The reach of most small/personal blogs is quite limited and that’s why guest blogging is a great option that content writers can resort to. A successful guest blog published on a larger website can get you a whole new set of eyeballs, some of whom will eventually follow you or sign-up for your blog, effectively increasing your readership in the long run.
What is Guest Blogging?
Guest Blogging (a.k.a. Guest Posting) is a practice where bloggers write posts on blogs/sites other than their own, thereby introducing themselves to a wider audience.
Why Should You Submit a Guest Post?
Guest blogging helps build relationships/contacts with your niche/community of bloggers and host sites.
Backlinks are a huge bonus as search engines will find you sooner. You will gain referral traffic and it’s a huge part of search engine optimization.
- Broader Reach
Your reach extends to the audience of the host site.
- Selective Audience
On occasion, you may want to write about a specific topic and it may make sense to publish that article via a larger publication rather than your personal blog.
Eg. Fashion blogger who wants to write about police atrocity.
- Social Proof
Getting featured on a popular platform like Entrepreneur, Inc. or Forbes proves your credibility as an expert content writer (in your niche) to a large audience. This is your social proof.
By submitting guest posts, your portfolio as a content writer on the web grows, making you a trustworthy source of information.
Where/How to Find the Right Site to Submit a Guest Post?
The right place to submit a guest post should be on a website/blog that is relevant to your niche. Your targeted site/blog should have a good readership and an active social media presence. Only then will this be worth your effort.
- Google it!
By searching for the keywords specific to your niche, you’ll find a plethora of answers and solutions.
Ex: Type“Guest post” + <your niche> to find results specific to your search. Here are other
“Submit guest post”
“We accept guest posts”
- Competitor’s Guest Blogs
Get an idea of where your competitors are submitting guest posts. If all else fails, look at the competitor’s of the that host site and make a pitch.
- Social Searches
Aside from the Google searches, look for potential bloggers and content sites that accept guest posts. Facebook and Twitter will give you pools of blogs, writers and sites specific to your area of expertise. Google+ has several communities filled with industry professionals you can connect with.
- Guest Blogging Communities
Guest blogging communities will easily help you connect with your potential host sites and fellow bloggers. You are bound to find (blogs that accept guest posts) and get found as well. Here’s a list of places to help you start off.
– Blogger LinkUp
– Guest Crew
How to Choose the Right Guest Post Topic?
If you want to land a guest post on a website, you do not want your post to be about ‘10 Apps You Must Have on Your Smartphone.’ Sites/Bloggers who host guest posts want their featured content to be at least nongeneric, if not exceptional. Here are four things you need to keep in mind while picking the right topic.
- Pick topics that are relevant and trending according to your host site’s content.
- Your topic should add to the host site’s content and/or embellish it with your expertise.
- Make sure there are no recent posts that are similar to your guest post idea.
- Check out what your competitors are writing about.
Pro Tip: Don’t just read the content on other guest posts, read all the comments that the post has generated as well. You'll have an idea about what your customers think.
Pitching Your Guest Post
Put yourself in the shoes of your potential host site. They probably get a huge number of requests from bloggers who want to be featured on their site. So, if you want to make sure that you stand out; the onus lies on you. Here’s a checklist to help you plan your email pitch.
- An appealing subject line!
A bad or uninteresting subject line is the bane of your pitch. Make sure your subject line is informal, catchy and engaging.
- Introductory Hook
Your introductory hook should grab the reader’s attention and exhibit your writing skills.
Example: Pose a question around your guest blog idea and answer it.
- Brief Bio
When you introduce yourself, make sure your bio is brief and explanatory. Include a link to your website.
- Body Text
Include a summary of what your blog post is about, keep the body short and concise. (Make sure you mention the title of the post.)
- Published Work
Add links to showcase all your published work. If you have no published work, you’re better off starting your own blog first.
- Personal Note
At the end of your mail, add a small note with a personal message about the host site or the blogger.Here’s an example of an ideal guest post email pitch to give you a better picture.
How to Submit a Guest Post
After your pitch gets the “go” sign, you need to make sure your content is up to standard. Here are some important pointers that you must consider before you submit the post.
- The foremost thing to remember before you submit a post is to make sure you are NOT advertising your blog/business/website or your products or services. Such mentions can be mistaken for link building tactics which is looked down upon in guest blogging communities. Although, you can make such mentions only if your blog/website/business is relevant to your content, and is consented by your host site.
- Follow the guidelines that most host sites provide you with. This is to make sure your post follows the formatting that is consistent with your host site.
- Add your bio-data in a clear and structured format with necessary links to your blog/website and social media handles.
- As most content is sent via a word document attached to the email, attach your images and other multimedia separately. This will be very convenient for your host site to add them to the site according to their specifications.
- Make sure your Gravatar image is added to your email ID and attach the same profile picture separately as well.
- You will be given deadlines, if not, make sure that you have your article publishing details acknowledged by your host site.
- Lastly, make sure you have thoroughly edited your content. Look out for typos and re-do your fact-checks.
(Once your post is submitted, the host site editor might require some changes to be made in the article. Make sure that you make the necessary changes and ensure that you send them by the required time.)
So, what next?
Guest blogging IS a viable option for content marketers out there to make it big in the industry. There are a lot of reasons your guest post could get rejected. But keeping in mind the points mentioned here will definitely help you write a great guest post. In case you don’t receive a reply, be sure to follow up with your host site.
Most writers always stick to long-form textual content in their blogs with images. But try to think outside the box when it comes to packaging your content. Try to incorporate other forms of multimedia like videos or podcasts. Infographics are very engaging these days. According to MassPlanner, infographics are “liked” and shared three times more than any other type of content on social media. If you want to take your content packaging to the next level, you can try to add interactive content like quizzes, polls, surveys, etc.
Finally, think of guest blogging as a kind of give-and-take. Be open to featuring guest posts on your blog as well. We accept guest posts at Local SEO Checklist if you think you have something engaging to contribute. You are more likely to receive new content with new perspective. In addition to that, you can also get new readers to your blog.
[P.S. Think you got an awesome topic that we can publish on Local SEO Checklist? Write to us here.]