Last Updated on April 28, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
As the Content Marketing Team Lead of GreenGeeks, and the owner of WriterSanctuary.com, I get guest post email requests all the time. And because of their nature, it prompted me to create a list of tips to help people create these messages.
In other words, a lot of them kind of suck.
Now, I’m not saying these people suck, but the way they approach me is south of being successful. In most cases, I simply ignore the email and move on.
Why Send Out Guest Post Email Inquiries?
Not every blog is set up like mine where I allow guest blogging regarding specific topics. Simply create the post and hit submit. If it fits, I’ll let you know, do a bit of editing and publish the post.
However, many people don’t like this approach. So, if you want to create something for someone else’s website, you’d send a guest post email.
Usually, this would encompass who you are, what you want to provide and any questions regarding the format. If the website manager likes what you have to say, then they may answer, “yes” to your request.
But, if the message looks amateurish or doesn’t appease to the manager, there’s a good chance the message will hit the trash bin faster than you can say, “email marketing.”
First impressions are vital, and you want yours to be a shining example of your expertise as a writer or blogger. This means you need to pay close attention to what you’re sending out to prospective guest blogging opportunities.
Where to Send Guest Post Emails
As I said, a lot of site owners encourage guest posts. For one thing, it means less content they have to create while still benefiting from engaging an audience. And you will get a backlink to your site and get your name further out into the Internet.
It’s a symbiotic relationship, really.
Unfortunately, not everyone is forthcoming with where to send a guest post email.
If you’re having difficulty, you can always look at the “About Us” section of a website. Sometimes, guest post information is stored on these pages. You can also look up the individual responsible for content on the site.
A lot of inquiries I get are from LinkedIn searches. This is because I am pretty open and proud of the platforms I support. In fact, LinkedIn is probably a great place to start if you’re looking at more popular sites for guest posting.
And if you reach out to the wrong person, a lot of the time, they’ll direct you to the person responsible for content on the site.
9 Important Things to Keep in Mind
OK, you found the person you need to contact and you’re ready to set up your email. Remember, first impressions are crucial. Any problem with the guest post email and you can kiss that opportunity goodbye.
Trust me, I’ve trashed a lot of messages over the past year.
These tips for writing a guest post email are not in any particular order. However, all of them weigh heavily on how I, and many others, will rate your approach.
1. Don’t Fully Trust Templates
The Internet is full of templates. In fact, I’ve seen a couple of messages from different people that were nearly verbatim. This takes the personal edge away from the inquiry.
Personally, I don’t like cookie-cutter messages. It tells me that you didn’t have the ambition to write a personalized message, which then gives me the impression that you’re not serious enough as a writer.
Not only that, but I’ve seen templates riddled with grammatical and spelling errors.
You can use templates if you don’t know what you’re doing. But use them more as a guide to how you should structure the message. Don’t simply copy, paste and then change the name.
2. Always Use Good Grammar
One of my biggest pet peeves with guest post pitch emails is the lack of good grammar. If your message doesn’t follow even the basics of grammar, then why should I let you create content for my site?
In a lot of cases, someone will send a guest post email as a go-between. They’ll ask if they can write and then hire a professional writer like myself to create the content. And this is fine…you do you.
It’s one of the reasons why clients use content mills.
But if you can’t put more than two sentences in a row together where I don’t need a translator, it’s just not going to happen.
Besides, what if the message was written by the actual author? Poor grammar in the email is a prelude to the poor content he or she is about to turn in. And I don’t have time to re-write a guest post.
3. Use an Official Email Address, If You Can
If at all possible, use an “official” email address. For the most part, I ignore guest post messages coming from Gmail, Yahoo or Live.com, especially if they are requesting a link to a specific domain name.
This is because most web-based email comes in the form of scams or malware. And I simply don’t have time to sift through what could actually be legitimate guest post email.
Case in point, I always use my WriterSanctuary.com address for professional messages. In fact, I don’t have an email account at any web-based system.
If you send a request for a blog post and want a link back to your domain, it helps if your message comes from that domain. It’s not that difficult to set up an address for your website.
Now, there are times when I’ll take a look at a message from a Gmail account depending on the circumstance. But it’s not very often.
4. Make Sure the Address Matches the Domain
This tip kind of goes hand-in-hand with the last. It’s important that your email address matches the domain name in your email.
Let’s say you want a link back to “BobsMeatParlor.com” and the email comes from “JacksFishEmporium.com.” I’m probably going to delete the message. This is when it’s good to have your email signature match the return address.
And yes, I do check originating server information because I know how to do that. In fact, a lot of website owners do…and will. In an age of scams, frauds and fake accounts, site owners like myself are diligent when it comes to security.
But if you’re a marketer and want to create content for a client, make sure you mention that in the message. I deal with marketers quite often, and all of the professional ones state how they are working for a client who may fit my niche.
5. Make Sure Your Blog Fits Theirs
One of the most important aspects in your guest post email format is making sure your blog is relevant. This is because Google cracks down on irrelevant content, and it could hurt search rankings.
So if you’re blogging from a site that deals with car parts and you want a backlink from a site that centers around freelance writing, it’s not going to happen.
But what if you’re not sure if your blog is relevant? That’s when you take a few minutes and explore the blog of which you want to write. Does your site’s niche complement or fit with theirs?
Case in point, WriterSanctuary is mostly about freelance writing in general. However, I also cover topics related to self-publishing, creative writing, blogging and WordPress. And you can find even more if you dig a bit.
6. Be Wary of Being Cute or Funny
I had a recent guest post email that was trying too hard to be funny. Nearly every sentence revolved around a running joke within the message. And to be honest, I found it completely annoying and the joke really wasn’t all that funny.
At which point, I simply ignored the message.
Adding personality is one thing, but you still need to offer a hint of professionalism. And keep in mind the one you’re emailing may not have the same sense of humor as yourself.
7. Save Your Content Ideas for When They Reply
Another element of some guest post emails that bugs me is when someone sends a list right off the bat of what they want to write. And in most cases, it’s already content that is on the site.
Never assume the website owner is going to agree. When you list off titles and ideas before he or she agrees, it makes you seem arrogant. Tenacity is one thing, but making an assumption you’re going to write for the website is another.
If the site owner agrees to let you create a guest post, that’s when you can dive deeper into details.
Just make sure you’re bringing up ideas that are not already published. Spend a few moments and search the site’s content or use the single site command in Google search.
Now, a lot of website owners are not as anal or picky as I am. Listing off title ideas may work for some. But, keep in mind that others may find it a turn off.
8. Don’t Just Link an Article when Mentioning It
Here’s one that really gets my goat. When you say you saw such-and-such article and then link it without referencing the actual content, I ignore the message. Anyone can link a post and slap it into an email.
Actually read the content and mention something within the post. Tell the content manager why you liked it while citing specific points. This adds an incredible amount of clout when someone reads the guest post email.
In reality, you want to customize each message you send to different sites and make them personal.
9. Use the Manager’s Name
And last, but definitely not least, use the website manager’s name. In many instances of guest post email templates, the intro includes, “Dear Site Owner” or something similar.
At that rate, I know you’re not serious enough to even look up my name, which is incredibly easy to find. So, how can I believe you’re serious enough about writing the content?
However, there might be times when someone’s name isn’t easy to locate. In that case, something like, “To Whom It May Concern,” goes a long way. And then mention right off the bat how you hope you’re contacting the right individual.
NEVER start a sentence with “Dear Sir/Madam.” That message will get deleted instantly. At least, that’s what happens in my inbox.
Customize Your Guest Post Email
If you can’t tell, there is a running theme in the tips above. It’s all about customizing each guest post email you send. When you personalize the message, it adds a layer of professionalism and makes the recipient more intrigued by what you have to say.
Copying and pasting messages is lazy writing, and it is far less successful in the long run.
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