How Not To Pitch A Blogger About Writing Guest Posts
Posted on 12 February 2012
I received the following email pitch from someone who said she’s interested in writing some guest posts for my blog:
My name is [name] and I work for [link to company website] and [link to company website]. I’m trying to grow it by reaching out to other bloggers. I’ve been reading your site some time and I’m a big fan.
I’m interested in writing a guest post for you — something you’ve never posted on — and I have some ideas that I think your readers would love:
[List of four topics to do with Facebook, blogging, twitter and social media]
I know you’re busy, so I can write everything up and send it to you in one document, which you can drop right into WordPress. I’ll handle all editing, bylines, etc (feel free to edit) so this is super-easy for you. Plus, I promise the guest posts will get your readers thinking and talking to each other.
All I want is li’l credit in terms of two backlinks(Do Follow) in author’s bio and no link would be embedded anywhere in the content.
Let me know what you think of the same.
Blogger & Writer
e-mail – [address inserted]
Twitter – [link inserted]
Facebook – [link inserted]”
Oh dear, here’s why that pitch is just wrong on so many levels
Firstly, she didn’t even have the courtesy to start her message with “Hello Kay” or “Hello Ms Ross”. An impersonal “Hi” just doesn’t cut it in a business letter.
Also, as far as I can recall:
- I’ve never met this person in real life or connected with her online in any way.
- She is not following me on twitter and has never RTd any of my tweets.
- She has never commented on any of my blog posts, so I find it hard to believe that she’s been reading my site “some time” and that she’s “a big fan”.
Also, when I look at her twitter profile, I see that:
- She has tweeted only 11 tweets (and most of them are quotes by other people, not her own content), and she has only three followers, so she hasn’t shown me that she has any credibility when it comes to writing about twitter strategy or social media generally.
- She says that her location is “United Stated”, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in her writing abilities.
- She says that writing is her passion, yet she doesn’t list her own website/blog URL. So I’ve never seen any of her blog posts, which means I don’t know whether she’s a good writer (but based on her email, I have to conclude that she’s not).
- Most of her tweets are quotes by other people, yet she doesn’t have the courtesy to credit them. As a writer, I’m appalled by that.
- She hasn’t done anything to establish and nurture a relationship with me.
- She hasn’t demonstrated that she’s a good writer.
- She hasn’t demonstrated any expertise in the topics she says she wants to blog about.
- She hasn’t motivated me in the slightest to want to help her promote herself and the companies she works for.
I’m sorry, but that’s not the right way to pitch someone about writing guest posts on their blog! It’s obvious that this person has simply copied and pasted a badly written fill-in-the-blanks template for pitching a blogger about doing guest blog posts. (I mean excuse me, she says that all she wants is “li’l credit”?!)
Here’s what to do instead
If you want to pitch a blogger about writing guest posts on his/her blog, here’s what to do instead:
- Establish and nurture a relationship with the blogger first (for example, by following him/her on twitter, RTing some of his/her tweets and commenting on some of his/her blog posts).
- Offer proof of your expertise and credibility as a writer, particularly in the topics you say you want to blog about. (After all, if I publish your guest posts on my blog, that reflects on my reputation as much as on yours.)
- Write a good pitch – use the recipient’s name, check your spelling and grammar, and don’t copy and paste a cringe-worthy fill-in-the-blanks template.
Bloggers, have you ever received pitches as bad as that (or even worse than that)? Do you have any other tips to offer? I welcome your comments.
Image credit: iCLIPART