Andy Capaloff
November 17, 2020

Why Do Most Guest Blogger Outreach Emails Suck?

Most Guest Blogger Outreach Emails Suck

This will be a bit of a rant. But hopefully, a couple of people will learn a thing or two. If that happens, my fellow blog masters and I will be very happy. To put it mildly, most guest blogger outreach emails suck. I don’t know who puts out the advice that people are taking, but for sure, it’s further proof that people should ignore anyone who claims to be an expert. Whether or not people are experts is for others to decide, not them!

Guest Blogger Outreach Emails Are Bad. Just How Bad?

Really, really bad! Bad enough that when someone does everything that everyone should do, plus maybe a little bit more, I feel moved to thank them!

Here’s a fairly recent one. Certainly not the worst I’ve ever seen, or close to it:

“I know you are swamped, so I won’t take much of your time.
I was reading some of the blog posts on your website and I must say the quality of the content is just amazing and it’s like that magnetic force that sticks and the reader just keeps on reading. Indeed, very informative!
I have some amazing blog ideas related to Online Marketing to share with you, which are homed in my thought clouds.
I value your time, so keeping it short. I would love to contribute a blog and want to share my thoughts with your audience. Would you allow me to contribute to your site? I have some share-worthy ideas in my mind. Let me know if you are interested in taking it forward.”

What’s Wrong With The Above Example?

Everything!

  • It came from a personal email address. This is OK only if some experience details are provided.
  • It offered no links to previously published articles
  • There were no suggestions for article titles
  • Who does this person work for and what is their specific expertise?
  • Anyone responsible for blog content for more than 5 minutes will gag at these fake compliments.
  • BE REAL, PEOPLE! Who told you that obviously disingenuous compliments will curry favour? Honestly, it won’t!
  • Maybe your first four sentences shouldn’t begin with “I”?
  • This person obviously didn’t look at the guidelines we took the time to post.

Here are some of the most common mistakes not included in the above:

  • Calling yourself an expert. As stated above, leave that for others to decide. You can only prove your expertise through examples or conversation (*)
  • Telling us that they’ll write a unique article. Haha! Really? This instantly marks them as newbies, as anyone who has been writing for a while knows that there is virtually no new material to write.
  • Terrible English or grammar. Remember, this is your first impression. If you can’t get your outreach email right, why should anyone have any faith that your writing is anything other than dreadful?
  • Beware of most attempts at humour. Few of these are as funny as you hope they might be. How many times do I need to see “Hello [name]. Oh, just kidding!”
  • Talking of things we’ve seen before, don’t buy or copy/paste a form outreach. I promise you that anyone who has run a blog for any amount of time has already seen it. And their first impression of you will not be good.

(*) On the flip side, I recently received an understated and definitely personalized email. After I selected a subject and suggested an angle likely to go down well with our readers, this person came through with an incredible article. When I told him how good it was, he confessed to having been nervous about how the article would be received. There was no overstatement, no crazy promises. But what was submitted was a unique twist on a subject, an excellent writing style, and absolute humility.

How To Make a Good First Impression With Your Guest Blogger Outreach Email

  • LOOK ON THE WEBSITE TO SEE IF THEY TOOK THE TIME TO POST GUIDELINES. We posted ours in the obviously foolish hope that a few people would read them. We thought that maybe people who couldn’t write the subject matter we say we’re interested in, or to the audience we describe, would stop emailing. How deliciously naïve of us!
  • Use an email subject line that will make your email stand out from the very large crowd.
  • Think of the first impression as a job interview or first date. People expect that this is probably the very best of you. If your best sucks, why would they want to see your next best… or your worst?
  • Be Human. Write a personalized email. Know that the more experienced the readership of the blog you’re writing to, the more likely they’ve seen every trick in the book and will appreciate honesty above all else.
  • Put forward a new twist on your chosen subjects. Yes, you can do this in a title.
  • Imagine your reaction if you received what you are sending. If you wouldn’t be impressed, why think for a second that other people will be?
  • Think of your email in the same way as a solicitation letter you receive: The bolder the claim of importance and urgency on the envelope, the more certainly it can be recycled without opening it!
  • Just remember that you’re emailing a real person. If you must, put a face to the person you think you’re writing to. Whatever works for you. Just don’t make it impersonal.

In Closing

People make far more mistakes than I’ve detailed here. And there are certainly other tips on how to do things correctly. Maybe one of the articles we’ve previously posted on the subject might help:

If You Want To Be A Guest Blogger, Stand Out From The Crowd

Guest Blogger Outreach: Here’s What Not To Do (And Some Tips)

Cautions and Advice for Guest Bloggers & New Content Marketers

And, for good measure, here are our guest blogger guidelines. Clearly, they are borne of a lot of frustration. To my mind, the ‘white on black’ print of the menu line that is is on stands out. Am I wrong?

If you have any do’s and don’ts to add to the above, please feel free to leave a comment. I look forward to engaging with you, below. And I definitely look forward to higher quality, more relevant, and more human outreach emails.

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Andy Capaloff

Andy Capaloff is the COO of Curatti. Prior to moving into the world of Content Marketing, Social Media Management and the day-to-day running of a Digital Marketing company, Andy spent over 3 decades in various aspects of IT. It is here that he honed his writing and technical skills, and his ability to ask uncommon questions.