6 Top Reasons Your Guest Post Pitch is Getting Ignored

I’m a huge fan of guest blogging. It’s a great way to get in front of a new audience, establish authority for your brand and get some link juice to power your search engine rankings.

As businesses have caught on to the power of guest blogging, publishers are receiving increased guest blog post requests. But, the quality of the pitches leaves much to be desired.

For instance, yesterday alone I received five guest post requests, which is a lot for me in a given day. But most of them were absolutely terrible and didn’t get any consideration from me. And, I’m confident they wouldn’t have been considered by other bloggers either.

Blog publishers have high standards. If a blog publisher is going to share their audience with you, your pitch and guest post must be excellent. Otherwise, it will get ignored.

Why Guest Post Pitches Get Trashed

If you want to ensure that your guest post pitch stays out of the trashcan, avoid these common missteps:

  • Generic salutation. It’s one thing to not use my name, which is bad enough. But, it’s even worse if you call me “Admin”, “Sir,” or any other generic title that clearly fails to acknowledge who I am. If you can’t take the time to personalize the pitch to show that you have looked around the blogger’s site, chances are good you will get ignored.
  • Irrelevant content. There’s no mistake that my blog is about marketing and social media tips. But, it’s crazy to me how I receive guest post pitches for all sorts of things outside of that realm. Yesterday, I received pitches about small business loans and hiring MBAs. Clearly, these weren’t a fit and it seems there was very little attempt to make the content relevant to MY site or MY readers. Make sure you do your research to build a pitch that caters to the blogger’s audience.
  • Unoriginal content. Guest blog posts should be new content. In other words, it should be a new topic to my blog and original information that hasn’t been published anywhere else. So often, guest pitches fail to look through the archives to see if I’ve covered a particular topic or idea before. Do your homework first to make sure the site your pitching hasn’t already written about your topic. And if they have, be sure to offer new information or a different angle. And, of course, it goes without saying that the content should not be plagiarized from someone else’s site.
  • Poor grammar and typos. If your pitch is ridden with spelling errors and typos, it leaves me little hope for the quality of your guest post. DELETE.
  • Overly promotional content. I understand that you want to guest post to get in front of a new audience, but if you’re post is simply a billboard for your product or service, it will get ignored. Find ways to showcase your expertise or mention your product without making it the sole focal point. The post should still focus on helping readers. Leo Widrich at Buffer does an excellent job of this.
  • Failure to follow guidelines. I have guest post guidelines for a reason – to help bloggers know exactly how to send guest post pitches to me. Following these guidelines definitely makes my job easier, but it also significantly improves your chances of getting published. Sadly, most people ignore it. Find the guest post guidelines on the blogger’s site and make sure you follow their requests. Anyone who follows a blogger’s guidelines should have a really good shot of getting published.

The Secret to Getting Your Pitch Noticed

Avoiding these common missteps is definitely a good place to start with your guest blogging efforts. But, do you want to know the secret to getting your guest post pitch noticed 100% of the time?

Connect with me first.

Anyone who has taken the time to comment on my blog, share my content or engage with me on social networks will absolutely get consideration from me.

Why?

Because you’ve focused on helping me and connecting with me first instead of pitching me right out of the gate.

I’m also much more likely to publish a guest post from someone that has developed a relationship with me. Remember the adage that we do business with those we know, like and trust? That rule applies to guest blogging too.

Guest Blogging Resources

If guest blogging is key part of your strategy, there are a ton of resources that can help you. Here are a few of them:

  • How to Get Your Guest Post Pitch Noticed  - fantastic tips from my pal and superstar blogger, Stan Smith over at Pushing Social.
  • Guest Blogging: Seven Tips for Success - the super-smart Gini Dietrich at Spin Sucks offers the keys to making your efforts successful.
  • Guest Blogging Blueprint - My friend, Joel Widmer, just released this blogging course to help you learn how to boost your website traffic from guest blogging. It’s a great guide to help you with every step of the process. Joel is offering the course with a 25% discount right now, so if you’re interested, hop on over and grab the course before the price increases. Get it here.

What questions do you have about guest blogging?

If you’re a blog publisher, what causes you to hit the delete button on guest post pitches? If you’re a guest blogger, what tips have worked for you?

Image credit: Trisha Wang

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  • http://uncommonlysocial.com/ Sarah Mason

    This is a great resource, Laura. Thanks for sharing.

    I’ve been doing a lot of research on this lately — especially for new bloggers — and wonder what your thoughts are on when to pitch people (how soon after you’ve launched your own online presence) and who to pitch to when you’re relatively new (should you go big and approach an “A-List Blogger” in your niche or approach someone with a smaller audience).

    • http://www.flybluekite.com/ Laura Click

      Great questions, Sarah.

      First, I don’t think there is a magic amount of time to wait before pitching. I get cold pitches that have worked. As Gini often says, targeted, well-researched pitches work 100 percent of the time! But, I think that having the relationship first certainly increase your chance of getting noticed tenfold. For instance, if you were to send me a guest post (hint hint!), I would undoubtedly publish it because we’ve built a very good relationship.

      Second, as for who to approach, start with people you have relationships first. From there, and as you begin to gain traction with those and other smaller blogs, then you have some experience (and confidence) before you go after bigger blogs.

      Does this help?

      • http://uncommonlysocial.com/ Sarah Mason

        It does, yes. Thanks — I’ve got some work to do!

      • Will Stevens

        Just to add to this, I’ve found it’s possible to build relationships when guest posting by actually talking about the people you’d like to build a relationship with.

        For example, I wrote a post which talked about Buzzstream and off the back of that, I got a phone call from the company’s founder Paul May. It wasn’t my intention to build a relationship with him when I pitched the piece to the Content Marketing Institute, but that’s what happened.

  • http://www.swordandthescript.com/ Frank Strong

    Generic salutation for sure. It means the pitcher hasn’t read a thing. Delete.

    • http://www.flybluekite.com/ Laura Click

      Totally. Why can’t people take 5 seconds to figure this out? So frustrating.

  • http://www.ltc-associates.com/ LTCA INC

    This could be re-purposed, “6 Top Reasons Your Resume is Getting Ignored.”

    • http://www.flybluekite.com/ Laura Click

      Yes! So very true, Stephen!

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