Content Marketing

Why Your Guest Post Pitches Are Failing – Here’s Why #47


Are your pitches to guest post on publishing sites falling flat? Are you trying many different approaches with the same, negative results? Have no fear! Eric and Mark are here to turn your content marketing pitches around!
In this episode of Here’s Why, the guys will tell you when and how to pitch, but not before you’ve done your own research to find the perfect site for you and your content.

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Full Transcript:

Eric: Are your pitches to guest post on publishing sites failing? Stay tuned, because I’m going to tell you why they’re failing, and what you can do about it!
Mark: Eric, I have a feeling that a lot of folks in our audience are frustrated with their content marketing pitches falling flat. They try different approaches but get little positive response from publishers. What’s the problem?
Eric: Well Mark, I’m going to throw you a curve ball. The problem may not be with the pitches themselves.
Mark: Wait, what? Then where is the problem?
Eric: I can tell you what it really is, because at Perficient Digital we’ve helped clients secure hundreds of successful guest posting opportunities, and landed quite a few for ourselves as well. Here’s the secret: most content marketing pitches fail before the pitch email is ever written. They fail from a lack of preparing the ground before the pitch.
Mark: Ah!
Eric: For one thing, have you done any research on the competition and possible topics? Do you know what your competitors have already written about? What questions or topics have they left uncovered, or covered inadequately? Also, do you know where they publish aside from their own sites? Perhaps there are opportunities for you on those third party sites, or perhaps you can uncover some great relevant sites where your competitors haven’t published yet.
Mark: OK, let’s say I’ve done all that. So now I’m ready to write my guest posting pitch?
Eric: Not so fast! Next you need to identify target sites on which you want to publish. In addition to sites you uncovered during your competitive research, there are other ways you can find relevant sites for your topic. One of the easiest is to simply Google your topic ideas and see which sites come up high for those topics.
For the sites you turn up, you’ll want to check their domain authority with a tool such as Moz, and then look to see if they accept guest posts. Make a list of the sites that look like they have some outside authors, and that have decent authority levels. On that last point, keep in mind that when you’re starting out you might not be able to get a post on the highest authority sites, but you don’t want to bother with the lowest authority sites either.
Instead, aim for sites with decent authority but where you think you have a shot at getting accepted. Once you have established yourself on several sites like that, you can begin to work your way up onto higher authority sites, based on your reputation and track record. And a quick pro tip: it’s even better if you can request and land a columnist gig on some of your target sites. Publishing a regular column can help build your reputation, and shows other publishers you’re a serious writer.
Mark: So am I ready to write that pitch yet?
Eric: I’ll give you points for being eager, but there’s one more possible step before you start actually making your guest post requests. This step won’t be necessary for everyone, but many of you will benefit from lining up some experts in your field early on. If you aren’t really a subject matter expert for your focus topic, then you should work hard to find some writers who are, and then build relationships or partnerships with them to the point where they would be willing to write for you.
This gives you some very attractive names to include with your pitches. Publishers want to know that true experts are writing the content they publish. The Moz article I’ve written that will be linked at the end of this video gives you several tips on how to find good subject matter experts for your topics. Next, identify your target topic. The topic you’ll pitch needs to fit your competitive strategy from step one, be relevant to your target sites, and match up with what your subject matter experts can write about. Finally, be sure to research the person to whom you will be pitching.
You’ll have a far better chance of success if you’ve identified particular people at your target site who are the most likely decision makers for what gets published. That can take some sleuthing to figure out, but on sites that do a lot of publishing, look for a page that lists their editors, such as this one from Country Living. Next, start researching the various editors. Do they publish on the site? Read what they’ve written. Are they active on social media? Start following them there. Advance points for establishing credibility by having meaningful interactions with them about their articles in their social feeds before ever sending them a pitch. At a minimum, make sure you learn what you can about their likes and dislikes.
Mark: And now I’m ready to write my pitch?
Eric: Yes now, Mark, I think you’ve got everything in place to have a much better chance of success.
Mark: Thanks, Eric. Believe it or not, these tips only skim the surface of all the helpful information in Eric’s in-depth article on this topic on the Moz blog. Be sure to go to the link on your screen to learn more.

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Eric Enge

Eric Enge is part of the Digital Marketing practice at Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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