Open Pitch: Kick Open the Door with Your Best Idea for a Guest Post

Evan Jensen

Contest Kickoff: Pitch Your Guest Post Ideas. Makealivingwriting.comWant to write a guest post for Make a Living Writing?

Now’s your chance to land an assignment. It’s open pitch time around here (through March 8, 2019). Submit via email (see guidelines) or comments below.

We’re ready to take a look at the best of the best guest post ideas about the business and craft of freelance writing.

Consider it a showdown.

Kind of like the final fight scene in the cult-classic movie Karate Kid when Daniel LaRusso takes on Cobra Kai bad-boy Johnny Lawrence.

You know. Wax on, wax off. Sweep the leg. Focus all power.

Short on ideas? Remember when LaRusso did all that work for Mr. Miyagi. At first it seemed like he wasn’t learning anything. But with a little help, he realized he had the skills to make his mark.

Whether you’re a newbie freelancer hustling to make things happen, a mid-career writer, or a pro, you’ve probably got a few moves you can share to help other writers.

So step on to the mat. Here’s what you need to know to pitch a guest post idea:

Sweep-the-leg advice about bad guest post pitches

When the crazed Cobra Kai sensi John Kreese tells LaRusso’s opponent to “sweep the leg,” he knows it’s a move that will result in immediate disqualification.

Maybe you’re already in fighting stance ready to strike with your first guest post pitch idea. But before you do, it’s important to know what will disqualify your pitch every time.

Almost every day we receive pitch ideas from people who think Make a Living Writing is :

  • A good place to sell their snake oil
  • An editing and translation service for non-English speakers
  • A forum to tell a sob story about some traumatic life event
  • A clearing house for pyramid schemes and money-making scams
  • A philanthropic organization that cares for rescue dogs, cats, monkeys, and unicorns
  • Interested in a vague mish-mash of ramblings about freelance writing

It’s kind of a problem. Truth be told, maybe 1 in 20 guest post pitches make the cut. The rest are a major brain drain, on time, inbox capacity, productivity, and creative mojo.

Far too many pitches we receive have nothing to do with the business and craft of freelance writing. If you don’t want to be escorted off the mat, don’t submit a pitch that will disqualify you.

Deliver your pitch with a punch in the face

Do it. If you’ve got a great guest post idea about the business and craft of freelance writing, ball up your fist and punch us in the face with your best offensive strike. Seriously, unleash your fury. Here’s how.

  • Study the guidelinesIt’s all there. Lot of freelance topics, details, and instructions to pitch an idea with the best chances of acceptance. Far too many writers don’t read the guidelines or purposely ignore the explicit rules for disqualification.
  • Read a dozen or more blog posts published on the site. FYI, there’s more than 1,000 on all kinds of freelance writing topics. Get familiar with the content, style, and audience, before you pitch a guest post idea.
  • Develop an original idea about the business and craft of freelance writing. We don’t accept any generic, researched-off-the-Internet writing topics we’ve all seen 100 times before.
  • Share your experience. Your hands-on approach to freelancing, successes,  failures, and strategies make a difference. Share your experience or provide a play-by-play account of how you get more clients, for example. Learning from other writers’ personal experiences is a powerful way to teach, motivate, and help other freelancers move up and earn more.
  • Write a pitch with a working headline and brief outline of the points you’ll cover in the guest post. In case you didn’t see that…write a BRIEF outline with a working headline. No pre-written posts, ramblings, or novel-length submissions.

Send us a guest post pitch Mr. Miyagi would be proud of. “Either you karate do ‘yes’ or karate do ‘no.’ You karate do ‘guess so,’ get squished just like grape.”

It’s open pitch through March 8. Let’s see what you’ve got. Send us your guest post ideas, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible, if it looks like a good fit.

Have a question about pitching  a guest post idea for Make a Living Writing? Let’s discuss.

Evan Jensen is the blog editor for Make a Living Writing. When he’s not on a writing deadline, or catching up on emails, he’s training to run another 100-mile ultramarathon.

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  1. Okwuise Valentine

    Hello Evan, I kind of like making a living through writing on my field of experience though I don’t know how and where to begin from. I am open for any tip on how to begin and make it worth while.

    • Carol Tice

      Tip: Go out and find a local company or publication that will let you write something. Without pay. Get a few samples, and you’ll be ready to pitch for money.

    • Alicia Brown

      My name is Alicia and I am a mother of two beautiful little girls and I am a beginner freelance writer. I decided I wanted o be a stay at home mom and I am passionate about literature, so I decided to really give this a go. I am excited about joining the freelance writer community. I also subscribed to this website and joined the Den List. I am hoping I meet the requirements to get this opportunity to guest post! If not I will be looking forward to future opportunities. Thanks for having me!

    • Carol Tice

      Alicia, my blog isn’t a good newbie-starter market. There are many places you can guest post for free — I’d start with them to get the practice.

      If you read through the post and check out our guidelines (linked in the post), you’ll see that our guest posts are mainly success stories from working freelance writers. And…that if you can’t read and follow the guidelines — we were looking for a headline and post outline from you — that’s another sign you’re not quite ready to guest on my blog. Most blogs have writer’s guidelines — be sure to read and follow them.

      The “Hope I can guest post for you!” approach doesn’t work. Blogs are usually looking for your IDEAS, not to assign you something. Hope that helps you to connect with your first opportunities.

    • Alicia

      I had already sent my pitch via the email provided. I was just introducing myself. I was being courteous in my post but I read and followed the guidelines to the best of my knowledge.

    • Carol Tice

      Aha – well, awesome then! I gather a bunch of people emailed rather than posting drafts here, and since I’m no longer the blog editor, it’s hard for me to know all that’s happening with that. 😉 Glad to hear a full pitch went to Evan. He’ll follow up with it!

  2. Jose Lopez

    My name is Jose Lopez. I’m here in Venezuela. I know that my country has been in the news a lot recently but I want to write about cocoa which is grown and transformed here as chocalate and is considerd as the best in the world. Cocoa beans are cultivated all over Venezuela and depending on the region, the chocolate made from these beans has a special taste. Since the oil industry is winding down as the main economic activity, chocolate entrepeneurs are springing up all over the country. They range from small entrepeneurs in cottage industries to big companies like Nestle which are exporting to Europe and the United States.
    I plan to write this as a general interest article for magazines such as airline agazines.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    My Regarda
    Jose Lopez

    • Carol Tice

      Jose…we’re only taking pitches for this blog. You’d have to send your query for an airline magazine to that publication!

  3. Denzil

    Hello Jensen,

    I have read everything and this is a good opportunity.

    I’m curious though. How many pitch ideas do you accept?

    I have two ideas that I’d wish to pitch.

    Should I go ahead?

    • Carol Tice

      Denzil, why don’t you give us your best one to start?

    • Denzil

      Hi Carol,

      Already sent a pitch. Waiting for your feedback.

      Many thanks

  4. Steve Hendon

    I have an idea I would like to pitch to you. It’s about being motivated and not talking ourselves out of opportunities that arise.

    • Evan Jensen

      Hi Steve,
      Read the guidelines, and send your pitch. Sounds like topic that would resonate with many freelance writers. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Carol advise freelancers: “Don’t be a waiter. Be a writer.”

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