How To Successfully Pitch A Blogger For A Guest Post

One of the most important ways to enhance your link portfolio is through guest blog posts. Finding a relevant blog with an engaged audience can be a daunting task, but the return on investment is potentially significant. There are hundreds of thousands of blogs on the internet, but how do you create a relationship with a blogger for a quality link opportunity? What is the best way to make first contact? As a blogger who has both received requests and pitches, and one who has pitched other bloggers, I’d like to give a few tips for reaching out to bloggers.

Be informed:

Read the first few blog posts and the writer’s “about me” section. If the site has a search bar, see if the topics you are hoping to have posted about are in line with other content on the site. Be familiar enough with the blogger to personalize an email to them, and always address them by name. Nobody wants to get an email that begins with “Dear influential blogger” or “To whom it may concern.”

Make contact via email or social media:

Many bloggers work from home, and those with kids are not always in a position to take a phone call. Check the blogger’s “Contact Me” section, which should say their preferred method of contact. If a blogger doesn’t accept promotional content, it is often noted in this section. Some bloggers like contact initiated on Twitter or a Facebook fan page. Sending an email is often the most effective way to get a timely response.

Be concise:

Nobody likes to get a long-winded email, especially when it’s from somebody they don’t know. Be personal. Explain why your product or service is relevant to their blog’s topics/focus. Explain why you have specifically chosen this blogger to promote your product or service. Give a detailed explanation of what you are hoping to have the blogger post for you, and how soon you need it. If you plan to compensate the blogger with money or product trade, the initial email is a good time to do so.

Be prepared:

If you plan to ask a blogger to post guest content, have it ready to send. Don’t expect things to be done for free. Ask if they want to write their own content, or have it written for them. Create a contract that specifies what is expected of them, when it must be completed, and how they will be compensated.

Keep the door open:

Sometimes a blogger is very interested in the chance to connect with a brand or cause, but the specific pitch is not a good fit. If your pitch is declined, it’s appropriate to ask if they are interested in being contacted for other opportunities. Because the bloggosphere is a tight-knit place, ask if they know another blogger who might be interested. There are many bloggers who are eager to begin creating a relationship with a brand, but just need an introduction.

With these tips in mind, create a base template for your first-contact email. I have a template that I begin almost every blog pitch with, and I add in details for the specific pitch and the recipient. The bloggers who respond and work with you often will be interested in future promotions. Approaching a blogger with a personal touch will yield the best results, and may lead to great guest blogging opportunities in the future.


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    • Nicole Bullock says

      Thank you Robert. Of course I am biased as a long-time blogger, but I really think that marketing agencies (as well as brands) underestimate the power of blogger outreach. It’s a GREAT off page resource.

    • Nicole Bullock says

      Thanks Kathy, and thanks for your input on the subject. As we heard at SOCOMX last week, blogger relationships with brands are a hot topic in the marketing world. I hope that more agencies will follow the trend, even if the ROI isn’t immediate.

  1. AJ Wilcox says

    I’ve done a lot of guest post pitching, and I’ve found that most bloggers are happy to receive great content without compensation. Take care to be punctual and make sure the articles are perfect before they go over, and don’t go overboard with links or do anything unexpected to the blogger. From my experience, the bloggers that ask for compensation usually have sketchy link portfolios and the link isn’t as worthwhile as a homegrown blog with a real following. A link for free content is an excellent trade, in my opinion as both a blogger and guest writer.

    • Nicole Bullock says

      Thanks for the input, AJ! You must have a pretty stellar pitch email that you send out, or know the right people to pitch to. The overwhelming majority of my “mommy blogger” friends and I are used to poorly worded and impersonal pitches, and many go unanswered. There’s a huge movement going on in the bloggosphere, where influencers are shouting from rooftops “Don’t work for free! You’re worth more than that!” (And I’m not joking, there’s a slew of these sessions at the BlogHer conference).

      I personally am more likely to accept guest content without compensation, but if they throw something in, it’s just icing on the cake.

  2. Amy says

    I find that the most important thing is to show a real interest in the theme of the blog, even if you have to, sadly, fake it.

    For example, if the blog is on fashion, then you LOVE fashion. If it’s a blog about mom’s and children; you’ve suddenly got two little ones running round your feet!

  3. Michelle says

    As a managing editor of a non-profit site, I get frustrated with people sending a boilerplate email about advertising on my site — when I think it should be obvious by looking at my site that we. don’t. advertise.

    So, echoing what others have said, whatever you do, be sure you know enough about whom you are pitching to, and don’t use boilerplate language. Be personal, be specific, be plugged in enough to know what the site is actually about.

    With that, I think there is a whole layer of potential power in blogging that isn’t tied to a for-pay world, so I am not a fan of the linear thinking that all blogging needs to be connected with money. I understand the ‘influencers’ saying “You are worth more than that” but really, there are a lot of ways to measure worth. And influence.

    On the blogger side, I think it’s good to still respond, even if the pitches are lousy. I try to always respond personally to requests. I think it’s a good way to help people know what you are about, and maybe even point them in the direction of someone who could help them. You never know when you might want to connect with someone like that in the future, or when there might be an opportunity that they find out about later on that would be a good match.

  4. David says

    Nice article. Sending free gifts to bloggers is a great way to get your products reviewed by an independant source.

  5. Colin says

    Funniest one I had recently – being offered *exactly* 100 “social media” visits/traffic – in exchange for a link. Hilarious.

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