Do you hold back from pitching guest posts because you are afraid of rejection?
You aren't alone.
I asked my email list this question recently and here is what people said:
"Pure, unmitigated fear and terror of putting myself out there. Feeling that I have nothing useful to contribute. Facing rejection & failure..."
"Being vulnerable. Not sure if I should even dare to pitch. I know that I like to help and write. But building confidence after rejection is challenging."
"Getting the courage to ask."
Can you relate?
I certainly can.
In the past I feared rejection so much that I took 4 months to send a pitch.
For half of the 4 months I procrastinated.
I had admired this blogger for years.
I didn’t want to come across as annoying or sleazy and burn my bridges with him forever.
The rest of the time I worked super hard to do everything I could that I thought would prevent rejection.
I read his posts. I commented on them and I shared them.
I spent hours thinking through unique pitch angles he had never covered before.
I polished my own site so that when the blogger visited he would have a great first impression.
All this time I knew I had to pitch a lot more and a lot faster. Yet I had no idea how to do this.
That was until the day I discovered what bloggers were really looking for in pitches.
The #1 thing bloggers look for in a guest blog pitch
One day, while reading Yaro Starak’s blog I came across his reply to a readers’ guesting post request.
Here is what Yaro said:
But what is an exceptional guest blog pitch? And how can I be sure that is the type I’m sending?
And that started the long journey to figuring out how to create an exceptional pitch.
I came across tons of advice along the way. Some of it was great, but most of it was bad.
Eventually I cracked the code and started getting 4 out of every 5 of my pitches accepted.
In this post I will show you exactly how you can create an exceptional pitch that bloggers find hard to refuse.
Are you game? If you are then read on.
First let’s talk about what an exceptional guest blog pitch is.
What is an exceptional guest blog pitch?
I’ve asked a lot of bloggers this question.
At the end of the day all their answers boil down to one thing:
An exceptional guest blog pitch is one that shows bloggers how the guest post will help their audience achieve what they want.
Bloggers love pitches like these and find them super hard to refuse (even if they don’t usually accept guest posts).
Because every blogger’s #1 goal is to help their audience.
The more they help their audience, the more their audience likes them, trusts them, and is likely to buy from them.
Why bloggers need your exceptional guest blog pitch?
Popular bloggers don’t have the time and energy to write posts about every subtopic and angle that could help their audience.
And that is where you come in.
Your exceptional guest blog pitch promises to help a blogger’s audience without the blogger having to spend time and energy creating the content.
And which busy blogger does not want that?
I hear some of you saying--ok that sounds well and good but I don’t know their audience. I can guess, but I don’t really know what the blog’s audience wants to achieve.
Fortunately finding out exactly what a blog’s audience wants is easy. Especially if you follow my Sherlock technique.
The Sherlock technique to creating exceptional guest blog pitches
Step #1 Find the blog’s most shared posts
Use Buzzsumo to find the most shared posts on your target blog. Here is an example of what that would look like, using Chris Winfield’s blog for illustration.
Step #2 Look at the comments to glean blog audience’s problems
Keep an eye out for struggles, frustrations, and difficulties commentators have after reading the post.
A few comments down in Chris’s 4 Simple Rules for Email Mastery (and Maintaining Sanity) post I hit pay dirt:
Notice the pattern? They are all issues with managing email expectations.
Step #3 Brainstorm 3-5 posts that would help the audience
how to position their response speed as ultimately of benefit to the recipients’ (allows me to focus on your work) OR
Step #4 Confirm your ideas are April Fresh
Make sure the blogger has not already written about the ideas you came up with in step #3.
You can do this by using the blog’s search bar or google in-site search to search past content.
Protip--if they have written about the idea don’t worry. Simply think about how you could improve their post. Perhaps you can update it? Share a tool or insight not previously mentioned? There is always a way to improve older posts.
There you have it, the Sherlock technique to creating exceptional pitches.
Wrap up & next steps
Let's summarize what you learned. You learned:
- The #1 thing bloggers look for in exceptional guest blog pitches
- Why bloggers needs your exceptional guest blog pitches
- The 4 step technique you can use to craft your exceptional guest blog pitch
It's your turn. Go ahead and put these ideas into action.
Now that you have an exceptional guest blog pitch, how do you reach out to bloggers the right way to increase your chances of getting accepted?
Don’t worry I got you covered! Check out this post to learn my #1 Tip for Effective Blogger Outreach.
- About the author
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Guest posting since 2009, Sana’s posts have been seen on places like Adweek, VentureBeat, byRegina.com and many others. She is on a mission to help online entrepreneurs like you grow their brands, credibility, and email lists by getting their guest posts published. When she isn't writing posts like this one you will find her meditating somewhere beautiful or pondering the meaning of life over a cup of tea.