How Not to Get a Guest BlogPost Spot

Guest blogging is a valid and potentially powerful strategy for getting your message out and increasing your audience. Danny Iny, for example, teaches people very well how to do it.

But as night follows day, a good social media idea will be jumped on immediately by those seeking low cost high volume.  To wit, a recent example:

Hi There,

I am sure you get pitched on guest posts on a daily basis so I’ll keep this short. I am a long time reader of your blog and have been meaning to contribute – but I held back because I didn’t have a great idea that I think you’ll love.

Well, now I do. I stumbled upon an interesting topic on [topic which I can’t imagine readers of this blog wanting to read].  The article will help your readers become better equipped when dealing with such scenarios. Would you be interested in a guest post about the topic?

Well, at least he capitalized “There,” as in “Hi There.” I hate it when I get lower-cased. (And by the way, this letter was better than most; and, it’s clear his intentions were good. But, that’s not good enough).

People, people, people. How many times must it be said? Fake is fake, and real is real. Stop faking it.

A long-time reader of my blog would have known my name – and taken the time to use it.  (Also, he would have sent it to my email address, readily enough available, rather than to my info@ address).

A long-time reader of my blog would also have some kind of clue about what sort of material is of interest to my readers.

If you want to read someone intelligent about guest-blogging, go read Danny Iny on the subject. He’s good.  And one of the things he’ll tell you is to start with an honest list of names you’d like to guest-post on, and a list of topics you might address.

Only – you have to think about it!

You Actually Have to Think About It

This is where so many fall down. They think blogging, and writing, and thinking, and work in general, consists of punching one shiny object button after another. But it doesn’t – not when it comes to content.

When it comes to content, content matters.  Not fake lame-oh quasi-content, I mean something that is meaningful to the blogger you want to write for.  You can’t just mail it in.

It reminds me of an alleged dating strategy back in college: “Hi, nice to meet you – wanna have sex?”  The theory went, your odds were pretty low, but if you propositioned enough women, you were bound to get lucky.

The problem being, the odds were really, really, really low. And since time and any given college campus are finite, you run the risk of alienating a lot of future interactions by deploying it.  All in all, probably not a great dating strategy.

Nor is this approach to guest posting. If you’re going to offer to guest-post on someone’s blog, for heaven’s sake find out their name, for starters; and do them the simple dignity of thinking through what might actually be useful.

Your odds might get a lot better. And you wouldn’t trash the market on your way through it either.

6 replies
  1. Robert Terson
    Robert Terson says:

    Charlie, this may be the most entertaining blog I’ve had the pleasure of reading in I can’t remember when. One of the things that amazes me in this day and age is how so many people Out There want what they want immediately and are in such a hurry to get it that they aren’t willing to spend the time to go about it in the REAL way you’ve suggested they must. Good luck with that suggestion. Yeah, the “throwing of a certain substance against the wall and hoping some of it will stick” is a lazy, dumb strategy with low odds of return. It may be good for a laugh and rolling of the eyes now and then, but that’s about it. BTW, my 70 guest-post contributors (I’m fortunate enough to include you among them, Charlie) have all been invited; I’m keeping it that way.

  2. Gail Severini
    Gail Severini says:

    Seems to me that “Fake is fake, and real is real. Stop faking
    it.” is all-round good advice.

    I would only add a reason that might appeal
    to such a mindset “… because everyone else sees through your intent
    anyway.” It is amazing to me how
    words can reveal so much about us. (Having
    said that I will now stop using “Hi There” as a greeting – I never looked at it
    that way before)

    Sadly, I wonder if I see a certain amount
    of desperation in the market today that creates a fear that “real is not enough”.

  3. David Tovey
    David Tovey says:

    Great advice for someone who was thinking about making approaches for guest blogs (like me!) – thanks Charlie.
    Seems to me that many marketers and sellers haven’t really moved on and they see blogging and providing ‘content’ as just another way of mass marketing – put enough content out there and some will stick.


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