Thursday, March 17th, 2011
I’ve spent quite a bit of time on this blog singing the praises of guest blogging. Guest posting on other blogs offers a range of benefits, including increased traffic to your website, link building and SEO gains, authority building, and so much more.
But before you can land a guest posting opportunity on another blog, you have to first reach out to the blogger and make your pitch. Essentially, you need to convince the blogger that you have something to submit to their blog that they just can’t resist publishing.
Now, you have to remember that most bloggers receive pitches from guest posters on a regular basis. So, just because you send your pitch doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get your guest post accepted.
That’s why it’s so important that you take the time to refine your pitch so that it stands out from the others and accomplishes the goal of getting you a slot as a guest blogger.
Here are some simple tips for making a great guest blogging pitch.
- Read the blog and comment before making your pitch—You have to spend time familiarizing yourself with the blog you’re targeting before you make a pitch. Read several of the posts and comments to get a feel for the type of content the readers respond to best. You can also spend a week or so before making your pitch commenting on posts so that the blogger starts to recognize your name.
- Address the blogger by name—Whenever possible, address the blogger by his or her first name in your pitch. This adds a personal touch to your pitch, showing the blogger that you know who he or she is.
- State your expertise—Let the blogger know who you are, what your credentials are, and what you have to offer. Why would any blogger allow a guest post from someone who has no impressive qualifications? State your expertise loud and clear.
- Explain why your post would appeal to their audience—The biggest thing missing from most guest posting pitches is the answer to the all important question “Why would my readers care?” At the end of the day, all the blogger wants to know is how your post will benefit his or her blog. How will it fit in? Why will the readers like it?
- Keep it short—Your pitch shouldn’t be long. Most bloggers don’t have time to read through a longwinded pitch. Keep it to 2-3 short paragraphs, and focus only on the essentials.
Have you ever made a successful guest posting pitch to another blogger? Share your pitch and your best tips by leaving a comment below.
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Okay, I admit that I’ve been on a bit of a guest blogging tangent my last few posts. Most recently, I offered some tips for attracting more guest posts on your blog. Once the guest posts start rolling in, you’ll need to have a system in place for accepting and posting them. If you aren’t organized, this can be time-consuming and overwhelming. The good news is it’s pretty easy to create a workable system for managing your guest bloggers.
Here are some tips to streamline the process.
- Immediately decline posts that don’t meet quality standards—Don’t waste your time struggling to make low quality posts fit your blog. Your time is more valuable than that. Just immediately respond to those who submit posts letting them know the reasons you’re rejecting their guest post. If they wish to correct the post and resubmit it later, you can allow it, but you don’t want to be spending your time having to go through every little detail of posts that are obviously not up to snuff.
- Let the blogger know when the post will be published—Once you’ve accepted a guest post, schedule it and tell the blogger when he (or she) can expect to see it go live. This way, the author knows when to check back so he can respond to comments, promote his post, etc.
- Consider creating contributor accounts for guest posters—If you use WordPress for blogging, you can allow guest bloggers to register for a basic author account. This allows the writer to put the post into WordPress, format it, and submit it to you for review. Then, if the post is good enough, all you have to do is schedule it to be published. This can save a lot of time as you don’t have to upload the posts and format them.
- Try publishing guest posts on a specific day each week—As a frequent guest blogger, one thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of blogs have specific days of the week they post guest content. For instance, I just submitted a guest post to an internet marketing blog, and the blog owner explained it would be published 2 Wednesdays from now, because he only puts out guest content on Wednesdays. This helps your readers know when to expect guest posts, and it just keeps your blog structured properly.
How do you manage incoming guest posts? Share your tips by leaving a comment.
Monday, July 26th, 2010
By now, you may have read my post detailing the 7 reasons you should accept guest posts on your blog. And hopefully, you’ve read a little bit about why it’s important to turn away bad guest posts and only accept posts that meet your high standards. Now that you have this basic information down, you need to start attracting guest posts. These posts aren’t just going to come out of thin air. You have to be a little proactive if you want people to submit guest posts on your blog.
What can you do to get more guest posts?
- Create a “Write for Us” page—I guest post around the web on a regular basis. One thing I like is when blogs have a “Write for Us” page on their blog. This simple navigation link lets you know that a blog accepts guest posts, and it links to a page with guest blogging guidelines for readers. It’s an easy way to encourage readers to write for your blog.
- Put a brief intro on all guest posts—At the beginning of all guest posts, put a brief intro along the lines of: This is a guest post from Joe Smith. Want to write for us? Check out our guest blogging guidelines. By putting this at the top of the post, you ensure all readers see it and are made aware that they can submit a guest post.
- Sign up on My Blog Guest—Without a doubt, My Blog Guest is one of my favorite resources. This community allows blog owners and guest bloggers to connect. Just sign up for an account, and create a post letting members know you’re accepting guest posts on your blog. Chances are, you’ll get a good response.
- Give bloggers an incentive for posting—Bloggers are no different from anyone else. At the end of the day, they’re self-interested, and they want to know what they’ll get out of guest blogging on your website. Links back to their website? Exposure to thousands of readers? Featured on the home page? Clearly spell out the benefits to attract more guest bloggers.
Do you accept guest posts on your blog? What do you do to let bloggers know?
Monday, July 19th, 2010
A few days ago, I wrote a post titled “7 Reasons to Accept Guest Posts on Your Blog.” In case you missed it or don’t feel like reading it right now, I’ll summarize: I’m a strong believer that accepting guest posts can make any blog better. It benefits everyone involved—the blog owner, guest author, and readers.
But not all guest posts are created equal. In fact, some of them just flat out suck, and if you accept them and post them, everyone will suffer. Your readers will turn their back on you, and your blog will start failing because no one wants to read low quality content. And of course, the guest blogger will harm his (or her) reputation by making a bad first impression with your readers.
The question is: What constitutes a bad guest post? What criteria should you use for turning posts away?
Here are some basic guidelines you can use for turning down posts.
- Posts that are overly self-promotional—A guest post should never read like an advertisement. If the post has affiliate links or is a blatant sales pitch, you should reject it.
- Content that is factually incorrect—Even though you aren’t writing the post, you’re still accountable for the information it gives your readers. You can’t allow guest posts that steer your readers in the wrong direction. Guest posts with bad information reflect poorly on your blog.
- The post is a really short link grab—Perhaps the biggest benefit most people see in guest blogging is the link building aspect of it. Whenever you accept a guest post, that blogger customarily is allowed a couple of links back to his website. As a result, some bloggers get so caught up in link building, they crank out low quality posts of a couple hundred words just so they can grab their links and run. I’ve never been a huge fan of word counts, but in the case of accepting guest posts, instituting a minimum word count helps prevent this from happening.
- It’s duplicate content—Believe it or not, there are some guest bloggers out there who will try to pass off content they’ve already published elsewhere. Some people really will take any shortcut they can to build links and get their name out there. So, make sure you take the time to check the content for originality.
- It doesn’t match the theme of your blog—Extreme example: If you maintain a blog about sports, you obviously wouldn’t accept a guest post about gardening. Your readers don’t want to see it, and it just doesn’t make sense for your blog. Strong blogs have a clearly defined niche, and all content published fits within that niche.
- Post is riddled with typos—I’m not saying the blog post has to be written in the King’s English, but you can’t put out content that is full of misspellings, awkward phrasing, and other mistakes that make your blog look amateurish. You can either turn the post down outright or ask the blogger to correct it with some good proofreading and editing.
What are your guidelines for guest posts?
Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
If you’ve followed this blog for any time at all, you know I’m an advocate for guest blogging. I think guest posting is a powerful tool you can leverage to build brand awareness, gain more backlinks, and drive traffic to your website.
But guest blogging is more about just being a guest blogger on other blogs. It’s also important to allow guest posts on your blog too. Why?
- Fresh content for your blog—Want to keep your readers engaged? You need to give them fresh content on a regular basis. You can’t always come up with it on your own, but with the help of guest bloggers, you can have a backlog of new content whenever you need it.
- Offer your readers a new point of view—You’re a great blogger, I’m sure. But you’re just one person, and you can only have so much perspective. Occasionally, it’s nice to give your readers a fresh point of view. This broadens horizons for your readers, gives them new information, and keeps your blog interesting.
- Networking with other bloggers—Blogger outreach is an important part of any successful PR campaign today. By accepting guest posts on your blog, you build relationships with other bloggers that could come in handy in the future.
- Earn new guest posting opportunities for yourself—Ever heard of the concept “Give and you shall receive”? The same applies for guest blogging. When you allow others to guest post on your blog, you build relationships with these bloggers, and in the future, they may return the favor by allowing you to guest post on their blogs.
- Give yourself a break—Blogging on a daily basis can be tiring, and it can lead to blogger’s burnout. By accepting guest posts, you can give yourself a bit of a break from blogging, allowing you to get away and recharge your blogging batteries.
- Learn other bloggers’ best tactics—No matter how long you’ve been blogging, there’s always something you can learn. It’s easy to get caught up in your ways as a writer and to never grow. Learn from your guest bloggers, and you can become a more well-rounded blogger.
- Reach new readers—Whenever someone guest posts on your blog, they’ll likely promote their post to their followers. This can drive new traffic to your blog and even earn you some new loyal readers.
Do you accept guest posts on your blog? Let us know!