If you read our previous blog, you’ll know that guest posting is the quickest and easiest way to drive new traffic through to your blog/website.
New traffic = more subscribers = more fans = more money.
(At least that’s what most marketing manuals will tell you.)
But what they don’t tell you is how to write a great pitch for a guest post.
Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’ve written something that spells out the meaning of life. If you can’t sell it, no one will read here.
So here’s our step by step guide to getting your guest post secured:
1. Subscribe to their blog
Think about it. If you had someone telling you how awesome your blog was, and then you realise they don’t even subscribe, you’ll be pretty peeved.
So once you’ve selected your list of targets, go through and subscribe to them all. You want them to know you’re serious – and invested – in the success of their blog. That’s going to sound a whole lot more convincing coming from someone that actually follows it.
2. Make it personal
Nine times out of ten, someone will have their name somewhere on their website. Use it. Addressing the email personally will mean it’s much more likely to get opened, if not read. “Hey, Tanya” is so much better than “Hey there” or (even worse) “To Whom It May Concern.”
Never start a pitch email with that, because whoever is reading it will automatically decide it probably doesn’t concern them.
3. Show them how good you are
Include some links in your pitch that are the best possible examples of your tone and writing style. You want to wow them with the quality content you’re creating, so send them your 2 or 3 best pieces of work.
If you’re lucky enough to have featured elsewhere already or have been interviewed, include one of these as a third link underneath your own work.
4. Don’t go into too much detail
They will want two things. One of these things is a title, and the other is a reason why their readers are going to open that blog in the first place. This does not mean you have to send them the blog in its entirety.
What you should do is include a little 2-3 sentence outline so they know where the blog post is heading, like this:
How To Blog: A post focusing on the common pitfalls most bloggers make and how to avoid them. Your readers will walk away knowing how to write killer blog posts that bring in more traffic and convert that into paying customers.
I mean, sounds like a blog you want to read, right?
Right. That’s exactly what they want.
5. Track the emails you send
Gmail has some great extensions that you can download that track whether or not your email has been opened. Streak is awesome because it tells you when your email was viewed and when it was opened. It also keeps tabs on how often someone visits the conversation so you can see exactly what’s happening once you’ve sent your pitch into cyberspace.
6. Set up a chase system
Now that you’ve sent your emails, you don’t just want to sit there and wait.
Like a flower, you need to tend to your precious pitches by watering them every now and then. Or, at the very least, following up with an email a week later.
People are busy, so you don’t want to harass them, but a simple chase email 7 days later is more than acceptable.
If your chase email doesn’t get a reply, you can cut that time in half and email again 3 or 4 days later.
So here’s what your chase schedule should look like:
- 7 days – send initial chase email if no open
- Send another chase 4 days after first chase
- Send a final chase 7 days after previous chase
- Send new email 14 days after last email
7. Follow up
You don’t want to nag them. After all, you’re asking for a favour, essentially, even if you’re creating awesome content for them.
So you need to keep your follow up emails short, sweet and to the point.
Make it easy for them to come back to you with a one word answer, a simple yay or nay reaction. Because we all have way too many emails and never enough time:
Appreciate you must be super busy, just wanted to see if you had a quick yes/no based on my previous email?
I can get started on it straight away and wouldn’t need anything from your side at this point – other than the OK!
Thanks so much, hopefully catch up soon.
8. Follow through
You’ve promised them the world – or at least a great blog post – so make sure you follow up and keep your word. Deliver on time, deliver with photos and deliver to whatever specifications they ask for (Google Doc, HTML or otherwise.)
Don’t fall at the last hurdle!
Have you got any tips you think we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!
Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is a group of creatives with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping our way into the arts industry and helping other creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.
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