Building links to your website is hard, even for seasoned SEOs and bloggers.

Guest posts are one of the most effective ways to ask for links.

The reason?

A high-quality guest post has value for your recipient. They get a high-quality blog post that they’d usually have to spend days writing. In exchange for a simple link, it’s not a bad trade.

However, the promise of a guest post alone isn’t enough for people to accept your request.

Link building is a saturated area, and every website owner, blogger, SEO manager, or founder you’re reaching out to has received hundreds of similar emails promising great guest posts. 

Because of that, your recipients are going to be skeptical.

  • Will your post be high-quality?

  • Are you going to waste their time?

If your cold email doesn’t build trust and demonstrate to your recipient that it’s worth engaging with you, you’ll have a hard time landing any guest posts.

In this guide, I’m going to show you a proven cold email process for landing guest posts.

We’ll look at:

  • How to find guest post opportunities

  • Elements of a successful guest post pitch

  • How to personalize your emails at scale

  • Examples of guest post email templates to use

  • Organizing your guest post outreach at scale

By the end, you’ll be landing guest posts on high authority sites with ease.


Let’s jump in.

How to Find Guest Post Opportunities

The first challenge is finding sites to guest post on.

You might already have an idea of 2 - 3 sites you’d love to be featured on. I’d recommend building a larger list than that. 

While it’s nice to aim high and only aim to guest post for companies with a huge audience and strong domain authority, it’s a risky strategy.

The reason? 

If those sites reject or ignore you, you’re out of luck. You’ll need to go back to the drawing board.

To find guest post opportunities, you can use Search Operators.

These let you find web pages by the text included on them.

For example, if you wanted to submit guest posts on email marketing, you could use the following search operator:

You’ll see a list of results of pages with “Write For Us” in the title.

Test out a few variations, for example:

  • [Topic] “Guest post”

  • [Topic] “Contribute”

  • [Topic] “Write for us”

You’ll quickly build a list of qualified sites to reach out to. Ahrefs have a great guide on using search operators listing all of the combinations, and you can read that here.

Most companies will list their guest post criteria on those pages, so pay attention and ensure your email outreach is relevant to that. If you suggest topics that they don’t accept posts on, it’ll be clear you haven’t read their guidelines.

Quickly Finding Contact Details

Websites with a public guest post or contributor page will nearly always have a contact method listed. 

If there’s a custom email, like, you should use it. After all, they’ve given you a clear way to reach out to them.

If you’re pitching sites that don’t have a public page with details about how to contribute, there are various ways to find people’s email addresses. 

You can use email finding tools like:

These will let you quickly identify verified emails for your guest post prospects.

If your prospects’ emails don’t show up there, use our guide to finding anyone’s email in this guide here.

Elements of a Successful Guest Post Pitch

1. The Opening Line

We cover the art of the cold email opening line more in this guide, but to summarize, it needs to:

  1. Be unique to the recipient

  2. Prove you care about building a relationship with them

If you skip the custom opening line to save five minutes, your recipient will think you’re only in it for the link and your chances of success will go down.

You need to open every email with a custom opening line. If the opening line isn’t personalized, make sure there’s personalization elsewhere. 

Showing someone you’ve spent time customizing your email outreach to them is table stakes today. If you haven’t it’ll be instantly clear that you’re just sending as many emails as possible, without thinking about the person you’re emailing.

2. Clarity Over Why You’re Reaching Out

The person you’re emailing is busy. You need to respect that by making the reason why you’re emailing clear, and concise.

Your email body should explain:

  • Why you’re reaching out

  • What you’re offering

  • What’s in it for them

You only have a few sentences to get that across, so it’s vital that your email body is clear and straightforward to read.

One powerful way to get more replies is to suggest guest post topics. Adding suggestions about the post topic makes life easy for the person you’re emailing as they don’t need to go back and forth with their team or with you to clarify a topic.

You can include a section that says:

Based on your audience being [sales reps/recruiters/marketers], here are three topic suggestions:

  • Title suggestion #1

  • Topic suggestion #2

  • Topic suggestion #3

If one of your topic suggestions resonates with your recipient, they’ll be able to quickly get back to you with: “Topic #2 sounds good - look forward to reading it!”.

By putting in effort upfront to suggest topic ideas, you’ll get more positive replies and more guest posts published.

You can repurpose ideas you’re sending to multiple recipients to reduce the time it takes to come up with topic suggestions, but, this part shouldn’t take more than a few minutes per recipient.

3. What’s In It For Them?

With any cold email campaign, you need to offer something of value to the recipient.

There’s already some inherent value in guest post outreach because you’re offering free content to someone.

But, that’s not enough to stand out. A company’s head of content or marketing manager will receive multiple guest post pitches per day, and all of those emails promise great content.

To stand out, offer something extra in exchange.

For example:

  • Offering them a guest post on your site

  • Adding a link to their site from an article

  • Sharing their content on your social media channels

By offering something in exchange, you increase the value of your pitch. If you have a well-established website, most people will be happy to collaborate with you.

3. A Clear Call-To-Action

Finally, you need a call-to-action.

If not, your recipient will read your email and be unsure how to reply.

Make your call-to-action a straightforward question that someone can reply to. Ideally, it’ll be open-ended rather than require a clear’ yes’ or ‘no’ answer.

Example call to actions include:

  • Which of these topics do you prefer?

  • Interested in working together?

  • Want me to coordinate with someone on your team?

Make it simple to reply to and relate to the rest of your email content. There’s no need to overthink it.

Choosing a Subject Line

Does your subject line matter?

It does, but not that much.

As long as your subject line is clear, concise, and reflects what your email is about, you’re good to go.

Some potential subject lines for guest post outreach are:

  • Writing for {{}}’s blog

  • Editorial inquiry

  • Question about {{}}

  • Accepting blog contributions?

As you can see, the key is to keep it simple. 

If you need more subject line inspiration, check out this guide to cold email subject lines.

Guest Post Email Templates That Get Positive Replies

These guest post outreach templates are all designed to make it clear to your prospect why you’re emailing, what’s in it for them, and the benefits of replying to you.

You’ll notice that these are a little longer than the usual cold email templates we recommend. But, because guest post outreach isn’t aiming to generate sales, the rules are different.

Here are the templates:

Guest Post Email Template #1: Pitch to Editors

This template is for pitches where you know a company accepts guest posts. 

Despite that, you still want to add extra value. In this case, the example is that you’re telling someone that you’ll promote the content using your newsletter.

Depending on your company, this might look a little different. For example, sharing it in a private community, with your engaged Twitter following, or similar. Either way, you need to show them there’s something in it for them.

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Big fan of the content that {{}} is creating around [topic]. Love the podcast you’re creating to compliment the blog, too.

Saw you’re accepting guest posts and I’d love to contribute some insights we’ve learned at [your company].

If you’re interested, here are some topic suggestions:

  • [Topic suggestion #1]

  • [Topic suggestion #2]

  • [Topic suggestion #3]

We could deliver the post in a week and can help you promote it using our newsletter (5k subscribers).

Do any of those topics stand out?



Guest Post Email Template #2: Open to Contributions?

If there’s a popular website you’d love to be featured on, but you can’t find information about their guest post requirements, you can still reach out.

As long as your email is polite, clear, and promises to deliver value, there’s no reason you can’t secure a guest post opportunity.

Here’s a template you can steal:

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Just finished reading your recent post, [article title]. Can’t wait to test those strategies at {{}}.

I’m currently working on an article titled [blog post title] and it’s looking for a home.

Are you accepting guest contributions on your blog currently?



P.S. We’re also accepting guest posts if you’d be interested in an exchange.

Guest Post Email Template #3: The “Guestographic”

Brain Dean of Backlinko coined this technique and used it to grow his website traffic by over 175%.

The concept of a “Guestographic” is that you pitch a guest post that includes an infographic linked back to your site. 

It’s interesting because the site you pitch can use your infographic as a link-building tool in the future, so it’s instantly attractive.

So, there’s clear value for both parties.

If you follow this strategy, here’s a template you can use:

Hi {{prospect.first_name}}

Loved your recent post on [topic]. I was looking for advice on [topic] and you answered all my questions.

I’m reaching out because I saw you’re accepting guest posts and wanted to throw my hat in the ring - but with a twist.

I’ve created a custom infographic on [relevant topic] prepared, and I’m writing an article to go with it.

Is that something you’d be interested in publishing on {{}}’s site?



Guest Post Email Template #4: The Rewrite

Now, this tactic is less common but can be highly effective. 

The idea is that you spot an out-of-date article on someone’s website and offer to update it. 

For example, if a post from 2-3 years ago isn’t ranking for many terms (you can check using Ahrefs or Semrush) but:

  • Has scope to be improved

  • Is on a topic relevant to your business

You’ll reach out, offering to rewrite it. 

The twist is that you get a link back to your site from the new post like you would in a traditional guest post.

You just need to be careful that you don’t offend the site owner when reaching out. 

Make sure it’s clear that you’re not criticizing the post but looking to help them capitalize on the opportunity. Here’s the template:

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Saw your post on [topic] from 2017. Noticed it hasn’t been updated since you published it in 2018, and there are some quick wins available, like [suggestion #1] and [suggestion #2].

If you’d like, I’d be happy to re-write and update it for you. 

We’ve seen some quick wins by doing content updates on [your company]’s blog.

Is that something you’d be interested in?



Organizing Your Guest Post Outreach

If you want to save time handling manual email outreach and follow-ups, you can send your campaigns using cold email software like QuickMail.

I’d recommend compiling your outreach targets into a spreadsheet.

First, include the relevant details you’ll need to reach out with a completely custom email.

  • Name

  • Company

  • Personalized opening line

  • Guest post topic suggestions

Once you have these organized in a spreadsheet you can import them into QuickMail.

When you’re writing your template, you can add these custom attributes in and they’ll automatically populate.

All of the fields inside the curly brackets can be populated with custom information for every person you reach out to.

I’d also recommend including the whole first line in an {{Opening_Line}} attribute to make things even faster.

Here’s what the final email template would look like:

As long as the custom attributes in your spreadsheet match, you’re good to go.

Your template is ready to go.

If you don’t get a reply, don’t worry.

Our data shows that over half of replies come from follow-up emails.

Simply add extra steps in your campaign with a delay, and you can automatically follow-up with anyone who doesn’t reply.

A friendly reminder after a few days will improve your response rate, and ultimately, help you get more guest posts.

Make your follow-up email short and friendly. Summarize the first email in a new way, and make sure there’s a clear call to action.

I’d avoid sending one-line emails like: “Bumping this up to the top of your inbox”. They don’t add new value to the email thread.

Treat your follow-up as a way to add new value to your recipient — suggest new topics, highlight a recent study they’ll find interesting, and aim to start a conversation.

The Importance of Personalizing Your Outreach

Guest posting can feel like a chore.

Running searches to find opportunities, sourcing people’s contact details, and sending your emails...

It can get repetitive. That’s why most people end up sending boring outreach emails that don’t get responses.

If you want to consistently generate positive replies from your guest post sequences, you need to show you care about building a relationship.

Most people are open to collaborating with others, and if you don’t get any replies, the fault is likely in your emails.

Make sure every email you sent is done so with care. Personalize your opening lines, pitch topic ideas that are closely related to their industry and customer-type, and add extra value to them in the form of content promotion, a link back, or accepting a guest post from them.

If you send emails that are clearly copy-pasted, you won’t get replies.

Closing Thoughts

These templates will help you quickly get started with your guest post outreach. But, it’s important to note that you should always customize them to your unique situation.

As soon as any template is posted online, it’ll start being used by other marketers or SEOs looking to land guest post opportunities.

The key is to take the lessons around personalization and making it a simple process for whoever receives your email.

They will receive your guest post pitch and start nodding their head because your post ideas are an exact fit for their site.

To avoid repetitive work, make sure to schedule your emails using QuickMail. You’ll be able to send automated emails and follow-ups to ensure you get more replies, with less effort.