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Being of a certain age, the first blogs I read were the intensely private (yet, usually public) online diaries. The Blogspot, Xanga, and Livejournal platforms catapulted teen angst throughout the web, but eventually blogs became a leading source of my information on product reviews, new Indie bands, political news, and countless other areas of interest.

What was once an escape from the ‘real world’ is now an ingratiated part of our daily lives. Every hour of every day, businesses and people are being vetted online. Not only are you expected to maintain a robust presence on your own sites and social media platforms, but it’s important to proliferate your brand name across the web (in an ethical and un-spammy way). Guest posting is a great way to reach disparate audiences, heighten brand recognition, and gain valuable referral traffic to your site.

Our writing and editing team is perpetually hard at work, generating compelling Guest Post content that’s worth reading. But every great article needs a publisher, and one of my key responsibilities is finding strong (and relevant) publishers for our content. I have established relationships with many different publishers during my time at Words For Less, but it’s always important to spend time prospecting and reaching out to new blogs who could be great fits for our articles.

Over the course of many email pitches, I’ve set only one hard rule for prospecting.

Get to Know Your Publisher Before You Pitch
This might seem like an obvious step, but if you’re sending out countless emails all day, it’s easy to fall back on a standardized pitch that doesn’t  acknowledge each and every publisher. Before I send any pitch to any blog, I spend some time scrutinizing their site. Not only am I looking to see if the blog meets our stringent qualifications for a potential publisher, but I’m also noticing what kind of material they have already posted. Reading over some of their most blog posts can give me hints about the kind of articles that the publisher might be interested in.

That being said, you won’t find out too much information about the actual man or woman behind the blog, which is why I always address my emails “To Whom it May Concern,” unless the blog otherwise states to send your pitches to Joe or Tina or whomever. Next up, you will see a fictitious example pitch, where I’m prospecting a gardening blog.

“To Whom it May Concern,

I recently came across the Green Thumb Gardening blog, and I really enjoyed reading your latest article on DIY worm bins! Who knew it could be so easy -without getting too dirty either.

I have some gardening articles that I think would be a great fit for your blog. Down below you will see some brief article descriptions; let me know what you think!

[Here’s where I would provide three different article titles, followed by a brief summary of each one, or possibly the introductory paragraph, to give the publisher a taste of the article.]

If you find any of these articles worthwhile, or are interested in some having some other topics written, I am more than happy to accommodate. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best,
Jackson”

Each pitch is going to have its own unique specifications, and depending upon the publisher niche, it might require additional information. For instance, if I’m prospecting for a client who sells planter boxes, I could send outreach emails to gardening blogs along with home improvement blogs, family blogs, foodie blogs, and many more, all while utilizing a series of different articles and pitches that connect the client to the publisher niche. But regardless of the publisher’s area of interest, you will find that the most successful outreach pitches will be ones that stress the mutual benefits of the relationship.

Once you find a responsive publisher, it’s usually quite easy to establish a long-lasting relationship, and one that becomes mutually beneficial, if you are willing to put in the time. Rather than having a relationship based on you always asking the publisher to post articles, you can fall into a rhythm where the publisher will be calling on you to provide content for their site. The publisher gets great articles, your clients get high quality links, and everyone wins.

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