7 Tips for Writing A Great Blog Pitch Email

Want to get published on someone else's site? This is how you get the ball rolling.

If you’re in content or digital marketing, you know the value of guest blogging. 

If you aren’t, or if you’re new to the space and need a primer, here are the basic benefits: Guest blogging helps you build your brand as a noteworthy and sought-after expert in your space. You can artfully include links back to your blog or website that create both “link juice” and referral traffic. And you build relationships with brands and outlets that could blossom into something more substantial down the road. 

Here’s where everyone might need a little help: Getting people to respond to your pitch emails and grant you a placement on their blog. 

As a writer who has crafted hundreds of pitch emails over the years, and an editor who has fielded thousands of pitches (some that worked, many that didn’t) from prospective writers, I can say with confidence that there are some factors that are consistent across great pitch emails. If you hit certain marks, you’re much more likely to get a reply. 

With that in mind, here are seven tips for writing a great pitch and getting the attention of an editor who can give you the chance to speak to their audience. 


Be straightforward in your subject line

In order to get someone to read your email, you need to write a compelling subject line. This is a battle that email marketers wage every week, and you can learn a bit from what works for them. 

For example, according to SendGrid, subject lines with just three words reportedly have the highest engagement rate. Hashtags and links in subject lines perform poorly. And while some buzzwords in a subject line are helpful, some come off as too salesy and impatient—”soon” does well, and “now” does not. 

A good rule of thumb is to get right to the point in your subject line, and don’t get overly creative in an attempt to grab attention. Do you want to write a post for this editor’s blog? Say so. Cutesy rhetorical questions, emoji, and other obfuscation will often get your email deleted. 


Get specific about how you found an outlet

The number one nonsensical line I see in pitch emails that is ostensibly a way to smooth over the awkwardness of the cold pitch is something like, “I found your website while browsing the web,” or, “I stumbled upon your blog while doing research.” 

First of all, if the first time you’re seeing my site was 15 minutes ago, how will I have any confidence that you understand my audience or content? 

Secondly, this makes it sound as though you found my blog by chance, rather than through concerted effort. Showing that you understand how to use Google to find what you want is, frankly, an underrated skill that you shouldn’t downplay. 

Tell me exactly how you found my website, and tell me why you think the content you have in mind will be a good fit. Coming up with some “excuse” for why you’re emailing me won’t fly. 


Personalize the email whenever possible

Personalization is one of the hottest trends in all of marketing, and your pitch email should be no exception. 

Email subject lines with personalization get more opens, and emails with personalization have higher transaction rates and generate more revenue, according to stats compiled by Campaign Monitor

For the most part, you won’t be able to collect the kind of information that marketers use to personalize and segment their communications. But there is some basic information you can include, such as the name of the person you’re trying to contact and an understanding of the content they create. 

Starting an email with “Hello editor,” or “Hi there,” and going on to deliver a boilerplate pitch with phrases like “I enjoy your content” and “I feel I can contribute with relevant content for your industry,” is a surefire way to get ignored. Take the time to personalize your email for better results. 


Research what the site covers, and what they haven’t

Expanding on the previous point, editors and writers are busy people, and they don’t have time to hold your hand through the pitching process. It’s up to you to pitch something relevant to the site in question. 

Additionally, increase your chances of a positive response by looking over the site’s existing content and making sure your pitch isn’t just a rehash of what’s already there. Offering a unique perspective that the site itself can’t produce is the best way to make an impact. Even if your pitches aren’t a fit at the moment, good editors take note of writers and bloggers who have clearly taken the time to pitch something useful. 


List other outlets you’ve written for

Understandably, this tip is a bit of a Catch-22. If you’ve never written for a major blog or outlet before, how can you get your big break if those same sites refuse you for lack of experience writing for them? 

This is why it helps to start small and get your byline published on less prestigious sites that may have fewer guidelines and lower barriers to entry. But even providing links to your personal blog, where you cover topics similar to what you’re pitching, will help give editors a sense of your writing style and capabilities. 

With that in mind, provide a few clips near the end of your pitch. Make yourself a known quantity: No one wants to be surprised by the quality of a submission. 


If you want to place links, say so

When it comes to placing links in an article that point back to your site or blog, most editors understand this SEO strategy. You’ll see many blog guidelines pages noting that a certain number of links back to your site are allowed. These links need to fit within the context of your article and lead to non-spammy resources. 

If you expect this to be a point of contention, however, it may be worth it upfront to note that you have additional resources on this topic on your site that you could point readers to. Editors will appreciate your candidness, and having the conversation early will help you avoid miscommunication in the editing process later. 


Offer value in return

What will this website gain from publishing your work? Sure, they’ll gain a free piece of content that hopefully draws in more readers. But if they have an established site, your impact will likely be minimal in relation to the wealth of content they already have. 

In your pitch, offer to up the value proposition by offering a content swap (allowing them to contribute a piece to your site), promotion on social media, or the inclusion of links and calls-to-action to other parts of their site. Give this person even more reason to consider your offer. 


There is no perfect formula for writing a pitch that gets responses every time. Every site you pitch and every editor you contact will have different wants, needs, and moods depending on their industry, editorial calendar, and even the day of the week. If you can’t get a 100% response rate, however, you can certainly improve your chances of making successful contact by following the above tips. Tweak them to your liking to reflect your tone and workflow, and go from there.