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How to Submit A Guest Blog: Two Real Emails Examined

As a writer and editor for several food-related and green-minded websites, I get pitches from people wanting to submit a guest blog pretty regularly. I thought we’d take a look at one guestblogger email that worked, one that didn’t, and why.

First, let’s see if you can guess which is which:

Dear Lacy,

I enjoyed reading the article you wrote on Organic Authority: Is Your Kid a Snackaholic? How to  Fight Back

I also enjoyed reading your article in your own site: 55 Fun and Health Oatmeal Recipes.

You are a balanced mom and a foodie and your site conveys this successfully.

It’s been great getting to know you a little through your Organic Authority profile. You guys are doing a great job. I have enjoyed following Organic Authority for over two years now.

Lacy, who should I talk to in order to have my article published in Organic Authority? I sent a few emails to [a public email address for the site] but got no response.

As a biology scientist and organic food advocate, who closely follows the research in the field of nutrition, food and wellness, and I have written an article for OA.

The article is informative and well written, like the ones posted on OA.

Who should I send the article to in order to see it published in Organic Authority?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

And the second one:

Hi Lacy,

Hope you are doing well. I came across an infographic on GMO ( link: http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/natural-foods-fighting-gmo-labeling.html  ) that you had shared with your readers and thought I would reach out to you.

We recently created an infographic which highlights the impact of Genetically Modified Organisms. Today, 70% of items in American food stores contain GMOs. The infographic is filled with other information and as such it might be of interest to your readers.

Here’s the link http://www.nursedegree.net/gmo/

If you have any questions/concerns, please feel free to contact me.

If you guessed that the second guest blog submission is the one that worked, you’re right!

Now, let’s examine why.

The first guest blog pitch starts out well enough. He links to a couple of my articles that he says he’s read and compliments me. And, while it’s generally good to compliment the person you’re writing to and show that you know their work, this one almost starts to feel sycophantic before he gets to his point, and that’s not a good thing.

Then he asks for my help in getting his guest blog published.  Here’s the thing though: he never tells me what the article is about. I can’t tell from his description of his guest blog being “informative and well written” if it would be a fit for OrganicAuthority—a story about managing car mechanics in your auto body shop could be informative and well written, but it wouldn’t be right for OA’s readers.

Worse than that, he’s not offering me any benefits.  He’s not making my life easier, he’s not telling me what benefit his article might have to my readers. He’s asking for my help without offering to help me. (And, when I ran it by my boss, she said she was familiar with his articles which were “very self-serving.” Are we surprised?)

Now, let’s look at the second guest blog email.

Again, this guy opens with a link to a blog I posted using an infographic, so he’s showing that he knows I already write about the topic he’s pitching.  This is very effective.  The first guy linked to two random articles; the second guy showed that he did his research.

Then he tells me he has a similar (but substantially different) infographic that my readers would be interested in.  He’s proving that he knows who my readers are.

Finally, he gives me the link.  Boom.  Done.  He makes it incredibly easy for me to grab his content and use it on my site.

Now, it’s a little different with infographics than articles; I wouldn’t recommend you send an unsolicited draft of your guest post necessarily. (And if you do, paste it into the body of the email; many people won’t open unsolicited attachments.) But the first guy could have made it easier for me to say yes by: 1) telling me what his friggin guest post was about, 2) telling me it was already written and formatted and ready to go and 3) offering to send it to me for me to review.

So what do you think? Would you have said yes to No. 1 if you were in my shoes? Got questions about how to submit a guest post? Let me know in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Dylan Childs via Compfight cc

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2 Responses to How to Submit A Guest Blog: Two Real Emails Examined

  1. Fantastic blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress
    or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there
    that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any recommendations? Kudos!

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