While writing abilities are important for creating a post that people will read and share, an excellent post published on a blog that only you and your grandma would visit might be no good for your career as a guest blogger. On the other hand, highly-read blogs sometimes have strict quality requirements and precise guideline for the guest bloggers, apart from the tantrums that you might have to bear with.
Why Write a Guest Blog?
Why give away your content for free? Well, there are several advantages to be had. First, you’re going to get exposure to the readership of the site you are guest blogging for. You’ll include a link back to your site; if readers like what they see, you’ll find you’ve gathered a new following. Also, that link is helpful for boosting your site’s search engine ranking.
In researching other bloggers and finding people with common interests, you have the chance to become part of a greater community. You may discover new favorite bloggers this way – and also make contacts who can help you with your own blog. In addition, you’ll likely get to research new topics and improve your ability to tailor content to various sites. That’s a useful skill to have. Finally, as you increase your exposure, you will also likely increase your reputation in your field.
Here’s a step-by-step guide that will take less than 5 minutes to read, but these 5 minutes may be crucial in turning you into a well-known guest blogger.
1. Website Selection: You cannot and should not approach every other blog that you come across. You should know the industry or the category that your blog post is going to be about. Second, you should consider what types of blogs would be most suited for your topic. These may not be directly related to your industry or product, but the readership should coincide with your target audience. For instance, if you are selling running shoes, you can blog at a medical website about running injuries. If you are in food business, you can write at a green-lifestyle website about food recycling. It is not rare to find customers in unlikely or apparently unrelated places.
2. Correspondence with Owners or Editors: After you have targeted your blogs and have their owners’/editors’ addresses, it’s time to reach out. Your email should be drafted to perfection. In order to do that, go through the guest blogging guidelines at a particular blog; read the previous posts; determine the priorities of the editor and the topics that they cover; then customize your email for each blog that you write to. After addressing the owners’ concerns about quality or relevance, indicate your intention of writing for their blog and politely ask them for an opportunity. Showcase you previous work and suggest a few intriguing titles in your email. Also, ask the owners/editors for further directions and suggestions.
3. Writing the Post: With trillions of words being added to the blog-o-sphere each day, there must be good reason for people to read your post. If writing a good post and publishing at an unknown blog is wasteful, writing a bad post and publishing it with a famous blog can be disastrous. People are interested in new things, fresh opinions based on facts. Don’t join the chorus by repeating what has been said before. If you have a chance of making your mark, it lies in your ability to be radically different, yet logical and justifiable. Pack your post with facts without making it boring. Add images, links and video where required.
4. Publishing: Alright: so the pie is ready for the serving. It’s time to send your post to the editors. Be open and friendly in your email and show your willingness to review anything that the publishers find out of line. Politely request the addressee to inform you when the post has been published. Also inform the owners/editors if you have a Google+ authorship; your post will have higher SEO ranking if it is publish in your authorized name.
5. Comments and Feedback: Lastly, it is important to keep track of your published post and exploit every opportunity to interact with your audience. You can respond to the comments on your post and can even track it on the social media, to which some of the readers may have shared it.
Guest Blogging Do’s
- DO use keyword searches to find sites that are relevant to your topic, where your blogs would fit in well.
- DO keep organized and compile a list of your favorite bloggers who accept guest posts. Follow their blog, and read the guest posts as well. See if you can get a feel for their style and what they look for in guest bloggers.
- DO use connections when you have them. Use friend’s connections too.
- DO address the blogger by name when you contact her.
- DO include at least one idea for a guest blog in your pitch.
- DO follow all guidelines you are given for guest blogs. That includes meeting deadlines.
- DO check for proper spelling and grammar on every bit of communication you send out, as well as your finished blog post.
Guest Blogging Don’ts
- DON’T go charging in blind. Have a strategy. There are lots of “how to” resources out there for getting started with guest blogging. Use them.
- DON’T pitch to blogs that have nothing to do with your content. If you blog about circus animals, don’t pitch to a technology blog.
- DON’T send your pitch to the same blogger five times. He’ll probably notice.
- DON’T forget your research. Nothing says sloppy like pitching a blog title which the blogger used just last month.
- DON’T litter your guest blog with links to every one of your 20 social media pages. Pick the most important.
- DON’T slack off once you get the gig. If you do all the work to get a guest blog slot with your favorite blogger, you owe it to yourself to provide her with the best writing you have to offer. Good writing will draw in readers and often leads to further opportunities.