Can You Write a Better Guest-Post Pitch Than These #(&=*! Examples?

Carol Tice

Would you like to see your writing published on the top blogs online? Today, I’ve got a tip on how to make that happen.

I’ve been on both sides of this fence. I’ve queried blogs and scored guest posts on Problogger, Copyblogger and others…and more recently, I’ve taken pitches from writers.

You see, a while back, I started paying $50 a post for guest posts. I posted my writers guidelines, which ask that guest posters pitch me a headline and outline for approval. Then I waited for the awesome posts to roll in.

I’m getting some great stuff. Being a paying market has definitely resulted in higher-quality guest posts, which was part of my intention. (The other part being just walking my talk about writers deserving to be paid.)

But there’s a catch.

I have to wade through a ton of email pitches that are just atrocious.

Today I thought I’d give you a peek in my email inbox to see some of the pitches I’ve gotten recently. Hoping these will help writers see what not to do.

I’m reproducing these without any corrections, word for word — just full names and company names omitted.

Hey there, I don’t know if your the right person for me to talk too but my name is Aubrey and I’m with (marketing firm). I’m contacting your site because I wanted to see if we can write a guest blog post for your websites blog. You can just email me back if this will work out for your website.

Hi,

My name is Becky and I would love the opportunity to write on makealivingwriting.com . I love to blog and prefer to do so on a variety of sites vs a single location. I just like the idea of reaching a wider range of readers through guest posting.

Please let me know if you ever entertain this type of thing. If you do, be sure to let me know your guidelines. I would love to hear more.

Thanks so much,
Becky

On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 10:19 AM, Carol Tice wrote:

Becky,

I am a paying market. $50 a post. Read my guidelines and then follow them —

https://makealivingwriting.com/why-i-pay-writers

I do not accept free guest posts and prewritten posts submitted will not be read.

— Carol

(And here’s what happens when I take the time to respond to this:)

Of course I would pay you $50. I love writing, thought your site was perfect and I just wanted to double check with you before I started putting the article together. I was thinking about making the guest post to be on the topic of writing of course, will give you a more specific outline once I get some free time on my hands. 350-800 words, include a do follow link along with 2 contextual links. Of course the links would be related to the overall guest post. Would it be alright with you if I sent a draft of the guest post to you for review?

Please let me know if you are interested or not.

Thanks so much, Becky

I really enjoy reading your blog, and I was wondering if you accept guest posts?
I can write on a number of subjects such as financial planning, budgets, proper use of credit cards, or anything you suggest.
I’ll write specifically to your readers, and I’ll link to your other posts too.

Here are some examples of my work:

I’d love to chat with you when you’re available!

Thanks, Teresa


I was just going through few sites and blogs yesterday and came across your site https://makealivingwriting.com too. I really liked the way you have presented your site. I was reading some of your content and really found them interesting and informative. So I was just wondering if I can also do something for your site.

I shall further explain how I would like to contribute to your site. Actually I am a freelance content writer and I love writing articles as a hobby on topics related to Internet and Technology. What if I provide you with a unique article as a Guest Post absolutely FREE!! I am sure I will be able to contribute an article that will be informative for your readers and would certainly make a good read. Further, you can be assured that the article will be related to your website and will be appreciated by your readers.

It would be great if you can add a small BIO of mine at the end of the article with my related site’s links. I guarantee you that the article will be 100% copyscape protected and will be of around 500 words.

Please let me know if this sounds good to you, so that we can start working on your article. I shall be waiting for your response.

With Warm Regards, Sara

As you can see, I couldn’t make up stuff this sad.

It’s incredible how many people don’t bother to locate my guidelines, or to put together a pitch with a headline and outline.

There really is an art to writing a query. I recommend taking the time to learn it — can really pay off big.

Are you guest posting? Leave a comment and a link to where you’re appearing.

P.S. – Want to learn more about how to win at guest posts and skyrocket your traffic? Check out this free training video with Copyblogger’s Jon Morrow — it’s only up until Friday:

53 Comments

  1. Maria Jefferies

    Hello There,

    My name is Maria and I’m a professional blogger.

    I have over 5 years of experience writing for the web and have covered plenty of topics about Fashion. I just came across your blog and would like to contribute some relevant, useful topics about Fashion on your blog at no cost.

    At this point in my writing career, I simply want to get more visibility for your writing and I will write for free as long as you are okay with me adding a small author bio section next to each blog post about myself.

    Please let me know if you’re interested and if you’d like for me to submit a sample blog post for your approval.

    Thanks a bunch,

    Maria

    • Carol Tice

      I’m just leaving this up here so my readers can respond and react to it. I get this basic, clueless pitch nearly every day, writers, so you can see why you really need to read your target blog carefully, and follow the guidelines.

  2. Michael

    Hi Carol,
    As a long time “occasional” reader, I have never commented because for the most part, most of the advice is bang on. My thinking is why beat a dead horse however I think something has to be mentioned about the query process in general.

    The examples shown in this post appear flat to me. The writers may be exceptional at writing but these examples lack personality. I read a blog post a few months back that offered advice on transferring style and tone of the piece into the query / pitch. The list post offered great tips but this tip called The Elvis Factor really got me thinking about the query process.

    After writing a good article or post, do writers somehow lose their minds when it comes to writing pitches? It’s like the creativity, personality and voice stops suddenly. While there are certain things to consider when writing a query which are important, does the creativity have to stop once the query process begins? I’m inclined to think it doesn’t.

    That’s where The Elvis Factor comes in. From the headline to the first sentence of the piece all the way down to the asking for the assignment portion, both pieces of writing should be unique.

    Isn’t that why writers become writers; to be creative and to have a voice?

    I think there tends to be so much cookie cutter information given about the query process, most new and experienced writers try to capture it in a formula which doesn’t technically exist. The query then appears flat.

    Maybe that is the reason the rejection pile is greater than the acceptance pile.

    Anyway, just my little observation about queries in general.

    Michael

    • Carol Tice

      Michael, we think robots generate many of these type of pitches I show in this post. Which is why they’re so wooden.

      I do always get writers asking me for the template they can follow to write a great query. But as you point out, that just doesn’t work. Each query needs to be written with a particular market in mind, based on your research of that market and your idea for them.

      Thanks for weighing in!

  3. Chuck Douros

    Carol, that one is so bad. Holy Carp. LOL.

    • Carol Tice

      Snort!

  4. Carol Tice

    I just had to come back to this thread to add the text of a pitch I got today — this is reproduced letter-for-letter (name omitted):

    My name is ____ and I’m novice freelance writer and proofreader.I ‘m really impressed with your writing and your bog layout.
    There I ‘ve found so many useful tips for freelancers.I noticed that you accept guest posts and I have seeveral ideas to write about:
    *How to reduce writers illiteracy via the internet
    *Online-education ,tool’s and tip’s for writers
    If you like these ideas, please, send me your requirements.
    Anyway,I want to say a big thank’s to your blog, cause your articles inspires me for self-development.Keep writing.

    Signed, _____

  5. Jenni

    Hi,

    Are you currently accepting guest posts on website ?

    My name is Jenni Roi and I am a freelance writer to help them reach new audiences online by developing content partnerships with good quality blogs and websites like yours.

    I would like to stress that the article itself will not be self-promotional – I strive to ensure each piece I write is unique, written exclusively for your website and offers value to your audience.

    If you are happy for me to do so, then I will include a reference to my client in the byline so that your readers can find out more if they wish.

    Does this sound like something you would be interested in?

    I look forwards to hearing from you.

    All the best,
    Jenni Roi

    • Carol Tice

      Hi Jenni —

      I’m not sure you read this blog post. Maybe you want to do that — especially click that link up top there, to my guidelines?

      Then you’ll know how to pitch me a guest post.

      Hint: I’m not accepting guest-post pitches in the comments of my blog posts.

      Also, you’ll probably want to send a pitch that doesn’t contain several grammar and spelling errors, like you’ve got in your comment above, if you want to get an assignment from me.

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