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The Guest Blogging Fails: Again (Video + Infographic)

Guest blogging pitchI am getting more and more guest blogging pitches and most of them are depressing (to say at least).

It hurts me really because such a great and pure concept as guest blogging is being absolutely ruined by those spam pitches you see daily.

But that’s not guest blogging to blame; it’s the people who don’t get it.

I often do guest blogging interviews (people seem to consider me an expert) and one of the most frequent questions I am being asked is to name guest blogging don’t and dos. Here are the dos:

  • DO take guest blogging seriously;
  • DO value each contact you build through guest blogging;
  • DO focus on relationships (not links);
  • DO target long-term objective (building network and influence);
  • DO personalize your pitch, personalize your content and personalize your tactics.

Guest Blogging Pitches Gone Wrong

I’ve done a quick (and hopefully funny) video discussing the three spammy guest blogging pitches you are probably familiar with (I get those daily). All the three have a lot in common:

  • They are absolutely non-personalized (what do you feel when you receive an email that starts with “Dear Editor” or “Dear Webmaster”);
  • They all have absolutely useless flattery inside (ala “I was impressed by the quality of your blog”);
  • They simply lie (“I am your regular reader and I visit your blog daily”);
  • They are simply useless (I am wondering what’s the success rate of those pitches).

The Infographic

Now, to make it easier to explain the “Guest Blogging Don’ts” to your team, we have compiled them in a fun infographic:

(click to enlarge)


Guest pitch fails

Feel free to use it on your site:

<a href=””><img src=”” width=”540″ alt=”Spammy guest post infographic” alt=”The Guest Blogging Fails” />

Guest Blogging Pitch Help

I am a big fan of real-life examples, but some theory and tips to back practice is always good:

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  1. 30 Responses to “The Guest Blogging Fails: Again (Video + Infographic)”

  2. This is awesome, Ann… been getting a ton of these lately, too. Think I will link to this from our guest blogging page…

    By Jeff McIntire-Strasburg on Jul 16, 2012

  3. I am always happy to see you around, Jeff!

    So true, Thomas!

    By Ann Smarty on Jul 16, 2012

  4. Love the infographic Ann. The worst is getting blog offers and the grammar is terrible.

    “Dear Sir I like to publish blog”

    Make sure to do a little research on the site you are going to post on!

    By THomas on Jul 16, 2012

  5. Sigh, I get these all the time. Obviously mass blasts to thousands of blogs. A lot of them introduce themselves with bad grammar as “SEO Companies” … at least they give me quick warning to delete the email right away!

    By Chris on Jul 16, 2012

  6. There’s also clearly a database (or multiple databases) out there of blogs offering guest posting… I’ve gotten quite a few pitches lately that did have my name attached (as well as the site, etc.), but it was pretty obvious that this information was being plugged into a form letter. Most of the issues people mention above are still there…

    By Jeff McIntire-Strasburg on Jul 16, 2012

  7. Say, do you guys reply to those emails?

    By Louis on Jul 16, 2012

  8. @Louis, I simply trash them. I don’t have time to reply to spam

    @Josh, Absolutely! I probably should be happy I am going to get a spammy article absolutely FREE of charge!

    By Ann Smarty on Jul 16, 2012

  9. How about the one I always get. “I am offering this content FREE OF CHARGE as long as you link to me!” I find it funny that someone out of the blue would think I would pay them for content and so I am getting a deal by posting it with a link to them…

    By Josh on Jul 16, 2012

  10. Hi Ann, very informative post. I just found a minor typo error on the infographic and thought of bringing it to your attention. Under point #1, Guest blogging is spelled GUESS Blogging. Hope you would find it useful.


    By Robins on Jul 19, 2012

  11. It’s truly great infographic, keep blogging like this.

    By Kuladip Roy on Jul 24, 2012

  12. Good infographic. I agree with Thomas, anything that starts with “Dear Sir” usually doesn’t end too well!

    By Jamie Farrelly on Jul 24, 2012

  13. This video is hilarious Ann, but it also perfectly illustrates my frustration with these freaking guest blog spammers.

    Man they can be so annoying!

    By Gerald Weber on Jul 24, 2012

  14. Hello ann. Found this on Pinterest. The text is very hard for me to read :(

    By Ivin on Jul 26, 2012

  15. @Ivin, you mean the full version (the one you download after the click)?

    By Ann Smarty on Jul 26, 2012

  16. Guest posting is a great way to expand your reach, generate traffic, and build inbound links. So it’s no surprise that the spammers are getting in on the action. Blog owners need to be careful about who they allow to post on their blog. If a post isn’t good, it reflects poorly on the blog owner.

    By Nick Stamoulis on Jul 26, 2012

  17. He he. good stuff. In my last blog I very rarely got legitimate pitches for guest posts. It was a pretty solid, well known blog but I still had to go out and ask people to post on my site. I guess blogs with really high authority get more legitimate pitches but I found almost all of them were spammy likes the ones you describe so I ended up pretty much ignoring all of them.

    Maybe there’s an idea you can pitch to the spam filter developers on WordPress, the ability to filter out spammy guest blogging pitches!

    By Dan on Jul 30, 2012

  18. Hello,

    Infographic is good but need to change font or size because its not clear to read. Its a good idea to aware new blogger’s because we always do all these mistakes and never understand the reason why blogger’s not accepted the post.

    Thank You

    By Mical Johns on Aug 14, 2012

  19. I’m still stuck laughing at the video! I can totally understand the mishaps of receiving requests to guest blog. This is why I just ask my writer friends to guest blog if I want some new fresh content and point of views.

    By Quaisha Thornton on Aug 18, 2012

  20. Liked your article, and the video definitely helps put perspective on the situation when contacting. I have been tackling different linkbuilding tactics with a couple of my clients and this is definitely a good refresher as I have been reformatting my approach.

    Definitely a reshare,



    By Chris on Aug 27, 2012

  21. I wish all people who propose guest blog posts follow these guidelines.

    By Roger Carr on Sep 30, 2012

  22. Great infographic, Ann. We’re now dabbling into accepting guest blogger contributions and this is a relevant resource.

    By Alex Rascanu on Nov 14, 2012

  23. Had a blogging fail of my own recently, blogged about it here if you’re interested:

    By Matt Fielding on Nov 21, 2012

  24. Thanks for the post! I am just starting out in the SEO industry and I’m glad I got this advice before I sent out my first guest blog request (hopefully my schooling served me well and I wouldn’t have made any of them in the first place). I was curious about your take on ‘follow-up’/’sequel’ posts that expand on a previous blog topic covered by the site you are targeting. Are these better done as comments, emails, on your own blog, or have you seen any success with them as guest blogs?

    P.S it’s great to see women getting some notoriety in the SEO world!

    By Lauren Waters on Dec 18, 2012

  25. That video was great lol. The third pitch was hilarious. +1 for using The Simpsons!

    By DJ on Jan 2, 2013

  26. Ann thanks for sharing this mind blowing and conceptual infograph to make it more easy to understand the essence of guest blogging and how spammers are actually humiliating it! i don’t know when are we going to get rid of these spammers who just do not want to understand the essence of Guest Blogging!

    By Rafay Qureshi on Jan 16, 2013

  27. Nice post ! It’s truly great infographic ! Guest posting is a great way to expand your reach, generate traffic, and build inbound links ! Blog owners should be careful from spammers….

    By Taswir Haider on Jan 26, 2013

  28. Thanks now dabbling into accepting guest blogger contributions and this is a relevant resource.

    By Seen on May 20, 2013

  29. Ann. We’re now dabbling into accepting guest blogger contributions and this is a relevant resource

    By kyle on May 30, 2013

  30. It’s truly great infographic. Guest posting is a great way to increase your reach, make traffic, and build inbound links.

    By Jon Mark on Feb 17, 2014

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