For authors and writers who are just beginning to build an audience, guest posting an article on an established, related blog is an excellent means to expand your reach. Your post will be seen by a completely new audience who may then decide to follow your blog or maybe even purchase a book or two. The challenge for new writers is in finding sites with a dedicated readership related to your area of expertise that are also willing to accept unsolicited articles from an unknown writer. Therefore your pitch letter must be near perfect to catch the editor’s attention.
What is a Pitch?
In its purest form, a pitch includes:
- An introduction: Who are you?
- Relevance: How does your proposal fit with the existing audience?
- Topics: What do you propose to write about?
- Value: What benefit will readers get from the article?
Your pitch should not be a bulleted list, nor should it be an epic love poem in long form. Keep it brief, to the point, and grammatically correct. This is the one piece of your writing an editor is guaranteed to read. A convoluted, poorly composed, error-filled pitch does not make a good first impression.
Do Your Research
Spend some time reading, yes actually reading, the blog to which you intend to pitch your article. Look for existing topics you think can be expanded upon by your expertise or fresh outlook. While researching, take note of not only the subjects, but also the typical article length, their structure, tone, and use of imagery.
Also, a little investigative work on your part goes a long way in making sure your pitch is welcomed. Addressing an editor by the wrong name, wrong gender, or the generic “to whom it may concern” makes a terrible first impression. Find out as much as you can about the editor and their interests, then incorporate that information into your introduction to make a connection.
Get Their Attention
Based on these subject lines, which email would you open first?
“E-Reader Covers: What They Say About What You Read”
Show Them What You’ve Got
Nothing gets a reader’s attention like effective imagery. You will get more notice with original work than from stock photos.
Depending on the blog’s popularity and posting scheduled, there may be a publishing calendar that is planned out for the next 10 days to two months. There is no need to follow up every day to see if the editor received the follow up you sent yesterday. If your article was accepted, the editor will let you know when it will go live.
While You Wait
It’s acceptable to write articles ahead of time while you wait for responses, but we recommend you do not publish them. If you plan to submit an article as a guest post, it should be an original post.
Don’t forget to compose an author bio that is accurate, succinct, and relevant to the audience. Include a link back to your blog or a link to your book page so that your potential new fans can find you.
If your article is accepted, tell all your friends, post about it on your blog and link to it from your social media sites – all of which boost your article’s search results and your online reputation. And, don’t forget to send a thank you note.