The Fastest Way to Get Flat-Out Rejected for a Guest Blogging Gig

Rubber Stamp that Says "Denied"Recently, a woman wrote to me and offered to do a guest post on my blog. She introduced herself and told me a little bit about what she was up to in the world. Her niche had nothing to do with blogging or social media, but that wasn’t necessarily a deal breaker for me, so I kept reading.

She told me she’d like to guest post on my site, and gave me a link to her website.  Then she asked, “Can you please send me some topics that you would like me to use for a guest post?”


A few days later, I got another request. This woman wrote a very similar short intro, then asked me if I would consider publishing her guest post on my blog. Then she gave me a great idea for a post topic, and even told me why she thought the post would be a good fit for my site. It was clear she had done her homework and really thought out the details of her request.

Which potential guest blogger do you think I said yes to?

That’s right – I said yes to the one who approached me with an idea.

If you want to do guest posts, don’t expect the host blogger do the work and give you topics to write about. Prepare a couple of great post ideas, and send those with your inquiry.  Make it clear that you know the blog really well, and that you know what will (and will NOT) be good material for the website.

The key to getting guest blogging gigs is having awesome ideas for blog posts.

Yes, I think it’s important to build relationships with the bloggers you’re trying to approach. I think it’s also incredibly important to practice writing as much as possible so that you become the best writer you can be.

But I also think that a popular blogger is going to be a lot more excited to consider your blog post if you have an awesome idea.

Here’s what I suggest:

  • Do your homework. Read the blog inside and out, so you have a really good grasp on the subject matter, the tone, and the kinds of posts that do well on the site (look for lots of retweets and comments for proof of popularity.)
  • Then make your pitch. Keep it really short.
  • Use your first paragraph to introduce yourself and tell them a LITTLE bit about you. Then say “I’d like to write a guest post for [your awesome, popular blog]. Here are some possible posts I could write…
  • Then list your possible topics. Give ’em a maximum of five ideas – you don’t want to overwhelm the blogger.

Hopefully you’ll hear back from the host blogger quickly, and she’ll say “Yes! I’m totally interested in your post about Hamsters During the French Revolution. Please send me the post by X date, and if it’s a good fit for us, we’ll publish it.”

If not, well…then you need to go back to the drawing board. But if you keep reading that blog and keep sending in original, well-targeted post topics, sooner or later you are going to get a yes.

Need ideas for posts? Trying downloading the utterly awesome Copyblogger headline hacks report and pick through its foolproof headline formulas.  Start your list of post ideas, then keep adding to it.

Want to try it? Send a short guest post pitch to a blogger you’d love to write for. Make sure to keep your note short and sweet, and only pitch IDEAS. Don’t send a whole blog post. Make your ideas great, and make sure they fit the topic of the blog.

Then tell us about it in the comments, or share your story on the Blogging with Beth Facebook page.

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  1. Beth, this is outstanding advice. It is annoying to receive requests which leave you to do the work to come up with an idea they can write about. I love that you value your audience enough to only want the best content to be included. When someone does not do their homework they are not only insulting you but also the entire audience of readers who turn to you for salient advice and guidance.

    Great post and thank you for giving voice to a simmering annoyance.

    • Thanks, Warren! Nice to see you here! 🙂 I agree with you – I think as bloggers we have a responsibility to our readers to put the best content we can on our sites, so that our readers can really get great information from us. And guest posters – both good and not-so-good – are still direct representatives of our brand. So it’s in our best interest as bloggers to pick the good stuff! 🙂

      And if we’re pitching to another blogger, I think we need to do our homework and make a great impression, right from moment one!

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Beth, thanks for writing this post on guest blogging. I can so relate! I’ve received at least 3 ill-fated requests from “potential” guest bloggers with presentations similar to what you have described. It’s so frustrating to see that they’ve written their drafts for an audience other than mine (psychotherapists and allied health professionals) or failed to give a nod to the purpose of my blog (helping build strong private practices). I don’t even bother to respond to inquiries like this!

    On the other hand, I have also received lovely guest posts from individuals (including you!) who have taken the time to read my guest post guidelines and were wise enough to comply with them. I’m always excited to introduce my readers to really great information and inspiration and it’s a pleasure to often learn from those guest bloggers, too!

    Thanks for taking the time to put these suggestions in writing. I’ll definitely be sharing this post with others!

    And, . . . would love to see you write a tutorial on how to upload and link our Pinterest images onto our own blog. 🙂

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