If you’ve been blogging for more than five minutes, you’ve probably received pitches from people who’d like to write guest posts for your blog.
Here is the actual, unretouched text of a guest blogging pitch I received:
I have seen your blog https://bloggingbistro.com/. I must appreciate your effort to maintaining such a good blog . As a professional writer and a web designer I found it very nice and interesting. I am a specialist in the clear communication of sophisticated concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences, using both text and graphical content.I will love to publish my unique latest article only in your blog. Will it be possible for you to post the article with my link?
Eagerly waiting for your reply.
This is a typical example of a templated guest post pitch. I receive dozens of nearly identical pitches from aspiring guest bloggers every week.
These people buy templates that they copy and paste and email out to every blog they imagine might accept guest posts.
I route every single pitch straight into my Trash folder; I don’t even open them.
Today, we’re going to have some fun, and, I hope, a few LOL moments, or better yet, GOL, which stands for “groan out loud.” (Yes, I made that up.)
This episode is part 1 in a 2-part mini-series on guest blogging. Today, I’m going to share six surefire ways to guarantee your guest post gets instantly rejected. Next week, I’ll walk you through how to create guest post guidelines for your blog.
6 ways to get your guest post pitch rejected
1. The pitcher has no clue who I am.
“Dear Blog Manager.”
I have a name. It’s one of the first things you’ll see when you visit my Home page. And my About Page. And… hint, hint… My “Learn with LAURA” section. And my blog post byline. And every podcast episode. And my contact page.
You get the idea. My name is on every page of my website. When you greet me with “Hey, Admin,” I know instantly that you have not visited my website or blog.
If you’re going to pitch a guest article, learn my name and refer to me by my name.
2. The pitcher doesn’t care about my blog.
While surfing Internet, I’ve run into your site – https://bloggingbistro.com/. It caught my attention with it’s informative content. I thought it would be nice if you could consider me as a candidate for writing something interesting to your blog readers.
After detailed analyzing of the content performed on your web site, I came to conclusion that I really have something to offer.
I’m a highly experienced article writer, who is currently cooperating with [company buying incoming links].
If you are interested in my offer, I would gladly review your requirements to the post.
Will be highly excited to get your prompt reply.
Never, ever tell a blogger you stumbled across their blog. We know that all you did was google “blogs that accept guest blog posts” and inserted “https://bloggingbistro.com/” into the first sentence of the same pitch letter you sent out to 100 other blogs.
And that bit about “running into” my site?
Ouch! Running into my site must have injured your brain.
3. The pitcher sends a generic pitch.
Here’s a perfect example of what NOT to do:
“I hope that you’ll be in good mood. Actually, I found your blog while I was surfing the web and had a chance to go through your blogs. I must say that you have some cool blog posts.
Recently, I found something and gave that thought a real picture in a form of content. I would like to share that blog piece with your blog readers and I guess that it will fetch more readers to your blog.
Let me know if you would like to review my content. Looking forward to your response.”
How’s that for a pitch that gives me absolutely ZERO concrete information?!
4. The pitcher is too lazy to discover which topics I blog about.
Their laziness becomes apparent in pitches like this one:
“I like to keep up to date with fashion styles and how people relate to them… this is how I found your blog.” (Um, no, you didn’t, because I am an unfashionable person who has never written one word about fashion.)
The writer then suggested the following topics as being a “great fit” for my blog:
- How to Wear Designer Bags for a Stylish Casual Look
- 10 Impressive Accessory Trends
- Top 5 Designer Watches to Complete the Look of a Stylish Woman
5. The pitcher brags.
In this bizarre pitch, the prospective guest blogger pitched an article about leggings (I often wear leggings while I’m at work in my home office, but I don’t write about leggings on my blog).
The pitcher writes:
“Every time I read one of your posts, I feel like it’s coming straight out of my mouth, which is why I think it’s so great, ha.”
I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to be insulted or impressed!
The pitch I read at the beginning of the episode came from someone who claims:
“I am a specialist in the clear communication of sophisticated concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences, using both text and graphical content.”
Can you provide examples of those “sophisticated concepts” you’re so skilled at communicating? How about a list of published clips? Topics you’ve written about?
6. The pitcher oversells their writing abilities.
Many of the pitches I receive read as if the pitcher speaks English as a second (or third, or fourth) language. Or they read as if the pitcher forgot to proofread (or perhaps, they never learned to spell or punctuate correctly in the first place, so they have no clue that they’re making a ton of mistakes in their pitch).
I’m reprinting this pitch, verbatim:
“I trust this finds you well and in good spirit. Last night, I was searching for
some fitness related topics, when I stumbled upon a post from your column that
is discusses healthy eating. I’d agree on what is mentioned in the post “stay
hydrated”, it is true that the body requires excess amount of water to keep
kidneys clean and the digestive system healthy. Indeed a very informative
article. Thanks! Tony.
I am a columnist, and I think your audience would love the wisdom I have to
share. I usually cover health and fitness related topics and currently working
on foods your body wants to eat but you should not.”
- Healthy eating articles on a digital marketing blog? Yeah, I generally eat healthy foods, but you have the wrong blog. Wrong niche. Wrong industry altogether.
- Why does every single person who pitches a guest post say that they “stumbled upon” my blog? Thanks. Shows me you’re an avid reader of my blog. Not.
- Who is Tony? (The name of the person who sent the pitch was NOT “Tony.”)
- Why didn’t you proofread? I spotted at least five punctuation and usage errors in your pitch.
These blunders are grounds for immediate expulsion of your pitch from my inbox.
Then we have the followup emails.
The followup pitches I receive are also templated. There are usually three of them after the first pitch, and they arrive like clockwork in my inbox. They all say the same thing. I’m summarizing here, but this is the gist of the followups:
(In a conciliatory, upbeat tone): Just checking in to see if you received my last email! I know people’s inboxes are clogged with emails and you may have missed mine. Please let me know whether you received my offer to write a guest post for your blog. Here’s the pitch again, in case you missed it. Eagerly awaiting your immediate reply!
(In a pleading, semi-frustrated tone): Hello? Are you there? I haven’t heard back from you and I’ve contacted you twice. You’ll definitely want to take advantage of my great article, so don’t delay.
(In a threatening tone). This is the third and final time I am contacting you. Why are you ignoring me? You’re really rude to not respond to my wonderful pitches. Please reply right this second with your delighted acceptance or you will miss out on the opportunity to feature me and my wonderful writing on your blog. And that would be a shame.
What can you do about unsolicited guest post pitches?
Unfortunately, not a lot, other than set up a “rule” in your email system so they get routed to a special “guest post pitch” folder that you can go through and choose the pitches you want to reply to. Or, you can just route them straight to your “junk” folder.
Should you reply to guest post pitches?
That’s up to you. Some bloggers believe that they need to be polite and reply to every email, even if the reply they send is form-letter style: “No thank you,” or “Sorry, but your proposal does not meet our needs at this time.”
Personally, I don’t believe in wasting time replying to generic, templated pitches that are being mass emailed to every blogger in the universe. These people are wasting my time by pitching me their junky writing; I have no intention of wasting even more of my time by sending them a polite reply.
Unfortunately, 99.9% of the pitches I receive are of the generic, templated variety. I can almost always tell by glancing at the subject line, which usually reads, “Hey Admin, Do you accept guest posts?”
Do guest post guidelines help?
If you are actively soliciting guest posts, publishing guest post guidelines on your website or blog will be a great service to legitimate guest bloggers. Unfortunately, most guest post pitchers are not legitimate – they have not even visited your blog. They have no interest in reading or following your guest post guidelines.
But for the one-tenth of one percent of guest bloggers who are legit, guest post guidelines are a valuable resource.
Next week, in Episode 55, I’m going to show you exactly what to include in your guest submission guidelines.
How to Keep Up With the Show
Click here to join my my email list and I’ll notify you about every episode. (When you subscribe, you’ll also get my free guide, Essential Resources for Running a Writing Business.)
Join The Professional Writer Podcast Community (private Facebook group), where we discuss what we’re learning, meet our guests, and encourage one another on our writing journeys.
If you know a writer who would be interested in The Professional Writer Podcast, please share this link with them: