Guest blogging is a strategy where you write for other blogs that could help you get enhanced traffic, quality backlinks, and increased brand exposure.
To become a guest blogger, you need to do the following:
Know Your Objectives
An effective guest blogging strategy starts with knowing your objectives. You have to know where you’re headed and what you intend to achieve before becoming a guest contributor. Examples of objectives might include:
- Driving traffic to a specific landing page (or to your site in general) to get more leads and sales.
- Building awareness of your brand, products, and services
- Improving SEO by attracting inbound links.
- Positioning yourself as an authority in your field to command premium prices and get speaking engagements.
- To land a job or consultancy role.
- Increasing email subscriber numbers or your social media audience.
It’s extremely important that you have a goal in mind. This will help you know what type of content to post and the type of bio to craft.
Find Blogs/Websites You Want to Guest Post For
Before you start writing your guest post, you need to find the right blogs to target. Below are several methods you can take to find potential guest posting blogs:
- Conduct a search on Google
Performing a focused Google search can help you find the right blogs. To search for a blog on Google, you must bear ‘Search Term’ + ‘Search value parameter’ in mind. E.g:
Keyword + ‘guest post’
Keyword + ‘write for us’
Keyword + ‘guest article’
Keyword + ‘guest post opportunities’
Keyword + ‘this is a guest post by’
Keyword + ‘guest contributor’
Keyword + ‘want to write for’
Keyword + ‘submit blog post’
Keyword + ‘guest column’
Keyword + ‘submit content’
Keyword + ‘submit post’
Keyword + ‘suggest a post’
Keyword + ‘submit an article’
Keyword + ‘contributor guidelines’
Keyword + ‘become a guest blogger’
Keyword + ‘guest blogger’
Keyword + ‘become a contributor’
Keyword + ‘submit guest post’
Keyword + ‘submit article’
- Check out the websites influencers in your niche are guest posting for
Some influencers in your niche disclose the other blogs that they write for. This can ultimately lead you to an exclusive list of quality blogs you can also guest-post for.
Form a Connection with the Site Owner
If the site you intend to contribute for is owned by someone you can directly pitch to, it’s important that you establish a connection with them first.
Unless the topic you’re pitching is extremely relevant and the content is mind-blowing, I’d precommend that you do not copy and paste guest post pitch templates you see online, as most of them are generic and do not tell the site owners that you’ve done our homework or make the effort to personalize your pitch.
So, how do you establish a relationship with these site owners?
First, get to know their site and the type of content they publish by following them on social media or by subscribing to their newsletters. This will help you get updated on the latest new happenings in their lives or business.
Also, read their content consistently for a few weeks, or longer, so you understand what matters to them and their audience. If they list their top-performing or featured content on their site, check that out, too.
Connect with site owners on social media so you can tag them when you share their site content. Share anything you really love and include a comment so it’s not just a plain link.
Comment on their blogs, sign up for their email marketing newsletter and respond to their emails. You need to form a genuine relationship with these people. Don’t fake it; they’ll figure it out and then you won’t achieve your goals.
Choose a Winning Topic
Once you have a good understanding of your target site, and what matters to the site owner, it’s time to find a topic to pitch.
You should already know what’s popular on the site. Now, think about how you can add value by:
- Responding to what’s on the site
- Providing additional information on a popular topic
- Writing something new on a topic that’s likely to be popular with the audience
If the site has guidelines for pitching and writing, read them. If you don’t, site owners might just reject your pitch before even reading it.
Send Your Pitch
For your guest blogging strategy to succeed, it’s important to avoid generic guest posting pitches. Like I said above, most people can spot a generic message from afar. That is why you need to do your homework, so that you’ll be able to craft a winning pitch that’s personal to each site owner with very little effort.
What are the rules for sending pitches?
The first rule is to keep the pitch short and to the point. Site owners, especially those with authoritative sites, get a lot of pitches, so don’t waste their time.
Second, use their name. Most site owners won’t read pitches from people who can’t be bothered to research this basic contact detail. So, if the site owner’s name is Wuraola, your email should start with “Hi Wuraola” or “Dear Wuraola.”
Third, include the post title. In fact, some successful pitches use this in the email subject line and as a secondary heading within the body of the email. For instance, if I wanted to pitch this topic to a site owner, my email subject line would be ‘The Ultimate Guide To Guest Posting For Beginners’ instead of ‘Guest post pitch – XYZ site’.
If the person you’re pitching loves your title, you’re halfway to a successful pitch.
The next thing to do is to describe the post briefly. Say what it will cover in a couple of sentences or a few bullet points. Tell them how your post will help their readers.
Finally, show them why you’re the right person to write the post. You don’t have to send in your resume, just drop in some badass points on why you’ll make a great contributor.
P.S. Here’s a sample of a guest post pitch you can use or tweak to suit you.
Email subject line: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO GUEST POSTING FOR BEGINNERS
Address site owner by name: Dear Wuraola or Hi Wuraola
Familiarity with the site’s content: I noticed that you’ve been publishing a lot of content around blogging and can’t help but create a blog post that would be beneficial to your readers. I know they love blogging tips (looking at the comments after every post you publish and the number of reshares)
Qualifications for writing/why you’ll make a great guest blogger: and since I’m a content creator, I’d love to create a topic that aligns with your readers’ needs.
Brief post synopsis/outline: Over the years, there’s been plenty of speculation about the death of guest blogging, but the tactic remains one of the most effective ways to promote yourself and your business. From freelancers like Elna Cain who used a guest blogging strategy to make a full-time income from freelance writing and Buffer used guest blogging to attract 100,000 customers; guest blogging is indeed a powerful content marketing tool.
Last paragraph: Wuraola, would The Ultimate Guide To Guest Posting For Beginners be of interest to you?
Salutation: Sincerely, Linda Jones
(Optional): I love The Copywriting Chick Blog. Thanks for being an amazing resource!
So, here’s the pitch:
I noticed that you’ve been publishing a lot of content around blogging and can’t help but create a blog post that would be beneficial to your readers. I know they love blogging tips (looking at the comments after every post you publish and the number of reshares) and since I’m a content creator, I’d love to create a topic that aligns with your readers’ needs.
Over the years, there’s been plenty of speculation about the death of guest blogging, but the tactic remains one of the most effective ways to promote yourself and your business. From freelancers like Elna Cain who used a guest blogging strategy to make a full-time income from freelance writing and Buffer used guest blogging to attract 100,000 customers; guest blogging is indeed a powerful content marketing tool.
Wuraola, would The Ultimate Guide to Guest Posting for Beginners be of interest to you?
P.S: I love The Copywriting Chick Blog. Thanks for being an amazing resource!
Write Great Content
If your pitch is accepted, the next thing to do is write your guest post. Especially if it’s the first time you’re writing for a site, you want to make it better than your best.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Craft an Amazing Headline
Start by taking a look at the headline in your pitch again. Even if the site owner loved it, it won’t hurt to come up with some alternatives. A great headline includes the benefit(s) for the reader, uses action words and taps into emotion.
- Link Appropriately
Ideally, your guest post will have a great link profile, which helps with SEO and building authority. That means you should include relevant internal and external links in the guest post you’re writing. Within the content, link to great content from the site you’re writing for, and useful resources on external sites. This helps give the content a good link profile, which is also good for SEO and building authority.
- Include Images
Finding images can be tasking, especially if the site owners have a lot on their hands. So, except they tell you that they’d rather insert the images themselves, you should add them. You can get free images from Pixabay, Unsplash and Canva.
- Format the Post Correctly
Finally, format the post so it matches others on the site. Observe how and where they use subheadings, capitalization, bold text, lists, etc. The less work you give site owners to do, the more of an asset you are.
Craft A Bio That’ll Blow Their Minds
You need to work that bio because it’s where you get to link back to your own site/social media page and resources. Options commonly offered include:
- A single link to your home page
- A link to any page/resource on your site
- A link to your site plus a social media link
- A couple of web and social media links
You wanted to be in the limelight and now, you’ve got the opportunity. Leverage it and do not put it to waste. Respond to comments on and mentions of your post.
Why? Apart from the fact that it’s good manners, it’s also a great way to connect with your new audience and achieve some of your set goals. Who knows? You could land a client or clients. Or even a beneficial partnership/collaboration deal.
Blog owners will also be happy if you’re responsive, making it more likely they’ll be receptive to new pitches, or will suggest ways you can contribute further. This moves you even closer to achieving your goals for your guest blogging strategy. And if you aren’t able to respond to posts on their sites, you can get traffic or DMs on your social media pages, email or websites. Be sure to respond to them.
Promote Your Content
Content promotion is a key part of your guest blogging strategy so more people read your content and follow it back to your site. You can promote your guest posts via email, on your social media pages or website. Also, encourage your subscribers and followers to visit, comment and share.
Write More Guest Posts
Don’t stop at one guest post and call it a day. The more posts you write, the more online presence you have, and the more people think of you as an authority. That leads to more invitations to write and participate in events, more traffic to your site, and more leads and sales.
Of course, if you’re writing a lot of guest posts, you’ll need a way to keep track of them. That’s why it makes sense to have a guest blogging calendar.
An easy way to do this is to create a new calendar in Google Calendar and add the titles and due dates of any guest blogging commitments.