I've read several blog posts giving some pretty useful tips on how to get your guest posts accepted. But I rarely read the ones that are written from the blog owner's point of view. So, with this blog post, I would like to offer you my insight as a blog owner: Do I accept guest posts and why I reject 90% of guest post requests.
I run several blogs and as a blog owner, I receive numerous guest posting requests. I actually am receiving dozens of guest posting requests, coming from several entities, most typically fellow bloggers, fellow business owners, company execs, PR/SEO agencies, freelancers promoting their clients' websites, and so on.
Well, I DO publish guest posts, but I DO have guidelines (that I should let people read them on each and every blog I own and run.) Some guest post authors are doing their homework researching the blogs they are pitching to, but many, many others don't.
To make matters worse, many of them are using templated outreach emails that they don't even bother to edit and make them their own. Sometimes the emails are hilarious, but most of the times, they are simply annoying and I regard them as spamming.
You see, I understand that there are certain kind of guest post pitch emails that work, but for me, it's too annoying reading guest post pitch emails using strikingly similar format but from different senders, freelancers and agencies alike!
"Templates" used as they are sucks; they don't show me the personal touch of the senders, and they are only leaving me a bad impression... I think they only want links and buzz from my blogs. It sucks, really. Add to those poorly crafted templates, I guarantee a 1 second glance and a push of delete button.
Do you want some examples of poorly crafted templates? Try this - some people pitching for guest posts seem to blast their emails to a list automatically, leaving nearly nothing to be desired. Just reading through the salutation gives me a bad feeling already:
... and here's the typical format in the email pitch's body - the first paragraph:
... trying to trick me into believing how cool your guest post would be:
I'm not trying to be a pain, but I've had enough with reading "templatey" guest post pitch and reviewing poorly written guest posts sent by some writers who can't understand why I reject their guest posts.
I have some bad experience with some guest posts sent by freelancers writing on behalf of their clients; one year after I publish their articles, their clients contact me to remove or update their links due to Google algorithm updates - sometimes by sending me yet another "templatey" emails asking (or threatening?) me to remove certain links - or else, my site will get reported to Google via the link disavow tool (no joke!)
Today, if you want to send guest-post-for-SEO and/or guest-post-as-advertorial, you will need to compensate my time with monetary value. I don't really like doing this, but it's a good way to stop 90% of bad guest post pitches. Today, I expect that guest posts are coming from a "real" person with credential (sorry, no pen name...) - e.g. Business execs, business owners, managers, specialists, etc.
How to know whether a guest post is, well, a guest post? To me, it's simple: It's useful, it's objective and the self-serving links (well, you must understand that ALL guest posts will have a self-serving purpose, by nature...) is not keyword-stuffed and blend in very well with the article (e.g. "web design miami" is NOT a good self-serving link in a guest post.)
So, how to turn your guest post pitch a successful one? Here are some pointers, from a blog owner's point of view:
Personalized message makes a blog owner feel respected. As a blog owner, I am looking for a partnership, not a one-off gig. Some of the best guest posts I have published on my blogs are those coming from guest post partners, who have proven their track records. ALL of them were started with good guest post pitches that are real and personalized.
Examples are always great, and knowing where you have you articles published is a big bonus. If you have written on BusinessInsider.com, don't forget to let the blog owner knows - share your Author page, and other proof.
If you are an agency or someone representing a client, it's great to let blog owners know who your client is. We know that you are representing a client and we want to publish guest posts that are "endorsed" by your clients' CEO, for example.
Moreover, knowing who your client is will help us to understand what kind of outbound links we are going to publish. Blog owners: A great article of "100 greatest blogging tips of all time" won't do if the self-serving link leads to a gambling site or other questionable sites. If you continue to publish such posts, get ready to lose ranking due to Google slaps.
Did you know that today, guest posts are SEO tools? Many guest posters are looking for the right blogs for two main purposes: Getting backlinks and getting traffic.
Due to the effectiveness of guest posts, they are often abused by the senders, typically by sending non-unique guest posts, as well as sending long-but-meaningless blog posts. If you are not careful, you will end up publishing a blog post that will ruin the entire blog's reputation.
So, be sure to ask for the guest post draft to be sent to you to review. Read them and be sure to only approve what interests you. Of course, always go for guest posts that are unique, exclusive and high quality.
Remember, not all guest posts are created the same; therefore, be sure to do your homework, reviewing guest post drafts - or don't accept guest posts at all.