This post is by Precilla Sedney of FashionArtExpression.
The reason I started blogging was to share my opinion and help other people out. I've talked to a lot of bloggers, and I found out that a lot of them don't really know how to pitch a story to a blog or a magazine. I used to have the same problem, but some how I figured it out just by sending emails and hoping that someone might like my idea. But I want to make it easier for other people, so that's why I'm sharing a few of my tips that I've learned a long the way.
Know why you want to write a guest post
Everyone has different reasons why they want to contribute. For me it was to help other bloggers out and inspire people through different fashion, art and lifestyle topics. But it can also be to drive traffic to you're blog, getting to know more people or to express your opinion on a certain topic. So figure out why you want to start guest posting, so that you can focus all your energy on those things.
Know the concept of the Blog/Magazine and ask yourself how would your article be beneficial to the owner
Every Blog/magazine has a different focus, theme, style, tone and audience. Match your idea to that. Read several back issues of the magazine(s) or check the on-line archives for blogs to get a feel for the readership, the topics covered, and the general tone of the articles. Be certain that your story hasn't been covered already. Be original!
Also ask yourself if your idea is beneficial to the owner. The point is to make it as easy as possible for the owner. YOU need to surprise him with a good article. Once you’ve decided how it would benefit the blogger, you can move on making the pitch.
Contact the right person
You may have a great story idea, but if you send it to the wrong person, you may never get the assignment. If you're pitching to a magazine, make sure you spell the editor's name right. Spell it wrong, and you'll not only annoy the editor, but you'll show that you don't pay attention to details – and that's the last thing an editor wants in a writer. Tip, Avoid the biggest rookie mistake: sending a finished, unsolicited manuscript. Instead, find out how the magazine accepts article ideas. Ask to see a copy of its writers' guidelines and follow them to the letter. Try to think at least three months ahead–the minimum time table most magazines work under.
Also be persistent. Follow-up on your idea if you don't get a response within a few weeks. Then, send more ideas. Often, your first idea won't be a winner, but your fifth, 10th or 50th will. By showing your interest and your wealth of ideas, you might end of being one of the writers who gets stories assigned to them – without even having to pitch!
Another tip is to have prior contact with the owner. One of the best ways to establish a relationship is via twitter. Have the occasional contact so they know who you are. Occasionally respond to questions and comment on some of the links they tweet. If you find a really good site, send it along and often, you are rewarded with credit. This establishes you as someone who is reliable and provides value to others.
Prepare your article
Suggest a time-line of when you can deliver the article. And don't sent it late, because there's a big chance you wont be able to contribute there ever again.Search the internet for information, pictures etc. Make sure you check the spelling.
NOTE: don't copy and paste someone else's there article, that's just rude. And you'll lose a good contact if they find out!
Be open for editing
I know you've worked hard for your guest post, and the last thing you want is that it's being completely altered. But you have to be open for editing. Every a-list blog/magazine has an editor who will edit your content, but it's not necessary a bad thing. Editing is to make sure that all the grammar faults are gone and that the article truly fits the needs and wishes of the concept of the blog/magazine. Even this article is going to be edited – but I don't mind, because I know that everything is going to be double checked and made to fit the standards of IFB
Common mistakes with guest posts
Read these through! It's very important to not make these mistakes.
• Not doing your research.
• Not sending writing samples.
• Limiting yourself to guest posts in your domain.
• Making the blog post all about your opinion.
• Underestimating how long it takes to write a good post
I hope this article was helpful to you. I just want to say one more thing, always stay true to your self and trust in your creativity and knowledge.
If you have any questions you can contact me by twitter @precillasedney
Image by Capture Queen ™