The Secret to Getting Your Guest Post Pitch Noticed

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I’m not going to sugarcoat this.

Guest blogging is much more difficult than it used to be.

Here’s what you are up against:

  • Stringent Editorial Standards: Top blogs are protecting their quality like rabid pit bulls.  If you are not the best then you don’t get in. Period
  • Stiff Competition: Almost everyone knows that a slot on an A-List blog can jumpstart their blog.  Bloggers can pick from dozens of quality posts not just one.
  • Time: Your schedule is busier than ever.  You barely have time to write posts for your own blog, let alone write a guest post.  Now every moment counts, wasting time writing guest posts that get rejected isn’t an option.

So, you are stuck.  You need to guest blog but it’s getting tougher to get noticed.

Many get discouraged by multiple rejections and assume that guest blogging is more hassle than it’s worth.

This is a wrong assumption.

I Almost Gave Up

Early on, I focused on Guest Posting as a reader attraction strategy. I gambled that the best way to attract quality traffic was to borrow it from other high-quality blogs. But it was difficult at first. Dozens of my posts were rejected or ignored.

I almost gave up until I realized the secret to getting my guest posts accepted.

You see, the real challenge is standing out from the crowd before you email your guest post to the blog owner.

Writing exceptional comments is the best way to make a distinct impression.

I’m not talking about glad-handing the blogger with praise.

Instead, I’m referring to laser-targeted comments that show your understanding of the blogger’s perspective, audience, and value.

The Art and Science of Exceptional Commenting

Last year, I wrote a quick post on this topic but I wanted to give you some more insights into my “method”.

I’ve experimented with various comment auditioning techniques. I’ve discovered that there is an art and science to the process.

The Art:

Picking the Right “Host Blogs”

Select your host blog based on the quality of its audience not its size. Your guest post will attract readers to your blog and you want to make sure that it attracts the right readers.

Take the time to study your host blog’s audience.

Is the comment section filled with new voices are the same 4 or 5 regulars? Are the posts enthusiastically shared and re-tweeted by a large number of “sneezers”.

These clues will point to the type of audience that may start reading your blog.

Have the Right Style and Voice

You’ll get more of your posts accepted if you match your guest post’s style and voice to the host blog. The goal is to amplify your host blog’s message.

The key is to blend your voice with general style of you’re your host blogs. It’s tempting to disregard your host and write a post that fits perfectly on your own blog. But, you’ll find that your post will either get rejected or worse – bomb.

This balancing act is an art.

There are no hard and fast rules for doing it right. You just have to keep experimenting until you find the perfect mix for your blog of choice.

The Science

Auditioning for a guest post starts with getting the attention of the blog’s author. Sometimes you can just send in your guest post directly to the author via a contact form. Other times, you will need to get creative.

I’ve found that smart commenting is the best way to get on your blogger’s radar screen.

When you comment remember to:

1. Use the Author’s Name:

It’s personal and WILL catch the eye of the blogger scanning through their comments. It’s also polite ☺

2. Be a Regular:

Stop by often to leave your thoughts on posts that you’ve enjoyed. The blogger will begin to recognize your contribution and remember when you send in your guest post request.

3. Be Specific:

Make sure that you comment on a specific point or question from the post. Simple “This is great” isn’t going to cut it. You need to show the blogger that you’ve actually read and thought about their posts.

4. Study the Posts:

Look for holes in your host blog’s editorial that you can feel. Review their past posts to get a feel for how they address reader problems.

5. Become a Blog Archaeologist (Help People Connect the Dots):

Get thoroughly acquainted with your host blogs past posts. You want to be able to refer to other posts that can be a resource for readers. The blogger will see that you are an asset for their readers and feel more comfortable with you posting on their blog.

6. Expand on Topics on Your Blog:

This is a great technique. Whenever you have a different perspective, write-up a blog post that explains your point of view. Refer (link back) to the first post that sparked your interest. Your post will show up in the host blog’s trackbacks and capture the attention of the blogger.

You Can Do This

I’ve talked with hundreds of bloggers and nothing is more terrifying than guest blogging.  However, you can do this if you take small steps toward your goal.  Hopefully this post gave you a few pointers.

Tell me, what’s holding you back from guest blogging?  Leave your comment below and let me know what’s on your mind.

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

18 thoughts on “The Secret to Getting Your Guest Post Pitch Noticed

  1. Ben

    Great ideas, Stanford. If you are pushed for time writing your guest posts, sites like or are great for finding suitable sites in your niche to comment on.

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  3. Steve Roy

    This is good soild advice as guest posting can really make a huge difference in your traffic and hopefully regular readers.

    I have done some guest posting for sites with 100k+ monthly visitors and received few visitors and vice-versa. If your post doesn’t target the audience, it won’t work.

    In my case, my post was about keyword research and it was posted on a very popular site about blogging. Unfortunately, my post just didn’t resonate well with his audience and wasn’t popular.

    I should have taken more time to read more of his past posts and comments to see what they really wanted to hear. Lesson learned.

  4. Dave Rowley

    Hi Stanford,

    I got a lot out of this post. I’m wanting to get some guest posts out there, and found these tips really useful. Especially your emphasis on finding the right host blog, and using comments as a platform to get started.


  5. Kiesha @ WeBlogBetter

    Hi Francisco – I mean Stanford (I’m sorry I couldn’t resist that one! Yeah, you need to make sure you address them by the right name) :)
    But you’re so right about this art – which means that it’s not science that will produce the same results every time. You’ve really got to know the blog you’re trying to guest post for and feel it. I do a lot of guest posting, but I almost gave up on the popular blogs, not because of the rejection factor, but the flat out “ignored” factor. I’d submit guest posts and wait… and wait…

    Then one day I read that sometimes it helps to interact with the host via Twitter if possible, spark a conversation and then slide in the “by the way, I have a guest post that I think would be great for you blog entitled, 7 Ways to Blah Blah to the Blah (the catchiest title I could think of) – would you be interested in taking a look at it? It worked, and moments later I was emailing my guest post right over. This eventually led to a guest post invite on an even more popular blog – now that’s the what I call the multiplying benefits of guest posting.

  6. Stacy Bergdahl (@TheZenGirl)

    Stanford, the timing of your post is excellent and the tips are beneficial. Recently I have been considering the idea of guest posting for the first time on Tiny Buddha. I find that it is so important to write thoughtful comments to show other bloggers that you have really listened and digested what they have to say. Typically, I find it fairly quick and simple for me to thoughtfully comment on a post that speaks to me because I am passionate and interested in the topic. Thanks for the tips! –Stacy

  7. Stacy

    Stanford, I have been considering writing a guest post for the first time just this week, so your tips are incredibly helpful. I find writing comments on blog posts I like come naturally and easily, usually because the topic is one I am interested or passionate about. Just followed you on twitter. Thanks!

  8. Stanford Post author

    You are right Matt. Actually this is the same situation bloggers will face when approaching so-called A-List Blogs. They are discerning and extremely choosy about what they will post on their blogs. Many times they will opt for a tweet rather than running a guest post. You just have to watch them to see what they prefer.
    Thanks for your comment!

  9. Matt

    I haven’t done any guest posting as yet, but I think that a lot of these points are also relevant to getting links from big name bloggers.

    I’m in Australia, and write political and news related blogs that are often humorous. There are a couple of journos who dominate the opinion blogosphere down here and they are always on the lookout for tips and stuff to link to. If it’s on your blog, they’ll link to the post. And if it’s, say, a news story, they’ll give you a “hat-tip” link to say thanks for finding it. Needless to say, these are SEO gold, so it’s great when you get one.

    However, they are very discerning. You have to send them stuff that they haven’t heard of already, and is just the kind of material they can use as the basis for their own posts. This isn’t easy, because they have idiosyncratic interests and attitudes. So, you’ve got to get into their heads a bit. Then you start to know what they’ll go for, and only send them those links. So, you have to become almost like a profiler, in a way!

    From what I’ve seen, I think a similar process is required for guest blogging.

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  11. Marnie

    “Select your host blog based on the quality of its audience not its size.”

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard this advice and it’s so bang on!

  12. John Soares

    Hashim, I agree with Stanford that you should follow up on a submitted guest post, especially if the blog is actively requesting guest submissions. This is essentially the same protocol for submitting article queries to magazines and book proposals to publishers.

    I’m not sure what an acceptable time frame for a response is in the blogging world, but it’s two months for magazines and book publishers.

  13. Stanford Post author

    Like most things, Guest Posting is about persistence. I know you are persistent and dedicated. But you have to decide if a post on a large blog is worth the effort. Whenever I have a post rejected or ignored, I rethink it and post it here on PushingSocial, so the effort isn’t lost. Second, how was your follow-up on the post submissions? Many of the top folks are super busy and appreciate a friendly reminder to check their inbox.

  14. Hashim Warren

    I had a guest post accepted by one popular blog, and that was retweeted by an even more popular blogger in my niche. We connected over Twitter, I asked if I could guest post. He asked for my pitch and I sent it. I followed up but all I got was silence.

    Another popular blogger asked for guest posts in a forum I frequent. I sent mine in and she never responded. Weeks later she was back on the forum asking for more guest posts!

    I would like to guest post, but I’m not in to spending days breaking through people’s firewalls.

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