Guest posts are a great way to get your name and your brand out there, as well as aid your SEO services. So, how do you get started? Well, see below.
Here are 6 tips to help your guest posts get accepted.
1. Find A Blog You Want To Target Before You Write Your Post
One common mistake that many new posters make is they write their post, then start searching for a suitable blog to host it.
Although this can work, a more effective strategy is to select a blog that you want to target before even writing the first words of your blog post.
Everything is influenced by your host blog: the topic you choose, the vocabulary that you use in your post, and how your format and structure the post.
Check out several blogs that are part of your niche. You will discover that:
The standard length of posts vary. Some blogs may have posts that are 1,000 words or longer – while others will have snappy, short posts that are less than 500 words long.
The blogs have different tones and styles. Some take a gentle approach, while others use dramatic, punchy language.
Different topics are covered. For example, not every writing blog covers both nonfiction and fiction.
Take it even further: Make a short list of some of the leading blogs that are part of your niche that may be a good fit for your blog posts suggest Matthew Woodward. He’s a guy worth reading and his link building tutorials are top notch. Make notes on what the distinct features are of each of them – the audience they are aiming for or the topics they cover.
2. Read the Guidelines Carefully
This tip applies to whenever you send your writing out and not just to guest posts.
A majority of large blogs provide guest posting guidelines, which cover everything from formatting and word length requirements, to the topics they are interested in. Read them carefully, and then follow them.
Frequently, vital information is included in the guidelines on how and where your post should be sent:
Please send your email to guestposts[at]gmail[dot]com, addressed to Marie Johnson, Chief Editor. Begin the Subject line with the words GUEST POST (use ALL CAPS).
If your post is sent to the wrong individual, or the necessary information isn’t included, then it may not get seen at all.
Not every blog has published guidelines available for guest posters. If there are no guidelines for the blog you are targeting, then it may be a good idea to email the editor to find out if they have any. Or take a close look at the other guest posts that are posted on the blog, and then try to match them as best as you can in terms of style and length.
Take this even further: Use these guidelines as your checklist. Review each line or point, and make sure that you have included it in your planning (Do it again when you are preparing to submit your finished guest post.)
3. Read Five Posts At Least On The Host Blog
You will ideally be writing posts for the blogs that you have been reading for weeks, or even months or years. However, if you find yourself on a big guest-posting spree, you most likely will find yourself contacting blogs that you haven’t encountered before.
Before planning your guest post, make sure to always read five posts at least on the blog you are targeting. When you do this, it will give you a great feeling for the audience, topic range, and style.
It is a good idea to check out the most recent posts – but you might also want to look at posts from the “Most Popular” list on the blog if there is one.
Taking it even further: Print several recent posts out from your target blog. Get a mixture of posts written by both the owner of the blog and guest posts. Go through them and search for some of the more common features: e.g. do they tend to include first-person anecdotes, or use very short paragraphs?
4. Link To Other Posts That Are On The Host Blog
A very simple – but highly effective – way of boosting the chances of your guest post is to put one link at least to another post that is on the host blog.
There are several advantages to this. In addition to being useful for the owner of the blog, it helps to demonstrate that you created the blog post exactly for them. It shows you are very familiar with their blog (or have taken time to do your research at least).
You may be tempted to link out to your blog when offering some further reading or wanting to provide an example. It can definitely get click-throughs, but it could result in them turning your post down. If you do decide to link back to your own blog within the body of your blog post, only link to your own blog post once.
Taking this further: Rather than linking to just popular posts that you see in the sidebar of the host blog, search for older posts that may not be getting as much attention.
5. Take Extra Time Editing
Careful editing is, of course, a good idea at all times. However, it is particularly important whenever you write a guest post. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time for your editing, and keep in mind that:
It is easy editing a published post on your blog to fix a broken link or typo. However, with guest posts, you won’t often have access to your post after it is published – and don’t want to harass a busy blog owner about fixing mistakes you have made.
Busy bloggers might turn down posts that don’t come up to the standards they require, rather than just making editorial changes or asking for a rewrite. If you aren’t sure if your post is ready or not, ask one of your blogging friends to read it.
First impressions really matter: if there are basic grammatical errors or several typos in your guest post, chances are good that it will be turned down – even if there is a lot of good information in it.
Taking it further: As you are editing, read your blog post out loud. You will be surprised at how easy it is to find poor grammar, clumsy sentences, and typos.
6. Write a Friendly, Polite Query Email
When submitting your guest blog post, you are going to need to write an email to accompany it. It might seem like this is just a formality – but keep in mind that it is the first writing the host blogger is going to see. Depending on what their guidelines are, they might want you to send a pitch of your post via email before you send it.
Your email should be friendly but still stay professional. Address the blog owner by name (and also make sure it is spelled correctly)! It isn’t necessary to provide lots of background information – however, a few lines about any relevant guest posting experience that you have can be useful.
Triple-check your email to look for mistakes. Although one type is probably not going to kill the chances of your guest post getting read, a sloppy email won’t inspire a lot of confidence either.
Taking it further: If there is a standard template email that you use for your guest posts, be sure that you modify it for every blogger. This goes beyond simply adding the title of your guest post and their name. Try to refer to a recent post on their blog that you enjoyed, or may some recent news that they shared. That can increase the chances of your guest post getting accepted.
If you are going to take the time and effort to write a guest post, you might as well put that extra effort in to make it stand out from the crowded field of other submissions. After all, guest posting is one of the more effective ways to develop your reputation and blog – so use the tips in this article to help you achieve success.