Guest post email do's and don'ts - with real examples

William Julian-Vicary

Strategy & Innovation Director

I've run blogs on the side for 8 years now whilst being an SEO consultant by day. I've seen both sides when it comes to publishing content. A hell of a lot has changed in SEO during this time but two things have remained constant for me whether I'm link building or blogging - relevancy and quality.

Since Google Penguin update, it comes as no surprise to have received a noticeably higher number of emails from link builders looking to have guest posts published on blogs I run. With the emphasis well and truly on quality content being at the forefront of link building campaigns, the guest post email requests have flooded in, especially during the past 12 months.

The blogs I run cover different niches and include generic blogs on travel, lifestyle and finance. I also have specific niche blogs which are direct hobbies and interests of mine such as snowboarding, surfing, music/guitar, gadgets and cars. All these blogs are updated on a weekly basis with a combination of posts I write myself and guest posts. The blogs rank well, some better than others and receive decent monthly readerships, have decent page rank and domain authority and good social presence – exactly the criteria I look for when having guest posts published when link building.

What I've found interesting over the years from an SEO perspective is how other link builders approach my blogs with their guest post proposal. One glaringly obvious characteristic of a good email approach are those that are personalised and have an interesting/useful content topic in mind are much more inviting than the blatant generic email templates I tend to receive from lazy link builders.

To illustrate this, below I provide some examples of good and bad guest post approaches I’ve received as a blogger. By publishing these examples I hope to help link builders improve email response rate by showcasing what email approaches work well for me as a blogger. Of course each blogger is different, some more web savy than others, but in general my thoughts will apply to most other bloggers.

I've provided more good examples than bad as the bad approaches were all very similar in style i.e. they are impersonal, no thought or time has gone into the email and they make it sound like they are doing me a favor. Plus it’s always better to focus on the positive.

One thing to note, the names of any SEO agencies / link builders and blogs concerned have been removed from these blogger outreach emails for data protection reasons.

 

The Good...

The following emails illustrate in my opinion good approaches and resulted in publishing their guest post, info-graphic or video:

 

Good Blogger Outreach Email 1

Hi XXX
I've just come across your blog and I was wondering whether you'd be interested in posting our videos. I work on behalf of XXX, who've created a series of documentary films exploring the physical and mental challenges faced by XXX Olympic hopefuls. The films, created by a group of up and coming film-makers, demonstrate how XXX approach to car design and engineering mirrors the athletes’ methods of perfecting their skills. They provide a fascinating, and beautiful, insight not only into the athletes’ tough preparation for London 2012, but also into the way XXX engineers work to create their iconic cars. If you’re interested in incredibly made videos with inspiring content then these are the videos for you. It would be great if you could post these videos on your site with an introductory article. Please let me know if you're interested to find out more.

Good Blogger Outreach Email 2

Hi XXX
Hope you're well. Just wanted to drop you a quick line to introduce myself on behalf of one of our clients. We represent XXX who, as part of an ongoing campaign, will be producing even more great content, including interviews, video guides, celebrity guest columnists and much more, to add to their already considerably popular assets.
As part of our task of helping them connect even more with other digital partners, we identified XXX as a site we would love to work with moving forward. Does this sound like something of interest?

Good Blogger Outreach Email 3

Hi XXX
I hope you’re well? I wanted to send over the below story which I thought might be of interest to your readers. It’s been revealed that XXX are the UK’s most hated car accessories; surprisingly, they even beat noisy exhausts and fluffy dice to the top spot!
XXX conducted a huge survey of 2,000 drivers to discover the most hated car accessories, and I’ve included some great stats in the release below. I hope it’ll be of interest, let me know if you’d like any further information or high res images.

Good Blogger Outreach Email 4

Hi XXX,
This might seem like a usual praise when people want to get a guest post from a blog but damn I really like your blog, the design is so simple, clean and awesome. Really enjoyed the content too.
Now, I thought I'd share a guest post with you, I know it says to discuss the topic with you first but I've decided to write something anyway having read the guidelines. The title to my post is XXX and here's a short intro paragraph:
"What do you do if you're in your mid-40's, have a responsible job and a yearning for something more exciting than the XXX you've been driving…..”
Please let me know if you'd like to see the rest, I will include a couple of images and maybe a few Youtube videos for each car. Hope to hear from you soon!

Good Blogger Outreach Email 5

Hey XXX
How’s your day been? I am writing to you to express my interest in writing an articles to feature on your site XXX. We have in house professional writers who can write the article. Below are a few article titles that I’d love your feedback on…

Why Purchasing Your Holiday Home Is A Good Idea
When Is The Best Time To Buy That Perfect Holiday Home
Making the Most Out of Your Holiday Home
Making your holiday a home away from home

They are on behalf of XXX who are specialise in developing and operating holiday parks, with caravans and timber lodges for sale or hire, is this something that you would be interested in?

Good Blogger Outreach Email 6

Hi XXX
Hope you are doing well. I came across to your blog and found it a very interesting read. I noticed that you feature some guest postings from other authors in your blog. Are you accepting posts at the moment? I'm wondering if I could contribute to your blog as a guest writer as I often blog about Automobile along with other blogs. I work as a Niche blogger. Over the recent past, I’ve contributed guest articles to several niche industry blogs.
xxxxx asked me to write a guest post at ("http://www.XXX”) and it was well received by his readers. You can check it here -- (http://www.XXX)
Note:
- You won't have to pay anything for the content.
- You will own the copyright for the content.
- I promote my guest posts on social media and on other websites, which will also help boost your site's search engine rankings.
I'm really excited about the opportunity and I hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks

Good Blogger Outreach Email 7

Hi XXX
My name's XXX, writing from XXX.
I've recently written my own piece about five strange pubs in XXX. This angle covers a bit of history about the pub, the location, and why it's famous and what it's unusual for. It includes XXX. I wanted to know if you would be interested in publishing it on XXX I thought that it would be an interesting fit, a good read.
The text is original and written by me. It's about 650 words and has been attached for your consideration (along with the pictures used). Of course, the post hasn't been published anywhere else, so please let me know what you think.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Kind regards,

 

And the Bad...

The following emails illustrate bad approaches in my opinion and resulted in the email sent to the recycle bin in most cases.

 

Bad Blogger Outreach Email 1

Hi
I found your xxx quite interesting and therefore am interested in guest blogging. I have quality and unique posts on topics like "Car","Buy Car" and "latest car news" etc. I have the skill to research and write on lots of different topics. My posts should really resonate well with your readers. If you are interested in getting an article from me, I would like to know the format in which I need to send the post (HTML, text, or Microsoft Word). If you have any questions, please let me know
Regards,

Bad Blogger Outreach Email 2

Hi,
Please can you let me know if you accept guests posts. If so please can you let me know if you have any guidelines.
Many Thanks

Bad Blogger Outreach Email 3

Hi,
This is XXX, I went through your site while surfing in Google, am very much impressed with your site's unique information. I work as a content manager in many sector and love the opportunity to guest post for your readers. I would like to give you a unique article on any theme. No duplication or copying of the article is done. I assure you that the article will be published only on your site.
The best part is I won't be charging you a penny, but in return all I need is just one link within the article.
Looking forward for a positive reply.

 

Conclusion

I hope these differing blogger outreach approaches have shed some light on what a blogger is likely to react positively to. This video also contains some gems of guest email tips in worth a watch:

[embed]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui0RNBmcjRs[/embed]

In my opinion, there are five key components to a successful guest post email approach:

1. The vast majority of bloggers are savy these days to the value of links so don’t blag them.

2. Write clearly and concisely with no spelling/punctuation mistakes. I receive a lot of emails each week from people looking to publish guest posts and I skim read them. I’m sure other bloggers do the same so you need to make sure your email subject stands out and the email is straight to the point. Also, if you want them to publish something you've written then you need to make sure that your email is 100% spell checked with correct punctuation – if you send an email with spelling mistakes in, what message is that saying to the blogger?

3. Make sure you have a content topic idea that will sound interesting to the blogger. If not, more than likely it will go in the recycle bin. The less the blogger has to do, the more chance of them publishing it. Read posts on their blog, see which posts received lots of comments / social shares and think of ideas that will work with their audience and pitch it.

4. Be personal and tailor each email – this is a no brainer as it really doesn’t take much to find the contact name of a blogger so make sure you know their contact name. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than reading an email that is so obviously been copied from an email template. Make them feel valued and that you’ve actually read the blog – mention a post you like for example.

5. Give something back - Follow them on Twitter, like their Facebook page, comment on one of their posts - shows that you’ve actively taken an interest in them and that you have not ‘used and abused' them solely for the value of a link.

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