10 Incentives to Increase Your Guest Post Acceptance Rate [Outreach Examples]

Below is a guest post from Peter Attia (follow him on Twitter guys!) Thanks to Peter for putting this together…enjoy!

By now, everyone is familiar with the dos and don’ts of guest blogging best practices. However, this doesn’t help you with your response rate of getting a guest post. Once you get a response from a blogger, your acceptance rate sky rockets; making it an important part of your outreach.

Here are a few inexpensive incentives you can offer to increase your response and acceptance rate.

Incentives
(Credit: Mimi and Eunice)

1.) Offer Your Product for Free

This is one of the easiest incentives you can offer. You should be reaching out to bloggers that are in a related niche anyways, so offer them your product in exchange for a guest post.

Example:

Hey Sawyer,

My name is Peter. I work for a golf apparel company and I’ve been writing a review post about a popular golf course in Austin, TX. I was wondering if you’d be interested in putting the post up on golfblog.com. I’d be happy to send you one of our shirts as a thank you!

All the Best,
-Peter

Of course, this depends on your product. If you’re selling something that is worth several thousands, you can’t just hand it out like candy. However, if you have t-shirts, ball caps, or other swag for your company, that can work as well.

2.) Offer Post Promotion

This works especially well if your client is high profile and has thousands of followers. You’re probably going to tweet your guest post on those corporate accounts anyways, but the bloggers may not realize that. If you just mention that you’ll be promoting the post on an account with thousands of followers, you can boost your response rate significantly.

Alternatively, you can offer to promote their next blog post instead. This is typically more enticing to them, as not only are you promoting their blog, you’re promoting them as a writer as well.

3.) Offer to Match Them in a Donation

This is one that’s hard for bloggers to turn down. When you’re requesting a post, mention that you’d be happy to match their donation to a related charity.

Example:

Hey Ethan,

My name is Peter. I work for a computer technology company and I’ve been writing a piece about how simple computers have made great advancements in third world communities.

I was wondering if you’d be interested in publishing the piece on your blog. I’d be happy to match you in a donation to Computer Aid International as a thank you. They provide computers to less fortunate families all over the world.

All the Best,
-Peter

This route works especially well for “sweeter than kitten blogs”. For example environmental awareness blogs, mental disability blogs, child learning blogs, etc.

Some of these may also have their own charities, in which case you can offer to donate to their charities instead.

4.) Offer Them an SEO Audit

This is another one that works well with pretty much any blog. Offer them a free SEO audit as a thanks for a guest post.

Most bloggers are well aware of SEO at this point and are happy to get any helpful advice for their site.

Tread lightly when performing an SEO audit and make any issues sound as light as possible. The last thing you want to do is offend the blogger and cause them to take down your post.

5.) Connect Them with Guest Post Opportunities

This is one that requires minimal resources. During your guest post outreach you’re going to have a spreadsheet full of blogs that accept guest posts. You can offer bloggers a chance to connect with other bloggers you know that accept guest posts.

Example:

Hey Miles,

My name is Peter. I’ve been working on an article about simple ways to stay green around the house and would love to publish it on supergreen.com.

I’ve been working with a few other bloggers as well and would be happy to introduce you if you’d like to guest post on their sites as well.

All the Best,
-Peter

This way they get the chance to build a new relationship as well as get a guest post of their own on relevant blogs.

6.) Offer to Host Their Domain

There are plenty of WordPress and Blogspot blogs that are on custom domains, but aren’t self hosted. It’s not that these blogs can’t afford their own hosting, hosting isn’t that expensive. Most of them just don’t realize the benefits of being self hosted over using a customized domain.

If you end up with more than a handful of people interested in your hosting offer, buy a separate hosting account. Again, hosting is CHEAP!

Also, do not offer hosting to any sites that do not use a custom domain, for example awesomecars.blogspot.com. Their domain name will change in the process, which can harm their search rankings and ultimately get you an angry blogger.

7.) Offer Them a Post in Exchange

This is similar to tip #5, but instead of offering them a guest post on another niche related blog, offer them a post on your corporate blog. They’ll be tickled pink to write a post on a high profile blog, however your client may have issues with it. Corporate sites can be extremely picky (for good reason) about what goes up on their blogs.

If this is completely out of the question, try to instead offer them a link back from a post. For example you could write a “top 10″ post for that particular niche. This way you have complete control over the content, but are still able to offer something in return.

8.) Offer to Fix a Broken Site Element

This is very simliar to broken link building. My issue with broken link building though, is the links you get are usually mixed in with lots of other links. This isn’t horrible, but it’s also not ideal.

Instead of asking for a link in return for pointing out a broken link, ask for a guest post instead. This isn’t just for broken link building either, you can do this with any broken site elements you spot.

Example:

Hey Juliette,

My name is Peter. I’m currently working on an article for upcoming eco friendly cars and wanted to know if you’d be interested in publishing it ecocars.com.

Also, I spotted a broken contact form on your about page. I’d be happy to fix it as a thank you!

All the Best,
-Peter

It’s a way to get in the bloggers good graces and get something more concrete in return.

9.) Offer a Personal Incentive

This one won’t work for every site, but will work for most. Instead of offering an obvious incentive, find something that hits them personally. For example, say you find a political blog, but notice in the authors about page that he plays guitar. Offer him a set of new strings as a thank you for a guest post.

You can usually keep these extremely cheap. This shows the author that you actually looked at their blog and didn’t just use a standard copy/paste email when contacting them. It’s also a very personal item and that means more to them than the value of the item itself.

10.) Give them an Interview Opportunity

Industry leaders love doing interviews. It boosts their already inflated egos, making it hard for them to turn down the opportunity. However, a lot of bloggers don’t know this.

Reach out to a thought leader in their industry and ask them for an interview. You won’t be doing the interview. Instead find someone to agree to an interview and then use that as the incentive to get a post of your own.

You’re now offering that blogger a guest post and a chance for them to interview a leader in their industry. This is one of the strongest incentives you can offer for higher quality blogs.

Conclusion

There are lots of incentives you can offer in exchange for a link or guest post on another site. Some of the itemized incentives may hit a “grey hat” area, but I think this is being overly cautious.

If you want to stay completely white hat, offer bloggers a chance to grow socially and advance their connections. This is worth a lot more than anything of physical value, wether they realize it or not.

Bio: Peter Attia is the founder of Cucumber Nebula, an internet marketing blog. You can find him on twitter: @PeterAttia

Comments

  1. Mostly good sound advice here. I personally disagree with part of point 4 though.

    “Tread lightly when performing an SEO audit and make any issues sound as light as possible. The last thing you want to do is offend the blogger and cause them to take down your post”.

    Whilst, sure you don’t want them to take your posts down , that would defeat the object of thew whole exercise. However, I’m just not into all this “touchy feely” – Love-in” business. If you are auditing a site in professional mode. Be honest. if Need be, be brutally honest.

    you don’t need to be rude in your delivery, but they should actually thank you for saving their repputation for the price of a guest post.

    • Hey Phil,

      I completely understand where you’re coming from, but there have been times where I had offended someone by being honest. It’s usually when it comes to design or content. Something the blogger created themselves.

      This usually strikes a personal note with them, which is why I say to tread lightly. There’s a very fine line between being brutally honest and being rude.

      More importantly than someone taking down a guest post you’ve created, is losing a relationship. Which is also something to keep in mind.

      Cheers!
      -Peter

      • This is one I can identify with on both sides, I’ve both offended and been offended by SEO audits. It’s definitely one to tread carefully with, if you go at it to full on you’re just going to get people’s backs up. If you don’t mention the major issues up front though you’ll lose credibility down the line.

        What I like to do if back up all my points with articles going into more detail about the topic, if you can rope in others to back you up that can soften the blow!

        (Thanks for the comment Phil, good to see you getting about)

  2. Yeah, personally I love when people offer guest posts, but I guess the main bloggers out there are overwhelmed with requests.

    • They really are. Also, a lot of bloggers will only allow people they know to guest blog. If you offer them an incentive, they’re more open to hear you out about what you can offer. It makes them see that you’re truly interested.

      • Completely agree regarding relationships and guest blogging for people you “know”. I mean, it might look like all I do is mess about on Twitter all day, to the untrained eye. What I’m actually doing is building a relationship with somebody like Peter in order to get an awesome guest post off him. I’ll probably never talk to him again after this.

      • Hahaha! Gee, thanks Gaz :)

  3. techhgyan says:

    I would prefer building a relationship pver ‘sales pitch’. Many of the blogger refrain from accpeting such sales pitch. They consider it as a sales letter and often ask money/ product in return. Guest blogging is more about serving your content on other sites without offering them money/ product.

    Offering money or incetives make it a paid post or link selling. But, this perspective differes from person to person.

    • I agree that it’s better to build relationships than offer incentives, especially for higher authority blogs that get several requests. However, this process is much slower if you’re in a pinch and are looking for several guest posts quickly.

      I build relationships for top blog targets and offer incentives for lower level blogs. Everyone does things a little differently though.

      -Peter

  4. A little carrot a stick is appealing for just about anyone, bloggers included. Peter, thanks for putting together a great list of tactics. I think that the bigger the blog, the more prep work is required in building the relationships vs offer straight incentives. Another tactic is to identify a new writer or junior-editor at a bigger blog and then offer them an incentive to ‘get the foot in the door’.

    • I completely agree! Anytime I stumble onto a new blog that I feel will obviously do well in the future, I start a relationship with them. This way they’re not jaded yet by all the emails they will start to get :)

  5. My favorite one of these is the matching of a donation to a charitable organization. This truly takes it out of the realm of pay-for-play and allows for a real chance to come alongside the blogger with something that’s important to him or her. Imagine if everyone did that….

    In fact, what a great way for a blogger to raise money for a cause: offer guest blog opportunities for donors to a non-profit. That would be decent PR for the cause and for the blog, not to mention links, social buzz, and expanding audience.

    • Charities are a great way to get recognition. They usually have a sponsor page that you can request to be added to, or are for donations of a particular dollar amount.

      This alone is a great link to have, but you’ll get noticed elsewhere for it, especially for well recognized charities.

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