I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now, and I began guest-posting fairly soon after I began. Now, in my instance, it happened quite organically, suddenly & happily. I sort of fell into becoming a Contributor for a pretty big blog and from that one experience grew other wonderful opportunities for me to get myself and my budding online business out there. Guest-posting is a great way to introduce yourself to a new group of readers, reach a wider audience, practice your copywriting skills and generate a little marketing for yourself.
I don’t presume to be an expert in this, but in my short blogging life I have learned these 5 tips that should help you on your way to becoming a Guest-Post Blogstar!
1) CHOOSE WISELY
Research the sites and blogs that you’d like to guest on. Choose them wisely. They should be professional. They should be established or known to you… starting out on some smaller blogs of friends or bloggers that you know is a great way to get some experience. It’s not necessarily the case with blogs that you aren’t familiar with and where it isn’t that clear what their level of experience of being an editor is! The blogs should be at least somewhat relevant to what you’re doing. It’s a lot easier to put yourself out there if you’re comfortable about what you’re blogging about! Once you’ve gotten a few guest-posts under your belt and gained some exposure, you can then start thinking about straying further afield.
2) GETTING TO KNOW YOU…
Become familiar with the blogs that you’re hoping to guest-post on. Research their About Page and find out how they prefer to handle these types of inquiries… many will have a Submissions page or Guidelines to read, at best. Jot down the Editor’s name – correctly! Get involved with the community within that blog & make some friends! Read through some posts, comment on them, introduce yourself, share some ideas and spend some quality time in their blogging community. By quality time, I don’t mean an hour or so… give it a couple of days, weeks or months. I didn’t reach out to anyone in my first Contributing blog until I lurked around for a couple of months! Get the gist of what the blog is trying to accomplish. If you’re dying to write a DIY tutorial and the blog you’re looking at currently has NO DIY posts, then maybe another blog might suit your needs better.
3) THROW A GREAT PITCH
I was very lucky in the fact that aside from one blog that I currently contribute to, (I regularly contribute to 4, but have guest-posted on a total of 5), I was asked to become a guest-poster. I’m pretty sure this is in large part due to my active participation in their blogs and communities, reaching out to support them when I could, and having my own blog. By having my own blog, they were able to see the kind of posts that I could potentially do for them, as well as having a link to the other blogs that I guest-posted on!
Now that you’ve chosen your blogs & spent some time getting to know them, it’s time to send them your post idea! Try to keep your emails short, to the point and somewhat personally professional. What I mean by that is show them that you’re a human while retaining a level of professionalism. DO NOT send a blanket email to several blogs. This is a surefire way to not only get your post rejected, but you could also actually alienate some blogs by this. Show them that you’ve been following them for awhile and that you actually do know what kind of blog they are by linking back to a few of their posts that you really liked… “see, I really do read your blog and therefore should be taken seriously!”. Remember when you jotted down the Editor’s name during your research (or whoever the particular blog would like you to send your pitch to)? Well, NOW’s the time to use it. See? Personally professional. Also be sure to follow any of their guidelines that they’ve taken their precious time putting together for submissions just like yours. Now is NOT the time to show how creative you are by doing it your own way and disregarding their wishes! If they’ve asked that you submit things a certain way, I’m sure they have a good reason, so respect that and you’ll have a greater chance of your post getting chosen.
4) CREATE AN AWESOME POST
A great way to get asked back to do another guest-post (or even better, to become a regular Contributor) is to create a “knock-your-socks-off”, “wow-’em”, “have-them-gasping” post. Make sure it’s relevant to their blog… if you’re an avid DIYer and you’re submitting to a food blog, incorporate their core audience by offering a recipe card tutorial or offer great organizing tips for that small kitchen. Use your talents. Put a little extra effort into it. Make it professional-looking. Double- and triple-check your grammar and spelling. If you have a certain way of writing that utilizes capitals, bold & italics, try submitting using a Word or Pages or TextEdit or Notepad document (if it adheres to their guidelines). If you want to use a specific font for a header, submit it as an image and send it separately. Remember, though, this is for their blog and not yours so chances are they will want to use the existing design elements on their blog! Use great images; try to use your own and ones that are of exceptional quality. Make it unique. Don’t use it for yours or someone else’s blog. Sure, it’s easier to simply dress up a post that you’ve already done and some blogs are okay with that, but wouldn’t it be better to show off your talents with something new? Just for them? Make them feel special…
Even if they don’t ask for it, send a little bio over with a pic and ALL of your social media links… they’ll generally put this at the end of the post to let all of their readers know who wrote it!
So, you’ve chosen your blog, done your research, written a professionally personal pitch and created a great post… now what?
5) SHOW SOME LOVE
Sharing truly is caring. By offering the hosting blog a little respect and love by sharing the post, they’ll probably do the same for you! Find out when they’re going to post it (some blogs will tell you, some won’t) and create a little teaser image for your blog. A teaser is NOT simply uploading the entire post onto your site with a simple link to their site, either! Create a separate image that gives your readers a hint as to what awesomeness they can find over on that other cool blog. Once you’ve established yourself and created a relationship with the hosting blog and are lucky enough to be asked back (you’ve followed these tips, haven’t you… so of course you’ll be asked back!), you can usually just use the same featured image that you sent them… but until then, create a separate image to underline just how special they are! Then link it up and promote it! Share it on your Facebook page & blogs, tweet about it, pin it, snapshot it and tell everyone about it! Chances are, they’ll be doing the same on their end.
So, there you have it? Ready to be a Guest-Post Blogstar?! Well, go on, then… get writing!
Do you currently guest-post? Do you have any great tips to share?
Geri Jewitt — The Languid Lion
Geri Jewitt is a designer gone rogue from Corporate who now owns The Languid Lion, handmaking eco-friendly invitations + stationery, paper decorations & illustrated art prints in her Paper Boutique as well as helping those who are in need of fresh design! She is also the editor of The Lion’s Den, a blog where she writes about love, life, design, colour + handmade.