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5 Ways To Be A Guest-Post Blogstar

March2013

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_small

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.

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Lessons Learned from Hello Etsy PDX

 

 

Earlier this month, Etsy hosted a two day conference on small business and sustainability in Berlin, Germany. The idea was to provide a place for small business owners to connect with their community, learn the skills to make those businesses successful, and to “be part of the movement to build human-scale economies.” The workshops and sessions were streamed and recorded so that anyone could take part in the learning. In addition to the summit in Berlin, Etsy co-hosted conferences in five US cities (including here in Portland) to focus on micro-economics and sustainability. So September 17th found me at the Pacific Northwest College of Art with several hundred other artists, makers, shop owners, small business people, bloggers and the like for a day of inspiration, focus and learning.

When I say inspired, I’m not kidding around. I walked away from the conference absolutely brimming with new ideas and a renewed sense of community. I have pages of notes and could easily write thousands of words about my experience that day. I would like share what I felt were some of the most impactful take-away messages.

Lesson #1: Look for strategic allies to reach more customers, increase bargaining power and share resources.

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Be Social

I have lately been having one fantastic show after another – many of my best ever actually, and I owe all of that to my great customers. I have great customers and customer interactions because I take the time to connect with my customers. I want to share with you today a few tips for interacting with your customers to increase your sales at craft fairs. These are tried and true tips, and I hope you will give them a shot at your next show.

A Party. Limited Edition 13 x 19 print by Matte Stephens

First of all, I really think many crafters need to take a moment to reflect on why they are selling at craft fairs and what they hope to get out of it in the long run. If you are not the type of person who likes interacting with the public, you might need to reconsider setting up at craft fairs. I am always surprised by the amount of vendors I see sitting behind their tables, blocked by their displays, and not talking to people as they pass or enter the booth. If you really aren’t comfortable with talking to people yourself, one possibility is that you find a friend to come work in your booth with you. This friend should be a social person very willing to interact with people walking both past and into your booth.

Some of you have probably heard this tip before, but I for one, rarely sit down in my booth. I may have a chair available for slower times during a show, but almost always I stand behind or beside my table and at the least say hello to everyone who comes near my booth. I do my best to let people shop my booth, but I also take time to tell them about what I create and about prices and say something along the lines of, “Please let me know if you have any questions.” Most people will ask how I make my pendants, and I have a short story to tell them how I do it and, if they ask, why I started making them.

One very important thing to remember is that no one sells your product better than you, so it is really important to be confident in your ability to speak about your product and to be prepared to tell the customer a story about you and about your product.

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Building Accountability + Support

The talented Tara Swiger quit her day job 2 years ago last Friday and is back with us today to share some valuable insight about social networking.


For the past few months, we’ve been talking about the obstacles to your success. Today I’d like to focus on getting accountability and support.

It really IS worth your time

As hard as it is to focus on the other to obstacles (knowing what you want + prioritizing), connecting with a support system seems to be even harder to make time for. When I talk to my students about it, they consistently rank it low in terms of importance. And when they do spend time connecting, they worry that they’re “wasting time” or that they “got sucked in.” (more…)

The Three Obstacles in Your Way to Success

listomatic

This is a guest post by Tara Swiger.

You don’t have to want to quit your dayjob.
(but like I said last month, I believe you can if you want to!)

No matter what you want from your crafty biz, I know that you want something: you want success.
You want to feel that you’ve reached your goals and grown your business and succeeded.

And that’s awesome.
It’s fabulous to be reaching, to be striving.

But it is decidedly not awesome to feel like you can’t get where you want to be. That you’re failing.

The good news: There are some (pretty simple to move) obstacles in your way to your own version of Handmade Success: (more…)

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