The Anatomy of a Guest Post Proposal

by Alex on January 30, 2014

dumbest guest post proposals ever

The longer you blog the more you will receive email requests from other bloggers and webmasters asking for permission to contribute to your site, but what amazes amuses me is how ridiculously and terribly bad the majority of these emails are.

As such it gives me great joy to break down the typical guest post enquiry I receive so we can better understand where it all went horribly wrong, what they could have (and should have!) done better, and most importantly- so I can avoid doing my quarterly BAS (no really, writing this post is just part of a long winded and well orchestrated plan to keep myself distracted from anything tax related)

The Guest Post Enquiry Introduction

The first, and most important part of any email -or any type of correspondence for that matter – is the introduction, and amusingly enough, this is also the point at which most guest post inquiries go horribly wrong.

Dear Webmaster; … Dear Admin; … Hi Team alexwhalley.com! (I’m especially fond of this last one)

You may as well say “Fuck you, and fuck your horse if you so happen to own one” because quite frankly, my name is not Webmaster and nor is it Admin! Addressing me as such only tells me that not only have you not taken the time to read a single entry on my blog, you also lack the capacity to apply common logic, especially given the fact that the name of the site you are currently on is MY BLOODY NAME DOT COM!!

Of course, I have the last laugh in this scenario because I don’t actually own a horse. So ha!

Moving right along….

The next part of any guest post proposal is the introduction, a place where you tell your prospective ‘link and connection’ a little about yourself. More importantly it is your opportunity to indirectly suck up to them. Maybe you have read a particular post that really inspired you, or perhaps you saw them guest post on another blog and wanted to connect that way. Whatever the case may be, the introduction is the place to make this happen.
Let’s analyse some more of our email…

I landed on your site while searching for guest post opportunities for the travel industry. I really love the way you present your travel content and the quality and diversity of authors you have. I would like to submit some good quality travel-related guest posts to your site.

A scuba diving monkey pulling a canoe full of spatulas would make more sense to me than this little gem, I mean seriously. What. The. Fuck. dude?! Travel?! I mean obviously you cut and paste the same request to all your target market, but I think we need to better understand the meaning of the term ‘target market’ before moving forward.

your guest post proposal makes no sense

This picture summarises the email perfectly

And another…

I was browsing through your website  http://alexwhalley.com and found very interesting contents on interest technology which are pretty informative. I was hoping I could write a guest post on your blog with an article related to your blog, I believe this will be of to your readers.

Aah, now this is more akin to what we have come to expect – the generic email that starts with the vague reference to ‘some content’ on your site followed with a compliment on how informative/helpful it has been; punctuated of course with spelling errors and grammatical oversights that are so atrocious they make you literally SOL (Snort Out Loud)

Of course, if we look at the example above you will notice that

  1. She refers to my content as being about ‘interest technology’ – an attempt at being ambiguous that has failed miserably because of course there is no such thing as ‘interest technology’
  2. She finishes by saying that her post will be of to my readers, leaving me wondering if she left out the entire word ‘interest’ from the sentence or merely forgot to add an extra “f” to ‘of’? ;)
  3. She doesn’t even compliment my imaginary ‘interest technology’ related content – referring to it as ‘pretty informative’

Pretty Informative?!?? Pretty Informative!!!?! I’ll have you know that my imaginary content based on a non existent theme is so good it puts the ‘interest’ in ‘interest technology’. But hey, if you’re going to be so ho hum about it then I don’t think there is any point continuing this conversation.

What amuses me the most about all of these emails isn’t the fact that there are copious amounts of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, and nor is it the fact that the occasional missing word or misused word clearly indicates that the email was never proof read before it was sent.

No, my favourite aspect of these emails is their purpose.

Writing an error filled and at time nonsensical email to someone when the purpose of that email is to allow the recipient to accept even more of your nonsensical gibberish is like openly dropping your guts during an important job interview … or standing up for the rights of animals by hurling cats and small dogs (possibly guinea pigs too) at anyone who would appose your ideals!

It contradicts the whole point of the exercise!.. and THAT is what gives me the most joy of all :p

WORD OF THE DAY TIME!!

word of the day“The Word of the day is FUTILE. F.U.T.I.L.E. “your attempts to build links and relationships with THAT email are futile”

“The Letter of the day is 7.” -ummmm, 7 is a number. I rest my case.

Alllllllllrighty then.

That was without doubt, the Worst. Segue. Ever.

… Speaking of worst ever, let’s get back to these wonderfully crafted guest post proposals.

Oh yeah.. see what I did there.. That’s right.

BEST. SEGUE. EVER!

 

 

The Final Chapter

It goes without saying that perhaps this part of the post is irrelevant, because who is going to continue reading an email that is so badly written. I mean to be honest – most of them lose me at ‘Dear Admin’ and I only continue reading in the hope I can laugh at their expense – but for the sake of closure (and the more I write, the better it is for my SEO – no wait, not doing that anymore. FUCK YOU GOOGLE)

So the final chapter… a place where you close off your email with a thankyou for the time you have taken as well as suggestions for what you could write about or topics you are well versed in – thus allowing for the blog owner to assess what content would work on his/her blog and whether your proposed article would be a good fit…

Please let me know if you have any specific topics in mind. If not i can create well researched articles around Tourism India and send it over to you for publishing. Thanks and Regards – ***** *******

Ah, this must be our Travel writer :)
So you want to suggest an article based on your misunderstanding of what my site talks about – OK I wont pick on you for that oversite – been there, done that. But what I will do is give you a shitload of grief over your proposed topic and the lack of creativity. :)

You want to write a travel article and of all the exotic and amazing destinations the world has to offer, you want to write about INDIA?! OK then – well at least make the article sound interesting and I might think about it.

Creative Example: Writing about India – first thing I think of is the Taj Mahal but even that doesn’t interest me enough to read an article about it. Unless….
Give the article a title like  “Come Via-Agra and see man’s Largest Erection for a Woman” and I bet you suddenly have EVERYONE interested in your article.

Of course, when I start the ‘irrelevant and outdated information’ section on my blog I will definitely invite my Indian Travel writer friend to post there. His article would look great amongst other classic titles like

“6 ways to use an abacus to keep a polar bear at bay” and

“Translating Korean to Swahili and 10 common mistakes you should avoid making”

and another example (last one)

Please let me know your opinion on the suggested topic “Tips to Increase the Traffic of a Tech Blog” so that we can proceed further.
Hope to have a positive response.  Thanks
Best Regards

Jesus people?!?! I honestly think that to get a positive reply to these emails you simply have to come up with a unique and engaging article idea (make the title that little bit more appealing to guarantee a positive reply) I mean, look at the above title. Can you possible come up with a more ambiguous title? …AND THIS ISN’T EVEN A TECH BLOG!

It’s like me writing to a food and health blog with a proposed article titled “Tips to lose weight with food” – BA BOW

stop this unproductive shit

Testing Phase…

I am going to test this theory by writing the worst email request ever, but I will finish by offering an article that is both relevant to their blog, has a clickable title, and makes them think, and I BET I GET A YES!

Why? Because let’s be honest – blog owners don’t care about you or your plight, they only want to help themselves – so craft them an article idea and blog post title that they can work with and watch your success rate increase dramatically.*

*AlexWhalley.com accepts no responsibility for any and all learning that may or may not have occurred during the course of this article.

Final Thoughts

If you are planning on reaching out to other bloggers for guest post opportunities and your emails look anything like the examples provided above then I strongly recommend you do something else instead. I have taken the liberty of providing you with an image/idea that would be at least 400% more productive :)

(and don’t say I’m not full of awesome tips)

guest post proposal fail

{ 1 comment }

Dani January 30, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Great post….. I’ll never look at the Taj Mahal in the same way again

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