
So let’s take a look at the two most popular approaches – sending the post right away vs. sending the pitch first – and try to figure out which is best.
The pros and cons
The first benefit of sending your guest post right away is that you’re simply making the publication process shorter and hopefully, faster.
That’s because you’re removing two steps in the communication process: (1) you don’t send the pitch-only message and (2) you don’t have to wait for a response to that message.
However, there’s also the first drawback. If you email someone out of the blue with an article, you may end up looking like a spammer. I’m not saying that you are one, but if your email looks something like this then you should probably rethink your strategy:
To whom it might concern,
I enjoy your blog very much. I was hoping to interest you with a 400-word unique guest post I’ve written for you. I’m attaching it here.
My bio features two links, it’s important for them to remain intact.
This simply makes you look like someone sending articles left and right all over the web.
So if you go the other way and start with the pitch first, it’s a lot more believable to your recipient that you’re genuinely trying to offer them something of value that can resonate well with their audience. Another benefit is that you can also get some tips and guidelines on how to make your post idea in tune with the blog you’re offering it to.
In the end, the “pitch first” approach will probably allow you to write a better post. But it needs both parties to be involved in the process, which is simply not very possible in the real world.
Going back to the “sending the guest post right away” approach. It has one more drawback worth mentioning. Even if you do everything the right way (write the article specifically for the target blog, stay on topic, talk about the things that are popular on the blog and so on) yet you still end up getting rejected, it’s kind of difficult to send another article after that.
In the end, no matter what words you use, your message will still end up looking like this: “oh you don’t like my post, that’s no problem, here’s another one!” Again, the spammer meter (patent pending) is probably at 70 percent right now.
The issue of time
Let’s beat down on this once again – guest blogging takes time, which is its single biggest drawback.
Now, it doesn’t only take time on your side, but also on the person you’re sending the article to. You see, the only thing they want is to be able to do their work peacefully, and no matter what we like to believe in, our emails are not making their day easier. They’re just another distraction.
In plain English, this means that the less you send, the less painful the process will be for both of you.
And that is a huge point for team “sending the post right away.”
The issue of spam filters
Not seeming like a spammer is one thing, but getting caught by spam filters is another.
There’s so much spam in circulation these days that it actually doesn’t take much for your emails to be flagged as spam.
Sometimes, the sole fact that you’re sending an attachment is good enough.
And this is where team “pitch first” gets a point. If you send a text-only email, your email is much more likely to reach its destination. Then in the second email (the one where you’re sending the article), you’re less likely to be flagged because of the initial successful communication.
The final verdict
So which approach is the superior one (at least from my point of view)? Despite the whole spam issues, it’s sending the post right away. I’ve simply had more successes this way.
Put yourself in the other blogger’s shoes for a moment. If someone emails you with a guest post pitch, they immediately become another task on your to-do list. It’s something you have to handle. You have to say if you’re interested, send some guidelines, tips, and such. This takes time.
However, when you get the article right away, you can make a decision on the spot. I mean, you have the article right there, so you can easily take a look at it and tell if you’re interested or not without adding anything to your to-do list.
Now, let’s tackle one thing that’s maybe on your mind right now. What if the blogger you’re targeting openly says that they prefer to receive the pitch first?
Sorry for being this direct, but personally, I don’t care. The approach of sending the post right away simply works regardless of the specific blogger’s preferences, and that’s the best thing about it.
I managed to secure a handful of guest posting spots despite sending the articles in my first email, against the guidelines. That’s because when it’s all said and done, the process is still quicker and more straightforward if they receive the article up front.
But you know, feel free to disagree. And if you do, please share your opinion in the comment box. My approach is only the result of my previous experiences, but this surely doesn’t make me 100 percent right. So I’m keen to know your thoughts on this.