A couple of weeks ago, we posted a great guest post from Brian Shreckengast from SelfStorageDeals.com. It was relevant, wonderfully written, and completely appropriate for our site. Brian knows how to create genuine relationships online.
He gets it.
The week after posting Brian’s blog post on our blog, I started getting random solicitations for guest blog posts from other storage / moving services.
They didn’t get it.
Now, here’s what is sad: I’m actually a really easy sell for guest bloggers. I accept guest blog post whenever I can. Why? Because I am super pressed for time, and creating my own content takes time, time, and more time. So when someone comes to me and wants to give me good content for free, I’m all over it.
But I would never accept content from two of the people that pitched me last week. Why? Because their pitches were so blatantly bad, that they immediately turned me off. They made me a little irritated even. Irritated enough to become inspired to write this blog post: “How not to pitch your guest blog post.”
First of all, they both started their pitch something like this..
“I’m excited to come across your blog which is both a pleasurable read and an informative resource.”
Right away I’m suspicious. Really? I mean, when was the last time you came across a blog and thought “oh what a pleasurable read!” (Writing tip: If you wouldn’t say it, you typically don’t want to write it.) But hey, I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, so I kept reading.
Next, these blog pitch letters both moved on to something like this…
“I think a guest contribution that discusses storage will interest your readers…”
Why is this a bad line? Well, because my social media blog is neither about storage nor moving, and my readers don’t give a hoot about either of those things. If the guest blog pitcher had taken more than 10 seconds to read anything on my blog they would have noticed that.
Here’s the real kicker. I even took the time to respond to one of these people. I asked if they would be willing to write something other than moving tips — something that would be interesting to my target audience. (For example something like: Blogging Tips for Moving Companies, or Social Media for Moving Companies.)
Here is what they sent back. Verbatim.
“Thanks for your quick reply. I hereby attach my article on this mail.”
Attached was a Word document labeled, “15 Tips for Moving Your House.”
I was pretty amazed. Not only had the guy decided not to read my blog before pitching me, he also didn’t bother to read my email before replying.
Guys: It’s ok to use a form letter. Really it is. They cut down on labor. They make sense. If written well, they work. But don’t depend on a form letter (or several form letters) to do all the work for you.
Customize your communications.
If you want to be successful with a blogger outreach campaign, take the time to develop a relationship before sending a cold email. Here’s how:
1. Read the target blog. Comment (intelligently) on one of the posts.
2. Comment on the blogger’s Facebook business page a couple of times.
3. Retweet something they tweeted or Share something they posted to Facebook.
4. Then send them your form email — customized, of course so that it makes sense.
Getting posted as a guest blogger really isn’t very hard if you just take the time to do it right.
About the author, Wintress Odom from Socialot.com. Wintress Odom is part-owner of Socialot.com, a social contact management tool that helps you stay in front of your connections (such as bloggers or past clients). Socialot.com also builds affordable custom blogger lists on request.