How to Write a Winning Guest Post Request

Guest posts are a fantastic opportunity to broadcast your writing to a larger, brand new audience and to promote yourself as an expert. They are also a terrific way to meet fellow industry bloggers and network. So it’s just a matter of approaching an authority site and submitting a post? Not by a long shot.

How to write winning guest posts pitches

  1. Do your homework. It’s great if you have a particular host (influencer) or hosts in mind for whom you want to write your guest post. If that’s the case, you should spend some time on researching their website, their writing style and learning about the person behind the blog. If you are unsure about whom you’d be pitching to, we recommend that you make a list of well-established bloggers who write within your niche and do a thorough research on them to decide which one would be most likely to accept your pitch and gain you the visibility you need. Start with those bloggers with whom you’ve interacted in the past or whom you feel will bee most responsive to an approach
  2. Review their guidelines carefully. First,the obvious one: do they even accept guest posts? Many influencers don’t and your pitch will fall on deaf ears or elicit a curt response.
         Assuming your chosen site accepts guest posts, search for their submission guidelines. The hosts are likely to have a distinct writing and formatting style with which all of their posts comply. It is therefore important for you to carefully review it and have a look at their guidelines for guest posts. Perhaps it would be a good idea to practice the layout of their posts on your own in order to see whether it would work with your writing. The tone of their posts is also important – is it formal or casual? Do they include a lot of visual content in their posts or is it primarily textual? What is the average length of their posts and their guest posts? You should know the answers to these questions.
  3. Choose post topics that will help their audience. This is the surest way to get your blog post accepted. If you can provide massive value for your influencer’s audience, you’re half-way there. Who are their target audience? Imagine their customer avatar. What problems are they experiencing? What content do you think will be most useful for the site’s readers?
  4. Give your influencer choices. Submit three pitch ideas, not just one and let your influencer choose which they prefer. (A pitch idea is simply the title of the post and a few lines explaining the post’s main benefits for the reader).
  5. Craft your pitch carefully. Now that you’ve got all the facts about your hosts in front of you, you need to draft your pitch taking all those facts into account. It’s easier if you’ve previously interacted with the blogger, of course, but even so, this step is of utmost importance and it’s not a single day’s work. Don’t make it into a novel – bloggers don’t have the time to read those – but don’t wing it either. Do a short sentence introducing yourself and your blog, compliment the host, and include your ideas for the guest post, as well as your credentials. Finish off the pitch with a thanks, and your contact details. If you have a lot of time and confidence, and you know the blogger rather well by now, consider perhaps writing an article beforehand and attaching it.
  6. Write your best post yet. Congratulations, your pitch has been accepted! Now you need to write the guest post and it has to be your best one to date – after all, the host most likely has a wide audience and they need to see your writing at its best. You are writing this post because it’s going to be your next selling point, and anything less than the best is a waste of your time and effort so far. Concentrate on providing maximum value for your host’s audience and your post will be a success.
  7. Edit carefully. Once you’re done writing your great post, take a break for a couple of hours and then go back and read through it. Check for typos; sections that need greater explanation or more substance; content errors; any areas for improvement. Do not rush this stage. Take your time to rewrite and edit repeatedly until you have created a valuable resource for your host. Remember what’s at stake: a well-written guest post can drive a large amount of traffic to your site for years to come; improve your search engine ranking and boost your authority. Take your time and do a brilliant job.
  8. Follow-up. If the guidelines don’t say anything about the time period during which the guest post is reviewed and considered, wait for about a week before contacting the host again to clarify and confirm the date for which your guest post is scheduled. Be polite and let them know how they can contact you. If they don’t get back to you after two weeks or so, repeat. If you hear nothing after a month or so, it’s unfortunately unlikely that your submission was accepted.
  9. Be grateful and engaging. If your submission was accepted and your guest post was published, make sure to thank the influencer as soon as the post is up. Then you need to promote the post as you would promote articles on your own blog – share it; tweet it or retweet it; post an excerpt on your own blog and reference it as a guest post. All of the above builds your visibility.
  10. Create a partnership with the host. If your first interaction was successful for both you and the influencer, thank them and offer to keep in touch for future opportunities. You never know – there might come a time when they might ask to write a guest post for you!

Takeaway points

  1. Do your homework. Learn about the site/person you wish to blog for. Who is their audience?
  2. Ask yourself, “How can I give them maximum value? What problem can I solve for them?” Serve the influencer’s audience to the best of your ability.
  3. Don’t ever create subpar guest posts. If you do, you can forget about writing for that site or influencer again. Always bring your A-game.
  4. Stay polite, courteous and invested in a future partnership with the host.

Action steps

  1. Make a list of all the influencers you want to guest post for. Start by choosing one. Get a feel for their site: read their About page; study their style of writing; the type of posts that seem popular; read their submission guidelines. Use one of their popular posts as a template for your guest post.
  2. Who is their target audience? What problems does that audience have that you can solve for them? Look after your host’s audience and you won’t go far wrong.
  3. Draft a guest post pitch. Here’s a sample from EntrepreneurOnFire:

Hi _____!

I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now, and I love your content and the lessons you share with your readers. Every time I read a post, I feel like I’m able to take a single, clear lesson away from it, which is why I think it’s so great.

I’m reaching out to see if you’d be interested in featuring a guest post from EntrepreneurOnFire, a top-ranked business podcast that gets over 950,000 unique downloads every month. We also have a blog on our site at, where we share resources and tips with entrepreneurs who are ready to take action to improve their business and their mindset today.

I believe I can add value to your audience on a few different topics, and so I’ve included those topics I think would really resonate with your readers here:

1. Proposed title or topic

– Summary of content

2. Proposed title or topic

– Summary of content

3. Proposed title or topic

– Summary of content

Thanks so much for considering my request! And I assure you, I will make this process as seamless as possible for you by sending you a formatted document with links included that you can copy and paste directly into WordPress.


Photo credit: Christian Schnettelker via / CC BY 2.0

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