Posted on March 25, 2013 by Webfor By Sara Thompson The increased emphasis on content marketing in recent years has made guest blogging outreach MUCH more competitive. Thousands– if not millions– of people just like us are pitching the same bloggers we are, making it progressively harder to even get a blogger to respond to a pitch, let alone publish your work. While magicians rarely share their secrets, we at Webfor will give you a peek behind the curtain and offer some tips on how to get better outreach results. 1. Return the favor before the favor. As guest bloggers we may feel that we are doing a blogger a favor. Sometimes bloggers don’t have the time and resources to update their blogs as often as they’d like. We are helping them by providing the original content that they need, that is useful and relevant to their readers. And, the only compensation we desire is a link, or two if we’re lucky, somewhere near the bottom of the text or even just in our byline. But, times have changed and the tables have turned. These days bloggers are inundated with guest blogging outreach, so it will take a bit more than the average ego stroke to get in their good graces. In today’s world of content marketing, they are the ones doing us a favor. You could say in a pitch, “I love your blog! I’ve been reading for awhile now and I think your writing is superb!”, but it would be better to get their attention by following them on Twitter or Google+ and sharing a few pieces of their content before you propose that they publish your work. Scratch their back first, and they might be more likely to scratch yours in return. 2. Offer an outline. When guest bloggers reach out before their article is finished, a lot of times they will pitch a topic idea to a blogger to find out if it would be a good fit for their blog. If they get the green light, this allows them to tailor the content to that blog in particular. Sometimes bloggers just really want the whole article up front, so to compromise, offer a well developed outline to give them the gist of your content. The more details you dish up, the better your odds are of getting a “yes.” 3. Options are optimal. Coming to a blogger with one topic idea gives you a 50/50 – well, probably more like 70%- chance they’ll turn you down. Maybe the topic you pitched has been covered recently, or for some other reason just isn’t favorable. If you provide a blogger with three topic options, you are improving your odds of approval significantly. If they don’t like one topic, they have two others to choose from that might be right up their alley. 4. Show them you’re worthy. If you’re pitching a blogger out of nowhere, without introducing yourself through social media or other avenues first, what reason do they have to trust you? You can tell them who you are, what you write about and why it’s relevant to them, but for a lot of bloggers that just isn’t enough. A pitch is a great time to provide examples of your other published work. You wouldn’t get a job interview without a resume would you? After you describe your topic options and provide outlines, a blogger will really appreciate it if you also offer links to blogs you’ve written on other sites that are at least somewhat relative to their own. Knowing that other bloggers have accepted and published your work on a similar topic will prove to them that they can trust you to write valuable content that they will also want to use. And, as always, the world of guest blogging is one steeped in give-and-take. If you’re in a position to accept guest blogs on your own site, you’d be amazed at the valuable relationships you can build if you publish the work of others. If you are interested in guest blogging for Webfor, or you think there’s a great outreach tip we’ve missed, let us know in the comments below!