If you want to get in front of an audience of people who love to self-promote, including business owners, authors, speakers and experts—as well as PR people and publicists—you’re in the right place.
I love publishing guest blog posts. But I hate pitches from people who have never read this blog.
Or pitches that are off the mark. Or pitches from people who have no expertise in a topic but want to appear here only for a link to their website. Or pitches that say, “I’m so and so. What do you want me to write about?”
Before you waste your time, and mine, read this list of tips on how to pitch me.
1. Look at the header. It says “Tips, tricks and tools for free publicity.”
Nothing confusing about that.
My readers want tips on how to use traditional and social media. This includes advice on how they can create content to promote their expertise. I’ve also published blog posts about paid ads, because some PR campaigns can’t do without them.
Here’s a short list of content my readers love:
- Publicity 101 basics. Many readers are new to PR and have no clue where to start.
- How to build relationships with journalists, bloggers and all new media.
- What to do with publicity once you get it.
- Case studies. Tell us how you helped a client or friend generate publicity–and the results. This is a great opportunity for publicists to strut their stuff.
- How to work with a publicist if you’re on a tight budget.
- Advice on how to measure the success of a publicity campaign.
- Step-by-step instructions on how to do something related to publicity, like how to find contact information for journalists.
- Curated content. Feel free to gather the very best content on the web on a particular topic and offer it as a guest post. Here’s an example.
- Frequently asked questions on a topic. Here’s an example of FAQs for media kit templates I created.
- Tips on how to use photos and images in a publicity campaign, including step-by-step directions. Here’s one wrote on how to create an impressive Google+ hovercard in 7 easy steps.
- Clever strategies for using sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn to promote your expertise instead of saying “buy my stuff.”
- Publicity tips for niches, like nonprofits.
- Publicity tips for authors and how to get more exposure for books.
- How to create marketing materials for a publicity campaign.
I also want to see samples of your work related to any of the above topics, or the topic you pitch to me, so I know you can write.
2. Read the blog. Read the blog. Read the blog!
It sounds like a broken record, I know. But I can tell within five seconds of reading your pitch whether you’re familiar with my topic. If you aren’t sure whether I’ve covered something, use the search box at the blog.
Reading the blog will also give you a feel for the type of writing I want. I will edit your copy, and I may ask you to provide additional details or maybe even a rewrite. I’m a writing coach, and I’ll work with you to turn a good blog post into a great blog post. If you aren’t OK with me editing your post, please don’t bother pitching.
Also, this is a business blog. No obscenities or flame wars.
3. Pitch three ideas tied to your expertise.
Let me choose which one I like best. If I like all three, I might feature your work three times here over several months.
If I don’t like any of your ideas, I might suggest my own, but only if I know about your expertise. If you don’t feel comfortable with my idea, that’s OK. I appreciate your honesty.
4. We might chat about your idea by phone.
This can actually save time. So if you pitch by email and I have a lot of questions, let me call you. Provide a phone number.
5. You must offer original content.
No warmed-over leftovers from your own blog. I run all copy through Copyscape, so I know exactly how much of it has appeared elsewhere on the web. When you pitch me, link to a few samples of your writing.
6. Provide a good-quality head shot, in color.
Some guest bloggers submit fabulous posts, but crappy head shots. Photos should be crisp, and show you looking at the camera. I’ve received photos that look as though they were taken in a bar. You can have a friend take a good-quality above-the-shoulders shot with a mobile phone.
7. Don’t be afraid to follow up after you pitch.
If you don’t hear from me within a few days, send a follow-up email.
8. Offer images and other little extras if you have them.
They can include maps, bar charts, pie charts, screenshots, infographics, photos and even videos. Embed code from YouTube videos, yours or someone else’s, is fine.
9. Write an author resource box and link to your own blog.
Please submit your own author resource box of 50 to 75 words, and link to your blog or website. You don’t need your own blog to be considered as a guest writer here.
10. Reply to comments.
This blog welcomes moderated comments, and I do my best to reply to everyone. If your post is published, return here occasionally to see if people have commented so you can continue the conversation. When I see a comment on a post you’ve written, I may email you and let you know so you can return here and reply.
11. If I publish your post, pitch me again.
I’m surprised at the number of guest bloggers who never return. Don’t just disappear. If I liked your writing once, I’ll probably like it again. So will my readers.
Also, it’s already mid-June and I’d love to take a vacation. Make it easier. Pitch an idea for a guest post right now.
Do you have a page similar to this one at your blog? What guidelines do you offer for people who want to pitch you? Include the link so we can take a look.
12. How I’ll promote your blog post.
I’m active on Twitter, LinkedIn,
Google+ and Pinterest and often share guest posts there. I’ll also share your blog post at least once in my popular email tips, “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week.”
If you can follow these guidelines and you have great ideas to share, I’ve love to hear them. Please read my blog first. Then pitch me with your three best ideas.