The Right (and Wrong) Ways to Approach Bloggers with Guest Posts

My visibility must be very good at the moment as in recent months I’ve received multiple requests from strangers to host their blog posts. These are often new freelance content writers desperate to get noticed in this industry who perhaps don’t have the budget for marketing.

I’ve been there – I’m sure we all have. I realise that guest posts is a way of getting your name out there on established sites and it’s better in many ways than working for free as some clients expect. However, many of these new writers are approaching established writers in the wrong way. If you want your request for an established blog to host a guest post idea, here is how you should and should not go about it.

Do: Put the Blogger First
Don’t: Expect Something for Nothing

Remember, you are asking that blogger to do you a favour – host your content for free. The blogger has every right to expect to get something from your content. The most important thing they are looking for is that the content is valuable to their blog and to their readers and is likely to have a positive impact on their blog. It’s clear to me that writers who approach bloggers fail this basic first step. This is a stock response a query may receive from me:

Hi,
I don’t usually allow guest posts because they are often spammy and sales-y. That is not what my blog is about. My website is part hobby blog, part shop front for my content writing, and part shop front for my fiction writing. If you can offer real value to my readers (I have around 3,000 hits per month) then I may permit it. Please let me know what you have in mind and I will consider it.

Matt

It’s rare I get a response after an email like this.

Do: Respond to Any Questions They Have
Don’t: Act Entitled

Because simply repeating a request and ignoring their queries is not going to get your request anywhere. Referring again to the response above, a blogger recently contacted me about hosting some content. I sent a response like this. Not only did the writer ignore the response and failed to provide any answers to my query, they came back to me a week later asking if I had considered their request.

is the below of any interest to you?

Regards,

Which received the short response from me…

I already responded to you. What would you like to post about? If you can offer my readers genuine value then I will consider it. What I don’t do is just allow anyone to spam my blog with advertisements for their own services.

No, I hadn’t considered it, because they hadn’t bothered to give my email the time of day to answer my queries.

Do: Have a Plan
Don’t: Carpet Bomb Lots of Bloggers

You should already have a plan when you approach any blogger. You should already have an idea of what you are going to write about and you should have been observing their blogs for weeks looking for useful content for the blog that will help them to help you get noticed. When the blogger asks what you want to write about, give as clear and concise an answer as possible. Don’t cold call lots of bloggers in the hope of getting a handful of hits. Most will not be impressed with your blatant attempt to hijack their website’s traffic or piggyback on their own success.

Do: Approach to Fill a Niche
Don’t: Approach a Rival

Can you imagine Coca Cola writing a glowing blog post about Pepsi Cola? No, neither can I. So why up and coming writers expect established content writers to promote them is quite beyond my comprehension. You should never approach a rival, but you should approach those where you can complement each other. There are subjects about which I never write – either on this blog or for my clients. I expect content writers who approach me to host their guest post to write about a subject that I know little to nothing about or couldn’t write myself and where I will personally learn something. Not only will I benefit (from the new information), but so will my rival (from my blog’s visibility).

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