by Laura Christianson
This article was originally published at BloggingBistro.com. Re-printed with permission.
Here is the actual, unretouched text of a guest blogging pitch I received:
I have seen your blog http://www.bloggingbistro.com/. I must appreciate your effort to maintaining such a good blog. As a professional writer and a web designer I found it very nice and interesting. I am a specialist in the clear communication of sophisticated concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences, using both text and graphical content. I will love to publish my unique latest article only in your blog. Will it be possible for you to post the article with my link?
Eagerly waiting for your reply.
Here’s another one:
While surfing Internet, I’ve run into your site – http://www.bloggingbistro.com/. It caught my attention with it’s informative content. I thought it would be nice if you could consider me as a candidate for writing something interesting to your blog readers.
After detailed analyzing of the content performed on your web site, I came to conclusion that I really have something to offer.
I’m a highly experienced article writer, who is currently cooperating with [company buying incoming links].
If you are interested in my offer, I would gladly review your requirements to the post.
Will be highly excited to get your prompt reply.
A match made in heaven? Or hell?
In a creative twist on the two pitches above, many would-be guest bloggers note that the topics they write on are a “perfect” match for my blog. Then they list topics such as dog training, paintball gaming, restaurant furniture, designer fashion, or baby care.
Um… last time I checked, my blog focused on social media. But hey, dog training is close enough, right?
Every week, I receive dozens of nearly identical pitches. I route every single pitch straight into my Trash folder.
Here are six reasons:
1. The pitcher has no clue who I am.
“Dear Blog Manager.”
I have a name. It’s plastered all over my website and blog. If you’re going to pitch a guest article, learn my name and address me by my name.
2. The pitcher doesn’t care about my blog.
“While surfing the Internet, I’ve run into your site.”
Ouch! Running into my site must have injured your brain.
Never, EVER tell a blogger you stumbled across his or her blog. We know that all you did was google “social media blogs that accept guest blog posts” and inserted “http://www.bloggingbistro.com/” into the first sentence of the same pitch letter you sent out to 100 other blogs.
3. The pitcher oversells his or her writing abilities.
“I am a specialist in the clear communication of sophisticated concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences, using both text and graphical content.”
Can you provide examples of those “sophisticated concepts” you’re so skilled at communicating? How about a list of published clips? Topics you’ve written about?
4. The pitcher did not bother to read our guest contributor guidelines.
“If you are interested in my offer, I would gladly review your requirements to the post.”
Yes, we have guest contributor guidelines! If you had visited our website, you may have noticed them at the top of the blog’s sidebar, where a large headline says “Guest Post Guidelines.” Or, you could’ve done a quick search of our site for “guest post guidelines.”
Our guidelines detail exactly what we expect from our guest columnists, and specify that we do not accept links to third party sites that hire bloggers to write articles on their behalf. That’s because we received a truckload of poorly-written articles submitted by people who blog on behalf of some company that pays them to obtain incoming links to said company’s website.
After discovering that it took a lot of time to review and reject these articles, we decided to stop accepting them. Period.
5. The pitcher did not follow our guest contributor guidelines.
While many blogs accept pitches, Blogging Bistro does not. Our guidelines state:
We do NOT accept email pitches that ask us what we think of your idea. We do not open them. We do not read them. We do not acknowledge them in any way. We delete them.
We receive several pitches per day and there are not enough hours in the day to respond to them. Simply submit your article, bio, and headshot.
Yes, that requires work on your part. But it shows us that you’re a serious writer with serious intentions. We respect that.
So, dear pitchers, you are going to be eagerly waiting for my prompt reply for a very, very long time.
6. The pitcher does not know how to write.
“It caught my attention with it’s informative content.”
Aaargh! You just broke the cardinal rule of the English language by demonstrating that…
a) you do not know the difference between it’s and its.
b) you did not proofread your email.
This blunder is grounds for immediate expulsion of your email from my inbox.
“After detailed analyzing of the content performed on your web site, I came to conclusion that I really have something to offer.”
I work with several people who speak English as a second language, and all of them have a better grasp of sentence structure than you. What, exactly, do you have to offer that won’t make me gag?
Will they listen?
Do I assume the guest blogging pitches will stop as a result of my rant?
Because the people who need to read this article never will, unless they “run into it” while they’re surfing the internet. You can help that happen, by sharing this post with your friends and fans (and even your enemies).
I will be “highly excited” to get your prompt reply!
Click here to receive guest contributor guidelines for Blogging Bistro.
As the owner of a business that helps communicators establish a vibrant online presence, Laura Christianson receives oodles of guest post pitches daily. She promptly deletes 99.9% of them for one simple reason: writers do not read or follow her guest contributor guidelines. She mainly writes her own blog posts and focuses her energy on building custom WordPress websites and coaching people in brand messaging, blogging, and email marketing. Laura hangs out at BloggingBistro.com.