What constitutes a good guest post pitch and makes it irresistible to editors? A good pitch gets you a positive response. In fact, your guest post pitch will, in most cases, be the only factor editors use to decide whether to give you a chance to write or your article is the one worth looking forward to.
So, you have just found the blog you want your post to appear on. You stare at your computer screen and imagine what it will be like to have your work put up here. Your name is beside the title—your photo at the end and such an exquisite bio. You smile, but the smile soon fades as you are hit with doubt. Will your work ever be published here? Will your pitch, if you decide to send one, be rejected like the others before it? Let me be honest with you. The answer to your question, if you stick to the 15 ways to make your guest post pitch truly irresistible, which I will show you in this article, is unlikely.
Nothing just happens. Rejection letters don’t just come; an editor does not sit at his desk and say to himself: “Hey, I am going to reject everything I receive today.” There is something you are likely doing wrong. Acceptances, too, do not just come with the wind. There is something people who get their pitches accepted are doing right. Do these, and you too will get as many acceptances as you can seek to get. These are the 15 key components that will make your guest post pitch irresistible.
1. Know That the Editor is Human
I doubt any blogs or magazines employ robots and cyborgs to sit in offices and review submissions and pitches. If they did, we writers would all be doomed. Because, think about how hard it will be to impress a robot?
Your greatest leverage is the fact that the chief editor of the blog you are vying to have your post published on is a human, just like you. He or she does not communicate using complex binary.
He communicates in your language and expresses emotions just like you. He will not yell at you or blame you for sending a pitch to him; in fact, he wants to read your pitch.
In your pitch, take advantage of this.
2. First Impression; First Two Words
Begin your guest post pitch by establishing a rapport with the chief editor. It is a pitch, and your first impression matters more than anything. Address the pitch to the editor by name.
This works the same way a stranger’s calling your name on the street will work. If a stranger calls your name on a road you have not seen before, you will first be peaked before freaking out.
You will wonder how he or she got to know your name, especially if it’s a name that is not very common. And soon, you will figure out how he or she knows you.
The editor sees his name on your cover letter and is sure that your mail is not spam. He is sure that you have gone through their blog countless times, many times to know his name.
Nothing annoys editors more than spam. Big blogs get a lot of spammy emails. So much that even genuine mails may even begin to look a lot like spam.
You do not want your first two words to appear spammy. No uncensored words, threats, or name-calling. Those will only have your emails emptied into the trash folder.
3. The Rapport:
You have the editor’s attention floating on the surface now. Do not let it drown. Show him or her that you are human too and can appeal to his emotions because you understand them.
After the salutation, you can throw a little praise here and there. But not too much, so that it does come off as unnecessary hype.
The purpose of the praise is, first, to make the editor feel great about his work. Believe me, a lot of editors receive loads of abuses every day; their mails are littered with the rants of people who feel they are being sidelined in some way, people who have little tolerance for rejection.
Who says editors cannot receive some praise too?
The second purpose of this praise is to let further the editor know that you have been reading their blog. Write something like:
I am thrilled to send your blog this work. It is such a beautiful blog, and I cannot imagine how much you do to make it so beautiful.”
4. Who Are You?
You know who the editor is. Isn’t it only normal for him or her to know who you are, too? Oh, it is, and it takes the creepiness away.
Tell the editor your name, and tell the editor what value you hold. For example, you can say:
“My name is Grace, and I am the chief editor of ___.”
Reading this, the editor is most probably going to gasp. She is going to mutter a mental: “Oh, and editor, too.” And will further prepare herself to be impressed by you.
Believe this: a good profile is going to impress most editors.
A good profile is, in fact, going to impress almost everyone. This is why you look out for items with five-star reviews when you shop online. Your editor does this when he reads through emails.
Please, note that a great profile or identity does not necessarily guarantee acceptance, just as a not-so-rich profile does not guarantee rejection.
5. An Editor Does Not Want to Hear About What happened in Your Neighborhood Last Sunday
When an editor sits to read pitches, she does not sit because she wants to read a novel or short story or something one reads to eager kids when it is time for them to go to bed.
While I have advised building a rapport with and appealing to the blog’s editor, I do not advise that you include unnecessary detail in your pitch.
Do not tell the editor about how one day in November, while it rained cats and dogs outside, you sat behind your computer and searched how to write great pitches on google.
Do not mention how your best friend encouraged you to write this pitch and how when you were done writing; you felt a rush of power that made you feel like the Aquaman.
This is only going to make her roll her eyes. You are not the Aquaman—maybe you are in your dreams—you are just trying to get published.
6. A Pitch: Not a Crime Scene
Have you ever used Microsoft word to write? Notice those red lines underneath misspelled words? Those are what I describe as crime scenes. You do not need this in your pitch. What you need is an error-free guest post pitch that is well punctuated. One that is easy to read.
Read and re-read, and be sure that all words are spelled correctly. That all phrases are good too. Before you send your pitch, you might even want to check it in a grammar checker.
7. Short, Apt Sentences:
Remember that you are writing this pitch to impress your editor. You need short, apt sentences to do this. Every word in your pitch should count.
The tone of your writing should be assertive. Verbosity is a big NO in the sky. Sentences should not be too long, and they should be in the active voice.
Long sentences are not only very boring to read. A lot of times, they make the jump past that line between boring and annoying so that they start to really annoy the editor.
After trying hard for minutes to figure out the meaning of a mile-long sentence, the editor is going to sigh and decide that you are not what he needs.
8. Why Should You Be Published?
This is your pitch proper. Tell the editor why you want to be published. Make it sting, a reason that cannot be easily overlooked. Your reason for being published should be more reader-motivated than it is personally motivated.
When blogs put up posts, they do so because they have nothing to do. They do so because of their readers. It is the readers that make a blog stand out. If the writing on a blog or website appeals to readers, they will do great.
Your motivation for being published can look something like this:
“I will like to have my work published because it is a story that I know will appeal to a lot of people out there. I want them to realize that someone was once in their shoes and now wants them out of there.”
The editor reads this and smiles hard. Writing that is motivated by the desire to help others can be very intriguing and helpful. Most editors know this.
9. Include That Your Work is Researched Based:
Editors do not like to publish questionable articles. Because they know that if they do so, readers are going to fish out the loopholes. Some readers are nice enough to send emails requesting explanations. Some are not: they just stop reading the blog that posts articles with questionable credibility.
When you tell your editor that your work is researched-based, he or she sighs and goes: “Finally, some great stuff.”
And he is right. Researched-based works are great stuff. Even readers know.
10. Subject line:
The subject line of your email determines to a great extent if your email will ever be opened. First, some mails may never reach the main inbox if the subject line is spammy. They get thrown into the spam folder, where many editors do not bother to dip their hands into.
Second, the subject line is usually the first thing the editor sees. If it looks great, he will go on to open the mail. And if it does not, if it looks like just another spam or abusive mail, they will not bother opening it.
Use subject lines that are short and direct and explain the purpose of your email. Many websites or blogs that accept pitches sometimes state what you should put in the subject line. Follow their instructions if you want your pitch to be read.
Think of something. Think about the chance it stands to impress the editor. Make it unique.
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11. No Excessive Self-Praise
While it is a great idea to show an editor that you are great at what you do, it often backfires when you do it too much.
Do not praise yourself so much that it begins to look like you are doing the blog more of a favor by being published by them.
Read this: “I am a great blogger. Everyone wants to publish me. Time isn’t on my side, but I managed to make some for your blog. It gets hard, I tell you.”
How does that sound? Let me guess: annoying. Like, really annoying. Seems like an extreme example, anyway. But you should understand the point.
12. Do Not Tell the Editor What to Do:
While it is great to impress the editor, it is the opposite to try to order him about. One of the ways to predict an editor’s response is to imagine that you are an editor yourself.
Imagine opening a mail and reading: “Publish my work promptly.”
It is going to be very upsetting. You might reject this pitch without even thinking twice. That is probably just what an editor is going to do if you seem rude and hint that you are ordering him about. Be polite.
13. Length Matters
No one has all the time in the world. Editors are busy people and have to read a lot of guest post pitches every week. Make their job easier for them.
Keep your pitches short while keeping them expressive and complete. Make every word count. Every sentence. Every phrase. Make them count.
14. Don’t Beg:
It is not a plea. It is a pitch. The quality of your work and the quality of your guest post pitch is what is going to speak for you.
That being said, do not beg the editor or hint a plea for sympathy in your guest post pitch. It may contribute to rejection.
15. Visual Content:
You can always include photos and videos, and other visual content in your pitch. Just make sure the content is related to what you are writing about.
Readers love to see pictures. Editors are no exception.
Express yourself in an elegant and confident way. This is how to hit that perfect pitch.