Outreach: How to Respond to Unenthused Bloggers

Imagine that you have a blog that’s decently ranked and gets a steady flow of traffic per day. Now imagine the hundreds of emails that litter your inbox –daily.  People will constantly bother you begging for a guest post; and while some people are only concerned with getting a link placed, there are a rare few others that will chime in with relevant material. But how do you decipher the genuine emails from the others? And more to the point, how are you going to respond to each request?

In my last post, I talked about the extent some bloggers go to in order to prevent bad email pitches. But how can a blog owner distinguish which email pitches are dishonest and self-motivated, and which email pitches are genuine and sincere?

Here are a few response types and helpful tips in handling them.

The Auto-Response

When you’re outreaching to bloggers, you may come across an auto-response, despite what your pitch says. In this case, the blogger uses the auto-response as a filter where he will only respond personally to a select few. While this message doesn’t give off annoyed vibes, the blogger does mention that he receives hundreds of emails a day—hence the need for a filter.

Tip: If he doesn’t respond to your email, he might be annoyed by its content or he might have been too busy to get to it. In either case, you should try following up with the blogger as a way to angle your pitch differently and to reinstate the genuine benefits for the blogger. If he or she doesn’t respond again, leave the blogger alone. You don’t want to annoy the blogger any further with additional pesky emails.

The Halfway Response

In the age of smart phones and tablets, bloggers might view your email while multitasking, as seen with this reply. But the tricky part about this halfway response is that the blogger has read your email and may not get back to it because it’s been marked as “read” in his inbox, and could easily get lost in the shuffle.

Tip: Treat this as an auto-response; if the blogger doesn’t respond within the next few days, then send a follow-up email. However, make sure that your pitch is respectful of his busy schedule.  Make the email easier for him to skim in a short amount of time while still reinstating your pitch.

The Heavy Guidelines Response

Although this response might be considered an auto-reply, it’s actually categorized differently because of the overall annoyed tone. Many bloggers might forward you their guest post guidelines as a reply to your pitch, but this blogger has revealed his past frustrations with previous guest articles, and will likely misdirect that anger to all guest post attempts, including you.

Tip: Instead of just submitting a guest post, reach back out to the blogger and reassure him that you have read his guidelines and are sincere in providing a great post. Let him know  This is important to not only set yourself a part from his queue of emails, but also this will help you further a relationship with the blogger. Remember, you’re not just looking for a guest post placement; you’re looking to build ongoing relationships with bloggers.

The Suspicious Response

Sometimes bloggers will reply with direct questions about your motives, and are curious about why you would offer to contribute a guest post. Often bloggers are suspicious of strangers contacting them and offering something to them. It’s possible that some bloggers are unaware of the many benefits for authors guest posting on blogs, especially on the more popular sites. It’s also possible that the blogger has had a negative experience with guest posts, and has sworn them off entirely. Due to lack of awareness or possible paranoia, this is the type of response that warrants honesty. How you reply to their response will absolutely make or break the relationship.

Tip: Honesty and transparency are key with a response like this. Don’t try to dance around the blogger’s questions, for you will surely sever the relationship that way. Instead, respond truthfully that you do work on behalf of a client and that you are hoping to link back to a particular site as a resource link (whether in-text or in the bio). Then reinstate your sincerity of offering quality content and the benefits for the bloggers in considering your content. If the blogger doesn’t respond after that, then don’t annoy the blogger further with another email. You have tried your best.

As with any response, whether it’s positive or negative, you have succeeded in getting the blogger’s attention. However, the goal is to always build positive relationships with bloggers. As a helpful rule of thumb, always reply back to the blogger with a courteous, genuine response—even if the blogger’s response is not so warm and welcoming.

About the author

Jessica Edmondson