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:
- 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.
- 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.
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 https://websiteseochecker.com/domain-authority-checker/ 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!