Open Pitch: Kick Open the Door with Your Best Idea for a Guest Post

Contest Kickoff: Pitch Your Guest Post Ideas. Makealivingwriting.comWant to write a guest post for Make a Living Writing?

Now’s your chance to land an assignment. It’s open pitch time around here (through March 8, 2019). Submit via email (see guidelines) or comments below.

We’re ready to take a look at the best of the best guest post ideas about the business and craft of freelance writing.

Consider it a showdown.

Kind of like the final fight scene in the cult-classic movie Karate Kid when Daniel LaRusso takes on Cobra Kai bad-boy Johnny Lawrence.

You know. Wax on, wax off. Sweep the leg. Focus all power.

Short on ideas? Remember when LaRusso did all that work for Mr. Miyagi. At first it seemed like he wasn’t learning anything. But with a little help, he realized he had the skills to make his mark.

Whether you’re a newbie freelancer hustling to make things happen, a mid-career writer, or a pro, you’ve probably got a few moves you can share to help other writers.

So step on to the mat. Here’s what you need to know to pitch a guest post idea:

Sweep-the-leg advice about bad guest post pitches

When the crazed Cobra Kai sensi John Kreese tells LaRusso’s opponent to “sweep the leg,” he knows it’s a move that will result in immediate disqualification.

Maybe you’re already in fighting stance ready to strike with your first guest post pitch idea. But before you do, it’s important to know what will disqualify your pitch every time.

Almost every day we receive pitch ideas from people who think Make a Living Writing is :

  • A good place to sell their snake oil
  • An editing and translation service for non-English speakers
  • A forum to tell a sob story about some traumatic life event
  • A clearing house for pyramid schemes and money-making scams
  • A philanthropic organization that cares for rescue dogs, cats, monkeys, and unicorns
  • Interested in a vague mish-mash of ramblings about freelance writing

It’s kind of a problem. Truth be told, maybe 1 in 20 guest post pitches make the cut. The rest are a major brain drain, on time, inbox capacity, productivity, and creative mojo.

Far too many pitches we receive have nothing to do with the business and craft of freelance writing. If you don’t want to be escorted off the mat, don’t submit a pitch that will disqualify you.

Deliver your pitch with a punch in the face

Do it. If you’ve got a great guest post idea about the business and craft of freelance writing, ball up your fist and punch us in the face with your best offensive strike. Seriously, unleash your fury. Here’s how.

  • Study the guidelinesIt’s all there. Lot of freelance topics, details, and instructions to pitch an idea with the best chances of acceptance. Far too many writers don’t read the guidelines or purposely ignore the explicit rules for disqualification.
  • Read a dozen or more blog posts published on the site. FYI, there’s more than 1,000 on all kinds of freelance writing topics. Get familiar with the content, style, and audience, before you pitch a guest post idea.
  • Develop an original idea about the business and craft of freelance writing. We don’t accept any generic, researched-off-the-Internet writing topics we’ve all seen 100 times before.
  • Share your experience. Your hands-on approach to freelancing, successes,  failures, and strategies make a difference. Share your experience or provide a play-by-play account of how you get more clients, for example. Learning from other writers’ personal experiences is a powerful way to teach, motivate, and help other freelancers move up and earn more.
  • Write a pitch with a working headline and brief outline of the points you’ll cover in the guest post. In case you didn’t see that…write a BRIEF outline with a working headline. No pre-written posts, ramblings, or novel-length submissions.

Send us a guest post pitch Mr. Miyagi would be proud of. “Either you karate do ‘yes’ or karate do ‘no.’ You karate do ‘guess so,’ get squished just like grape.”

It’s open pitch through March 8. Let’s see what you’ve got. Send us your guest post ideas, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible, if it looks like a good fit.

Have a question about pitching  a guest post idea for Make a Living Writing? Let’s discuss.

Evan Jensen is the blog editor for Make a Living Writing. When he’s not on a writing deadline, or catching up on emails, he’s training to run another 100-mile ultramarathon.

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27 comments on “Open Pitch: Kick Open the Door with Your Best Idea for a Guest Post
  1. Okwuise Valentine says:

    Hello Evan, I kind of like making a living through writing on my field of experience though I don’t know how and where to begin from. I am open for any tip on how to begin and make it worth while.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Tip: Go out and find a local company or publication that will let you write something. Without pay. Get a few samples, and you’ll be ready to pitch for money.

    • Alicia Brown says:

      My name is Alicia and I am a mother of two beautiful little girls and I am a beginner freelance writer. I decided I wanted o be a stay at home mom and I am passionate about literature, so I decided to really give this a go. I am excited about joining the freelance writer community. I also subscribed to this website and joined the Den List. I am hoping I meet the requirements to get this opportunity to guest post! If not I will be looking forward to future opportunities. Thanks for having me!

      • Carol Tice says:

        Alicia, my blog isn’t a good newbie-starter market. There are many places you can guest post for free — I’d start with them to get the practice.

        If you read through the post and check out our guidelines (linked in the post), you’ll see that our guest posts are mainly success stories from working freelance writers. And…that if you can’t read and follow the guidelines — we were looking for a headline and post outline from you — that’s another sign you’re not quite ready to guest on my blog. Most blogs have writer’s guidelines — be sure to read and follow them.

        The “Hope I can guest post for you!” approach doesn’t work. Blogs are usually looking for your IDEAS, not to assign you something. Hope that helps you to connect with your first opportunities.

        • Alicia says:

          I had already sent my pitch via the email provided. I was just introducing myself. I was being courteous in my post but I read and followed the guidelines to the best of my knowledge.

          • Carol Tice says:

            Aha – well, awesome then! I gather a bunch of people emailed rather than posting drafts here, and since I’m no longer the blog editor, it’s hard for me to know all that’s happening with that. 😉 Glad to hear a full pitch went to Evan. He’ll follow up with it!

  2. Jose Lopez says:

    Hi
    My name is Jose Lopez. I’m here in Venezuela. I know that my country has been in the news a lot recently but I want to write about cocoa which is grown and transformed here as chocalate and is considerd as the best in the world. Cocoa beans are cultivated all over Venezuela and depending on the region, the chocolate made from these beans has a special taste. Since the oil industry is winding down as the main economic activity, chocolate entrepeneurs are springing up all over the country. They range from small entrepeneurs in cottage industries to big companies like Nestle which are exporting to Europe and the United States.
    I plan to write this as a general interest article for magazines such as airline agazines.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    My Regarda
    Jose Lopez

  3. Denzil says:

    Hello Jensen,

    I have read everything and this is a good opportunity.

    I’m curious though. How many pitch ideas do you accept?

    I have two ideas that I’d wish to pitch.

    Should I go ahead?

  4. Steve Hendon says:

    I have an idea I would like to pitch to you. It’s about being motivated and not talking ourselves out of opportunities that arise.

    • Evan Jensen says:

      Hi Steve,
      Read the guidelines, and send your pitch. Sounds like topic that would resonate with many freelance writers. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard Carol advise freelancers: “Don’t be a waiter. Be a writer.”

  5. Alisa T. says:

    Great! This is a great opportunity for young writers to express themselves. How do I understand the best post will be published on the site? I have a few ideas for a guest post, but I’m not sure that they meet the criteria. I really want to win. Worth trying. Suddenly I’m lucky, my article will like it and post it. I’m dreaming about that. Tell me please, can I write some articles? Will it increase the chances of winning? I can try. Not sure what of my ideas for the post will have its highest point) Thanks for the opportunity!

    • Evan Jensen says:

      Alisa,
      Please read the guidelines before submitting a guest post. Happy to consider your idea, but it must be about the business and craft of freelance writing and contain a tip, info, strategy, how-to, etc., to help other freelance writers.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Alisa, we’re happy to publish ALL the post pitch ideas that are up to our standards! But please read and follow the guidelines.

      You should know that we don’t allow links to sites that ghost essays or do homework for students, (or that purport to be platforms that hire writers), because that is unethical, so I’ve deleted yours. It wouldn’t be allowed in a guest post, either, so if that’s your agenda, you don’t need to pitch us.

      In general, we only publish one post per writer, we’re not seeking an ongoing contributor.

  6. Nicholas says:

    Nice, I think is my time. My idea will reach you in less than 24 hours. Thanks for this opportunity.

  7. Oana Pauna says:

    Hello Carol,

    I live in Romania where English is not our native language. 5 years ago I started freelancing and I got to the point that I discovered writing is my passion. Now I am full time freelancing and enjoying what I do.
    My pitch title would be:
    How to become a full time copywriter when English isn’t your native language

    Outline:
    – my freelance & copy writing story in short mode
    – how to get your first job
    – how to improve your English
    – what tools to use to write better
    – how to become a full time VA doing what you love
    – how to promote yourself online
    – setting up your VA team
    – creating your own company in your native country

    I hope this is something you would enjoy reading.
    Have a nice day!
    Oana

    • Evan Jensen says:

      Hi Oana,
      Read the guidelines for submitting a formal pitch. Hint: It’s not the comments section. I’d suggest pairing down your outline to a topic exclusive to the business and craft of freelance writing. Not a bad idea though.

  8. sophie keats says:

    HI Carol
    Tnanks for openning the pitch your best guest post to the public. Here is mine I hope it can help an aspiring writer.

    HEADLINE: Family Freelancing a Creative Pairing

    OUTLINE OF POST: They say that you should write from what you know, well then, if you have a family and you can write for an audience, there is a whole world of writing avaliable to you and Sophie Keats a children’s author and freelance writer can tell you all about it…

    • Evan Jensen says:

      Hi Sophie,
      Read the guidelines and instructions for submitting a pitch. Happy to consider your idea.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Sophie… I don’t really understand this pitch.

      What would readers learn, can you give us a few bullets of the sort of tips you’d provide?

      Do you mean your husband also freelances? Or is it about how to manage freelancing and family, a work/balance theme? That really isn’t a post outline, it’s an opening proposed paragraph. Please give us your outline of the subheads or bullets you’d have in the piece. Thanks!

  9. Ken Melbourne says:

    I am a man of 76 and most of my working life self employed with residential construction renovations I am a capable carpenter as well as other trades,however my main strength is my imagination .You may well ask what has that got to do with above . Almost all renovations are about a home improvement both in function and aesthetics Most people cant visualize changes from drawings let alone a verbal explanation and that is where a mind and experience like mine comes in . I can see the change before it starts My task is first to translate the value of a suggested change ie improvement .That involves a list of factors and information gathering before anything worthwhile can happen
    In 1985 I hung up my tool belt and commenced on a career of kitchen design In my first year I received a Canadian national design award .I think because of my renovation experience and creative mind as well as a seminar with a woman that wrote the book on professional kitchen design Ellen Cheevers I was able to achieve that goal . Well here I am over 30 year later still designing kitchens and training others to enter this as a career
    I believe one of the values about persons like myself in senior years is they can share lessons learned to those who are much younger and care to listen . I know technology changes everything and I myself have gone from drafting boards to the latest auto cad software . The computer to me is a sophisticated drafting board it does what the user tells it to do unless of course you make an error in scale or product you want is just not available
    One thing that has not and will not change is our need to eat and therefore a place to prepare and cook what we want to eat |KITCHENS every home has one and in the foreseeable future, so may they all .
    A creative mind in space management and an open mind to lifestyle as well as choice of decor and of course materials and appliances are essential .
    My thoughts of writing are to assist potential people contemplating
    a new kitchen with online consultations and answers to the many questions they may have about their design options and pros and cons of materials used as well as appliance selection .I believe there would be many companies willing to sponsor me with my endorsement.

    My pitch would be I believe anyone that has a lifetime of experience in any field and loves to share to help others make the right decisions on such matters along life’s path has a two things of great value to themselves One is an unlimited audience to what they write and most importantly the personal satisfaction and fulfillment in life knowing
    how their writing has helped others

    My take anyways

    Ken