7 Things No Editor Wants To See In Your Guest Contributor Pitch
Link building is huge at the moment. So, many people send guest posts pitches to authoritative websites to get backlinks. Yet, some people do it wrong, making things harder for everyone. Either they don’t know how to write their cold openers or they just don’t pay enough attention to important details, thus making mistakes that no editor wants to see!
A guest contributor pitch is your tool to make a great first impression on the person from whom you expect to choose you for guest posting. This is your chance to show your writing skills and your interest to write a guest post for them. It should represent you in the best light and make the editor want to contact you as soon as they can.
So, forget spammy emails and horrible guest post pitches! Check which seven things no editor wants to see in your pitch and how to avoid them to make everyone’s life a tad bit easier.
No Editor Wants to See Generalized Greetings in Your Pitch
It’s very important to establish a personal relationship with the editor at the very beginning. So, greetings like ‘Hi, Name-of-the-site’ or ‘Hi, Content Editor’ are out of the question! This means that you made little to no effort to find the name of the person to whom you are writing. This is an unprofessional approach to pitching that could also be rude and offensive.
Editor’s note: Also make sure that if you do address someone by name, it is of someone who is actually part of the company you are pitching, as opposed to a guest contributor. We get these a lot. Bad first impression!
Instead, do your job correctly. Look at it as if it were an investigation game (make it fun if you will). Explore the website to find the editor’s name. It is often written in the post descriptions or under authors bio. Yet, don’t stop there. Check their social networks. Include their words or phrases in your pitch. This will surely fascinate the editor, as they’ll know that you’ve been researching them.
Weak or Uninteresting Subject Line in The Email
The subject line in your email is the first thing that the editor will see. It hints whether the email is important or not. Hence, the subject line needs to be interesting and appealing. It also needs to be teasing enough to draw the editor’s attention to open it and read it. So, be creative – use a few words to say a lot and thus make a great first impression on the editor. You may also include the title of your article, for example.
Just try not to be deceptive with your subject lines as it will do more damage than use.
You Write More About Yourself Than About The Content You Are Offering
It is important to introduce yourself, indeed. But, it’s enough to write just a few sentences about yourself. There is no need to write a long bio. Just be specific and write only about your experience related to this guest post.
The main focus should be on what you are offering to them. So, say how you will add value to their website or resolve their problems with your articles instead.
Offering Too General or Already Published Content
Is a big no-no! If you do that, be sure that your pitch will be immediately rejected. So, before you start writing a pitch, explore the website thoroughly. Read guest posting guidelines, if published, and analyze their blog’s content, writing style, and topics.
Still, this is not enough. You need to offer great content, preferably in more than one field, to show your various skills. If possible, focus on the specific field that is not covered well on their website. Make a list of topics and explain their value to their audience, for example. This will show them your high interest for guest posting on their website.
Haven’t Said Why You Are The Right Match For Guest Posting
You said everything, but not why they should choose you. Wrong! Always keep in mind that editors get too many pitches daily. So, you need to say clearly what sets you apart from others. Highlight your qualities and why your content is valuable to their audience. Don’t forget to leave links to your social networks and to show some examples of your previous work. Thus, they can get an insight into your full skills. Besides, this might encourage them to contact you at once.
Too Long And Unfocused Guest Post Pitches
Editors are very busy people. They do not have time to read too long pitches. Yet, as you need to say everything that is important, you need to be creative. So, use your skills to say a lot in just a few sentences. Be concise, precise, and focused on the solution to their problems. It’s very simple – give them what they want and you will get what you want – a guest post and those valuable backlinks.
You Haven’t Proofread Your Pitch
No editor wants to see in your pitch grammar and spelling mistakes. This absolutely must not happen! It means that the editor would need to edit your articles for which it has no time. Simply ask yourself – if you cannot write a guest post pitch properly, how can you expect that someone will take you to write top-quality articles?!
It’s so unprofessional. So, it is no wonder that over 50% of editors discard a pitch if they notice that writers haven’t proofread it before sending, even if they sent good content. They simply do not have time for long editing. That’s your job!
Let’s sum up how a good guest blogging pitch should look like:
- Brief introduction about yourself
- A detailed explanation of the content’s value for the audience and why you are the best fit
- A short list of topics
- Links to your profiles and examples of work
- Call-to-action sentence to contact you
Remember – you need to show yourself in the best light. So, avoid these seven things no editor wants to see in your pitch. Write a powerful and concise pitch focused on the solution to their problems. This will surely increase your chance to get the opportunity.
This article touches on my daily work. So it’s personal. And yes, I do have my own things to add. Here are some of them:
- Don’t call yourself an expert. That’s for the readers to decide
- Don’t promise unique content if it isn’t truly unique
- As with junk mail, the biggest promises usually signal that there’s little substance
- Don’t ask the editor what they want you to write. This signals that you will learn as you write, as opposed to knowing your subject matter. An experienced editor can spot this a mile off
- Be genuine and nice. You want them to work with you. They don’t have to work with people they don’t like!
- Don’t tell people you’ve read their blog for ages then prove that to be a lie by proposing an article that has nothing to do with the blog’s niche
- Don’t say you loved an article, then hyperlink to something that is a page, not an article. Yes, we’ve had that!
- Although mentioned above, this is a real biggie and worth repeating. If your English usage and grammar are poor in your outreach, why should anyone think your article will be anything other than 1000 words requiring major edits? This is supposed to be you at your very best. A bit like a first date. Make it good!
Over to You
If you are a writer, what advice can you give to fellow writers?
If you run a multi-authored blog, do you have any additional advice for wannabe contributors?
Please leave your comments, below. Thanks!
You may also want to read: How to Use Guest Blogging to Build Your Business
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Josip Mlinarić is an e-mail marketing and outreach specialist at Point Visible – a marketing agency providing link building and digital marketing services. He likes to say he has a simple and calm mindset in his approach towards life in general and likes to relax with experimenting in the kitchen or just chilling listening to music. You can tweet Josip @PointVisible
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