Some bloggers make a game out of bad pitches, like Mike from Fevered Mutterings. Other bloggers dedicate a whole section of their site on how they want to be pitched to, like Ramit. But most notably, many bloggers angrily blog about a specific pitch they’ve received, like Jason from Spork Marketing. In all cases, you don’t want to be responsible for the bad guest post pitch.

So how do you concoct the perfect pitch?

In my last post, I talked about the seven deadly sins that will leave the blogger hitting, “delete” as fast as you hit the “send” button to deliver the initial outreach email. With those common pitfalls in mind, I now want to define the steps to take before outreaching – increasing the chances that your initial pitch email will be opened, read, and answered.

Read the Blogger’s “About” page

When you decide to pitch to a blogger, you should first check his or her “about” page to get a better idea of to whom you’re pitching. In many cases, the blogger uses the About page as a way to flesh out who that person is and the reason for which he or she is blogging. Once you understand the core components of the blog and the blogger, you will then find it much easier to connect with them and personalize your pitch.

Search for Previous Guest Posts

If a blogger doesn’t have a standard “Write for me” tab, then search the site into Google with the blog’s domain and key words like “Guest Post” in quotes. That way if you do find several examples of guest posts on the blog, you can use that information when pitching to the blogger by asking if you can also chime into the conversation with a guest post. Also, by noting if the guest author’s focus is on a particular topic, you will have a better idea about what topic to pitch to them.

If the blogger doesn’t have any history of guest posts, then you can still use that information to adjust your approach in your pitch by focusing on the benefits of publishing a guest post.

Review Most Recent Posts  

The bottom line of guest post pitches is to make sure you’re a good fit – and to convince the blogger that you are. In order to know exactly how you fit with the blogger, you should review the blogger’s most recent posts.  By reading a few posts, you’ll get a better idea of the blogger’s audience and preferred subject material. Your pitch should then include these key points by suggesting topic ideas that correlate to the specific audience and subject material.

Utilize Comments

After you’ve researched the blogger and know which posts would fit the blog, you want to make sure your email will be read. So rather than approaching the blogger out of the blue in an email, connect with him or her by commenting on one of their blog posts that you’ve read. That way the blogger will be more familiar with your name when you do eventually send out that initial outreach email.

While your pitch might be perfect, the blogger could still not respond. Guest post pitching boils down to many elements—some you can affect, some you can’t.  But by researching the blogger and personalizing your connection, you will improve your outreach method, ultimately increasing your overall response rate.

What other tips do you think should be included when readying yourself to make your pitch?