I received a very amusing email a few days ago. I shall now reproduce it here for your enjoyment:
I thought I would send a quick email after coming across your website earlier today and I would like to guest post on your site. My idea for the Post is about book publishing,I believe my idea for the Guest Post will suit your website. In return, I would like to have 1 backlink in the post.
Please let me know if my idea for the Guest Post suits you, and also if there are any terms and conditions about Guest Posting.
The post will be around 400-500 words and 100% unique.
Also I would like to know how soon can you publish it?
In the aftermath of this excellent email, I have decided to put together a quick list of tips for requesting guest posts. Actually, these rules don’t have to apply just to requesting a guest post — they really apply to whenever you’re asking anyone for anything. So, I now present to you:
How to request writing an unsolicited guest post without brutally offending the blogger in question
- Get their gender right. I know that the name “Michelle” is technically a unisex name (according to nameplayground.com, it’s used for boys 0.23% of the time). But still … if you’re going to be gender-specific in your query, take the time to find a bio or picture of the person and figure out if they’re a guy or a girl. Otherwise you run the risk of calling a woman “Sir”, which is just embarrassing for everyone involved. (Pro tip: When in doubt, just address them by name, and forego the “sir” or “madam” entirely!)
- Know your audience. This person’s email reads like a hard-core business message. The email is laid out like a contract — “I will do this, in return you will do this. Here are the specifications of my offer, here is my guarantee for originality, what timeline can I expect for our deal to conclude?” And that works really well if you’re emailing, say, Microsoft. But if you’re contacting a part-time blogger whose content quite clearly indicates that they’re writing for fun and to connect with the blogging community, tone down the business-talk a little!
- Capitalization Is Annoying. Capitalization is for proper nouns. “Post” and “guest post” are not proper nouns. They are normal, boring, improper nouns. Don’t capitalize them!
- Run a spell check. The reasoning for this rule should be self-evident. Spelling and grammar save lives!
In other news, I’m quite excited for my book reading/signing tomorrow evening at local library. I think I convinced a few people to come, but I still suspect I’ll be babbling to a mostly-empty room. On the plus side, I talked my friend into being my “reader wrangler”, so hopefully that will up the attendance a little. Check back in a few days for my victorious/lugubrious report on the book reading!
Unrelated media of the day: