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You need to guest post to grow your own audience. Before you start pitching, look out for these guest post pitching mistakes many make.
We finished last week looking at the mistakes freelance writers make in the beginning. One of those mistakes is not getting themselves out there. One of the ways to get your name out there is to guest post, and there are a lot of blogs and websites where you can do that. Most of the sites will have guest post pitching guidelines and rules to read.
I get a lot of emails requesting to post content on my blogs. A lot of them I completely ignore. This is because they all make the same mistakes that so many others do, mistakes that they would know all about if they took time to read any content on anyone’s blog or website.
Don’t be one of those who will be ignored. Here are the top four mistakes people make when it comes to guest post pitching.
Not reading the guest post pitching guidelines
Most websites that accept guest posts will have a page with guidelines. Those that don’t have information about guidelines may not accept any pitches at all, or you may need to email to ask about them.
When you come across the guidelines, check them out. The guidelines apply to everyone—even you. Before you pitch to any blogger or website, you need to read the guidelines. This not only tells you who to pitch you but how to do it.
Some websites will want the article written and sent through email. Others will want a pitch to look at first. If you send an article to a website that wants you to pitch first, you’re not going to get anywhere.
When it comes to the sites that want a pitch rather than the article, you’ll need to look at the type of details the site is asking for. Don’t just say “I love your content.” You need to make sure your pitch is connected to the site.
If there aren’t any guidelines but the site does accept guest posts, then you’ll want to pitch a topic. If you just email about a vague guest post idea, you’re not going to get very far. Those are the types of emails I just delete. Have a full pitch on the topic you want to write about.
People are busy. They have submission guidelines for a reason, so follow them when guest blog pitching.
Not pitching on the blog topic
Niche and authority blogs are extremely important now. People don’t want pitches sent that have nothing to do with the topic of their blog.
Read any website that you want to guest post for and find out the type of topics that have been covered in the past. Avoid pitching something on the exact same topic that has been covered recently. They want something different. Something that you have learned or can help their readers with.
For example, on Make a Living Writing, Carol Tice regularly writes about why to avoid content mills and how to make great headlines. When you see her guest posts, they’re about what people have learned from the content mills, how they increased their rates, and what they’ve learned about something else in their life (like a sport, music or even the military).
Think about how your niche matches to a blog when guest blog pitching. You can overlap niches. For example, you may have a technology blog that you want to link to but from a writing blog. You could offer a post about technology that can help writers. That is just an example and not guaranteed to get you the green light to write, but it’s a start.
Not having a good headline in your guest post pitch
You can’t just write that you’d like to write about a topic. You need to pitch with a good headline. It needs to grab the attention of the reader.
The blogger or website owner will read this first. It needs to pull them in so they want to read the rest of your pitch. If it doesn’t pull them in or has nothing to do with the rest of your pitch, you’re going to get a no.
If the headline needs some tweaking but the rest sounds good, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to relook at it before you get the green light. This is a good sign—they’re interested but you’re not quite there yet!
You don’t pitch anything
Too many guest blog pitching emails have nothing in them. They’re an introduction to the writer and that’s it. Or some of them just say “I like your blog, I want to write something” and that’s it.
You need to pitch! Don’t expect the blogger to come up with a topic for you—they could do that themselves and write it instead. Tell them what you would like to write about and then wait to hear if it’s a yes or no.
Break your pitch down into what you will write about. Why is it useful for the readers and will you get interviews? Do you already have an interview that you would like to use?
What are you struggling with when it comes to guest post pitching? What do you need help with when it comes to writing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.