Guest blogging typically comes up amongst SEO specialists and content marketers when talking about earning high-quality backlinks to a website. However, guest blogging is so much more than just a reputable backlink from a relevant website.
A guest blog outreach strategy is an essential part of a successful content marketing plan for several reasons:
- First, it’s a great way to reach a new audience.
- Second, it builds third party credibility and increases your authority in the field.
- Third, pitching blogs enables you to connect with other professionals in your industry and create new partnerships.
- Fourth, it drives new traffic to your website.
- Fifth, it’s an excellent way to earn quality backlinks.
With all of these benefits from guest blogging, it’s important that the very first impression you make (your blog pitch) is a good one. Let’s look at what makes up the perfect guest blog pitch.
Do Your Research
Sure, everyone wants to be published on The Huffington Post or The New York Times, but those spots are tough to get. Instead, do your research on your industry. Find publications that focus on your field or area of expertise. You may know of several off the top of your head but search for additional ones as well.
Next, check out what types of articles the publication posts. Do they focus on breaking news, educational articles, long-form research pieces, expert tips, or something else? Look around on the website and see if there is a particular section that your guest blog would be a good fit for. When you draft your blog pitch, the more specific you can be, the better. You want to make it easy for the person you are pitching to accept your article.
Know Your Audience
As with all B2B content marketing, it’s important to truly understand your audience. When it comes to guest blog pitches, you need to understand the audience of the publication you are pitching. The publication often shares information about who reads their articles. Know this BEFORE you craft your blog pitch. If your article appeals primarily to CTOs but the publication is more widely read by engineers, you may need to change your topic or save that pitch for a different article.
Customize Your Pitch
At Bop Design, we are lucky to receive a lot of guest blog pitches each week. However, we are likely to immediately disqualify a pitch if it looks generic or like a template with our name filled in. Think of every guest blog pitch as a potential partnership for your firm. Each pitch should be customized to the publication, the contact, and the blog topics. It’s OK to start with a general framework, but it needs to be tailored specifically to your pitch audience. Simply filling in their name isn’t enough, either. Read through your entire pitch and make tweaks to ensure it is specific to them.
Keep It Short
Time is money! Don’t annoy your audience with a long-winded pitch about how great you are and why your guest article idea is the perfect fit. Keep it short and to the point. Here are a few things to include:
- The purpose of the email (To pitch a guest blog)
- Why they should care (How the article resonates with their audience)
- Why you are qualified on the subject (A quick bio – OK to provide a link to more info)
- Next steps (If they respond, you’ll send the article)
- Thank you (Always be appreciative and thankful)
Content marketing is fairly widespread and many editors understand its value. If they are savvy, they will also understand that you are writing free, valuable content for them. You don’t need to drone on about the value of the content for this very reason.
The most successful blog pitches include more than one topic. If possible, include a couple of relevant topics that would add value to that publication. Keep the list short with only 2-3 topics maximum. Again, this is where the research comes in handy. If you’ve spent the time doing research, you should have a good idea of articles they have already published and where you can fill in the gaps for them.
Always be grateful and appreciative of the editor’s time. They do get a lot of pitches every day and have to wade through a lot of garbage pitches.
Does your B2B content marketing plan include guest blogging outreach? What tips do you have to share with people getting started with guest blog outreach?