Guest posting is simply sharing your content on someone else’s site. It involves researching potential blogs that suit your content, writing pitches and a little bit of rejection, but it’s not all bad news! It’s a great way to build your credibility, expand your audience and even make some cash.
Now we’re not a fan of backlinking strategies as you might well know, but guest posting is one of the very few ways we endorse to build backlinks – because they create natural links, and are based on providing and sharing information, rather than simply attempting to increase rankings.
Often, you’ll need to research opportunities yourself – but as your blog and reputation continues to grow, you find more and more bloggers reach out to YOU, asking for you to share your advice with their audiences!
Before You Get Going
Guest posting can be a mix of highs and lows – the adrenalin of sending off pitches, elation as you get those “We’d LOVE to have you!” replies, and the small sense of defeat with the “Sorry, we’re not accepting posts right now.” Keep in mind that your blog is first and foremost and embodiment of YOU, and the same goes for any other blog on the web – it’s an extension of someone else. You run a blog in your own right, with committed readers who love what you do, and keep returning for your advice and expertise – regardless of the feedback you get in your guest posting adventures, that will NEVER change! Stay positive, learn from ALL the feedback you get, positive and mediocre, and never be afraid to double-pitch – grow, learn and improve, then come back stronger than ever and shock them with the fact they ever turned you down!
Before getting into your guest posting adventures, consider what you want out of opportunities – do you simply want to share your knowledge with a wider audience, find more passionate readers, grow your subscriber list or payment for your time? Understanding what YOU want out of the experience will help you find blogs that suit your needs, while also meeting theirs!
Finding Blogs You Love
Guest posting is partially about great content and partially great relationships. Trusting someone to post their words, ideas and knowledge on your blog is a big step – it takes a lot of trust and confidence, and you’ll need to work on building these. Social media is a great way to start building relationships – whether it’s conversations over twitter or engaging in their Facebook group, building familiarity with your name (and what you do) will help get you the spots your after. But as always, don’t force it! Make sure the conversations you have a real and build a relationship that benefits both parties – not just you. Think of it like making any friend, or building any professional connection – be polite and kind, respect their boundaries, and listen for what they’re after.
If your blog is already running smoothly, you’ve built an audience and can prove your worth, you may be able to go straight to blog owners with your ideas, without much prior interaction – think of it like cold calling. Although the more familiar they are with you, the more success you’ll have. Regardless of whether you’ve officially spoken to them before, make sure you know as much as you can about them before approaching – the ins and outs of their sites, their style and personality. Now, it’s your turn to share yours – let them know what you do best, and why you’re better than the rest!
Researching Potential Opportunities
Not every blog in the world is going to be a perfect fit for your content – and not every perfect fit is going to accept you. While that might sound harsh, you need to remember that your content is YOU, and the blogs you pitch to are an extension of someone else. You’re not going to get along with everybody, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find your blogging best friends and build strong networks!
The trick to finding your perfect counterparts is research – who are they, what kind of content do they post, do they accept guest posts, and what for?
First off, head straight to their ‘About’ section, ‘Contact Us’ or similar style page – if they’ve got a guest post-specific page, even better! Do what you can to find information on their guest posting opportunities before making contact. You’ll find some sites only accept posts on certain topics, or at particular times of the year – if your blog fits into any of these guidelines, chase after it! If they’re not accepting content right now, or not from your genre, respect their choices. Don’t put a bad taste in their mouth by overloading them with pitches right now – keep them in mind for later, and keep an eye out for a change in their submissions!
Some blogs also have close relationships with other writers and have an ‘expert’ on certain topics. Just because they have an expert or resident contributor, doesn’t mean they’re not open to more content. Be prepared for the possibility of rejection, but don’t be afraid to wow them – show them what YOU can do differently, and the value your fresh perspective will bring to their audience.
As with your own blog, it’s important to keep their audience in mind – what new information can you provide, and does it closely match their needs? While your topic may sit side by side with other blogs, their audience may not be looking for that kind of content. Search through their previous content, and look for the key takeaways readers get from their posts. Keep your ideas open, and work with the blog owner to see what you can produce that will be most beneficial to their audience – after all, that’s how you build your audience!
Creating A Pitch
Once you’ve found a new home for your content, it’s time to convince the blogger that they NEED you! Crafting a pitch is a skill you’ll constantly refine as you learn the best ways to represent yourself and your content. To get you started, follow these tips:
- Pitch an idea – don’t be vague! They don’t want to have to infer or assume what you can contribute, and chat you up for further info. Show your confidence and send through a rock solid idea. You may even want to send through a few ideas (3, not 100!) to give them a variety and options without making their lives harder.
- Show your value – tell them WHY you’re different to any other pitch they’ll receive, and why you really are the best. Outline the value you can bring to their blog, and share with their readers.
- Avoid reposting – no one likes a half-baked compliment! If you’re preaching about how great their blog is and how much you’d love to get involved, don’t give them something you’ve ‘revised’ unless you’ve actually done the work. You may have an existing piece that would suit, so put the effort in to reshape and repurpose it for their audience.
- BE PERSONAL! – okay not too personal, but don’t recycle pitches! Each blog is unique, and your pitches should reflect this. Address the person who’s going to be opening your email by name (wherever possible), create the links between their content and yours – the actual connections, not just broad and vague ideas.
- Show your worth – make sure you include any ‘references you’ve got available – whether it’s previous guest post spots, collaborations, awards or even just your top performing posts, stats and reader feedback.
- Don’t forget to introduce yourself – your pitch should centre around what it offers to the blog owner, but make sure to include a short summary about yourself, your purpose and blog. This will help build those all-important relationships and create a persona for your content before it’s even submitted.
Reckon you’re ready to get guest posting? Read our guide on the 7 BEST ways to get your guest post accepted! Or, submit your pitch to bloggersSEO!