Content Writing, Freelancing, Health Writing

How To Write A Perfect Guest Post Pitch That Gets Accepted?

4 Tried and tested tips to get your guest post pitch accepted in publication, blog or website.

Ok, so in my last blog, I gave you the strategies on how to get started as a health writer and strategist. The first step towards it is to create some noteworthy samples that show your interest as well as a flair for health writing. In line with the same, in this blog, I’m going to share with you some of my tried and tested processes and tips on how to pitch a guest post for a health blog.

Two points before we begin:

  1. There is no set-process for pitching and as such, there are no guarantees: Yes, it true. So the best way to get it right is to just keep trying and work towards improving it on the way. Meaning, keep trying and as you receive a green signal from a credible blog, see what has worked for you, try to deconstruct that message, explore more in that direction and tweak your future pitches based on that when you pitch again.
  2. The basic concept for guest post pitching remains the same irrespective of the niche: While this blog focuses specifically on the nuances of pitching a guest post in health blogs and magazines, the basic concept of pitching for any niche remains the same. So even if you’re looking for pitching guest posts in any other niche, for instance, cybersecurity, bitcoin, IoT, career strategy etc., even then, the main concept is applicable to all.

Benefits of guest blogging as you’re getting started as a health writer:

  • It will your pilot-project to test out and raise your pitching game: Irrespective of your aiming to get a full-time job as a healthcare writer or become a freelance health writer, you will eventually have to pitch-in for both. Writing a killer resume for the later and nailing the art of communicating and establishing a connection for the later. And pitching, and successfully so, it will definitely sharpen your mind-ax when you go hunting the real deal.
  • It will provide you with a curation of your writing samples i.e. your portfolio as a health writer: As already explained in the opening of this blog, the guest blogs help in putting together a good collection of your first writing samples and preparing a good portfolio which you can then share with your prospects as you approach them or they approach you. Since guests posts are not just a testimony of how well you write but also that your writing does have the power to connect (Afterall, it did connect with the editor of the publication you submitted it for. Also, inevitably making them the first recipient of your interesting blog idea so :))
  • Guest posts give you trusted backlinks: As you might already know, backlinks help in increasing the credibility of not just your writings but also of you as an authority in your domain. Thus, increasing the Google search ranking for you when they search for a good writer in health and wellbeing niche or your blog in the same niche. No doubt, it does take time to reach that level but eventually, if you remain consistent to keep upping your game, then you will reach there. So yes, guest posts are one-heck-of-a-credible-way to get authentic backlinks from trusted websites in health & wellness, life science and medical niches. AND establishing your presence as an authority in the health writing field.

So these were some of the benefits of guest blogging or pitching for guest posts. And now that we have got that out of our way, let’s get started with the cool stuff!

4 Tried and tested tips to get your guest post published in a health blog

Ok, so have a look at the below email pitches for the guest post requests that I’d made to some of the reputed blogs in senior care category (one of the many categories under the broad umbrella of health niche) that got me some positive responses. Then we’ll deconstruct them to find out why they worked to give you a few takeaways that you can implement in your pitches.

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Now, let’s deconstruct the guest blog pitches that worked and got a response!
Ok, so it has taken me a while to get my health blog pitches accepted (after a lot of rejections, gosh!). But finally, I think I did get a few things that if we keep a note of then it significantly increases the chances of your pitch getting a response or getting your pitch accepted. Let’s find out:
1. Be focused on the sub-category you want to target for guest posts in the health niche: Health and wellness is a very big niche with many sub-categories under it, for instance, senior care, medical travel, healthy nutrition and lifestyle, addiction withdrawal and rehabilitation, mental health just to name a few. So even before doing anything just try to find out which particular sub-category would you be interested and comfortable to write in. My suggestion will be to pick the one which is not as explored and written about as yet and is in high demand. Plus, you should also find yourself interested enough to explore it and write about it.
2. Search the blogs, publications and organizations that select guest blogs in your chosen health sub-category: Like any other research, as you’ll enter the health blogs that accept guest posts, you’ll get hundreds of listicles saying ‘100 health blogs that accept guest posts’ or ‘List of 200 health blogs to submit your guest posts’. Now, in my opinion, it’s a total bogus idea to even think to choose that route and even consider blindly pitching to them. It’ll only leave you with your time wasted and your heartbroken. Reason? As I mentioned above health is a fairly wide niche in itself and you just can’t be master of all, it’s practically not possible and without having that clarity, your pitch won’t work.
The editors get hundreds of pitches in their inbox every day so for your pitch to stand out, which will happen only when you’re focused and personalize your message. Unfortunately, going by the listicles route, it’s highly unlikely that personalization would be possible. So rather than going for listicles, a far better approach is to search by sub-category. You can do so by mentioning the category in which you are willing to write a guest post in followed by an addition sign and then typing guest post. As an example, if you want to write in baby care then you need to type ‘baby care+guest post’ in the search bar. So now, the search results that comes up, make a list of it in an excel or Google sheet with the name of the blog, website address and contact email ID.
3. Check the Domain Authority (DA) to finalize your prospect list for guest blog submission: Now once you’ve the list for the blogs and publications that accept guest blogs in the health niche category that you’re targeting, set a daily pitching goal for yourself. For example, I’d selected seniorcare as the category that I wanted to focus on for guest postings so I prepared my list comprising of all the senior care blogs and even some of the organizations in the seniorcare field (senior in-homecare service, seniorcare communities etc). I would then even further narrow down my list by checking the domain authority (DA) of all the websites in my list.
Without getting in too much depth, Domain Authority determines how authoritative and recognized a website is. It is scored on a scale of 1 to 100 with DA of 1-30 is not good, 30-50 is average, 50-60 is good and anything above 60 is excellent. There are various DA checkers available on the web. As for me, I mostly use to check the DA scores. So this is a must-do step to further narrow down your list so that by the end of this you’ve with you a solid list of credible websites where you can pitch. After all, you don’t want go through all the efforts of pitching and writing a good blog only to find out that it was a total waste of time because the website is not even recognized enough for you to mention it in your portfolio or provide a good backlink to your blog/ website.
4. Reach-out with a personalized pitch: Set the target to pitch to 5 blogs per week. Some might think this number to be too low but for me, with my full-time job and preventing the burn-out that is the number one killer of creativity (which by the way is much needed here), this target was just fine. So as I’d started reaching out, I would surf through each blog to understand their messaging, the topics they publish on and details like that. Ones I got a fair idea about it, I made a list of a few topics that I believed would go with the theme and the type of content that they publish. With that in place, I draft a simple email as seen in the images above. Now, topics may be different for each of your targetted blogs based on its themes, content and style or it could be the same if the said factors are similar.

Dos and Don’ts
A few dos to keep in mind while pitching:
Email subject lines matter, a lot! People, in general, are in a rush (yes, even in quarantine :P, thanks to the decreasing attention span) so show the value that you’ve to offer right in the subject line. For me, most of the time I’m pretty straight forward mentioning ‘guest post’ and then giving away the blog post idea right next to it. Other times, I might put the name of the blog/ organization I’m pitching to followed by the blog post topic.
Keep your pitch-email short and crisp: Again, the same rule of having a busy life and short attention span applies here as well. Don’t bore them by bragging about yourself or telling them what all accolades you’ve got because quite frankly, they won’t care about it. Only one thing can get their attention and that is what benefits you’ve got to offer them or to their readership. So don’t stand or stroll on the fringes. Come straight to the point. If your idea is good and they have the bandwidth, they’ll surely get back to you.
Add the link to your LinkedIn profile and any guest posts that you’ve under your belt: Yep, as you’re heading towards the end of your email, don’t forget to mention those links as that will built your credibility since you’ve provided the editor a window to further get to know you and see your work.

A few don’ts to keep in mind while pitching:
Other than the opposite of all the above, there’s one obvious point that I would definitely advise to NOt do while pitching (not just for health blogs but for any blogs and pitching in general) and i.e. to please don’t sound desperate. Desperation is the number one turn-down and people can tell it from 2 Kms away if someone sounds desperate so please, don’t.

On a closing note
If you’re reading this, thank you for staying with me this far and I hope you’re leaving with a few good takeaways that you can now try out yourself and hopefully, benefit from them. If you found this blog useful, please do let me know. You can also tell me any topic that you would like me to cover related to health writing or freelancing as a health writer. In my next blog, I’m going to talk about how to look-up for the right prospects in your Health and wellness niche and pitch them. Until then, bye!

Content Creation, Content Writing, Freelancing

How To Get Started As A Health And Wellness Writer?

5-Step proven strategy for starting a career as a health and wellness writer.

The pandemic’s alarm
The Coronavirus pandemic had covered the whole world and disrupted it at every level and in all areas. The consequences, until now and ongoing, are shocking. People’s health, well being and economy have suffered the hardest hit. A staggering number of people have lost their jobs or are sent on unpaid leaves. This has put many people who worked for cash-in-hand jobs in a crisis situation. Overall, the pandemic has not left any life untouched.

Healthcare professionals, the true soldiers leading the war against Coronavirus
In this condition, the one industry that has the maximum responsibility to control, contain and treat Coronavirus infection is the healthcare industry. At this point in time, it’s the doctors, nurses, and other frontline healthcare professionals who are the true soldiers leading this war against Coronavirus. By following measures as staying in quarantine, taking care of personal hygiene and maintaining social distancing is one way how we can help ourselves, our loved ones, and our leaders in stabilizing situations as soon as possible.

The emerging need for health bloggers and writers to spread more awareness for better health, hygiene and wellness
Striving towards doing our part in stabilizing the current scenario is not possible without an increased awareness of health, hygiene, and wellness. This needs better support from professionals specialized in writing, creating content and spreading the message. Thus, the subsequent demand for those who:

  • Has a flair and interest in writing
  • See a purpose in helping improve people’s lives
  • Actually want to explore the opportunities working as a health & wellness writer

So, if you see yourself having some of the qualities and traits mentioned above then continue to stay with me in the next section. Moving forward, I’m going to share my 5-step proven strategy for getting started as a health and wellness writer that has really worked well for me when I started out 3 years back. I intend and hope they work for you too as you begin your journey of becoming a freelance health writer and/or blogger.

The 5-step proven strategy for getting started as a health and wellness writer

Step-1: Build a relevant portfolio
The reason why I say a relevant portfolio, is because I mean your writer’s portfolio should have some health industry-relevant samples. This is required as your portfolio will travel to people who would prefer content creators specialized in the healthcare industry. So, it definitely makes sense to have some samples ready in the healthcare niche before you start looking for opportunities. Another reason being, almost all the prospects in the beginning discussions would like to see your portfolio. It is only after they trust that you can do the job that they will move ahead. So, having a portfolio is a must.

Step-2: Try guest-blogging or self-publishing to create the first few samples
So yeah, guest blogging is an option definitely. But as you’re getting started with health writing, my guess is that you have not tried guest-blogging much. And honestly speaking, guest pitching is an altogether different battle especially as you’re just starting out. Not that your experience would matter in the number of years but it sure does reflect when you’re pitching for a guest blog (at least, that’s what has been my personal experience). This is so because pitching for guest blogging is an art as well as science. So if you’re able to get an understanding of the kinds of topics that your targetted publishers are posting and you want to give it a shot, then by all means, please go ahead. But if that hasn’t worked for you or you want an alternative, self-publishing on platforms like MyStory, Thrive Global, the LinkedIn articles section, or on your own blog works well for putting together a good portfolio in place.

How to pitch a guest post for a health blog?

Step-3: Update your profile on LinkedIn and job portals
Yep, you got to get this in place before you start reaching out and applying for writing opportunities. Since not having your profile current, with your interest and experience reflected well, may leave the prospect or recruiter confused as they visit your profile. So work on creating a really clear and interesting profile, filling-up all the required details. Pay special attention to the headline of your profile, the one that will show next to or below your name. It’s a critical owing to its position and visibility. Most likely, its the first thing anyone will notice. So not having it speak loud and clear for you, may easily lead to an opportunity missed.

Step-4: Start writing niche-specific and your specialty-focused posts on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a powerful platform. This platform if utilized well, can prove to be a professional boon. Personally, for me, LinkedIn has gotten me some of the best clients by inbound leads. Just by constantly putting myself out there. A great way to do that is by regularly posting your niche-specific content that is interesting, engaging and adds value. It should also in some way spread the word that you’re a health writer so that businesses looking for one can reach you. There are many other ways to use LinkedIn to generate opportunities for yourself, but more on this in my next blog.

Step-5: Start looking-up for opportunities on LinkedIn and Job portals, and start reaching out
So now that you’ve got other things in place, pull-up your shirt and start reaching out to the right prospects and relevant job postings on job portals. Now, how to look-up for the right prospects in your niche i.e. Health and wellness, it’s an altogether different ball game and I’m going to cover it in one of my upcoming blogs. But I can safely say that, while reaching out to your prospects be authentic, don’t sound desperate and lastly, stay focused on establishing a genuine connection with people you can learn and share, and contribute to. It works just as well in business as it does in life 🙂

On a closing note
Hope this blog helped to at least give you a view of some building blocks on getting started as a health and wellness writer. In my upcoming blogs, I’ll continue elaborating further on the challenges that you might face starting-out and how to counter them, how to research and write your first blog, how to do lead generation, doing your own PR and landing your first client. Until then, bye!

Freelancer's Life, Self-care

Fighting Loneliness Amidst Corona Lockdown

So it’s the 8th day of Corona lockdown in India, which I just came to know through a WhatsApp ping. By the way, did you know that?
Don’t worry there’s no one to judge here. What difference does it make when anyways you got to stay locked inside your home and try to do the best you can at home, work front or living in general. Needless to say that Corona has shaken the whole world upside down.
They say the most vulnerable population to be affected by the pandemic is that of elderlies (senior citizens), kids and pregnant women, but I believe it has damaged the entire ‘world health’ in almost all possible ways whether its:

  • Health crisis due to the virus itself
  • The poor who is facing the beat of existential crisis
  • Financial crisis due to the economy crashing or
  • Other issues spreading their arms like sprawling loneliness, severe health and life damages to people undergoing addiction withdrawal (by chose or due to lack of availability and treatment options) etc.

Now as a responsible citizen, I’m doing my bit in the war again Corona virus by contributing in all the ways I can. But as a writer who is an introvert by nature, I’ve got more to share especially at this time when some of you could find yourself struggling with loneliness and the anxiety and depression caused due to the lockdown.
And the way I’m going to do that is by sharing how I embrace my solitude, remain open for connections that I resonate with me and enjoy them to the fullest, without letting loneliness and anxiety loom on me and suck me in it deep dark void. So I here I go:

Planning my day ahead is cathartic
It gives me goals or mini-milestones to achieve through-out the day. With each check ticking-off boxes on completion of each milestone, the sense of accomplishment takes my confidence a notch higher. On the side-note the more clearly defined the planning eg. assigning the time to all major tasks (blog writing- 1 hour) etc., the more productive day I have.

Prioritizing my physical and mental health
The importance of which needs no explanation. In the past couple of years, my health and wellbeing is something that I’ve started to make a conscious effort to take care of. As I age, I’ve started to realize my blessings more and more. One of the major once being my body and my health. And so I don’t just think of taking care of it just as a need but also as a part of my being. It’s my vessel, I got to take care of it. My way of doing it is by exercising, going for run (barring the current scenario), meditating, making sure I’m taking a healthy diet and staying hydrated. And also continue to learn new skills that interest me and make me healthier. I have recently started doing yoga.

Learning new skills and unleashing my awesome
Not just it makes me good at something that I can boast about :P, it makes me feel more awesome. Learning new skills is like unleashing your awesome. Adding one more feather to my hat, one more color to my crayon box! OK evil-boasting kept aside, the process of learning and doing good in something that you have so dearly wished you could do, what better high can you ask for? Mmm-mmm very rare to beat that one, I bet you. That for me remains meditating, yoga, reading (, also can learning solving rubik’s cube be considered one? If so then +1 to that).

Engaging and giving my time, company and love to those I care about
Whether it’s watering my plants, taking care of the two little babies that wait for me to give them biscuits or a little pat and rub on their backs or greeting the elderly uncle living in my building who frequently crosses my path or doing little heartfelt small talks or long deep conversation on call or text with my family and friends, I cherish them all. After all, we are here to make connections.

And listening songs, dancing a bit, laughing, crying-a-bit if I feel like and in the words of Heather Havrilesky learning & savoring “the grace that lives and breathes in every cell of this real, heartbreaking, imperfect world”.

Self-care, Self-love

Getting Control Of Your Life Back

OK so I’m a 31-year-old content writer, digital marketer and businesswoman in the making. I know, to some it might sound like what?! You are 31 and still figuring it out. Well, we all are in some way or another. Yeah, so I’m not alone which to me is reassuring.

So what exactly do I mean to get control of your life back? It’s like filling-up the cracks that you see in your life to paint the picture of your life the way you want it to look like. OK, simply put, living life to your fullest potential.

Speaking about cracks, let me show a few of mine.

A couple of years back, I faced what we can call it as a quarter-life crisis. I’d a decent job which paid me well and was doing good. Initially, it was all good, I was learning and trying to deliver my best until after a few years I realized that this isn’t something I would like to continue doing or grow my career in for the rest of my life. I made the decision to move out of what no longer fulfilled my heart and started doing something that resonated more to me. I picked writing as a service that I want to give and also make my living out of it. I can’t say I’m the best writer out there, but if I put my mind to it, I do good work.

Some areas that I face a challenge with and that I’m committing to turn-it around for myself are taking care of my mental health and becoming better in sales.

Taking care of my mental health with meditation and yoga
I’m anxious by nature. Mostly I’m a restless go-getter person, if I want something, I go and get it. So if and when I don’t see things in my control, it makes me anxious. It’s as if the uncertainty of it all, the unknown nature of such events at some level is not something I take up very well. But there’s only so much we have control on. Most of the time, we do what we have to do, give life our best shot and then not worry much about it and instead, just keep going. So patience, resilience and most importantly peace of mind, is what that I seek. And the way I choose to acquire those skills is by doing meditation and yoga. Besides, it will also help me increase my concentration.

Get better at selling my services
My services are good, although I do believe I can do a much better job at selling them. I know I can get much better prices for what I do. I do not want to short sell myself and yes, doing the job you love isn’t just enough. It is my duty to ensure that I make money that I believe I deserve. And boy, I deserve making GOOD money! Of course, using my super amazing skills. So yeah, that’s the other skill I want to develop.

Well, meditation, yoga, and sales are the three skills that I have decided to master and will be doing my very best to become good at in the next 6 months. What about you? I would love to know in the comment below.

Also, take good care of yourself in this time of Corona emergency. Just know, that things will start to return to normal very soon. Stay protected, be safe and keep finding your voice.

Self-care, Self-love

Why do you always fall for the guys who end up leaving you?

LOL yeah, don’t we all? And then we wonder if only we had known this earlier. If only I’d known this was coming.

Oh now, don’t lie. You did notice something was wrong (even if you didn’t anticipate this was coming), didn’t you? But at that time you were so into him, that you ignored it.

You ignored all the times he made a plan and didn’t bother to follow-up, then randomly reaches back proposing the same plan again with no dates or time. Almost like dipping the toe to check how deep is the water and if there’s a chance of making through LOL. Also possibly, how much time and effort would it need and if his lazy slouch body would be willing to make that effort just enough to get what it needs. If yes, sure then, “let’s give it a shot” and if not, “IT wasn’t worth it”. But you let it pass.
He couldn’t keep up with any promises or commitments he made, big or small. But you let it pass.

Or postponed the plan, if ever made, for a silly rather selfish reason like bike servicing or some other stupid reason. But you let it pass.

His hesitation in committing to you and not even letting you go. But you let it pass.

His not opening-up his feelings to you, not showing his vulnerabilities to you.

Almost never getting into an uncomfortable conversation, avoiding them.

Shutting his emotional side off.

Not making any future plans or any conversation regarding the future with you.

Hesitation in holding your hand in public.

…and so many of such instances when his actions didn’t match his words or his words didn’t match his action. He showed you all along what he is capable of doing, and what he isn’t. But you chose to stay and kept giving it all a pass.

Now, looking back, all this seems to make so much sense but back then it was a part of what you settled for when you made the commitment of love which as it turns out, only you kept while the other one didn’t or wasn’t quite sure if he did commit in the first place or not. And you knew it in the heart. But now it’s much clear, as if your heart can see through that hesitation, holding-back and fake smiles.

Pass, pass, pass until he gave-up on trying and chose he no longer wants to try and left you with some vague reason like “I don’t deserve you” or “we were not on the same page” or something on those lines. And now you wonder what did just happen? What went wrong?

Now one thing is for sure, whatever IT was for him in that moment, IT was definitely not you or the kind of deep committed fulfilling relationship that you were looking for.
And this is where our judgement comes into picture.

The thing is, why he had to TRY? Because he knew, he had to and you let him TRY. You could sense it, maybe called it out but didn’t walk-way and even when you did think about it, he didn’t let you until he no longer wanted you.

You guys were never on the same page from the very beginning or for a very long time. And you can’t fool both of you into believing it, at least not for too long. One day or another, one of the two would be seeing it and acting upon it anyways. Now since you didn’t, he did.

Does this guy deserve you? Long-story short- NO. Whether you should give him another chance (and risk your heart broken again)- NO, at least for a very long time that should be a NO. So unless you wish to keep falling in the trap of the same vicious pattern, again and again, say goodbye to him for good. Now and preferably forever.
The lesson for you:

  • Become really good at weeding-out such kinds right in the beginning so that you save yourself much time, energy and emotions. Investing in the early phase of dating or relationship thoughtfully (without going all-in or all-out abruptly) and pacing the relationship is a great way to do that. Again, be open but don’t give too much too soon. Pace the relationship.
  • Keep your heart open for love but at the same time trust your gut and see the situation for what it is and not how you would like it to be. Not assuming what’s not there but also not ignoring what’s there.
  • Lastly, trust yourself and have the confidence to do the choosing and also to walk-out when your instincts tell this guy isn’t right for you. This time, don’t wait for him to tell you this before he walks away. Instead, be bold and confident to make that call for yourself.