Pitching a blogger for a guest post really isn’t much different than pitching a print or broadcast reporter. Guest posting has to be win-win for everybody, so be sure to make it clear in your pitch why what you are proposing makes sense for that blog’s audience and how it will benefit them.
Just as you can build on local or trade-specific news media coverage to go to the next level, doing guest posts on some lesser-known blogs may help you get coverage on an A-list blog.
Here are 7 tips for presenting guest-post ideas to bloggers:
1. Do your homework. Research sites to find ones that are viewed by your target audience and develop a short list of places you’d like to approach. Alltop, Google Blogsearch and Postrank Topics are helpful resources to find bloggers who write about your topic.
2. Become familiar with the blog’s style, personality and content. Just as you should read a publication or watch/listen to a program before pitching it, read several posts on the blog you are targeting and make sure what you have in mind fits into one of its categories. See if you can bring a fresh perspective to a topic or address a something that hasn’t been covered recently or at all.
3. Establish your credibility. When contacting a blogger, include information about yourself and your credentials to write about the topic you’re proposing. Even if you are acquainted with the blogger, it doesn’t hurt to remind him or her about why you would be a good person to address this topic.
4. Get to the point. A good media pitch letter is brief, engaging and quickly gets to the point. Use that same approach with bloggers, and don’t waste their time. The more targeted and creative your pitch, the better your chances of success.
5. Make the blogger’s job easy. Rather than asking the blogger about topics he or she would like you to write about, suggest a couple of good ideas that would be of interest to the blog’s audience. Offer to provide images, video, URLs and whatever else may be useful.
6. Write to help the audience succeed. Once you have approval to submit a guest post, focus your writing to the specific audience you’ll be addressing. What challenges does this audience face, and what advice can you give them to help them overcome these challenges? What opportunities may they be missing that haven’t been previously covered? Are there trends or new research results you can discuss?
7. Don’t be pushy. It’s fine to see if you can get a timeframe of when, if ever, your guest post will run, but don’t hound the blogger. If you don’t get a positive response or you don’t get a response at all after a couple of inquiries, move on—and keep in mind that you may have an even better pitch next time.
Joan Steward has an excellent blog and an e-newsletter called The Publicity Hound that provides useful PR tips. Because of the popularity of her blog, she often gets approached for guest posts.
Her advice: “Pitch a blogger the same way you’d pitch a journalist. Let them know, without coming right out and saying it, that you’ve read their blog. You know the kinds of topics their audience loves, and you have an idea that’s a perfect fit. Also, explain your area of expertise and why you’re the best person to write about it.”
Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to advertising agencies and businesses.