Guest blogging: Getting the pitch right

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Should your blog accept guest posts?

A few weeks ago, a translator I do not know contacted me wishing to publish a guest post on this blog and suggesting we exchange links on each other’s websites.

For the sake of this article, let’s call her Martina.

I was quite open to the idea and asked her to tell me more about herself, her business and what she wanted to write about.

Martina has set up her own translation agency, which covers many language pairs and areas of expertise. She translates herself in language combinations I do not provide.


Her offer

I could write about translation in general, about being a translator, about choosing a translator…anything really. (my emphasis)

One of my objectives is for my company’s presence online to generate value for the translation industry. In essence, that translates into providing valuable contributions to the debate on relevant issues in our industry. In that sense, the fact that your readership is not my target market isn’t really an issue. Is that convincing enough?


So she came back with a somewhat more specific subject:

A topic I’d be particularly interested in writing about would be a practical checklist, or pointers, for translators to ensure the quality of their work and for clients to ensure the work they are being delivered is of quality.

Yeah, and? Whose quality standards?

This is where our exchanges left off. I’d asked her to make her business case, with the underlying question being, of course, “what’s in it for me/my business/my clients?”  I’ve yet to be convinced. 

Guest posts must be beneficial to the host

Guest blogging is a great way to boost your own website or blog’s visitor count and Google ranking. 

Guest posts must provide value to the host by contributing content that is in line with the host blog’s scope, business and targeted readership and/or by driving quality traffic to it.

Seth, Brian, Alejandroamong bloggers I read with relish – this space is yours whenever you want!

Guest bloggers’ businesses should be in harmony with the host’s market

I am not keen on promoting translation agencies. Why would I want to drive traffic to an agency’s website? I strive to educate corporate clients that translators are not interchangeable and that a project’s success rests on finding the right professional and on having direct communication between translator and client.

Guest bloggers’ pitches should be precise and detailed

When freelance journalists pitch an article to a newspaper or magazine, they write a good query letter.

A query letter at least:

  • Starts with a hook
  • Details what you are going to write about
  • Provides an outline and estimates the copy’s length
  • Shows why the subject is of interest to the paper and its readers
  • Proves why you are the right person to write about it
  • Includes clips of previously written work

As Susan Finch on Men with Pens puts it:

Your pitch is not about you and what the company can do for you. Always approach a client with the understanding that the pitch is all about what you can do for them. (my emphasis)

Did Martina’s pitch do that? You tell me.

Want to write a guest post on Intercultural Zone?

I welcome queries, in English or in French. Sell me on your idea. Show me what it will do for my target market and me. Share your passion and expertise.

Download the guest post submission guidelines.




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