Latest posts by Patrick Foster (see all)
- Guest Blogging Strategy: Not as Difficult as You Think - May 25, 2017
Guest blogging is a great skill to have.
Apart from getting your name and products out there, it is useful for SEO purposes and is a powerful networking tool for your blog.
Guest posting is part and parcel of freelance writing as it helps to build strong and meaningful relationships with other website owners. Since starting my freelance career, nothing has generated me as much organic traffic than with guest posting because you get to tap into a whole new audience that otherwise, you may have missed.
If guest posting has ever crossed your mind but you are not sure exactly how to go about it then you are in the right place. Here I will tell you how to write a killer guest post and get it published on another website.
“Blogs are a place where prospective customers could find you, so you want to make sure that your contributed content reflects your own qualities and skills.”
If you haven’t already begun guest posting or don’t have a guest blogging strategy, then this article will provide you with all the information you need to get started, including some tips I have picked up along the way.
“My best advice to entrepreneurs is this: Forget about making mistakes, just do it.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
There is no secret formula to writing the perfect guest post, nor is there any one way to do things.
What does matter is being passionate about your topic and being able to write great quality content to post on other people’s sites.
There’s no point in setting up a blog for the wrong reasons. If you are not passionate about what you are writing, this shows to your audience.
The best part about guest blogging is other blogs are looking for fresh, new content for their audience to enjoy.
Here is my 5-step formula to achieve guest posting success, whatever your topic.
The first step when guest blogging is defining your specific goals.
Do you want to boost your SEO, build up a professional writing portfolio, or advertise your online business?
Whatever your goal is, it’s important to pin it down before you get stuck in.
Defining your blogging goals starting with your long-term goals first. What is it that you ultimately want to achieve through guest blogging?
Once you know the answer to this question it’s easier to work backward to define your short-term goals.
Getting featured on someone else’s website holds a lot of power for your site, so make sure you know what you’re striving for with your guest posts.
Remember, it is your blog and your future.
Set your goals high, write them down.
Danny Wong on Huffington Post shared his list of 12 examples of blogging goals that you can read to get an idea about the types of goals you can consider.
Quality sites are ones that you already follow and are relevant to the niche you want to target.
Do your research and reach out to quality sites.
I’m not just talking about sites that look like they are big and successful, I mean sites that are truly relevant to your niche. I recently wrote a guest post on Launching an Online Store: Simplified in 7 Steps, simply because it was a perfect fit for my niche – sharing my expertise with startups and entrepreneurs and building up my own personal portfolio as a professional writer.
Because of Google’s clever algorithms, there is no point in guest posting on sites that aren’t relevant to either your topic or website. Google is quick to identify content that isn’t relevant and therefore views it as spammy, which is never a good association.
- Start by sourcing sites that you already know, or follow regularly. Write a simple list outlining these sites
- Think about relevant niches. For example, if you are looking to guest post about blogging or freelance writing, then you could target the obvious niches like blogging and entrepreneurial websites. Then target a couple of other secondary niches, like student or education blogs. Use your imagination, but make sure they are still relevant to your site
- Once you have a couple of niches to explore, do a quick Google search to source some relevant websites. Make a list of the sites on a spreadsheet for you to revisit at a later date. Make a note of their contact details so you can get in touch quickly
- If you want to get technical about your guest posting, then you can check the website’s domain authority using this free tool. Though this is great to use as a guide, personally I think the relevancy of the site is more important to get the most out of your guest posting
Have a read of this useful list of 140+ websites by Peter Sandeen which offers good quality guest posting opportunities to writers and bloggers.
Now that you have a list of great sites you want to reach out to, you will need to write your pitch email outlining your offer to write a guest post.
What I’ve learned along the way is to keep your initial email short and sweet, outlining your reason for contacting the website and what you are asking for. It’s a good idea to have a couple of post ideas to hand when an editor asks for your suggestions.
Don’t blindly email hundreds of people.
You might not be able to handle the responses. If you are new to guest posting then I suggest starting out with only a handful of really great sites. Then you won’t be overwhelmed when the responses start to trickle in.
Karol K in this insanely useful guest post for Blogging Wizard shares the wisdom from 11 successful bloggers about how to craft the perfect guest post pitch.
…Or fingers to keys in this case!
After you have your list of quality sites to post for, you will need to begin writing your guest posts. There is no hard and fast rule on how people go about doing this. Here are a few tips to help you write a quality blog post every time you plan to produce a masterpiece.
- Define your message – whether you are looking to guest post for exposure or for advertisements. Make sure you know who you are targeting.
- Include visuals – your post will do better online when it includes images, graphs or videos to make your article interesting and easy to digest for readers. Use stock image sites like Burst to give your article more depth.
- Offer real and actionable advice – readers want to find solutions to their problems and online articles are usually a place they seek these answers. Make sure you are offering actionable advice to help your audience move forward.
- Include a ‘call to action’ to promote engagement with your post.
Ramsay Taplin, a successful blogger and founder of Blog Tyrant explains in this article what makes a blog post truly remarkable and how to write one.
Once your guest blogs are published on interesting and relevant sites, the hard work is not over yet.
You will still need to send over your content and work with the editor of the site to edit your post to publishing perfection. You’ll also need to interact with any blog comments to create long-term relationships to encourage followers for your site.
Once you have completed your guest post, you will need to send it over to the website editor to read over. They may pick up on a few edits and changes so your article fits with their site. Don’t be disheartened or take edits personally; even the best writers need to make edits to their work
Send your completed article back to the site editor to check before publishing
Keep an eye on your article long after your article has been published. It’s a good idea to make a spreadsheet or list to track the sites you have been published on. As the author, you will need to respond to all comments left on your article. This helps to drive traffic to your site too.
Work hard to build a strong lasting relationship with the website’s editor and the sites audience. This will help to grow your blog and boost your following. Channel more organic visitors to your site by including a link back to your own site, either in the body of the article (if it’s a natural place to mention your site) or in the author byline.
Take a look at Ramit from the Growth Lab for more great tips to writing a powerful guest post:
Hopefully now you can see the power of guest posting and how easy it can be.
With a little dedication and know-how, you can leverage traffic and power for your own site and build up your writing portfolio at the same time.
Guest posting really doesn’t have to be difficult.
If you take your time to reach out to great websites and work hard to create amazing blog posts, you will build an impressive online portfolio and increase organic traffic back to your site.
How will you go about guest posting for your website?
Is there any strategy or tip you want to share which you think has helped you massively with your guest posting ventures?