Guest blogging is still a viable way to brand yourself online and should be part of every marketing campaign. In addition to presenting yourself to the world, it is a great way to generate backlinks to your website and showcase your expertise. Guest blogging may sound easy, but it has actually become an art the last few years.
Thanks to spammers and black-hat SEO techniques, many blog owners are leery about people sending them guest post requests. The majority of these pitches are simply to benefit the writer and are written so poorly that they wind up in junk mail or trash.
So how do you get a guest post opportunity when so many webmasters are against it? Well, here is a simple process to use, a step by step guide to guest blogging. Regardless if you are a beginner or simply tired of having your guest post pitch rejected, these steps will help increase your chances of guest post opportunities.
Finding the Right Places to Guest Blog
Guest posting for links is dead. As such, you don’t want to find websites that you only use for backlinks. You want to find the websites where you would be proud to place your name, as the only backlink you will likely receive is from your author profile.
Find something within your niche. You want to attract clients from your writing so you want to make sure that the website is of quality and you are not embarrassed to post content there.
So how do you find these sites? I have a three-step process that I recommend you follow.
The first step is to find blogs within your niche. There are plenty of blog and website directories, but one of the most popular is Alltop. You can search for specific niches and view all blogs and websites within that niche.
Once you make a list of blogs you want to guest post for, the second step is to check and make sure that it will be worth posting there. By that, I mean you want a blog that has a high domain authority. The higher the domain authority, the more visitors they are likely to get and the more people who are likely to read your content.
There are plenty of websites where you can check the domain authority of a website, but I recommend using Moz as they are the site that came up with the ranking.
The final step is to make sure that the blog you want to post content to is not de-indexed by Google. After all, it makes no sense to post content to a blog that doesn’t show up in search results. Again, there are numerous websites that can check for this but the simplest one I found is Pixelgroove.
Perfecting Your Guest Post Pitch
Now that you have narrowed down your list of websites you want to write for, you have to actually reach out and make your case to write for them. As stated previously, webmasters get so many pitches on a daily basis that you have to stand out from the crowd.
Your guest post pitch must speak to the blog owner personally. It must also provide information about who you are and what topics you plan to write about. There is an art to doing this and if you follow a few simple rules, you can increase your chances of getting your guest post pitch accepted.
1. Personalize your email
When you send your email pitch, make sure to personalize it. Do not say something like “dear sir or ma’am” or “to whom it may concern.” These are general terms and show you didn’t take the time to research the blog you are pitching. If there is nothing on the “about” page of the website, you can check out Twitter and LinkedIn to see if you can find the owner and/or editor.
2. Tell the blog owner what you have to offer
Make sure your pitch shows what you are worth to the blog owner. No one is going to allow you to guest post unless you have something that will benefit them. Talk about how you will promote the post, respond to comments, etc.
3. Show samples of your previous work
Always provide samples of your previous work. Also, remember to use examples that relate to the niche of the blog you want to write for.
4. Make it short and sweet
Do not carry on and on about yourself. Keep it short and sweet. Try to keep your pitch to 2 paragraphs or less (not including your post topics – which brings me to my next point).
5. Pitch topics that relate to the blog
When you suggest certain topics to write about, include potential titles as well. This shows that you have read the blog and your suggestions will fit into the niche. Most recommendations should include at least three potential blog topics with your pitch.
There are plenty of online templates for guest post pitches. If you have never written one yet, read through some of the templates until you are comfortable you are covering all of the above.
On a final note about pitching, always follow the guest post guidelines when preparing your email. If it says to use their contact form, use the contact form. If it says to send a draft article with your pitch, send a draft article.
Writing Your Post with Perfection
So you finally got accepted to write for a blog. Now, the ball is in your court to deliver on what you said you would do – create a high quality blog post that will entertain readers.
First thing you need to do is follow the writing style of the blog. If it uses long-form content, then write long-form content. If the guidelines state it must be between 600 and 800 words, then don’t go over or come in under that word count. Familiarize yourself with keywords so that you don’t make common SEO mistakes.
You also need to make sure that your link structure is appropriate. By that I mean to use internal links to the blog you are writing for. This helps the site owner with traffic and SEO which benefits you both. If you are quoting or using information from a source, make sure to link to it (and only use links to high quality sources).
Proofread your content. Don’t submit anything that is poorly written and contains grammar and spelling errors. The editor should not have to take the time to go over your content. Also, if they don’t take the time to look, they could wind up publishing an article that is embarrassing to you (and likely prevent you from getting future guest post opportunities).
Can you find the mistake? If so, “you’re” doing pretty good at proofreading. Mistakes like this seem minor but can be embarrassing. Image courtesy of Flickr.
Finally, promote the content everywhere. Use social media, email, and even link to it with future posts you write. If the blog owner sees your content is bringing traffic to the site, chances are you will be able to submit guest posts to that blog in the future.
Final Thoughts on Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is still a viable way to brand yourself online. In order to get the most benefit, make sure to find the right blogs, perfect your guest post pitch, and promote your content as much as possible. Following this step by step guide will help you land more guest posting opportunities and ultimately increase your brand visibility.
What tips would you add to this guide to guest blogging? What are your success or failure stories that may help others? Would love to read more suggestions in the comments below.