7 Things You Should Do Before Making A Guest Posting Request

One of the most freeing things I’ve done recently is deciding that I don’t have to try to be Neil Patel any longer because overall, Google’s never going to see me as an authority. I might get in the lucky post here and there but all those posts over 2,000 words aren’t getting it done.

guest posting requests
She only requested a push

With that said, this is probably going to be the shortest post I’ve written in a long while, and it’s on a touchy subject for me; guest posting requests. If you want a little background on this topic and my reticence check out 5 Lies Of Guest Posting Requests before you go any further.

I’m writing this one in a different tone than most of the posts I’ve written on this subject. I’m doing that because someone I know said that sometimes my titles come across as me being mean to people because they’re messing up in my eyes.

I’d have to agree that’s possible, but it’s rarely my intention to be mean on purpose, especially since I normally speak in generalities… even when I’m talking about people lying! lol However, in general I’m usually the nice guy in the room, so I’m going to try to be nice… but no promises!

Guest posting requests… well… sorry but I have to say that a lot of people are failing in this area. That’s why I’m being proactive and as nice as I can be indicating what people should be doing to potentially increase their guest posting opportunities overall (except on this blog; you’ll know why if you read this post) and not irritate the people they’re writing to.

1. Visit the blog in question

Most of the guest posting requests make it too easy to know that people didn’t even visit my blogs. I have a lot of people who want to write about things that those particular blogs don’t even cover; that’s a pretty big “tell” (poker term) and most of the time you might not even get a response. Some of my other points are going to pony off this one.

2. Look for the blog owner’s name

There isn’t a single blogger in the world whose name is “Admin”; trust me on this one. That’s not even the worst letters I receive. The ones I get often begin with “Hi there” or something similar, then go into the narrative. Marketing 101; always send email to a “person”, with the best way being to use their name.

3. Look for a guest posting/advertising policy

Not all blogs will have something like this but some blogs do. I have an advertising policy on my finance blog because it’s one of only 2 blogs I have where I’ll accept sponsored posts (I need to put a policy on my other blog, though no one has yet to ask me about it yet). It will answer a lot of questions up front and keep you from once again looking like you’ve never even visited the blog.

4. Look to see if there are any guest posts on the blog

Christmas 2014
Creative Commons License Caitee Smith via Compfight

Even if there’s no guest posting policy, it can’t take that long to check out the blog to see if there are any recent guest posts, which is a good indication as to whether those blogs accept them or not. Of course, it’s possible that some of them are like this blog, where the last guest post I had, a post on positivity by my friend Kelvin Ringold, was in April 2016, and I didn’t indicate it was a guest post in the title. The last actual guest post I had here was in 2012; this is the one that lets people know I don’t accept guest posts as a general thing, and this one was allowed because the guy had interviewed me on his blog a couple of years earlier. 🙂
 

5. Leave a “real” comment on a previous blog post

Almost all the email requests I get (which are pretty much form letters) will add a link to an article on the blog saying how much they enjoyed it… without saying why they enjoyed it… which they can’t do because they obviously never visited the blog (okay, that’s not nice but it’s true). The biggest problem with this is that it shows the blog owner that the person asking to guest post could care less about their blog, which means they’re trying to get something for nothing.

No one wants to feel they’re being taken advantaged of, or lied to by someone trying to flatter them with an empty compliment. I recently got a guest posting request where the guy said he’d left a comment on a particular post but didn’t; he couldn’t have thought I wouldn’t go looking for it could he (I’m trying not to use the “L” word again)?

Leaving a comment on a post or two shows the blog owner that you’ve actually visited the blog previously and really understand the types of articles the owner might be open to accepting… if they accept guest or sponsored posts (which I don’t here; I hope no one seriously asks to do either on this blog because of this article…).

6. Have links to articles you’ve previously written; don’t send files…

Less than half the requests I receive sends links to article that I could check out… if I was going to accept guest posts (actually, on my finance blog I did until December 2013). I know that’s because many of the people sending the letters aren’t writing the articles (which is one reason I stopped accepting guest posts and switched to sponsored only) so they’re not even going to try to validate the quality of something they didn’t write and possibly didn’t even read.

Some of the requests attached a file to their email that they wanted me to open, or a link to a Google Doc; nope, ain’t no way I’d do it, and I hope no one else who accepts guest posts do until they get to know the requester. See, there’s these things called viruses that can get onto your computer by clicking on dodgy things in email and I like my computer way too much to even take the smallest chance that could be happening to me (check out this article on ransomware; this is a real thing…).

7. If the blog owner has a written policy for you to view and you actually check it out, don’t try to change their conditions

There are a few people who ask to sponsor a post rather than a guest post. Often I’ll just send those folks the advertising policy, which has specific rules. Invariably, every single person except one has asked me to change one thing or another, even though the policy adds “this is non-negotiable” to a few of the items in there. If you never get another response from the person you initially wrote to, this is probably why…

I think that’s enough… I get the feeling I wasn’t as nice as I set out to be and the article was definitely longer than I planned for it to be. lol Well, I tried! I hope I got my point across the helped some of you who are drinking the guest posting kool-aid and about to embark on this as a crusade to greater prosperity and publicity. In the meantime, since I don’t think I was as nice as I set out to be, I think it’s okay for me to share this video I did a few years about griping about people who don’t request to do a guest post properly; enjoy your day! 😉


https://youtu.be/UxUkoTMZqx0

 

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31 comments on “7 Things You Should Do Before Making A Guest Posting Request

  • Thanks for these great tips on guest blogging. I want to try to do some more of that soon. While it does “take longer” to do this, it’s much more effective, so you have a higher success rate, and that is a much better use of time.

    Reply
  • Hi Mitch,

    Although you don’t think your post was “nice”, it was useful and also entertaining. I could picture your face when you discussed ransomware! I haven’t been affected by it, but I have a close friend who works at a hospital that was. It was shut down for a couple days and patients needed to be transferred to a sister hospital.

    How do you recommend finding the website owner’s name? I typically look for the site on Facebook, LinkedIn, and then search the ICANN records to attempt to find him/her, but sometimes they pay for the privacy protection.

    I don’t want my comment to be longer than the article, so one last thing. I (actually) read Kelvin’s post from last April and he made a good point – we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react (choosing to be happy).

    Reply
    • Thanks for reading Larry, and for checking out Kelvin’s post also. As far as names go, I always start with About pages because usually people put some information there. Any “person” that allows guest posts will always have a name somewhere. If it’s a site that allows guest posts, to the extent that almost every article is a guest post, that’s a much different story. I tend to do what I call “like minded” correspondence, which means if you can’t find a name on a site like that then send the standard type of letter to them without using a name. However, I think that’s the minority of blogs out there so it’s best going towards the people who list a name.

      Reply
  • Prakash Thape says:

    Hey Mitch,

    Awesome post. I see people using guest posting just to get link not to providing the value.

    I see mail from people who ask to guest post on my blog but what they ask in return, they need dofollow links but never say that they will provide the value packed article.

    I mean what impression you leave when you directly demanding dofollow links from those who are giving you an opportunity to publish your post.

    I mean seriously, this the way to guest posting.

    I don’t think so, and this is the reason I never reply to such people.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • The only times I’ve ever written guest posts is when I’ve been asked by people I knew pretty well. The way I do a guest post is to try to write something that, in my mind, is better than anything I’ve ever written on my blogs. I don’t look to write 500 word posts, I try to write something really good that’s useful… at least I hope it’s useful. The post my friend Kelvin wrote for me (that I asked him to do) was more than 1,500 words; that’s what guest posts should be.

      Reply
  • I agree that people should check and see if there is a guest post policy before emailing. This will save a bit of time.

    Lately, I’ve been getting an email with the same headline about wanting to guest post on my site. I don’t know if it’s the same person with different email addresses but they always come through the content.
    Marcie recently posted…30 Content Promotion StrategiesMy Profile

    Reply
    • What I’ve done over the last couple of days is reply to the email by posting the link to this post. For some reason I haven’t heard back from a single person; I wonder why lol

      Reply
  • I came to your site because of the diabetes post which is very relevant to me (thank you for writing it!) and stayed for a few others including this one. I appreciated your comments and your recommendations on how blogger outreach ought to be done, it would make it better for all of us! I also wonder why people would think we might accept guest posts from them if they can’t even take the time to write a reasonably well written article? Thanks!
    Bobbi recently posted…11 Best Laptop Brands for 2017 with Top Rated Models & ReviewsMy Profile

    Reply
    • Thanks for your words & for reading Bobbi; I appreciate that. I’m with you on the guest posting requests and then the types of articles these people send out; having to edit all that stuff was mind numbing and I just got tired of that, as well as all the broken promises I kept getting.

      Reply
  • Hi Mitch,

    I have a guest posting policy and it may sound “mean” but business is not butterflies and moonbeams lol. I get so many people that I don’t know try to do a guest post or even ask me to pay them to do one (ha ha ha) that I have never met. This is a pet peeve of mine so I have to calm down to answer them.

    There are a lot of folks out there who look for high ranking blogs and try to ride their coat tails. This is why I have a policy set in place.

    Looking at your video I had a similar experience. A “top blogger” didn’t want to answer all the comments. He had the same b.s. as the guy you were talking about. “I only answer those comments that are worthy” Hmmmm Every comment is worthy. Plus it is against my policy. Even though we can be clear with a guest post policy, some people will try to do their own thing.

    As for me, I get asked to do guest posts and I do them if I know the person.

    In no way are you mean…You couldn’t be Mitch, its not in your nature. You are caring and will rant but in a acceptable manner. Besides…I love your rants!

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…What Bloggers Can Do To Stand Out In A CrowdMy Profile

    Reply
    • LOL, thanks Donna. What I’ve started doing over the last couple of weeks is sending a link from this post to anyone who contacts me asking to guest post that doesn’t use my name or uses what I know is a template. I haven’t heard back from any of those folks, which is good, but I’m also hoping that maybe they’ll check out the link and learn a thing or two. Now THAT part could be perceived as meanness, but I’m seeing it as trying to educate folks who obviously didn’t learn anything about marketing or social media. 🙂

      Reply
  • Hello, thanks for the tips! I love the tip about checking if they actually left a comment on my blog. Some of the guest poster submission flatter you so and have never really read what you write. Oh and the “Dear Admin…” clearly gives a spammer away. I just delete.

    xo
    Rene

    Reply
  • Hey Mitch,

    Coming over to you from Donna’s blog.

    In this rush for getting traffic, to make the Internet work, and to sell as fast as possible, this is a growing trend.

    You’ll be surprised to know that most of these guest posting requests come from people working for SEO agencies or outreach managers — in addition to bloggers and solo business owners.

    No time to check who’s blog they visited. Not a care in the world to find out the name. Not interested in actually reading what the blogger or author wrote.

    Who cares? Right? They promised clients that they’d get X links from Y websites. That’s it.

    People? What people? Links will do please.

    The epidemic, however, is not just with guest posting. Companies still do advertising to “cookie” computers and not people. For many businesses, customers are just transaction numbers and order numbers.

    One day, everyone will be forced to step back and take a breather. They’ll realize that if you aren’t building real relationships, it’s not going to work.

    Appreciate what you do here, Mitch.

    Ash
    Ash recently posted…HubSpot Review: From a WordPress FanboyMy Profile

    Reply
    • Great comment Ash! Actually, I’m not surprised by the folks who contact me because they all use the same form email, only some of them have slight differences. You’re right in saying they’re shooting for numbers rather than quality; that’s why I end up sending so many of them to spam. It seems like so many people don’t care enough to try to do things right or better; that’s too bad for them.

      Reply
  • Hey Mitch,

    #1 and #5 definitely compliments each other.

    I haven’t had a guest on my blog in over a year, but when I was getting requests, there were a few that didn’t read what my blog was about and who it was geared towards.

    In a way it was my fault since I didn’t show clarity on what my blog was about and what audience I targeted. So I changed my message (a few times) and made my “About Me” page more clear. But did it help? For some yes, but others overlooked my message and About Me page.

    So yes, it’s a good idea to visit the blog, and on top of that leave a “real” comment on a previous blog post. This is how you sell yourself to the blogger you want to do a guest post for. Besides that, it would be a waste of time.

    Great topic Mitch!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Free SEO Training To Increase Revenue With Matthew WoodwardMy Profile

    Reply
    • Thanks Sherman. Out of all the things I mentioned, my biggest gripe is people not visiting the blog to actually see what’s there. Just because you’ve shown me a link from the blog doesn’t mean you’ve actually read any of it. Overall though, all these things irk me; luckily, I don’t accept guest posts so I can stay above it all. 🙂

      Reply
  • It’s so prevalent that as I am writing to now, I’d just sent in 2763 comments, straight to spam. I didn’t count the number of emails that came in without even looking at the website itself.

    I can ignore emails but I just keep worrying about comment spam though 🙂 There are just way too many of them coming in. Any tips?

    Ash
    Ash recently posted…AB Testing: Proof That You Should Test & Not AssumeMy Profile

    Reply
    • That’s a lot of spam email Ash; you’re way more popular than I am lol I don’t have tips on that one except to be grateful that it’s going to spam instead of directly to your blog.

      Reply
  • lol..I have no idea if it was popularity or a vulnerable script that somehow creeped into the hosting account (with my previous host). Yes’day I changed the host for the infected blog. The comment spam considerably reduced now since it’s a managed WordPress hosting provider.

    I am yet to talk to them on how to handle this 🙂
    Ash recently posted…AB Testing: Proof That You Should Test & Not AssumeMy Profile

    Reply
  • Deanna Friel says:

    Thanks for these great tips on guest blogging. I want to try to do some more of that soon. Although you don’t think your post was “nice”, it was useful and also entertaining. I could picture your face when you discussed ransomware! It was shut down for a couple days and patients needed to be transferred to a sister hospital. I don’t want my comment to be longer than the article, so one last thing. I agree that people should check and see if there is a guest post policy before emailing. I don’t know if it’s the same person with different email addresses but they always come through the content.

    Reply
    • Thanks Deanna. People have been receiving viruses via email for at least a couple of decades now, so why anyone would think it’s the right thing to do to send a file to someone without talking to them first seems like idiocy to me. As for the other thing you mentioned, it’s probably different people sending out these requests, even if they’re all using basically the same form letter.

      Reply
  • Hi Mitchell,

    Great Post you have up here; I’d like to add that most of the mistakes made is that all they care about is to get a link and nothing else. It just doesnt work that way;

    Thanks for this post and I hope many in quest for guest posting opportunities get to see this before they embark.

    This’ my first visit to your blog.

    Reply
    • Welcome Prosper, and thanks for your comment. You’re right, these folks only want links and don’t really care about the content or the readers. I also hope more people who want to do guest posting will learn from this… but I’m doubting it. lol

      Reply
    • Thanks for your comment Atul. This is a pet peeve of mine because every day I get tons of requests from people who not only didn’t read anything but don’t know my name. My name is everywhere; if you can’t find it on my blogs you’re not trying.

      Reply

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