How to write a guest post pitch that gets a response (even if it’s a no)

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Tell 99.99% of online marketers that you want to build up an email list to support your online business and this is the advice they’ll give you:

Write guest posts.

And honestly, it’s not inherently bad advice.

But I don’t know about you, but I hate “online networking” almost as much as I hate “networking events.”

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Almost everything about it makes me cringe, and this is why:

When you get into “networking” mode, you and everyone else around you are in it to get it.

You’re not showing up because you genuinely care about the other people you’ll be messaging or talking to that day.

You’re showing up because you hope that pretending to care—by flashing a smile, a handshake, and a business card—will somehow magically get clients begging to hire you.

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But I’ve got news for you in case you’ve never tried this: It doesn’t work.

As humans, we’ve got really good nonsense detectors built into our brains.

And we just know when someone isn’t being genuine.

And if you’re at a networking event in hopes of snagging a new client, or if you’re trying to mass message people in hopes of snagging some of their hard-earned traffic to your site, they’ll smell your nonsense. Trust me.

It’s not a bad thing… it just means that you’ve got to find better ways to do it.

And in the case of getting a guest post… ironically… it’s by not asking for the guest post right away.

The key?

Ask for some quick advice

Get an initial, quick, positive response back. This will help you engage in a meaningful conversation with someone, upping your chances of developing an actual professional relationship. (Which could mean a guest post, exposure, referrals, or all three.)

So here’s an example of the first email you could send out.

Hey [blogger],

I’ve been a massive fan of your site for a while now.

My favorite thing you’ve ever published was that post on how to choose the right colors for your website.

I’ve put a lot of time and effort into figuring out what my own brand colors should be, and have just updated my website.

Would you mind just clicking through for a second and checking it out real quick?

I can’t tell if the shade of orange looks right or if I should make it just a little lighter.

What do you think?

Do you see how this takes almost no time to respond to? AND how you show appreciation to the blogger and that you’re a valuable member of his audience?

This is key.

Bloggers who care about their readers LOVE it when you take their advice. And they love it even more when you show them how you’ve implemented it.

And if you do that and ask for a quick, tiny piece of advice?

They’re going to respond. (Most likely.)

In fact, even if they give constructive criticism about how you implemented their advice, you can bank on the fact that 90% or more of them will respond with some other kind of compliment to you—about your website, your content, or something else.

Now is your opportunity

Take that compliment and say something like:

Wow, thanks so much for that advice and the compliment!

Actually, speaking of [thing they complimented], I recently wrote a blog post on that here: [give link].

Looking at your audience demographic, this might be something they’d be interested in… especially if we looked at it from the angle of [a key way their brand is different from yours].

What do you think?

Unless they’re a jerk, they’re going to check out your blog post and get back to you.

If it’s a no… no worries.

You’ve still officially got a new, valuable member in your network who can help you grow your audience in other ways down the line.

But if it’s a yes…. HERE is your opportunity to pitch a guest post.

But when you do, don’t just say, Cool, so you want me to write a guest post on it?

Instead, write something like this:

Awesome.

If you’re up for it, I’d love to write a guest post for your site.

I’m thinking the outline could be something like this:

[Proposed Title]
[Meaty bullet point 1 + explanation]
[Meaty bullet point 2 + explanation]
[Meaty bullet point 3 + explanation]

I could send over a draft mid next week. Would that work for you?

To which, at this point of your relationship and rapport-building, they’ll almost always say, Ummm, YES PLEASE.

Conclusion

For any of you who’ve tried to land guest posts before, you know cold pitching can be tough. SUPER tough.

Shoot, I’ve gotten spots on “mega blogs” and still have problems hearing back sometimes.

But now that I’ve stopped trying to cold pitch to bloggers just because I like their blog and find common ground to start the conversation on, I get a lot farther. And any time I want to write a guest post now, I pretty much get the green light every single time.

So if you haven’t tried this approach to guest posting and you’re desperate for some spots, try this approach for 30 days and see how well it works.

How do you get guest spots? Share in the comments!

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About Chelsea Baldwin

Chelsea Baldwin runs Copy Power, where she teaches how to reverse-engineer copywriting based on psychology to get your readers hooked on you forever. She wrote a free ebook that’ll help you keep your traffic from bouncing and get more leads and conversions on your site.

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