I guess someone must have released a product on guest blogging recently because my inbox is full of requests.
Sadly, all the requests from prospective guest bloggers are about to be moved to the trash bin because they failed the basic criteria.
Guest Blogging Tips
There is a right way and a wrong way to go about requests for guest blog posts. Here’s some tips for guest bloggers …
Tip 1 – Find blogs that are relevant to your niche
First of all, you need to find blogs in your niche that are relevant to your topic and the message you want to convey. Contacting blogs that are not relevant to your niche is both a waste of your time and the blog owners. Really, it’s just spray and pray, hoping that out of the mass of requests you send that you can get a reply. A much better way to get the result that you want is to do the right research in the first place. This way you are only contacting blog owners that are relevant to your message and ideally with a target audience that could cross over to your site.
Start by creating a list of about 200 blogs that fit this criteria. Set up a spreadsheet that sets out the relevant details such as the blog owner’s name (usually right there on the About page), Facebook/twitter and other social media, contact email, blog url and a sentence about the type of blog posts they are accepting and if they have any criteria for blog post submission
Sort your list. Ideally the top 10 blogs that you would love to have your post published on should be 1-10 on your sheet, then the next ideal group of 10 and so on.
In the perfect world, you would spend some time getting to know the top 10 on your list you prepared via social media. This means really engaging with the blog owners by making useful and insightful comments on their posts and Facebook updates and replying and retweeting when appropriate on twitter.
Focus on the top 10 on your list and put in the hard yards via their blog and social media to build a long term relationship. Guest blogging is a bit like dating. If you ask for too much too soon you run the risk of the other party dumping you 🙂
Tip 2 – Plan your ideal result
Are you writing a post because you want to a) increase your authority status in a niche? get more traffic? get some links? make some sales? If you don’t have a goal for your blog post you won’t be able to measure it, track it and know if you have succeeded. Knowing your ideal result will also assist you when you are researching blogs to submit your guest post to. Some blogs may be on your dream list because they are authorities in the niche. This doesn’t mean though that their visitors are used to buying things. Find blogs that resonate with your message and are more likely to give you the end result that you are looking for. This will help save a lot of tears in the long run ….
Tip 3 – Creating compelling content
A lot of time and thought needs to go into the content that you will submit. Not only do you need to consider what the blog owner would think of the content and how it fits with their view of their blog but also it is the bait for the visitor. Put yourself in the blog owner’s position.
Is your content unique, relevant to the blog, well written, useful and informative?
Would you be proud to put that content on one of your own sites?
What would your grandma think of it?
Is it shareable? Would visitors find the article useful enough to share on social media?
Is a blog owner likely to find it useful enough to notify their list and promote it themselves?
A blog owner is generally looking to give their visitors new insights and information that will be helpful for that market. they do not want their readers to be confused, offended or feel that they have gone to the wrong site completely. As a guest blogger you need to create content that not only satisfies the blog owner and their target audience but will also bring you the result that you are aiming for.
Tip 4 – Contacting the blog owner – the right way
Once you have created a compelling piece of content it’s time to bite the bullet and submit that article. First of all do a quick check:
- Have you got a copy of the article in .txt and .docx format to submit?
- have you sourced and paid for images to incorporate with your article?
- do you have a video on You Tube or other video site to link to in your blog, if relevant?
- have you included a bio about yourself with a compelling call to action to click through to your blog?
- has your blog or main website been updated and refreshed if necessary?
- have you included links to your social media profiles where visitors can also interact with you?
- do you have any links to other blogs where your articles have been featured?
Your email to the blog owner should:
- address them by name,
- remind them of some engagement that you have had with them directly (either social media or via their blog comments)
- mention that you are aware of who their target audience is and with that in mind you have crafted a draft article for consideration
- enclose your article that is free of spelling and grammatical errors and fact checked
The advantage of doing this is that you are not wasting time toing and froing with the blog owner.
If you have examples of your work elsewhere on the internet, like your own website or other guest blog posts that you have done you should provide the links to that content so the blog owner can view it.
All in all you should make it as easy as possible for the blog owner to say yes to your guest blog post.
Now sit back and wait ….
Sometimes, you may find that you don’t hear from the blog owner for a week or 10 days. If that’s the case then you can just send a polite follow up (ensure that you have checked the email address).
Often blog owners will reply and while they may like some parts of your article they may require some of it to be re-written. Don’t take it to heart. Often it means that you didn’t research or know enough about the topic to begin with 🙂 Even, if that is not the case it is still an opportunity for more interaction with the blog owner and to build a relationship.
You might also get a downright rejection. Before you start licking your wounds, analyse what you could do better next time and what changes you need to make when you move to the next blog owner on your list.
How blog owners can help guest bloggers get published
Time is short but there should always be a few minutes in the day where you can give a prospective guest blogger some feedback on their article. It’s pretty easy to be mean to a prospect but a lot more helpful to give constructive feedback. If you advise some points that could be improved in the article before it could be considered for publication on your blog then it is usually a win/win for both parties.
One of the things that a blog owner can do to cut down on time is have easy to find information on their blog dealing with guest blog post submissions. This should tell the prospect about what the submission guidelines are, article length, image, link and video use within the content and what topics are acceptable. Guidelines should also be given about when a prospective blogger should receive a response to their submission.
Tip 5 – Planning your engagement
After your blog post has been accepted the blog owner will usually let you know the date of publication.
Make sure that you schedule this date on your calendar and drop by the blog and check out the article as soon as possible. If the blog is set up to subscribe to comments you should subscribe. You should then pop back several times a day and reply to any comments that have been made that are directed to your article. You can also take the opportunity to thank the blog owner for allowing you to contribute and share your knowledge. After the initial publication things will generally die down but you should make it a habit to check your emails for any comment notifications and reply. This ensures that you keep engaged with the new audience that you are building.
The reason that I wrote this post was as I said in the beginning there seems to be a spate of guest post emails at the moment. Sadly, none of the guest bloggers who have contacted me did their research so they immediately failed because their proposed blog topics are totally unrelated to the site. Taking a few minutes to do their research could have had a different result.