If you’re reading this, you’re probably a writer who has felt the swift slap of rejection one too many times, or you’re new to the guest blogging game, and you want to start off on the right foot.
Guest blogging is a fantastic way to show that you’re an expert in your field, make a little bit of moolah, gain exposure, and direct traffic to your own website. It’s been a growing trend over the last few years, but there is a right and wrong way to go about it. Well, maybe not wrong, per se, but extremely time-consuming and inefficient – not to mention soul-crushing when you get yet another rejection letter.
Here are a few tips to help you succeed in the arena of guest blogging:
Approach guest posting like a job interview
In other words, do your research. Take the time to read through a website’s About Me page and jot down notes about how their goals and yours align. Blog owners want to see that you’ve made the effort to get to know them, their brand, and their ideals. Don’t ask them questions that you could find the answer to if you poked around for a bit. When you reach out to a website, use an editor’s or owner’s name, and be specific. Your introduction letter should demonstrate that you mean business.
Come prepared to guest post
Before you submit anything to, or even make contact with, the blog owner, read through their archives. Take note of whether they have had guest bloggers, and only write article proposals for topics that are relevant and novel. Your chances of getting a guest post approved on a dog care blog are slim if you’re writing about different breeds of cats. Writing about how muscle tone in young dogs can prevent arthritis in old dogs might get you a little farther in your quest to become a guest blogger. Better yet, a blog about daily exercises you can do to help alleviate discomfort in arthritic dogs might get you more points. Throw in some details about safe, natural supplements, and you could be sitting pretty.
The point is, if you want a blog owner to take you seriously, you need to come to them as prepared as possible. Try to think of an answer to every question before they can ask it, and don’t leave anything to chance as you write your article. Keep the tone light and conversational throughout your article, and touch on every aspect of the topic. If you think that a fluffy piece that has been written a hundred other times is going to see the light of day, you are sorely mistaken.
Don’t get offended and don’t offend
Writing is a very personal journey for many people, so it’s easy to get offended when someone suggests revisions to your article – especially if you genuinely believe that you know better. That said, remember, they are doing something for you, so it’s in your best interest to play nice.
For the most part, blog owners won’t make any significant changes to your article without at least talking with you first, but if they do, don’t explode. If you genuinely feel that you need to pick that fight, take a moment to cool off first, and then approach the blog owner professionally and calmly. Getting offended or offending someone else is a really good way to shoot yourself in the foot and ruin your chances of getting other guest post gigs in the future.
Blog owners really like it when you work with them toward a common goal. Don’t bail right after they post your piece – instead, stick around, answer questions and reply to comments in the comments section, and build a rapport with your readers. The benefits here are two-fold: you keep the blog owner happy, and you build a relationship with viewers that can translate to more traffic on your site.
Remember, SEO is important for guest posting
Before you move forward with guest blogging, make sure that you understand your objective. Are you trying to get exposure using the clout of a larger company? Is your goal to get more traffic and backlinks to your website? Do you want the traffic to buy a product from you, or do you have another result in mind? The answer to each of these questions should drive how you write and why, so if you don’t have a clear goal in mind, you could be spending a lot of time writing quality content that gets you nowhere. Furthermore, understand the objectives of the outlet that you’re writing for so you can help them help you help them.
You may be tempted during the guest-blog-pitching-process to send out as many article proposals as possible, which will most likely result in poor quality. You need to take your time and write these articles well. Not only does it give you a better shot at getting your article published, but it also improves the SEO of the content you write, which increases your exposure when you’re published because Google values quality over quantity. Including well-structured content and backlinks to supporting data with proper anchor text, shows website editors that you’re a serious writer, and it also puts you in a good spot for SEO purposes.
Edit, for heaven’s sake!
This is a no-brainer, but for heaven’s sake, don’t submit anything unless you have taken the time to proofread and edit. Subpar work – or even spectacular work – with silly mistakes is most likely bound for the trash bin. If you need to run it by another set of eyes, by all means, do it. Don’t waste your and the blog owner’s time by sending in shoddy work.
Guest posting on a reputable blog can be a great way to direct traffic to your website and make more conversions. If you go about things the right way, you will have greater success in scoring those guest gigs.