You put a lot of work into your blog. Each little gem you published is a veritable treasure trove of knowledge, hard-won insight, and neatly-edited wordsmithing—all polished up to a fine sheen.
But at some point, if you’re ever going to be successful as a blogger, land a publshing deal or produce a bestselling selfpublished book, you’re going to need to get your writing in front of more eyes.
One of the most powerful ways to do that is to write a guest post for a blog more powerful than yours. But if you don’t have connections with such bloggers, you have to write a cold pitch just to earn the right to provide them with some free work. How do you do it—and how do you make sure it’s worth your time?
Research: Get to Know the Blog
I know; you want to get your blog up and running as soon as possible. You want to write the guest post right away, and you don’t want to be told you have to wait a little while to get a sense of the blog’s audience.
But you do. A little time spent reading and commenting on a blog will go a long way. When you write a cold pitch for a guest post, you should be able to point to specific comments you’ve made, insights you’ve offered, or similar posts in the past you found particularly valuable. These examples won’t only show that you have genuine insight and knowledge, but that you care about the blog’s audience.
Focus on Providing Value First
Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, used to say that for most of us, the sweetest sound possible is the sound of our own name.
You emphasize that in your writing, where you focus your content on providing value for readers. Why not do the same when you write a pitch?
“I, me, my blog” are the big no-no’s here. You want to talk about their blog and readers. If you mention yourself, only do it in the context of how you can bring value to those readers with a guest post. These bloggers are busy—everything else but building up their blog will just sound like noise to them.
Show, Don’t Tell
As Ramit Sethi, author of the I Will Teach You To Be Rich blog (and book), once wrote: “If you have an interesting technique for saving, earning, automating, or investing money, show us how you did it.”
In other words, don’t just tell this prospective blog about what you’re going to write for them. Share a little tidbit or even a sample of the guest post. Demonstrate that you have value to offer them.
The “show-don’t-tell” rule is one of the most fundamental pillars of effective creative writing, and for good reason. If you’re writing a book on money management, but you can’t even show off one unique tip you would include in a guest post, who’s going to trust your word that you’ll write a great guest post?
Keep it Brief
Finally, make sure your initial cold pitch email is brief. Bloggers are busy—they don’t want to read War and Peace just because it showed up in their inbox.
Write a few sentences, show a tip or two you might include in the post, and ask their permission to send over the full post if they’re interested. It might seem like a lot of work to put into one email, but if you get just one “yes,” it could change the audience at your blog forever.
And with a bigger audience, your blog might attract the attention of a publisher or agent. If not, your increased reach and patform will help you self-publish successfully.
How do you build community around your blog?
About the Author
Dan Kenitz is a freelance writer and ghostwriter from Wisconsin who helps individuals and companies build their brands through valuable content. www.empirewriter.com
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