5 Ways To Know If It's Worth Pitching Content To A Website
Some PRs consider their content pitching to be a numbers game.
The more emails sent, the more successful the campaign, right? Well, not quite.
A common mistake many PRs make, and one which infuriates bloggers and journalists alike is failing to research their target website thoroughly enough and consequently setting themselves up for outreach failure. This means that even though you might have sent out 200 emails, are you sure that any more than half of these are actually a good fit for the content you are pitching?
Before beginning your next email outreach campaign, to be sure to prune your mailing list well. It may take some time, but weeding out the websites not worth contacting will save you both time and face.
Have a read at our 5 top tips for picking the right websites for your guest post pitches:
Be careful of niches
Double check the specifics of the websites you are outreaching to. You may have themed emailing lists, such as weddings or SMEs, but have you considered all the different niches within those wider themes? You can have LGBT specific wedding blogs, green wedding blogs, festival weddings blogs, alternative wedding blogs, and that’s just to name a few.
Similarly, you can have SME blogs aimed at business owners, marketers, HR departments or those that only post particular news stories.
Don’t contact the websites which aren’t right for your client, and allow yourself the benefit of a good first impression when you have something that may genuinely interest them.
Watch your tone
Make sure that you are tonally right for the site. For example, music websites can drastically differ in tone, from light-hearted reviews with a slice of celebrity gossip, to the more in-depth critiques and genre histories.
If your client’s brand completely clashes with the tone of the website you are hoping to pitch it to, drop the journalist from your list. A tonally correct piece on a tonally correct website will go down much better with your client, and the journalist will surely thank you for not contacting them with irrelevant content, too.
Are they active?
It can be a good sign if a website doesn’t have swathes of content being published day in, day out. It hints at not having full-time writing staff and being in need to outsider content.
However, if the most recent article published on their site is from nearly a year ago, do not be surprised if you do not have a reply. While some websites may only post an article once a month, very, very few let their web pages go stale for months at a time. This is typically a sign of an abandoned blog.
Similarly, check out a website’s social media presence. Is there one? If not, question why not, and if it is worthwhile contacting a website which ignores this vital part of traffic generation. If they do have a Facebook or Twitter page, or similar, make sure that it is active, too. Most recent posts from 2014 usually point to a website which is winding down, while updates in the last week prove an ongoing investment in its upkeep.
Do they have a “write for us” section?
You might be interested in writing a guest post on behalf of your client, and if this is the case, check to see if a website has a “write for us” section or some other kind of submissions page. This is usually a good indication as to whether they are actively looking for content from outside writers, and worthwhile contacting.
Do take the time to read the what write for us section actually says, however. Some can be looking for content but only from specific individuals, such as niche bloggers or experts. Some can even be completely against content provided by PRs and you could well end up with a short, frustrated email from your web editor of choice, so always read the guidelines.
If there isn’t a “write for us” section, you can still try to contact the editor, but it is less likely that they will be interested in publishing your content.
Have they featured guest posts before?
If you can find guest post articles on the landing page, then you’re in luck – this is a perfect website to pitch to. Review the past guest posts to get a feel for word count and what kind of byline you might need.
If there aren’t any guest posts, this may be a clue that they do not accept guest posts. If there is nothing in the About Us section or any other signs that they do not publish external content, the best move here is to include them in your outreach and hope that you might be the exception to the rule. Ideally, the web editor will set you straight in their reply.
These tips may well slow down your outreach, but by trading a quick “send all” email for thorough and thoughtful research, you will better your PR skills, reputation and success rate. And that seems like a pretty good trade-off to us.
Glaze Digital is a Belfast-based digital marketing consultancy that can support your business growth through digital marketing, expertly combining PR, SEO, website development, asset production and social media marketing.