Guest Post Outreach Best Practices

This is a section from the Page One Power Employee Handbook, with minor edits. In the spirit of TAGFEE we thought it’d be fun and (hopefully) helpful to share some of the information and best practices we use internally. Hope you enjoy!

What is Outreach?

Outreach is any attempt at contact in the hopes of eliciting a response. This can include (but is not limited to) emails, web forms, social media, blog comments, phone calls, etc. The ideal outreach is something the recipient will open, read, and respond to.

Hello “________”,

I have an idea for an article titled “______” about “____”. I think this would fit well within your “_____”section, would you be willing to take a look at it? I thought it’d be timely considering your recent piece, “____”!

Thanks for your time and consideration,


Important to remember:

  • Always find the name of the person you’re emailing
  • Blogger’s inboxes are full of junk. You have a very short amount of time to catch their attention. You need to stand apart from the crowd
  • Fill the message with as much personality in as few words as possible.
  • Email gets better responses than web forms. Even if there’s a contact form, take an extra minute to look for an email address.
  • If the blogger recognizes your name, they’re more likely to open your email, especially if it went to spam. So following them on social media or “liking”, “sharing” or commenting on one of their posts before you send your pitch can increase your odds of getting through to them.
  • Include a call to action or a question in your message. This increases the chance of a response.

Hi (name)!

I’d love to write an article for you about DJing with a tablet and the apps that are available for that purpose. Once I am done writing my article how can I submit it to your site?



  • Including too many links or attachments might send you to spam, but these items also give you an excuse to follow up the next day: “Hey, don’t know if my email went to spam because of the attachment, did you get my article?”
  • Approach the outreach confidently, assuming that the blogger will want your article. Confidence is key in successful outreach.

Subject Line: The title of your email and the first line are what the recipient sees first. They may not even open your email if it seems boring or spammy. So be intentional with your subject line and introduction.


  • See if the site has a required subject line
  • Include the blog title in the subject
  • Include your article title/topic in the subject
  • If they have a “write for us” page, the term “guest post” probably shows up in their inbox all the time. Try something more creative.

Initial Outreach: There are a lot of styles of outreach- short, long, direct, rambling. Make sure the style you choose fits the blog you are outreaching to. Determine this by looking at the tone of the “about” and “write for us pages”, and especially recent articles.

Be clear on what you are offering the blogger. What’s in it for them? Incentives could include:

  • Sharing your article via social media
  • Great (free) content for their audience (specify why it fits their blog/audience) – articles that are specifically responding, expounding, or debating a recent post are great for this
  • New Traffic (explain how you’ll drive new traffic)

You must quickly establish authority:

  • Include a link to previously published work: (careful, too many links could send you to spam)
  • Offer to send them examples of previous work upon request
  • Check if the blogger has connections to blogs you’ve been published on before. Namedrop.
  • Include a link to your G+ account with the list of all your published articles. This is a great way to give them access to your whole portfolio with just one link. (can be incorporated into the email signature)

Hey there, I’m ___ with (company). I wrote an article for your site. It’s attached and if you like it then it’s all yours.

I’d love to hear back from you with any feedback, comments, or suggestions.



G+ (with link)

Relationship Building

Websites don’t give out links. People do.

Links worth going after are those on sites that are cared for by actual people, not just automated, neglected, and generally ignored by the human populace. This means you have to appeal to people, not websites. Offer them something they want. If you have nothing to offer, give them personality. Make them like you. Relationships are the key to becoming an effective link builder, instead of just a guest poster or directory submitter.

Eliciting Emotions

There needs to be something in it for them.

Bloggers don’t want great content. Or rather, they want more than great content. They want traffic, social media shares, comments on their site, conversions. They want a new perspective. Figure out what this site owner wants and convince them you can help them get it.

The point of outreach is to get a response. Because the focus is on people, you need to appeal to what makes them human: their emotions.

Interest, Curiosity- You have something interesting to offer. They want to see more.

Hey there!

I hope your morning is off to a great start. I was just taking a look at your write for us page and I noticed that you have a few opportunities for guest posting. I just finished a piece titled, “_______” and I was a little curious to see if it could be something that you’re interested in.

In the piece I use the recent findings of a ______ study to go over “________”. I also touch on “____________”. The article is attached to this email so if you’d like to give it a read that would be great!

If you’d like to get a better idea of my writing you can check out some of my previously published pieces here:

Let me know what you think of the piece, I’d love to hear some feedback!

Thank so much and hope to hear from you soon,


Surprise, amusement– The pitch has something unexpected, is filled with personality, and the site owner can’t help but like us.


Here’s the score:

You need some fresh ___ content at ______.

I’m looking for high-quality __ sites that I can contribute to in order to flesh out my Google Authorship profile, win a Pulitzer Prize and rule the Universe.

It’s a perfect opportunity for us to collaborate for our mutual benefit, but you need to read this e-mail and respond to it in order for this collaboration to work.

I’ve e-mailed you a couple times before and didn’t hear anything back.

Hit me up and let’s discuss this. I’d be eager to contribute my knowledge and expertise and I’m confident that I’ve got the writing chops to draw readers and add value to your site. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just give me the nod and I’ll shoot a piece to you for review and we can go from there.



Flattery- MUST BE GENUINE! Don’t compliment something on their site if you don’t like it. Bloggers get a hundred guest post requests a week saying “I find your blog useful and inspiring to readers…” Compliment something specific. Consider writing your post in response to something they’ve posted recently.

Hey (name),

I was just inquiring about being included on your list of ethical tourism links. (Company) is striving to make tourism a force for growth and benefit for the locations we travel through and we have established (RESOURCE) to give back to the communities we encounter. We are trying to expand this (resource) and make sure that people know how they can help, even when on vacation, and how tourism can be a force for growth and education. Being included on your list of ethical tourism links would be a good step in that direction and I would appreciate your thoughts and ideas on the matter.

Thanks and best wishes,


Gratitude, Thankfulness- they appreciate the offer for free content that was written by humans for humans

Let me get straight to the point, here….

Your site needs some fresh content. It hasn’t been updated in over a month.

I’m a ____ writer, looking for new audiences to share my work with.

We should collaborate. I’d like to write you a piece or two. How about a piece about ______?

Take a look at my portfolio connected to my G+ account so you see the quality of work I produce:


I look forward to collaborating with you…


Anger/Embarrassment– Can’t get a response? Try accusing them of not maintaining their site well. An angry response is better than no response. This gets them on the defensive and opens the door for negotiations

Hi (name),

I’d still love to write for your site, but if you’re not interested, I will pitch my “____” article to other travelling sites.

Thanks for your time,


Hey (name),

My name is ____ and I’ve pitched legitimate writing interest to this email a number of times, with no response at all. First off, please let me know if you’ve received it. I think it is actually worth your time, as there aren’t enough people out there writing about progressive real estate options.

To avoid hassling you I won’t send another email, but at the same time I think it’s important that you respond to people who present legitimate ideas. There’s no point in having an email if not.

Thanks for your time, I appreciate it.


Hey (name),

I don’t know if I’m going to your spam or what, but I’ve tried several ways to get a hold of you. I don’t quite see the point in having contact forms on your sites if you’re not going to respond.

Anyway, I hope you’re just missing my messages and I get through eventually.

Thanks for your time,


If they get angry, turn around and apologize, say you were just frustrated with the great void that is internet correspondence, and see if you can get their interest. This is a great way to show that you’re human, and hopefully inspire a little goodwill.

Remember, the first goal is to get a response. Then you focus on getting a link.


“Hey, just making sure I didn’t get thrown into spam.”

“Have you had time to review my article/pitch yet?”

“I’d still love to send you an article about rabid penguins”

Try something new:

Alternate forms of contact:

  • Web forms
  • Other email addresses on the site
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Other social media (once found alternate email address through youtube account)
  • Commenting on blog posts (don’t include links)
  • Try finding email through (super stalker status, use with care)

Hi (name),

I’ve been trying to reach you at your _____ email, but I thought I’d try this one.

I’m ____, and I’m interested in sending you a guest post about one of the following topics: (topic ideas)

Here’s an example of my writing: (link)

Let me know which article I can send you,



Alternate approaches

Were you longwinded last time? Shorten it up. Did you just ask if they take guest posts? Elaborate on your idea. Were you trying to be funny? Be serious.

Give them a deadline:

“I’d love to work with you, but since I haven’t heard from you, I guess I’ll turn my efforts elsewhere. If you’re still interested in collaborating, let me know by Friday”

Responding to:

Requests for money:

  • Explain why Google frowns on paid links.
  • Ask if they would waive the fee if the link is no-follow
  • Offer to link back to the post in future bios (basically giving them a link too, bring traffic to them) in lieu of payment.
  • Mention that you’re a paid writer (mention your rate), willing to waive the fee for a link in your bio

Requests for reciprocal links:

  • Offer to link back to the post in future bios (basically giving them a link too, bring traffic to them) in lieu of payment.
  • Offer to talk to the webmaster of the site you’re representing, but don’t make any promises.

“Do you work for a company?”

“I do write on behalf of, and will want the article to include a link back to their site. I make sure the link is relevant and useful. The article itself will not be an ad, however, and I really think your audience will appreciate it because. _______”

Additional Resources:

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