Like anything else, a guest post needs to be perfectly planned if success is to be achieved through it. Ann Smarty has written out what a successful guest post plan would look like, and does so in great detail. Want to write for us too?
Guest posting is probably one of the most unappreciated forms of marketing that I can think of. If you can use the proper strategies and have your mind set towards creating a quality guest post – you will be rewarded for it.
Because really, only the passionate bloggers guest post. The benefits are plenty and lack of time is no excuse, however, it is something that many bloggers just can’t get around to doing.
Some of the most important benefits of guest posting that I value the most are:
- Get inspired by exposing your content to new audience and getting new comments, fresh insight, etc
- Get more readers and subscribers, more promoters who will tweet and stumble your content.
- Build your authority and reputation of the real expert in your niche;
- You will be building new contacts with the blog owner, and the people in their community.
I hope that was enough to convince you to keep reading about how useful one simple guest post can be to your blog.
Finding blogs that accept guest posts
1. Start by contributing to your friends’ blogs. This way you will learn to “feel” another blog atmosphere and adapt to it.
The first place to start with is to look around your contacts. Your current blogging friends will be glad to accept your guest post and will help promote it. Besides, it’s a good way to remember your old contacts and remind them of yourself.
2. Search Google
If you are a new blogger (who doesn’t have a lot of friends who blog on the same topic) or if you have already blogged for most of your friends, head over to Google. I did a detailed post on finding guest post opportunities using Google. Read it thoroughly and try to apply the tips you’ll find there. Search queries you want to start with include:
- “Submit a guest post” / “Submit post” / “Submit blog post”
- “Add blog post”
- “Submit an article”
- “Suggest a guest post”
- “Send a guest post”
- “Write for us”;
- “Become an author”, etc
3. Check (guest) blogging forums and communitie
Blogging forums that can be used for hunting guest posting opportunities are plenty. Some of them are general: Authority Blogger is one community to consider: it was started by a guest posting guru Chris Garret.
Another two places to be aware of are BlogHer (uniting blogging women) and 20sb.net (which unites bloggers aged between 20 and 30 years). Speaking of the latter, they regularly run guest posting events that encourage members to exchange guest posts.
Another place to find guest blogging opportunities is MyBlogGuest.com. That’s a forum (started by yours truly) that is meant to connect bloggers interested in fresh content to authors who would like to promote it.
2. Act now: write a killer pitch
Once you have found a couple of great guest posting opportunities, you may want to contact them and offer your guest post. Here’s how the process should look like step by step (also be sure to check this post by Alex on preparing a guest post in 5 steps):
- Read the blog carefully. Think what type of a guest post might be interesting to the blogger and his readership;
- Brainstorm a few great post ideas;
- Search through the blog to see if there are any overlapping posts already;
- Write the post (if nothing similar has been published yet). Don’t forget to link to related articles you found in step 3;
- Contact the blogger and attach the post.
Note: there may be some intermediate steps. Some people prefer to discuss the post ideas with the blogger before submitting the post. It is really up to you. I can do either way from case to case.
Now to the ethics:
- Spend some time on writing a good, personalized pitch: start with the blogger’s name and mention why you think the post is a good fit for his blog
- Don’t send one and the same article to multiple bloggers. Send it to just one. This is very important. Don’t turn your guest blogging into article distribution. This is just plain wrong.
3. Now wait. Be patient
High-profile bloggers are very, very busy. Don’t be offended if they don’t respond to you for a week or so. I usually wait a week and then write a follow-up message and wait one more week. If I do not hear a response even after that, I will send them an email one last time to ask if they every plan on using the post. If there is still no response, I will submit it elsewhere.
Once your post is published, be sure to check back often, subscribe to comments and reply to everyone who comments. This is important, because writing the post is only about half of the job. Replying to comments and really engaging is the second part many do not take seriously.
Something else that can be useful to you is to track any Twitter mentions of the posts. Three tools I recommend you can use to help you track tweets around the post are:
- BackTweets is a popular tool that tracks and aggregates Tweets linking to a particular page. It supports a number of URL-shorteners which makes the tool one of the most complete.
- Twitter Reactions (for Google Chrome): shows the Twitter juice about the current page;
- Topsy displays recent tweets for any given URL:
How do you do it all?
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, guest posting is a very powerful, but often overlooked form of marketing. The benefits it brings in can be immense, but at the cost of a lot of hard work.
So, how do you do it? What drives you to write an entire article for someone else? Are you in it for the traffic? Or are you looking for something greater than that?