Getting Down To the Nitty-Gritty of Guest Blogging
The blogosphere is an oasis of sorts. To avoid disorientation and to utilize the spaces and your blogging potentials fully, each blogger claims a dot, and then connect this with other dots.
This is how guest blogging works: connection.
It gives birth to more connections, chances and discoveries. The more specific objectives for guest blogging are to gain exposure or traffic for your own blog, to establish yourself as a credible name in your industry, to make your brand recognized, to attract new visitors for your own space, and to help you build a community for your own blog or for the bloggers as a whole.
In a Forbes article, Jason DeMers of AudienceBloom explains that guest blogging refers to “the practice of finding other blogs in your niche and offering them content to post. In The webmaster gets high quality, original content to grow their blog and readership. In return, you get exposure to their audience to build your brand, links back to your site, and the chance to build a relationship with a leader and publisher in your space. In an ideal world, it’s a win-win that benefits readers, authors, and the niche community.”
Here are ways to make it happen for your blog:
STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL GUEST BLOGGING
Review your target blog. Note that you need to contribute your article to websites that reflect your niche or attract your ideal clients. For example, if you are into writing brochures, you can go to business development-oriented websites or marketing blogs. You can use Google Blog Search for this phase. Other criteria are: the target blog has huge or growing readership (posts have a high number of social media shares, likes or Tweets and comments) and the blogger has an established name or is an authority in the field. Another way to search for blogs that welcome guest posts is using these keywords:
- submit a guest post
- guest post guidelines
- accepting guest posts
- guest blogging
- guest posting
Think of a topic for your article. When brainstorming for an article, make sure that it can help you achieve your goals for guest blogging: enhancing your brand, marketing your blog as a valuable source, strengthening your credibility, attracting new readers, and gaining new clients. DeMers shares potential sources of ideas for your guest post: Here are ways to get new ideas for articles to write.
- Visit Q&A websites like Yahoo Answers, Quora, and Answers.com. Search for your keyword, see what questions people commonly ask, then see if you can answer one or more of them with a new article.
- Find other industry blogs and read their articles to see what ideas they’ve come up with. If you can write a different take on a particular topic, go for it!
- Think about upcoming events or holidays and how you could tie those into your industry. If Halloween is coming up, perhaps the “Top 5 Ways a Zombie Would Invest in the Stock Market” would be a good article idea for my friend. If the super bowl is just around the corner, then the “Top 10 Craziest Super Bowl Mascots Ever” could be an interesting article that would attract readership.
- Think about questions you commonly hear from clients or potential clients. Can you compile them into one article that answers them all?
- Analyze industry news.
- Write about how you solved a recent problem.
- Think about questions you currently have, and figure out the answers to them, then compose an article which outlines your findings.
- Create proprietary or original data, then publish an analysis.
Follow the guest blogging instructions. Many bloggers tend to take this for granted. Note that your favorite big-time bloggers have busy schedules so they try to organize the emails they are receiving as much as possible so following the rules is a critical factor. A guest blogging guideline may have the following elements:
- Possible topics for your post
- Length of the article
- Length of the headline
- Required number and quality of images/photos
- Format of the article
- Email address
- Number of days or hours before you get a response
- Citation of sources
- Heading of the email
When you’ve already determined what the blogger wants to see from your email or guest post, you now have a clear idea of what to say.
For your pitch, you can follow this structure:
- Use the first name of the blogger, not “Dear Blogger” or “Hi (insert title of the blog).” Let the blogger feel that behind the email is a human, sincere about what you want and what you say.
- Introduce yourself first. Mention your blog, how long have you been blogging or working as a freelance writer, and how you found the blog.
- Explain why you became interested in contributing an article to the blog. Mention two examples of the blogger’s posts, an award, or another person who recommended the blog to you.
- Discuss the guest post you want to write. Start with the gist of the article, why it fits the other’s blog, and how it will benefit the readers of the blogger.
- You can also expound on how you will write the post (your angle, sources, links, or style).
- Make a call-to-action at the end of the pitch, such as “Please let me know if I should proceed.” But above all these, establish a personal connection.
- You can send samples of your articles or other guest posts you have already written.
Write your guest post. And write it well. Here is a checklist you can use as a guide as you write your guest post:
- Is your topic worth discussing?
- Is your message unique?
- Does your writing tone and style match the blog’s brand?
- Does it match your own?
- Is it an original content?
- Is it concise?
- Does it have reliable sources?
- Are the links credible enough?
- Is the headline crisp and engaging?
- Were you able to meet each of the the guest blogging guidelines?
Include a short bio. When you provide a bio, do not simply describe yourself. Talk about what you do, emphasize your credibility, and then end it with some personal notes, such as your other hobbies or preferences, to help the audience relate to you.
GUEST BLOGGING EXPERTS’ TIPS, TECHNIQUES AND WHATNOTS
Meanwhile, here are the top principles on guest blogging from the most respected and admired bloggers:
Darren Rowse, founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips
On Being Yourself – one of the fine lines that you need to walk as a guest blogger is that between being yourself and respecting the culture already established on the blog you’re posting on. While I would strongly recommend that you write in your own voice and style I think it’s important not to take the blog in a completely different direction while the blogger you’re helping out is away.
Look for Gaps in the blog – one of the reasons that I love having a guest blogger come on at my blogs is that they bring a different skill set and knowledge base to the blog to my own. I attempt to find bloggers who will add something unique and different to the topic I’m discussion (while writing in a style that fits with mine).
Sell Yourself – While blog readers ultimately want great content on a blog – many also want to connect and relate to the person they’re reading to. This doesn’t mean writing a biographical post but it could mean sharing some of your experiences on the topic at hand.
Be Reliable – If you promise to write a series on a certain topic – finish the series and don’t leave it hanging mid stream. It’s better to set lower expectations and over deliver than to promise the world and not deliver to the expectations that you’ve set.
Brian Honnigman, tech writer for tier one blogs, including Mashable, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and the Next Web, searchdecoder.com
I’ve learned that making the most of a guest blogging opportunity doesn’t end when the article is published but continues in how the post is distributed, how relationships are built overtime and how you continue to foster a community. For instance, answering comments on your articles will help continue to drive conversations about your articles overtime since readers know you’re there to having ongoing dialogue whether its in the comments of an article or on Twitter.
Lori Soard, webhostingsecretrevealed.com
Keywords can be a powerful tool for bloggers, but the days of adding numerous keywords anywhere you could are long gone. Use them indiscriminately and it is a sure recipe for an article that is awkward and thus low in quality. Google will also penalize you on ranking if they suspect you are trying to beat the system by filling your article with specific keywords. Every once in a while, Google clues us into what they are thinking. Sometimes it is by a released statement by one of their algorithm gurus. Other times, we can infer upcoming changes to the Penguin beast by looking at Google’s actions. Recently, Google got rid of their tradition keyword tool that webmasters have used for years to search out keywords that will work well in a given article. You could almost hear the wails of despair from SEO experts everywhere.
Thomson Chemmanoor, Digital Labz
Comment regularly on blogs in your niche. If you run a blog, who are you likelier to accept a guest post from—an active member of your community who you know or someone you’ve never heard of? By becoming active on other blogs, you build familiarity with the bloggers, and whenever you decide to pitch your guest post, they’ll already know who you are. This makes them more receptive to your pitch.
Danny Goodwin, SEO Copywriting
If you really want to write for a website, check your spelling and grammar before you send that email or submit that form. First impressions count. If you can’t get your pitch right, I assume everything about your content will be suspect, and you definitely aren’t worth the risk. Clearly explain what you want to write about: If you’re targeting a search marketing publication, you should have some expertise in SEO, PPC, social, analytics, local, mobile, or video. What topic do you want to write about? Even better, pitch a headline and blurb (teaser). This will be another indicator that you’ve given some good thought to your pitch.
Serena Ehlrich, PR Daily Here are eight best practices for safe guest blogging:
Do create a Google Profile so you can set up Google Authorship. 2. Don’t make guest blogging your only strategy for link building. 3. Don’t send out a mass email offering to guest blog to random sites. 4. Don’t use the same guest article on two or more sites. 5. Don’t stuff your article with keywords or links; use natural phrases and include links only when it helps round out your article. 6. Don’t take one article and spin it multiple times. 7. Do write good content that is highly relevant to the host site and its readership. 8. Do make sure the blog hosting your content is a high-quality site both in the eyes of the reader and Google. If they don’t follow best practices, don’t submit your content.
Anabel Candy, Successful Blogging
Keep trying. Hopefully this will work but if it doesn’t try again. If you haven’t heard from them within two weeks they’re probably not interested but resend your email just in case. If it still doesn’t work move down your list of blogs you’d like to guest post for, alter the post for the next best blog and keep trying. In the end you’ll succeed. Now all you need to do is make sure your blog looks good, that it will appeal to the influx of new visitors and that you encourage them to subscribe so that they become regular readers. Getting new readers is hard work but it’s worth it and if you want to get new readers for your blog, guest posting is the best way.