How To Request To Guest Post And Get Accepted

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When I first came on board with John at EntrepreneurOnFire I knew I had a lot of studying to do.

I’m a somewhat smart marketer thanks to my background in the advertising industry, but drawing up marketing plans for a worldwide logistics company and for truckload and freight carriers isn’t really the same as a marketing plan for a business podcast. What’s this industry all about, and what’s it like working for myself instead of someone else?

I was anxious and excited about diving in and searching the Internet for others in the online marketing industry who I could learn from like Neil Patel, the guys over at ThinkTraffic, and CopyBlogger, who I’d heard so much about.

And I couldn’t wait for the day when I’d be hanging out with a group of people and actually know who they were talking about when they said “Oh yeah, Amy Porterfield talks about that a lot.”, or “Yep, you must be thinking of James Clear.” Better yet, what if I was the one who threw out one of these names?…

But aside from just exploring the wide open net to familiarize myself with the online landscape, I also wanted to hone in on a couple of things I knew I was good at right away so I could start adding value.

So I took a step back, and I asked myself, “What is that I’m bringing to the EntrepreneurOnFire table?

Well, writing was 1 thing.

So I started our blog.

EntrepreneurOnFire

I was also really interested in checking out ways we could start guest posting more on others’ blogs.

I knew this would be a really great way to reach new audiences, attract more traffic to our own site and build relationships with other bloggers in our industry. In fact, I learned this from Jeff Goins, who wrote a great post on How Guest Posting Can Help Grow Your Blog (although I believe the points he makes here are really applicable to any business – whether it’s a blog or a podcast or…).

So, my next question to myself was, “How do I go about requesting to guest post on others’ blogs?” … No, wait: “How do I go about requesting to guest post on others’ blogs AND get accepted?

I had written guest posts before, but it was always a result of people reaching out to me and simply saying, “Will you write a guest post on this topic for my blog?”, and me saying “Heck yeah!” I’d never actually reached out to a big-name blogger and requested to guest post before.

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy – I mean, I can’t just email Neil Patel and say “Hey Neil, what’s up?! What do you think about me guest posting for Quick Sprout?”

(Please don’t ever send a message like that to a blogger who you want to guest post for. Neil, I apologize for even using your blog as an example.)

But really, how would you know if you’d never done the research? Well, I set out to do just that: research the best ways to approach bloggers and request to guest post.

Ramit Sethi writes in a post about guest posting on I Will Teach You To Be Rich, “While many new bloggers write content and pray for others to come, proactive bloggers reach out to others in their field, write amazingly good content, and quickly build a name for themselves.” This is who I wanted to be: a proactive blogger.

I also wanted to be a blogger who people just couldn’t say no to (remember: you not only want to request to guest post, but you want to be accepted, too). So I started thinking about how I could make my requests so irresistible and so easy for the blogger who I’m sending it to that it would actually kind of be a crime for them to say “no thanks”.

And what about content? I know what I should write about for our blog, but what about for someone else’s blog?

Don’t worry, I’m about to give you a step-by-step guide of the best way to formulate a guest post, and then we’ll look at how you should actually approach the blogger so that it’s impossible for them to say “no thanks.”

1. Start a list of the blogs you’re interested in guest posting for

You have to know where you want to guest post before you start reaching out to people. Generally speaking, the blogs you guest post on should have a similar audience as yours. If one of your goals is to grow your own blog, then you want to be talking to those who will visit your blog as a result of seeing your guest post, and then keep coming back for more.

Also, it’s not a bad idea to make yourself known on the blogs you want to guest post for. Have you ever commented on – or interacted with – that blog before? If not, then you should start. It’s a lot better to have someone say “Oh yeah, that name sounds kind of familiar.”, vs. “Who is this person?”

2. Go back to that list

Now go back to your list of blogs and add a 1-sentence summary of the type of content they provide their readers. Do they talk about SEO tactics? How to build and grow your audience? How to become a location independent entrepreneur?

You really want to hone in on the their topic so that you have a place to start when thinking about potential posts.

3. Study their writing and blog style

What’s the tone of the blog? What types of titles do they typically go with? Really study how their posts are formatted and take note of things like whether their posts teach a single lesson, or tend to talk about a broader idea; do they follow a certain outline, or is each post unique?; and what’s the average length of each of their posts?

Also, do they have guidelines already posted on their site? If they do, make sure you check them out so you know what will be expected of you as a guest poster. If you’re checking out a blog that only posts “epic content” that is no less than 2,500 words and you’re not willing to take the time to write that post, then don’t waste yours – or the blog owner’s time.

4. Create 2-4 titles with a short summary or bullet points for the content you’ll propose

Remember earlier when I talked about making it easy and irresistible for them to say no to you? This step is very important. If you haven’t already been communicating with the blogger or someone on their team about writing a guest post, then it’s pretty much the law that – with your initial request to guest post – that you send over your ideas for the post you want to write.

Think about it this way: a lot of the blogs you’re requesting to guest post on are probably pretty big names, right? Well, this also probably means they’re pretty busy. Email communication takes time – not to mention the fact that you’re really asking them for a favor – not doing them a favor. So it really doesn’t make much sense that you would ask them for a favor AND THEN suggest that they do all the work, right?

Providing your proposed topics with a short summary makes it easy for the blogger to take a look at your email, quickly determine whether or not your post will add value to their blog, and then respond. If you don’t include your proposed topics, you’ve already added at least 1 back-and-forth set of correspondence that could have been avoided altogether, saving both of you time and making it more likely your request will be accepted.

Here is a sample email I want to share with you that I actually sent to request to guest post on another blog:

EntrepreneurOnFire

This email came after having gone back and forth a couple of times with the blogger already (this actually came by way of an introduction to another blogger, who emailed me a gave me the guidelines they follow for their blog, which is why I open the email above with “Thanks for the rundown.”)

Now, if I were starting from scratch, here is an example of what I would write:

Hi _____!

I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now, and I love your content and the lessons you share with your readers. Every time I read a post, I feel like I’m able to take a single, clear lesson away from it, which is why I think it’s so great.

I’m reaching out to see if you’d be interested in featuring a guest post from EntrepreneurOnFire, a top-ranked business podcast that gets over 500,000 unique downloads every month. We also have a blog on our site at www.EOFire.com/blog, where we share resources and tips with entrepreneurs who are ready to take action to improve their business and their mindset today.

Here are a few ideas I think would really resonate with your readers:

1. Proposed title or topic

- Summary of content

2. Proposed title or topic

- Summary of content

3. Proposed title or topic

- Summary of content

Thanks so much for considering my request! And I assure you, I will make this process as seamless as possible for you by sending you a formatted document with links included that you can copy and paste directly into WordPress.

Best,
Kate

Some bloggers like it when you link back to their own content within your guest post. If you know this to be the case, then you may want to either add a couple of links from their site that you plan to reference, or at least acknowledge this and let them know you will do it.

Okay, so now that you know how to formulate a guest post AND how to approach a blogger and request to guest post in such a way that they’ll have to accept, let’s get down to why I wrote this post.

Well, first of all, this is all real-life stuff. I really did do all of the things I mentioned above after coming on board with EntrepreneurOnFire. And guess what? Since then, we’ve done guest posts on ThinkTraffic, Social Media Examiner, Location180, Early To Rise, Under30CEO and several others.

I want you to have the information and resources you need to become a guest poster and help grow your audience the same way we have ours.

I’ve also received a fair amount of requests to guest post on EntrepreneurOnFire that do not do any of the things I’ve mentioned above. While I suspect those people don’t actually read our blog, I still thought it was important to share these tips with you so that when you do go to request to guest post, you’ll know exactly what to do.

Want more? Here are some other helpful resources that I found when I first started researching how to request to guest post:

Michael Hyatt: Seven Steps to Writing a Successful Guest Post

Guest Post Guidelines straight from Write To Done

CopyBlogger: 7 Crucial Tactics for Writing a Wildly Successful Guest Post

Have you ever reached out to a blogger in your industry and requested to guest post? What was your approach like? Share with us in the comments section below!

This post was written by Kate Erickson, Content Creator and Community Manager for EntrepreneurOnFire. Ready to connect? Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest |Google

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  • http://www.MegaMoxie.com/ Amber Hurdle

    Well, first, Kate. You offer WAY more to EOFire than simply writing. You are indeed great at that, but what would we do without our mama bear uniting us all and keeping us engaged with each other? OK, now back to the post. This is priceless. I’m sending this link to my clients who are living in this world right now and will certainly use it for myself. Yet again, another fabulously transparent post that will serve us all in improving our businesses. THANK YOU!

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Amber, thank you so much! This really means a lot :) Glad you found this post useful, and I love that you’ll be sharing it with your clients – that’s awesome!

  • Eric

    Kate,

    Great tips. I’d love to know how you would go about writing an introduction e-mail when you DON’T have a brand to leverage (e.g. “top-ranked business podcast…500,000 downloads per month…”).

    What does a “newer” person do? Or at least someone with a more mediocre/average audience?

    Thanks!

    – Eric
    http://www.my4hrworkweek.com

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Hi Eric! GREAT question. This is where I really think “making yourself known” comes into play. If you have blogs / websites you’re interested in posting on, then hang out there for a while. Really get to know what types of posts they’re writing and don’t be shy on leaving comments on a regular basis. If you’ve done your homework and email a blogger with intelligent insights into what you know their audience will like, then you’ve already done 75% more than most guest posters who are reaching out right now.

      Also, regardless of your stats, always include a short statement about your blog/podcast/mission, and hopefully this will be a direct connection to something that blogger believes in as well – start building that relationships right away.

      I’ve literally received emails from people “interested” in guest posting who say, “Are you looking for more content for your blog? if so, please let me know what you would like me to write.” This proves to me that they 1) don’t actually read our blog, 2) they don’t know who our audience is, and 3) they want me to do the work for them. 3 strikes – you’re ouutttta here! ;)

      • Eric

        Thanks Kate! Great response. :)

  • http://InternetBusinessHandbook.com/ Christine Draper

    Kate, a great post. It really struck me again just how powerful guest blogging is. I read a post only yesterday, and this post confirmed what I had learned about how to approach guest blogging by providing three possible topics and summaries. A great tip, thanks.

    I recently started a blog “The Entrepreneur Speaks” (at the Internet Business Handbook) to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to guest post. This gives the entrepreneur the opportunity to increase their audience while giving the readers an opportunity to meet some amazing entrepreneurs and gain from their knowledge and expertise. A win-win situation for all.

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Hi Christine! I love your idea to create a blog that is specifically for guest posters, and having already checked it out, I can honestly say that I love it! What a great way to share information and meet others out there who are passionate about adding value and connecting with others in the entrepreneurial space. Way to think outside the box!

  • Collin Price

    This is just in time. I’m about to shoot for the moon with some requests to offer content to bloggers. I think some of these techniques could also be used when approaching writers to pitch your story or content.

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Collin – absolutely! Glad this post was timely for you. Keep us posted on your success :)

  • Justin Williams

    Love it Kate! I am actually going to work on doing some more guest posting in the near future so this is PERFECT! Great content!!!

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Awesome – go get ‘um Justin!

  • http://hellotoyouth.com/ Eric Remias

    I found treasure! This is great Kate. I’ve been wondering how to do guest posts and I know it’s JUST START but now I see how it’s done. Thanks for this.

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      You’re so welcome Eric! I’m glad these tips will come in handy for you!

  • top5percentincome

    Kate, one again amazing valuable information to put to action right away. Thank you! A friend of mine told me decades ago his father said to him it’s more who you know in life than what you know. It’s all about networking to spread your wings and add the Zig Ziglar help others. Great article, I’ll be sure to put it to good use!

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Dean, I have no doubt you’ll put these tips to good use! Absolutely #1: add value. Something a lot of guest posters think is “oh yeah, jackpot – I’m going to post on huge sites just to be seen by their audience!” While being seen by a large audience is certainly a big perk, it should never JUST be about being seen. It’s also about contributing valuable content to an audience who is looking for the information you can provide. That’s how those relationships are built, and that’s what will keep people coming back for more. Thanks for this!

  • http://www.shadeofinfo.com/blog/ Andrew M. Warner

    Hi Kate,

    Great post as usual. Absolutely EVERYBODY has been talking about guest posting lately (or maybe I’m seeing it more and more and that’s a sign). Guest posting is something I’ve been considering for the last little while now and it’s something I know I have to do.

    And after reading that quote you had there “While many new bloggers write content and pray for others to come, proactive bloggers reach out to others in their field, write amazingly good content, and quickly build a name for themselves” I know that I need to be a proactive blogger to grow my business to where I want it to be.

    And after reading another person post on guest posting and now your post, I’m all in. I’m going to start building relationships with other businesses and bloggers and leverage that to try and build a name for myself.

    But a quick question. After doing the research of the sites you want to guest post for, is it better to actually write the article/post first or come up with the concept and pitch it to the person first … then write it?

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Hi Andrew! Great question… Writing a post before I’ve been accepted as a guest poster is not something I like to do. Here’s why:

      1) What if you’re not accepted? I know, I know, mindset: BELIEVE that you will be accepted. Totally on board with this, but let’s be real; if I reach out to Seth Godin and ask to guest post, … well, let’s just leave it at that.

      2) Because of the possibility of #1 happening…
      I strongly believe that guest posting is a special thing: it’s not about whether or not you can write just any article, it’s about whether or not you can write a specific article targeted towards a specific audience (your target blogger’s audience). Therefore, if I spend 10 hours writing a killer guest post, then pitch the blogger, and they don’t accept, then what am I supposed to do with it? I know you could very well “repurpose it”, but again, if I’m reaching out to guest post, I’m doing it because I have a very targeted post for that specific audience.

      So, that’s why I like to reach out and give my ideas first. Others might argue that it’s even easier for bloggers to “accept” if it’s already written, but I for one don’t believe this is the case often enough to justify the possibility of wasting my time on a post that I won’t repurpose.

      Just for fun, and totally on topic: I had someone reach out to me a few months back offering an already-written guest post for EOFire. I thought at first, “Oh wow – this is cool, I’ll take a look.” Turns out that it was really obvious to me the piece wasn’t written for our blog – it was probably a piece that wasn’t accepted elsewhere, and so they decided to try and pitch it to us. This really turns me off. I’m all about repurposing content, but not when it comes to guest posts.

      I hope this helps, and I can’t wait to see your name out there on others’ blogs!

  • Celest Horton

    Kate this is great and filled with such actionable items. I am just gearing up to start to source and find blogs that I would like to provide a guest post. Thanks for the help!

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Absolutely Celest! Glad I could help :) I’ll be interested to hear which blogs you target! I already have a few in mind that I think could be great for you :)

  • Austin

    Wow, such great info… and it caught me right at the exact time. How long does the process typically take from your experience? For example, if you want it to come out in a certain time, is it best to start the process several weeks ahead of time? Thanks!!!

    Austin
    yoprowealth.com

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Hey Austin! Absolutely – always best to start the process at least a few weeks out, especially if you’re targeting a high-traffic, popular blog. Chances are they are booked out weeks, and sometimes even months in advance depending on their posting schedule. I’ve done guests posts before that have taken months to actually post (and that’s after I’ve already sent them a finished post, which can take a few weeks to create depending on how quick the communication is).

  • Megan Pangan

    Some really great stuff in here Kate, I’m going to have to bookmark this and come back to it again and again. :)

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Thank you so much Megan! Bookmark away :)

  • http://alexdesigns.com/ alex harris – alexdesigns

    Great insight here. Just added to read later as I can learn some good nuggets from this post.

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Thanks Alex! Hope it serves you well in the future!

  • Melissa Wilson

    Kate, this is a great guide! I’ll definitely be coming back to it in the future. I haven’t done any guest posting but hope to at some point. I’m curious as to what your opinion is on when someone should start trying to guest post. Does a new blogger have a chance at getting a guest post accepted or do they need to have a somewhat established blog first? I’m guessing it depends on where you’re trying to guest post but would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!

    Melissa

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate | EntrepreneurOnFire

      Hi Melissa! Glad you found this post helpful! To answer your question, I actually highly encourage new bloggers to get out there sooner than later. Even if your guest post request isn’t accepted, you’re still letting people know about you, your mission and your website.

      I would be strategic about who you reach out to – if you’ve been following a particular blog for years and commenting/sharing their content, then they’d probably be a good place to start. If not, then I would suggest starting to follow at least a few blogs and get your name out there by way of engaging on their posts. That way, when it comes time for you to email them, chances are they’ve seen your name before, giving you more credibility than someone they’ve never seen. Hope this helps!

      • Melissa Wilson

        Thanks, Kate, I appreciate your input! Your strategy makes sense and I hadn’t really looked at a guest post request as an opportunity to connect with someone even if they turn you down at the time. That’s a very good way to look at it and take something positive away from it. Thanks, this definitely helps!

  • http://www.teganwestra.com/ Tegan

    A brilliant post. Thank you for being so generous with your resources Kate :)

    • http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com/ Kate Erickson

      You’re so welcome Tegan!

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