Enlisting guest bloggers for your site is more than a good way to network—it’s a savvy strategy for building blog content, relieving pressure, saving time, and bringing in new readers. When you have other qualified writers crafting content for your site, you free yourself up to work on other things, while also gaining cross-promotion on other people’s sites.
Have you been taking advantage of this smart blog-building strategy? Do you know how to find guest bloggers? You know what they say, “When you want help, you have to ask.” With that in mind, here’s a look at what goes into crafting the perfect outreach email for guest posts.
1. Use a Personal Greeting
This should probably go without saying, but start your email with the recipient’s actual name rather than an anonymous greeting. Not only will people be more likely to keep reading when an email seems personal, but also using someone’s name just makes you seem more credible and trustworthy.
2. Highlight Your Connection
If you have any existing connection with the person to whom you’re writing, bring it up in the first few sentences. Maybe you’re both contributors to the same site. Maybe you have been reading the person’s blog for a few months and enjoyed a recent post. Maybe you read in his or her profile about a life detail you both share, like you attended the same college or grew up in the same city. Whatever it is, mention it in your email in order to establish a connection. This makes the recipient more likely to consider what you have to say and more willing to respond.
3. Be Affirming
You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar—and this is as true with bloggers as it is with everybody else. What can you praise about the person you’re approaching? Do you like his or her writing or blog style? Were you impressed by a recent blog series, or did you catch an interesting interview the blogger did somewhere else? Don’t be generic—it makes you seem insincere. Instead of saying “Love your blog,” try naming something specific like: “Your post about how to respond to mean comments really resonated with me; I’d love to have you share something similar with my readers!” Keep in mind that bloggers are good at detecting false praise; don’t offer empty flattery, or you do yourself more harm than good.
4. Give Them a Reason to Say Yes
While many bloggers will be happy to help you with a guest post just because you ask for one, particularly if you have built a real connection, others want to know what’s in it for them. So make it easier for bloggers to say yes by giving them good reasons. Can you offer a large audience? Tell them how big. Are your readers especially loyal? Share ways you know this. Put your blog assets on the table as resources they can benefit from by posting on your site—this helps other writers see why helping you is also helping themselves.
5. Create and Open Call on Your Site
Here’s one more idea, a little outside the realm of direct email requests. If you’re serious about generating regular guest posts, why not say so, openly, on your blog? Create a page with information for would-be guest writers—the way blogs like Write to Done, Money Saving Mom, and Copyblogger have done. On it, outline what you’re looking for with post requirements and submission guidelines. This way, guest bloggers end up coming to you.
Are you already utilizing guest bloggers on your site? What tips do you have for convincing them to say yes? And if you haven’t made the most of guest writers, why not? Try reaching out to blog friends first, using the tips above—then see what happens!