I’m more than happy to help aspiring writers flaunt their stuff on my website and gain valuable exposure. Maintaining a well read blog is a lot of work and I’d be relieved to find someone who can put up some quality content.
I’ve felt this way almost since I started the Health Kismet blog, but somehow I end up rejecting 9 out of 10 requests to write on this site even though I’d like to help them out.
Most people are terrible at pitching guest posts. To do it successfully takes about 2-4 weeks worth of patience and most aspiring authors are jonesing so hard to get their name out there that they permanently screw things up by jumping the gun by trying to push some trite listicle that I could care less about.
I’d love to believe that YOU, aspiring writer are part of the 10% that doesn’t copy and paste e-mails to every conceivable website and hope that someone says yes, but experience has taught me that this probably isn’t the case. So I’m going to give you a quick guide on how you should do this.
If you follow my instructions your chances of getting your piece published will go up at least 300-400%. I’m almost certain my advice will apply to getting your work published on any other high traffic blog as well.
First, let’s take a look at the biggest mistakes aspiring writers make when pitching me for an article.
Mistake #1: You Rapidly Send as Many Uniform E-mails To As Many People As Possible
Most guest writers start pumping out dozen after dozen of low quality e-mails pitching themselves with no prior introduction. 98% of the time it’s indistinguishable from spam.
Most guest writers are much better off slowing down and taking the time to make 2 or 3 targeted offers to bloggers that are a good fit for what they want to write.
Mistake #2: You Don’t Give Yourself a Chance For Me to Get to Know You
If you think you want to pitch someone for a guest post it’s a GREAT idea to leave a few insightful comments on their blog sprinkled over several weeks and see if you can engage people in conversation on the website.
This will ingratiate yourself towards me and give me a good idea of what your writing style is like.
If I’m familiar with you and have had a chance to engage you on a few issues that aren’t immediately related to your guest pitch I’m MUCH more likely to be receptive towards your offer and work with you so we can find something that’ acceptable to both of us.
Mistake #3: You Go Ahead and Write the Article Immediately After I Say Yes
If I tentatively agree to have you write something for the site I DO NOT want you to turn around and finish the piece without additional feedback.
If you do this there’s a very real chance I won’t like the piece and won’t publish it. You’ll waste your time and I’ll feel bad.
But for some reason I always tell writers to shoot me an outline of the article and they run off and turn in the whole article instead and I’m left wandering why they’re acting like idiots.
You should only go ahead and write the article after we’ve both gone back and forth a little bit on the main points of the article.
What the Process SHOULD Look Like
If you do everything the right way the process should go like this:
1). You find my blog and think it’s a good fit for your content.
2). You start to interact with me across one (and preferably two) channels. The first and best option is to leave insightful comments on my blog. These should come as a trickle and not as a comment-dump in one afternoon. The next best option is Facebook.
3). You send me an introductory e-mail with two or three possible writing topics that you think will be a good idea for my site, with a rough outline (2-3 sentences) of what the post will be about.
4). If we can agree on a topic then you’ll come back with a more detailed outline. This should cover all the main points you’ll want to talk about along with some references you’ll use.
5). If I say yes to the outline then you can go ahead and write the rest of the post. It might be necessary to go through a few more revisions before you get the OK.
6). ONLY WRITE THE POST ONCE WE’VE COME TO AN AGREEMENT ON WHAT’S GOING TO BE IN IT.
How the Post Should Be Written
It’s possible all the criteria from the previous section could be met and I’ll still reject the post because it’s just not good enough.
It’s important to understand what I look for when I’m accepting a guest post:
- I like pieces that are authoritative. I prefer long form articles that authoritatively prove a point. It’s easy to babble for 250 or so and not say anything, but to substantively prove something usually isn’t possible. There’s no hard and fast rule on what the word count should be, but I’m partial to pieces that are at least 800 words long. There is no upper limit on how long it can be as long as it’s relevant.
- I like pieces that use data to back up their claims. It’s easy to say something. It’s much more difficult to to say something and then verify that it’s true with references to relevant research. A good example of what I’m looking for is here: https://blog.healthkismet.com/what-are-we-really-meant-to-eat-5-surprising-facts-about-the-ancestral-diet. It’s over 2000 words and makes references to graphs and studies whenever possible so people know that what I’m writing isn’t BS. You should do the same.
- It’s a good idea to include a few charts. It’s much easier for people to grasp information if it comes with a visual guide of some sort. So if you’re going to make a claim about something, including a graphic or chart or two is a good idea.
- Your article must be unique. It can be related to other things you’ve written, but it can’t be a replica of what you’ve written elsewhere. It has to be original content.
- Recipes go to the front of the line. I always have a hard time getting around to writing recipes, so I’m happy to get interesting recipes. They should be unique and fit in with the zeitgeist of the site (alternative health, longevity, etc). I’m probably not interested in your homemade bacon wrapped tater-tots.
- I don’t care for listicles and trite link-bait. I wouldn’t exclusively count them out, but if your article is a “List of N Things” type of piece that regurgitates talking points everyone’s familiar with I won’t be interested.
- Try and make something that only you could write about. Even if it’s small, this is a good way to make sure you’re doing something relevant.
- Make sure it’s well edited before you turn it in. I’m a busy guy and won’t want to have to spend an hour or two working on the post you were supposed to have finished properly. This could possibly delay the publishing of your post by several weeks.
What I’d Like to Be Able To Do For You
Maybe these requirements seem harsh, but at the end of the day they’re little more than common sense.
I’m only writing this because I’ve become permanently depressed about most people’s inability to make a compelling offer, and there are probably a lot of people I’d LOVE to help out but can’t because they can’t get over that all-too-important hurdle of being introduced in the right way.
Let me take this moment to talk about all the ways I’m happy to assist you in pursuing your career goals.
In addition to give your website and brand an on-going source of traffic (I get about 30-45,000 uniques each month) and authority (my articles regularly outrank sites like the MayoClinic and WebMD for relevant articles), if we work together you’ll gain an important ally in all your future endeavors.
I can give you references, help work my industry contacts to your benefit, and be a comfortable shoulder to lean on when you need advice and are looking for help. I might even find a reason to pay you for one thing or another.
I’ve always been happy to do this when the situation arose for people I’ve worked with. And I’d like to do it for you.
So please pitch me in the right way!
A Sample Pitch
Okay. So you’ve followed all the advice I’ve given you on this page. You’ve been steadfastly sucking up for the last 3-4 weeks, have been leaving insightful comments that have allowed me to get to know you, and have cooked up a few useful ideas that you think will be a hit.
Now you have to write that daunted pitch.
Here’s what it should look like:
This is XXXX, I’ve been reading your blog and really like it a lot.
You may recognize me from some of the comments I’ve left on your blog. You can see what I’ve written here (blog.healthkismet.com/;alkdsjf) and here (blog.healthkismet.com/aldjf).
I especially liked your piece about XYZ because yadda yadda yadda.
Anyways I know you accept guest posts and would like to give you something that I think will really pop for your site.
Here’s what I’m thinking right now:
Good Idea #1
- sub-point #1
- sub-point #2
- sub-point #3
Good Idea #2
- sub-point #1
- sub-point #2
- sub-point #3
Good Idea #3
- sub-point #1
- sub-point #2
- sub-point #3
I’d really like the chance to write one of these for you. Look forward to hearing from you!
If you go through these steps there’s about a 75% chance I’ll agree and we can talk about the specifics of your post. If we can get it published it’ll be MUCH easier to get future posts published and you can then harness the power of Health Kismet’s platform and our future growth to aid you in your future prospects.
So You’re Ready to Make A Pitch. Now What?
Fill out this form. Give me about 3-5 days to respond. If I don’t get back to you by then feel free to send me an e-mail to see what I think.