Any media brand or blog with a healthy following and strong page rank will get countless requests for guest articles every week.
Pitches are almost always via email (though we have seen quite a few requests come in unsolicited via Skype), and usually follow a similar path as the following:
I came across your site www.tnooz.com and think it's awesome. The content is an inspiration to me and the industry and I have been following your work for years.
I wondered if you would publish an article from me on www.tnooz.com? It would 100% original and ideal for your readers. All I ask is for a backlink to a URL of my choice.
Please let me know.
Nine times out of ten, such emails find themselves heading straight to the bin. Tell tale signs that it is almost guaranteed to be waste of time are the sender's email address (exclusively GMail or Hotmail these days), lack of any actual ideas for that guest article, not bothering to look at the name of the recipient and obvious insertion of a link to our site.
But sometimes it is worth seeing what's on offer, even just to reinforce the belief we have 99% of these emails are absolute nonsense.
Hi ***** ********
Thanks for your interest and kind email. As you might imagine, we get lots of these requests every week, so I suggest you look VERY carefully through our site and send me FIVE draft article ideas, based on what you understand to be our audience and the focus of our coverage.
Now, such a response from us usually yields radio silence, or one of two replies:
Hi, that's awesome, please find attached an article on top hotels in Bermuda.
Please let me know when it is live.
Hi, that's awesome, do these titles work for you?
101 things to do in PragueWhat you don't know about Changi Airport in SingaporeBest restaurants in New York City.
Let me know which one you like and I'll send over immediately.
On the rare occasions that we haven't already lost the will to live, we might reply:
I'm not sure whether you read my email about carefully looking through our site, but I do not get the sense that you have done so at all given that we would never write about any of these topics, as we focus on the digital travel economy from a B2B perspective.
Some emailers are terrifyingly persistent ("I thought your readers might be interested because Prague/NYC/Singapore is awesome", etc), some are just plain stupid ("What is B2B?"), others clearly haven't read a word we said in our response ("So will you publish my article?").
This type of nonsense is a waste of our and their time. Get the pitch right, show some knowledge, don't do it for marketing or SEO purposes, and we might be interested.
What is particularly irritating are those that realise we use GMail as an email client and then send an instant message weeks later to ask why we haven't published any of their articles.
So, the bottom line around guest articles is that we will happily publish guest articles on Tnooz, and have done so since we launched in September 2009.
But they are done so under the following guidelines:
- They have to be strategic, offering guidance, analysis or tips about a particular industry issue or following up on a news story.
- Although we prefer not, some articles can on rare occasions be about a company - some case studies we have published have been fascinating and very useful to the wider readership.
- Do not expect heaps of links back to content on your own sites (in the byline is the normally the most you will get).
- Show that you understand our audience and the scope of our coverage.
- Position yourself as a so-called thought-leader, rather than a sales person, and it will go a long way to getting your article published and, indeed, read.
Shocking as it may seem to some who prefer to hide behind emails and social media, we like people to be a bit old school and pick up the phone to actually have a chat with us about some ideas and what direction the article might take.
Stick to the guidelines above and we might be interested. Use the earlier approach and, sadly, the likelihood of us actually publishing anything are about as remote as Tnooz opening offices in NYC, Prague and Singapore simultaneously.
NB:Guest house image via Shutterstock.
NB2: With inspiration from Grumpy Traveller.