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The Anatomy of a Winning Guest Post Pitch

Let’s get real here. Being a writer can be hard work.

You spend all this time trying to find your voice, your writing style, your secret mojo. Call it what you will, writing takes guts.

You have to believe in yourself. Believe in your work. Believe in your will to survive, because you probably won’t land your dream guest post gig at first. But if you put in the time and the effort, anything is possible.

I know, I know. That line is such a cliche. But I can really only guarantee you one thing.

If you don't try, your will fail. If you're too afraid to fail, you won't try. Don’t fear failure. Fear never taking your chance when you had the opportunity. Winston Churchill once said, “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

So now that you have your head right, let’s dive into the anatomy of the perfect guest post pitch.

Why write guest posts?

Aside from gaining relevant experience and building valuable connections within your niche, here are a few more reasons you need to guest post:
  • Establish credibility: By publishing guest posts, your target audience will see you as an authority figure on your topic.
  • Market your craft: Guest posts are a great way to gain real exposure. When you first build a site, your biggest battle will be getting noticed. Use popular sites in your niche to get noticed and gain legit clients.
  • Build a sweet portfolio: One of the best ways to land new top-notch clients time after time is to show off your previous work. FLEX THOSE WRITING MUSCLES! Get testimonials from each post you write and include them on your blog. Show off your work. How else will people really be able to trust you?

Overview

There is no one ‘perfect’ pitch for every situation. But there are common elements to every guest post pitch. Follow these simple steps to improve your chances of getting accepted:
  1. Find blogs accepting guest posts in your niche
  2. Read the guest post guidelines
  3. Read a few articles
  4. Get real personal
  5. Pitch a Glass Slipper Headline
  6. Outline your email with headings
  7. Follow up

Find blogs accepting guest posts in your niche

Do you know how embarrassing it is to spend 30 minutes writing a perfect guest post on a blog that won’t accept your work?

THAT SUCKS!

Don’t do that. Instead, head on over to the omnipresent machine known as Google. Let’s say you’re a freelance medical writer.

You could search for something like this:

Click on that sweet first link. Now you have a fantastic list of blogs that could potentially be accepting guest posts. At this point, we don’t know for sure.

We need to know if...
  • They accept guest posts
  • Their audience matches your target audience and your specific goals
  • Your writing style matches the style of the blog

Read guest post guidelines

Yes. Guidelines are important. Mainly because they show the editor you took the time to study and are serious about publishing a quality article.

So you’re interested in The Doctor Weighs In. Head back to Google and type the following:

“The Doctor Weighs In guest posts”

Do they accept guest posts?


You bet your bottom dollar! You can follow this same process for really any topic. Just replace the website name.

Clicking on the contribute link you’ll find a guidelines page.

Read it like there’s no tomorrow! Be familiar enough with the guidelines that you know what the editor wants, but don’t be so rigid that you can’t express your own style.

You’re a freelancer looking to break into medical writing. The blog’s audience matches your target audience and your goals. This means it’s time to give the project a green light and hit the ground running.

Read a few of the articles

This step is crucial in matching your pitch to the topics of the blog. We’re really looking for holes in the content. How do you find them and fill them up with chocolatey content goodness?
  • Pick an interesting subtopic
  • Search the site's content
  • Take what has already been said and add onto it
You're a medical writer and you want to talk about depression and weight gain. How do depression and weight relate? Is there a connection at all? So you do a quick keyword search on the site itself.

You find this gem of an article: 5 Reasons Why Patients Ignore Doctors Eating & Fitness Advice

Depression is mentioned as one of the reasons why a patient might ignore the advice of a doctor. So you add to this idea with your post.

Get real personal

Doesn’t it suck when somebody you see on a daily basis can’t remember your name?

I know for me personally, I’m terrible with names. But that’s no excuse for writing a bad guest post pitch.

People like to know that you care enough to get to know them before sending off your pitch.

Here’s what NOT TO START an email with:
  • To whom it may concern
  • Dear Sir,
  • Dear Mam,
  • Dear Insert name of the magazine
A little personal research goes a long way! Take the time to get to know the editor and it will pay off for you in the end. Your best bet on any first encounter is to be formal by using the last name of the editor.

You don’t need to suck up here but this is where you can talk about articles you like and how they relate to your topic.

Pitch a glass slipper headline

What do I mean by that? Make sure the headline fits. Spend more time perfecting your headline than on the copy itself. It needs to attract and engage, while at the same time being relevant to the intended blog’s audience.

Ask yourself if your post would fit with the other posts on the website you want your work to appear on.

Taking the example above, you can create 7 different headlines that could potentially work for you.

The Best Way to Conquer Weight Gain When Your Depressed
The Easiest Way to Lose Weight & Gain Confidence
The Fastest Way to Overcome Depression
Why You Should Forget the Gym
What Do We Do (Almost) Everything Makes Us Feel Sad
4 Simple Remedies for Depression: Backed By Science
What I Learned from Being a Depressed, College Dropout

Outline your email with headings

Let’s put all of this together with a sample pitch. (This is just a sample. You're going to want more detail when you do yours.)

Dear Mr. Gilbert,

I’m interested in writing a guest post for The Doctor Weighs In. After reading several articles about depression, here is my idea:

HEADLINE: 4 SIMPLE REMEDIES FOR DEPRESSION: BACKED BY SCIENCE

MEDITATION
YOGA  
SUPPORT GROUPS  
FISH OIL

Thanks for your time,

Mary Smith

Follow up

Create a simple list to keep track of all your pitches. Wait for at least one week before sending out another email. Have some patience.

It can be hard to wait, (especially when you need money) but don’t lose hope. Send out a friendly reminder of your pitch. If you don’t hear anything back in 3 weeks it’s safe to move your guest post idea to a different blog.

Do you folks have any other questions about guest post pitches?


SOURCES:
  1. How to Write a Guest Post Pitch & Get Accepted by Major Sites. (2017, September 08). Retrieved from https://www.creativerevolt.com/how-to-pitch-a-guest-post/
  2. K, K. (2018, April 03). How To Craft The Perfect Guest Post Pitch - 11 Successful Bloggers Reveal All. Retrieved from https://bloggingwizard.com/the-best-guest-post-pitch/
  3. Scott, R. (n.d.). 13 Types of Blog Headlines That Will Get You More Traffic. Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/types-of-blog-headlines

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