What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is the act of submitting an article or blog to a publication and having them post that piece of content. Guest posting is a great way for publications to have more high-quality content for their readers to read while also allowing other businesses to learn more about your services. By making a habit of guest posting, you will be exposing new audiences to yourself and your services and also helping educate the market.
The idea of guest posting is very straightforward, but getting a publication to read, accept, and post your content is not as simple as it seems. Editors are often flooded with emails asking about guest posting and they usually have a high standard for what content they want to expose their audience to. The more prominent the publication, the more provocative and valuable the content has to be. Guest posting is a content-driven exchange that has to benefit both parties and to do so you need to always create content that has interesting insights that the audience of that publication will love.
How to Submit a Guest Post
Research The Publication
Before you submit your guest post or even begin writing, you need to do a fair amount of research on the publication that you are targeting. As we discussed earlier, a guest post has to truly be valuable to all parties involved. No publication will post your guest post as a favor to you, as the publication’s goal is to increase their position as thought leaders and continue to drive traffic to their site. So before you submit a guest post you need to ask yourself, what kind of content would the editor of this publication want to see? Putting yourself in the shoes of the editor will help you submit winning guest posts again and again.
A simple way to ensure that the guest post you are going to write is relevant for that publication is to do a bit of research on previous articles that they have released. What do you notice about the articles that are already written? Do they prefer op-ed articles or do they prefer data-driven case studies? What is the average word count for these articles? Are they catered towards a general audience or do they want to cater to a certain group of people? Get in the habit of noticing similarities and running trends within the articles published and taking that into consideration when you are writing your guest post. It should be noted that originality and a new perspective are still needed for a winning guest post. Borrow elements of how titles are written, but brainstorm an original topic that has not been covered before. Spending hours on a guest post only to find that the topic has already been discussed in a previous article can be a gut-wrenching feeling.
Write A Winning Email For Your Guest Post
Editors are very busy people. Each time you write a guest post, you have to be ready to pitch the post to the editor in a persuasive manner. After writing a long article, you may be tempted to end the day with a short and succinct email telling them to “Check out my article on _____”. This is a quick way to throw away all of the time you have spent writing that content in the first place!
You have to imagine each guest post as a large funnel.
- Subject Line: When you send the email, the subject line has to be important enough to read. Whether it is true or not, you will find a higher degree of success if you always behave as though there are hundreds of writers competing for that guest posting spot. What can you do to stand out from the rest of the writers? For starters, you do not want to be generic. Don’t use a simple subject line like “Guest Post for Your Publication”. Be specific and descriptive, make the editor excited to read the contents of your email.
- Email Content: Be a personable writer who has done his/her homework. Talk about the publication a little, summarize key aspects of your guest post, and thank the editor for their time. It can be tempting to have a generic template to send every editor but resist this temptation. You can have a template that has the basic structure but always look to personalize every email that you send so the editor knows you have taken the time to curate a great piece of content specifically for them.
- The Guest Post: Make it as easy as possible for the editor to open the guest post. Do not send them a google drive link that they then need to request access to. Most editors will lose interest in your guest post inquiry the second they face any obstacle. The tried and true method of attaching the document to the email is the best course of action.
- Response: When the editor reaches back out, continue to be a personable and responsive writer. This is powerful for two reasons. By being quick to fix any structural or grammatical mistakes, the editor has less time to choose a different guest post between their response and your reply. Furthermore, by showing that you are a responsible and attentive writer you open up future guest posting opportunities.
Now that you know the steps you will need to take for when you submit your guest post, we can dive into how exactly you can write an attractive guest post.
How To Write a Guest Post
Don’t be too Promotional when Guest Blogging
As a business owner, it’s tempting to always be in ‘sales’ mode. After all, you probably have a great product that you think everyone should buy. This feeling of wanting to share your services is natural, but it’s important to always pull back and consider the nature of a guest post. The guest post must bring value to the publication first, then value to you second. The cards are unfortunately stacked against the ones submitting guest posts because publications have the luxury of picking and choosing which to accept and reject.
Imagine you are a publication that specializes in designer handbags. You check your email to see that two people have submitted guest posts for you to review. Both guest posts are about the history of designer handbags, but one of the guest posts has 1000 words dedicated to a product that helps remove stains from handbags. As the editor of your publication, you want to deliver the most value to your readership and no reader enjoys feeling like they are being sold something when they are reading for leisure. The guest post that chooses to deliver value first and has a small blurb about their services at the end will always have a higher percentage chance of being picked versus the articles that read as though they were written for the sole purpose of selling more of your services. Your services are riveting to you, but you need to consider what will be riveting for the publication’s audience and what will impress the editor of that publication.
Small Details Go a Long Way
It is difficult for us to tell you exactly what content to write because virtually any topic can be covered for a guest post. However, we can tell you that messy articles will never make it past the first glance. An editor’s job is to quickly scan content and find reasons to NOT post the content. Do not give them any reason to do this right off the bat.
- Have you proofread the post before sharing?
- Have you double-checked all of your grammar within the article?
- Is it a presentable article that does not look messy?
If you cannot be trusted to deliver an article that contains few grammatical errors, no publication will trust you to educate their audience. Put your best foot forward by having a few acquaintances proofread your work and offer criticism. It is much better to catch a mistake early on from a friend than to lose a possible guest posting opportunity.
The Guest Post Must Deliver Value
At the end of the day, you need to write something you would want to read. Every suggestion and tip given in this article will aid you in delivering the maximum amount of value to both the editor and the publication. If guest posting was easy, every business would be seen in every publication. Take time to consider what their audience would love to learn more about. The more time you spend thinking of what you are giving to the publication, the more likely you will be given a guest posting opportunity.
Write a high-quality piece of content, pitch it well to the right editor, and foster a good relationship with them. We wish you the best of luck, and we hope that these tips help you become a successful guest poster!