There have been a lot of great posts that talk about guest blogging and show you the value of reaching out to other authoritative blogs in your industry. However I thought I would take a different angle on this post and talk about what makes your guest post stand out from others who use the same strategy.
Find the Right Places to Blog
You want to be smart when it comes to finding the right blogs to write on. Especially if you have limited time and resources, you want to make sure you are picking and choosing your battles. Hopefully you have your finger on the industry pulse and know which blogs are the more popular ones in your niche. You can always use tools like Compete.com and Alexa.com to see approximately how much traffic they are getting to their site.
Contacting the Right Person
Make sure you do your homework and find the correct person to contact. Many blogs have a section that talk about the bloggers and their role related to the blog. If you can find an editor or blog owner, that is usually the ideal person to contact. You can also see who wrote the latest blog posts and see if they have an author profile to confirm that they are a writer for that blog and not just a guest blogger.
Once you have found the correct person, see if they have contact information posted publicly on the site. Look for an email address or twitter handle. You can also try a little trick I love to use in Google. Do a Google search for ” *@domain.com ” and it will help to find email addresses related to that domain.
Say the Right Things
Ok so you have found the right person to contact…so what do you say to them? Even though some blogs say they allow guest posting, many are very selective as to who they allow blog. I recommend writing a personalized e-mail to the primary blog contact, including the following information in your e-mail:
- Use their name at the beginning of the email
- Find something specific that you enjoy about their writing/blog
- Give a very brief introduction as to who you are and what you do
- Provide examples of some of your best writing
- Provide a few possible blog titles/topics that you could write about for their blog
- Possibly already have the blog post written and attach it for them to review
- Thank them for the opportunity in advance and tell them you look forward to hearing back
Once you have done that you may want to follow up by sending a message to them on Twitter or Facebook. This is gives you another way to build rapport and remind them that you e-mailed them about a guest blogging request.
Write Your BEST Content
One of the main purposes of guest blogging is to make a name for yourself and help promote your website/blog or product/service. The best way to get noticed is by saving your BEST content for your guest posts. If you write a well-written, in-depth blog post for another website, it not only is appreciated by the blog owner, but can give you instant credibility with the readers of that blog. There is a good chance (if it’s your 1st time guest blogging) that many of their readers have not read your content before, so having outstanding content can be a great way to get noticed.
Optimize Your Post
There are so many benefits to guest blogging, so it is important that you take full advantage of all of the opportunities it brings.
- Control of the Anchor Text: Since you are the one writing the post, you will have full control over where and how you link to other websites. You should always try to find a relevant post on your blog or website that you can link to using the proper anchor text that you are trying to get that post or page to rank for in the search results.
- Add a Complete Author Bio: Most blogs have a section for an “About the Author”, so use this area to tell people who you are and how they can contact you. Add links to your website, blog and social media profiles. Using a Gravatar helps so that people will be able to associate a face with your writing and blog.
- Use Their Blog Format: Many bloggers don’t think about this, but creating a guest post that has a consistent format with the blog you are writing for, can go a long way. I know whenever someone guest blogs for me, I also appreciate it if it is formatted properly, so I don’t have to spend too much time adding images/headlines etc…
Promote Your Post
Touch base with the blog owner to find out when your post will be going live. This way you can prepare to promote it heavily across your social network. I always appreciate when bloggers go out of their way to promote their guest posts. That not only helps in gaining additional visibility for their post, but can drive new readers to the blog owners site.
Reply to Comments
One thing I learned when I first started blogging is that just because you write a guest post for another blog, doesn’t mean your work is over. Blog owners love when the author replies to their comments and engages with the readers. Going the extra mile and answering follow up questions or comments can really go a long way.
Build a Relationship with the Blog Owner
Whenever you write a guest post for someone else, start building rapport with them. Start to follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Start having conversations with them on these various social media outlets and start to share their content.
Try some of these tactics to help build your relationship:
- Conduct an Interview with them
- Ask them to guest write for your blog
- Follow up to see who else they connect with. It can lead to other guest blogging opportunities
- Ask them for advice on a product or project you are working on
- See if they would be interested in advertising on your blog/site
- Meet them offline (conferences, meetups, tweetups)
Know How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
Probably the best place to start is MyBlogGuest which is a great resource that connects bloggers and blog owners, making it easy to find great guest blogging opportunities. I recommend creating an account and connecting with others in your industry who are looking for quality bloggers who would like to write for their blog.
Do a few Google searches:
- [Keyword] + Guest Blogging
- [Keyword] + Blog
- [Keyword] + Write for Us
- [Keyword] + Writing Opportunities
- [Keyword] + Blogs Accepting Guest Posts
These are very helpful tips on guest blogging Mark! I like the idea of searching the "@domain" in Google to get contact details of the people you could contact in looking for a guest blogging opportunities. That's something that I'll try myself:) Guest blogging enables bloggers to attract new readers and showcase your blogging skills. One successful guest blog could earn you limitless guest blog opportunities.
This is awesome advice. It turns blogs that you enjoy reading into an easy to check off to do list. I’d like to add one more tip: try not to comment on your phone (like I always) do. I say Live Answering Service this because while it may be convenient, I always find that I typo after commenting from my phone. My recent post What’s The Service System All About?
I saved time and energy by skimming the post first before leaving this comment. I got what may be the first post here because ILive Answering Service use RSSOwl to notify me as soon as possible of new posts on a bunch of on-topic blogs. I still make an effort in all my comments to be relevant and useful for other readers and the host blog as well. My recent post What’s The Service System All About?
very interesting article. it just brings up the value of an individuality in the blog! that is how i see it. thank you so much for posting it.
Hi Mark Really enjoyed this post and I think guest blogging will become more important as the value of article directories continues to fall. Nick
Hey Mark, I like the sentence that says " Do a Google search for ” *@domain.com ” and it will help to find email addresses related to that domain." and this command is really making a dramatic upliftment in my search experience and will help me to find contact email ids to contact an email web owner rather filling up long field that takes much of our time.. Many thanks for sharing your tricks over here that a few people used to have.
Hi Mark, great post here because I recommend guest posting as a way to find targetted new readers. I think you've got it all covered - it's about giving the host blogger the whole package. A great post specifically written for their audience all coded with images and bio ready to go and follow up by responding to comments too. Yes, it's hard work for guest bloggers but it's worth it:)
This is some great info for aspiring guest bloggers. I just opened my blog up to guest writers and its been a win-win situation for everyone.
Great post Mark. The point about following up with comments is a very good one. Unfortunately that's advice that's not always followed.
Hey Annabel, Thanks for your comment. I really believe that if you take your blog post to the next level and make it as simple as possible for the blog owner, it really goes a long way. Glad to have you comment :-) Almost done reading your ebook...great stuff so far! Mark