When it comes to guest blogging, we’ve already talked about the best practices that knowledge entrepreneurs should know—things like following their guidelines and having a friendly approach.
If they’re not accepting guest posts, you’re barking at the wrong tree. Plus, becoming part of the community means that by the time you pitch a guest blog proposal, you’ll already be a familiar face (more points for you!).
You’ll probably also recall that the first email is what will get your foot in the door (or not…). It should make it clear that you understand what they’re about and what they need. Even so, there’s a lot of tiny details that could make or break your chances of securing a guest blogging spot.
That’s why today, I want to get more into the nitty-gritty of writing a great pitch email. Here are some ideas to help you secure the guest blogging opportunities you’ve always wanted:
1. Pick an idea and stick with it
Generally, speaking you should have an idea (or a draft) ready before submitting the proposal. As a rule of thumb, try to tackle a subject they haven’t blogged about yet. Sure, as long as it’s relevant and brings value to their audience.
Some topics are what we call “evergreen.” For example, if you’re a personal finance course creator and want to write about the best investing strategies for Gen Zers, there are many ways to approach this subject. Other topics have an expiration date. Writing about budgeting during the pandemic is, for the most part, last year’s news.
2. Learn what usually does well on their website
If you look at any website’s most viewed and shared content, you’ll probably see a pattern there. For example, their most successful posts typically follow a list format because it’s easy to read and understand the key takeaways.
Others might prefer long-form think pieces because their audience loves reading about other people’s experiences. That’s why, even if you have a draft ready, consider altering the format slightly to fit their tastes.
3. It’s about them, not you
If you open the email by talking about yourself, you’re missing the point. Bloggers/websites want to read about themselves, even if it’s related to you. You’ll have to show how that one thing you do benefits them.
For example, don’t just mention the number of learners that you have. You’ll be more successful if you put it this way, “I’ll make sure to promote [your website] to my audience of 10K+ course participants”.
4. Keep the email short
“I’m just a regular guy/girl, trying to make it, etc.” sounds relatable, but they’ve probably heard that before, so get straight to the point. If they’re a popular website, they get many pitch emails per day, so why should they pay attention to yours?
Make sure to re-read your pitch and cut out the excess details. You’ll want to go for the elevator pitch, so to speak, making an impression in the shortest amount of words.
5. Offer a preview
The most important part of your pitch is how you sell your guest blogging idea. You have to make them want to read more! It’s like writing an excerpt for the blog post, only this time it’s for convincing someone to publish it.
The description should include a good hook, such as results you’ve had after doing something (in numbers or percentages). Have your learners achieved something remarkable after taking your course? That can also be something to write about, with their permission, of course.
6. Finish strong
If you have a strong pitch, there’s no reason not to be confident. Hesitation doesn’t look good in such a short email. Words such as “can, I think, maybe” make you seem unsure. However, the “worst offender” is ending the proposal with “Maybe you’ll have the time to look at it” or “Let me know if it sounds good to you.”
Instead, end with a simple, “When is the best time to send it to you?” or “What do you say about finding a place in the calendar for it?”. Think of it as an invitation to start a conversation, and they’ll be more likely to answer.
7. Signature links
Email signatures are supposed to offer as much information as possible without being overcrowded. Make sure to include a link to your website, contact number, and even your self-made title such as “Course Entrepreneur & Coach.” As a course creator, you’ll need to describe what you do to people, and these titles help.
If your website isn’t the first thing people see when they search for your name on Google, nobody’s going to dig for information, so take matters into your own hands and add social media links (if they’re relevant to your work and brand).
8. Make your intentions known
If the blogger or website doesn’t accept direct promo, don’t push it. It usually means that you can’t include a Call-to-Action (CTA) and include a link that takes them directly to your course catalog.
However, everyone knows that this should be a win-win situation. Most of the time, they’ll agree to link to your social accounts (in the author bio) or your website. Otherwise, here are other ways to link back to your stuff (the first two are strongly recommended):
- Link to a landing page: create a landing page specifically for their readers in which you invite them to subscribe to your email list, email course, etc.;
- Organize a giveaway: gather new contacts by giving away a free ebook, for example;
- Blog post links: whenever you mention something relevant in the text, incorporate a link into the main text. This way, you’re not interrupting the reading flow, and readers can at least access your blog (and check out your courses from there).
Just make sure to track those links with a tool such as Google Analytics, so you’ll know whether or not the guest posting strategy is paying off in terms of traffic.
9. Bonus: Guest post pitch email example
Having a template that works for you is OK, but make sure to personalize each email. Let’s take the personal finance entrepreneur as an example:
My name is Sarah. I am a Personal Finance teacher and a big fan of your blog, especially the “Smart Budgeting” series.
I’ve been working on an article that will help your readers take a step further towards their financial goals and that I’ll make sure to promote to my 10K+ course participants.
In a nutshell, Gen Z is increasingly interested in investing but lacks the financial security that previous generations have. The blog post will share actionable advice about investment strategies that work best for them and the stories of two young people who have taken my courses and have built a six-figure investment portfolio (with their permission, of course!)
When’s the best time to send the first draft?
Thank you for your time!
Many guest blogging ideas are rejected not because they’re bad but because the writer didn’t know how to sell them. The better your pitch email is, the higher the chances of being accepted by a high-ranking site with many visitors.
As a knowledge entrepreneur, guest blogging is a wonderful way to establish yourself as an expert and build your brand, so work on that pitch and let us know how it goes!
Ioana believes that learning doesn’t stop when school stops. When she is not writing about learning and ed tech, she can usually be seen reading a book and drinking lots of coffee.