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How to Write an Effective “Guest Post” Email Pitch

email templates guest post
Nice guys finish first.

NFL quarterback Andrew Luck has the weirdest habit every time he’s tackled.

The star player for the Indianapolis Colts gets up, shakes off the hit and says “Great job!” to the guy who clobbered him.


Kevin Clark of The Wall Street Journal explains how Luck is the “most perplexing trash talker” in the NFL. Why compliment someone who’s not on your team? What’s the point?

Perhaps Luck, who is already setting records in only his third season, wants to confuse the opposition. Or maybe he’s just a super nice guy. All I know is Luck’s style makes him successful.

Know what? An unsolicited compliment can make a big difference for you and me, as well.

Let’s talk about guest posts, an excellent strategy to grow a personal website. Guest posts on larger sites (like this) can send traffic back to your blog and introduce your writing to new audiences.

I have done my fair share of “guest post” email pitches, and people often ask me if they can contribute to News To Live By. In my experience, there are two critical pieces of the email pitch:

1. Compliment the blog/website where you want to guest post

2. Link the reader to 2-3 examples of your work

So…the template:

How to Write an Effective “Guest Post” Email Pitch

Hi [person who runs the site],

My name is ______, and I write the blog _______, [one line about your website and why it matters; for instance, “News To Live By, which highlights the career advice “hidden” in the headlines.”] I hope you’re doing well.

I am a big fan of [site where you want to guest post] and read your content all the time. I especially like [reference two recent posts you find worthwhile and link to them; for instance, “your posts on email templates for building relationships and how to tell stories during an interview.”]

[Then, one more compliment that leads into your pitch; for instance, “I like News To Live By because the advice is practical, and I have similar content I think your audience would appreciate.”]

I wrote a blog post recently called [blog post headline that’s linked to the post], and in a nutshell it’s about [quick line on what the post is about; for instance, “smart tips for dealing with rude co-workers.”] I would be happy to send it over as a guest post if you’d like. Here are a couple other recent posts I’ve done:

– [blog post headline that’s linked to the post]

– [blog post headline that’s linked to the post]

If you have other ideas, I am open to writing something else for [the site where you want to guest post].

Thanks, and I hope to hear from you.

– You

Email signature with blog/contact information


First, you praise the other person and mention how much you enjoy his/her website by linking to recent content. That’s a nice ego boost for the site manager and goes a long way.

Then, you link to your own content and give the person a few options. You also mention you’re happy to write something else entirely if that’s what the person requires. What you’re “saying” is…I will play by your rules so just tell me what you want. I am the guest poster and don’t call the shots.

Summary: Make the reader feel special and be clear with your offer. That way, you stand a better chance of not only a response but a positive one.

Now that we’re on the topic of guest posts, there’s another email we struggle to compose.

How to Pitch Yourself as a Subject-Matter Expert

Are you a subject-matter expert or SME? Of course you are.

Think about what you know well. Maybe it’s running, healthy eating, commercial real estate…whatever it is, you should leverage your knowledge online to generate momentum for your business and career.

The best way to become a SME: introduce yourself to the people who run relevant blogs and websites.

The best way to introduce yourself: a template like the one below.

Hi [name of the person who runs the blog or website],

My name is ______, and I am a [job title and company]. I hope you’re doing well.

I’m writing to introduce myself and make you aware of me as a resource for [your particular topic; for instance, “trends in commercial real estate.”]

More here on why you should put your “big ask” early in the email.

I have a lot of respect for [blog/website/publication] and would like to contribute in a way that’s meaningful for your audience. Your recent article about [particular topic…also, make sure you link to the article] is insightful and the kind of information people need today.

[Now give the person 2-3 sentences on what makes you an SME. Something like…

“I work here in Philadelphia at Mason Development Corporation and often write about real estate trends on our company blog. Two quick examples: 9 Philly Commercial Real Estate Trends to Expect in 2015 and Why There’s Reason to be Optimistic About the South Street Revival.

I have also spoken to business groups like the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the South Philadelphia Business Association about trends in the real estate market.”]

Please let me know if I can ever provide a quote for an article or analysis on future real estate topics. I am also available to help with any workshops/seminars and can send over guest posts.

Thanks, and I hope to hear from you.

– You

Email signature with contact information


The pitch email above has two goals: make the initial introduction and explain why you’re a worthy SME.

Like the guest post email, you need to stroke the ego and tell the person why you admire the website/blog/publication. Then, go into detail on your expertise in the field and drop specific examples and links when appropriate.

Finally, tell the person you’re flexible: you can be quoted as an expert, lead a workshop or write a guest post. Whatever they need, you’re game.

Hopefully, the SME pitch email will elicit a nice response and, above all, begin a relationship that could propel your career in all kinds of ways.


More email and career-related templates here!


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Featured photo: Mark Kortum (Flickr)


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