Writing guest posts for other blogs is a great way to expand your reach and increase the audience for your own blog. Ideally, you want to write guest posts for successful blogs with large audiences but you can almost guarantee that these blogs aldready receive many offers of guest posts from other people so here are some tips to help you rise to the top of the pile.
Be specific when presenting your article idea
If the host blog is successful, odds are good that the blog host is also very busy and doesn’t want to spend weeks going back and forth with you about what you should write about. Figure this out before you approach them. Provide details. Provide potential headlines.
Don’t waste time by suggesting an article outside of the blog’s content niche
Just don’t do it. Familiarize yourself with the topics of the articles on the blog and if you can’t offer something that falls in line with the established subject matter, go elsewhere. If you are determined to write the article, find a blog where the topic fits and approach that blog.
For example, don’t offer an article about baking cookies to a blog that talks about car repairs. Even IF the blog host agreed to run your article, which is highly unlikely, the audience for the host blog isn’t likely to follow you back to your blog.
Ask for the guest author guidelines
Most successful blogs will have guest author guidelines. If they aren’t offered, ask for them, and read them. They’re in place for a reason and although they’re called “guidelines” which implies flexibility, consider them to be the rules for guest post authors.
Guidelines will probably address matters such as:
- Article length
- Restrictions on backlinks
Don’t offer an article that reads like an advertisement for your book, product or service
It’s reasonable to expect a backlink or two somewhere in the article or byline in exchange for your article, after all, why else would you be writing the article, right? But, flogging your wares on someone else’s site is not good form and your offer is likely to be rejected.
An exception to this might be if the blog host had signed up for an affiliate program you were offering for your product or service and could potentially gain some sales because of your guest post.
Follow the established tone and style of the host blog
For example, if the host blog uses a lot of headings, bullet points and lists, use a lot of headings, bullet points and lists in your article if at all possible. Likewise if the tone of the blog is warm and personable, the existing audience may not welcome something structured and stilted.
Format your blog post in HTML
Make it as easy as possible for the blog host to use your article. Ideally you want them to be able to copy and paste your article into a post in their blog.
Tip: If you use Google Chrome as your web browser, right mouse click on a commonly used heading style in an existing post on the host blog, then select “Inspect Element.”
A new browser tab containing the HTML code for the site will be opened and the heading you right mouse clicked on will be highlighted. See below.
In this case, the heading style is h3. If you do this for images, you can learn the typical dimensions for images used on the blog also.
Provide or suggest appropriate visuals to go with your post
If your article requires screenshots, provide neatly cropped images of the right size and dpi (dots per inch) and in the file format most commonly used by the host blog.
If you know of royalty free images that would work with your post, suggest them, but remember that the decision is ultimately that of the blog host.
If you have an idea of what would work well subject-wise for the post image, suggest it, but again, remember that the decision is ultimately that of the blog host.
Proofread, proofread, proofread
Suggest which tags and categories used by the host blog are likely to work best with your article
Provide a headshot and bio
Take note of the size of the headshots used by other guest post authors for that blog. Where possible, offer the same sized image so that it doesn’t need to be resized. Although it doesn’t really take all that long to resize an image, every little thing you can do to make it easier for a blogger to publish your guest post, will increase the odds that they’ll want you to come back again.
Try to make your bio interesting. It is what will draw people back to your own blog and remember to include those back links.
Enthusiastically promote your guest post if it is published
Spread the word with a link to your guest post on all of your social media channels and on your own blog, too. Remember, you have a vested interested in seeing that post succeed.
Promptly respond to comments if your guest post is published
If your blog host wants you to respond to comments generated by your article, make yourself available and interact with the readers who leave comments.
Gracefully accept rejection
If you’ve made your pitch to a blog host with a specific on-topic idea, followed the guest author guidelines to the letter, formatted the blog post in HTML to perfectly fit in with the style of the host blog, and they still aren’t interested, even if they don’t offer an explanation, accept the decision and walk away quietly.
Don’t keep asking “why?” Don’t barrage the blog host with more ideas and articles unless you’ve been invited to do so. Move on to another blog—for the time being and go back with another idea after a few months have passed.
So there you have it, my 13 points to being a dream guest post author. Do you agree with my list? Is there anything that you think should be added? Let me know in the comments.
Photo credit: Pixabay