Jeremy Morgan

My Blog about Programming, Tech, SEO, Marketing and whatever else I come up with.

How Not to Ask About Guest Blogging


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If you’ve made up your mind about writing guest posts for another blog you’re in for a bit of a surprise. No matter who you are, most people will turn you down or ignore you. Why? because popular blogs are saturated with people asking for stuff, and guest blogging is no different.

That being said there is a right way and a wrong way to approach it and there are things you can do to improve your chances of success when asking.

This article was inspired by an email Michael King from Ipullrank.com posted on Twitter:

Hi,

I have gone through your site and like it very much. I would like an exclusive guest post published on your site.

Since you already publish guest posts from different authors in your niche, I thought it would be nice if I too had an opportunity to present your blog’s readers with something of real value.

I understand the need for unique and well-researched content.

The post will be “Web Development” related of 500+ words. The article will be unique and not published elsewhere on the internet.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely ,

(Name Removed)

Michael posted this email in it’s entirety on Twitter with the following reaction:

Ouch! Is that the result you want? Certainly not. So let’s see what we can learn from this.

First Impression

You have around 3 seconds to get my attention at the most. If I don’t like what I see immediately I delete it. It’s not because I’m a jerk, I have a lot of BS thrown my way from people offering to sell me SEO services for JeremyMorgan.com to the routine email from the African prince looking to smuggle millions of dollars out of the country after the revolution.

It’s at least 90% crap and I don’t spend much time on it. People are hard to reach via email, you’re likely the same are so are most webmasters. If this particular email hit my inbox it would have hit the trash bin, I’ll explain why.

First off it’s most obviously a form letter.

Hi,

What no variable for a name? Ok. Are we chums? Best friends? Have we even communicated before? Even in 2012 formalities still go a long way. And I would hope if you’re asking for something like this you would at least bother to find out my name.

I have gone through your site and like it very much. I would like an exclusive guest post published on your site.

Generic crap that could be said about any website. No specific examples, not even a mention of the subject He could be talking about any website.

Since you already publish guest posts from different authors in your niche, I thought it would be nice if I too had an opportunity to present your blog’s readers with something of real value.

What a steaming pile of sales pitch. Puffery and flower talk is one thing, but the tone of this sentence is just not right. It’s kind of like trying to talk someone into going on a date with you by saying “well since you’ve already dated other guys you might as well date me”. Sounds kind of off doesn’t it?

He then offers a refreshing change, something of real value. It’s as if the other guest bloggers were imitation crab and you’ve just met black caviar. It’s presumptuous and arrogant at the least and a bit insulting at the most. Nothing in the sentence makes me want this person to write on my website.

I understand the need for unique and well-researched content.

Thanks. Could this sentence be any more generic? It seems very form lettery in itself. It’s just bland, voiceless impersonal crap, with a little passive aggressive phrasing to put you off.

Is there any reason you could think of why this would work? You may get a few bites, but for the most part you’ll be ignored.

A Better Example

Now here’s a better example of an email I actually responded to. Out of the emails I received about guest blogging this one was one of the few decent ones.

Hi,
I’m interested in writing a guest post for your blog (jeremymorgan.com). Please review the following sample links of my guest posts, published elsewhere:

( 3 links to relevant content on nice looking sites)

These are just sample links, and I can write on multiple topics, including the topic(s) related to your blog.
Also, please let me know that in which format I may send the post.
Please feel free to ask any questions. Looking forward to your kind reply.

Regards,

(Name Redacted)

Do you see the difference here right away? Here’s a small list of reasons this email is better than the one above.

He mentioned my blog - If It is a form letter at least he bothered to look at my website to grab the url.

Relevant topics - Clearly he knew the general idea of what my site was about, and mentioned it.

Show me don’t tell me - Immediately sent links to similar work, that is relevant and looks good.

Tone was asking not telling - There was no guilt or weird persuasion tactics, just someone asking if they can guest post.

See folks, this is how you do it. You find relevant blogs and just ask them if you can do a guest post. You give them some links to samples of their writing and you leave the ball in their court. It’s that simple. Most people will still ignore you but if they’re actively looking for guest bloggers, chances are you’ll rise to the top.

A Few More Tips

Here’s a few more tips you can use to help you be more successful when asking for guest blogging opportunities.

Stay in your niche - There’s no reason to stray too far outside your subject, and most people won’t be interested anyway. Keep it relevant.

Look for people who are looking - Run some Google searches for things like “submit an article” or “Write for us” etc. Or just sign up for MyBlogGuest and find your match!

Research their site - Really look at what they’re doing, what the subject is and the general tone of the writing. See if you’re a good fit.

Who are they targeting? - You’ll have to target these same people, so it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

Read the guidelines if they’re posted - Nothing will make you get rejected faster than blatantly ignoring what they’re asking for.

Show examples - it’s always better to show people what you’re made of with links to past work.

Personalize the email - Don’t use form letters or emails that other people are using to solicit opportunities. It seldom works.

Be honest with yourself - Are you at the right level to write for this site? Is this out of your league, or below your standards? Are you really a good fit? You have to ask yourself these questions.

Conclusion

Just like everything else in business and in life, honesty will get you a long way. Don’t try to feed people a line of bull and don’t try to send out 5,000 emails hoping for a lot of responses. Be personal, be truthful and show people who you are, and get their attention as fast as you can. You’ll get far more rejections than offers, but eventually you will start to get published, and you will get your name out there. Good luck!

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