What Makes a Good Guest Post?

I have sat on both sides of SEO outreach, sent countless emails and am also the webmaster of my own blogs. I know what works on me and in addition to having experienced what works on others, here are some pointers to take forward with your outreach.

Dependent upon the type of site and whether or not there is a guest post request from them on a service like Blogger Link Up, here are a few hints.

Cold Outreach

This is outreach done for sites that make no indication that they are looking for guest posts. Blogs that have no guest posts and ask for no guest posts and if they’ve attracted your attention blogs that are probably of a very high quality as well.

Here is an example outreach email to a blogger of this nature. Note that the response rate is always going to be quite low on this.

Hello {name},

Do you accept guest posts? I am looking for a good blog to contribute content to in the {subject} industry/niche/sector etc. I’ve pasted in an example of my work.

{example}

Here are links to more examples if you require.

{links}

For the benefit of transparency I do work in digital marketing and write these posts on behalf of my clients but as you can see in these examples the links are always very relevant and referential.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day. 🙂

{signature}

There is no point spending a lot of time on a hail mary unless you are going in with serious tactics like other, more effective ways to acquire backlinks from good blogs. Most bloggers allow purchasing of sponsored posts, sending them products to review etc. but you will get the occasional good response from this style of outreach.

Tactically, asking the question first is wasting nobodies time. If they don’t, they don’t and they’ll say as much. Most bloggers are open to the idea of guest posts as long as they are of a standard never before seen and the only way to even get past the email stage is to send them an outreach email never before seen. This one has a few things that will make you stand out.

Telling them you are looking for ONE blog makes them feel more exclusive and makes you look less like you’ve been emailing every blog on the web and more like you’re searching for the one perfect blog and have selected theirs. It’s a very subtle way to flatter them.

Pasting in an example of your best work that would impress them beats linking because they are far more likely to read it. Clicking is a pain and you all know this. You want to prove that you have more than one example of good blogging though so you will want to provide links, even if they aren’t going to click them, just to show that you are prolifically a good blog writer.

The real kicker is being honest with them. This is what makes your outreach email never before seen. Telling them that you are actually doing this to acquire links is the hail mary play but if you think about it, if that is likely to be the deal breaker then they probably weren’t going to accept a piece of content as barter anyway. What you might find though is that this tactic endears you to them as an honest person, and having already shown examples that indicate that your style of guest blog is good and not obviously SEO generated (a must), you might be that rare guest post that they allow. Oh, and the smiley works on real bloggers because they are just highly evolved MSN users at heart.

Warm Outreach

This one can be tricky. These are blogs that you’ve found not on blogger services but through advanced query or just through your travels that have pages that mention that they accept guest posts, probably with an outlined criteria or list of subjects they cover. The reason they can be tricky is that you have no idea how long that page has been there. They could have published that page four years ago and since then been inundated with thousands of outreach requests that have driven them nuts. You’d think they would take it down but alas…

The templates both above and below work here. Rather than responding to their ad/request you “found their write for us page” or some such. Rather than asking if they accept guest posts, ask if they STILL accept guest posts.

Hello {name},

Do you still accept guest posts? I am looking for a good blog to contribute content to in the {subject} industry/niche/sector etc. I’ve pasted in an example of my work.

{example}

Here are links to more examples if you require.

{links}

For the benefit of transparency I do work in digital marketing and write these posts on behalf of my clients but as you can see in these examples the links are always very relevant and referential.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day. 🙂

{signature}

or

Hello {name},

I found your website page that says you are looking for guest posts.

I have written content that matches the criteria you have outlined. I’ve attached it for review. Please let me know by {arbitrary date} whether you plan to publish it.

Have a nice day.

{signature}

Hot Outreach

When dealing with people who advertise on blogging services as looking for guest posts there isn’t much you can do to mess it up. As with everything, it’s best to minimise time spent on explanations and messing about and cut to the chase. If they are advertising on blogger services they don’t care that you are looking for links or that you’re an SEO. It’s not important to get bogged down on the details here because 99% of the time they know you’ll be putting links in the content, so asking for links is unnecessary.

Hello {name},

I am responding to your ad/request on {Blogger Link-Up/My Blog Guest/Blogdash} looking for guest posts.

I have written content that matches the criteria you have outlined. I’ve attached it for review. Please let me know by {arbitrary date} whether you plan to publish it.

Have a nice day.

{signature}

The only thing worth mentioning here is that supplying them a cut off date to respond to you will help with insisting on a response from them. Far too often when sending content on first contact you get no response and the content sits in purgatory until you go back and resend an email or reclaim it for other purposes. Do anything you can to get that yes, or no.

An alternative to this is to contact them with potential content.

Hello {name},

I am responding to your ad/request on {Blogger Link-Up/My Blog Guest/Blogdash} looking for guest posts.

I have written content that matches the criteria you have outlined. I have pasted in examples of my previous work.

{example 1
example 2}

If you wish for me to write an article for you on any of the following subjects:

{title 1
title 2
title 3
title 4}

Please let me know and I’ll have it written promptly.

Have a nice day.

{signature}

This is my preferred way. The potential decrease in sheer links being built is offset by the amount of time and/or money you save on producing content that goes to waste or is unable to be used.