EPISODE 14: HOW TO SUBMIT A GUEST POST THAT EVERY BLOGGER WILL LOVE
by Simone Sauter
If you’re reading this then congratulations!
You’ve probably landed an opportunity to submit a guest post to a blog or an online magazine and you’re keen to know how to grasp the opportunity with both hands.
If not yet, go back and read my post on how to pitch.
As you might know, I have over 100,000 monthly readers on my coaching business blog and I get lots of requests for guest postings on my site. This means I know what it feels like on both sides – I know what works well when it comes to submitting a guest post and I also know what it feels like to receive one.
So let me share with you the ‘dos and don’ts’ of how to submit a guest post that the host blogger will love, and your business will too.
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WHY ON EARTH SHOULD YOU WRITE A GUEST POST IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Guest posting is a fundamental part of your digital PR strategy and it’s also quite straightforward to put into practice.
You simply need to pitch another blogger and ask this person if you are allowed to write a guest post for his or her website.
When you do this guest post, you’ll be growing your reach by sharing your message with the audience of this blogger and adding extra value to their lives.
You need to always make sure that your niche aligns with that of the blogger so that more people will follow you and get interested in what you can offer them. This will help you grow your social media following, get more readers to your blog and also grow your email list.
As I said in the previous post, email marketing is the most powerful tool you can use to connect with your audience and build trust. It’s so effective because you can get right there into your audience’s inbox.
Guest posting will also allow you to get valuable backlinks and improve your SEO so you can appear higher in those Google rankings and grow your audience.
It also increases your brand awareness and you build authority within your niche, which is vital if you want to become a recognized expert.
10 TIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU SUBMIT A GUEST POST THAT EVERY BLOGGER WILL LOVE
Now you know why guest posting is so important, let me walk you through some tips on how you can create and submit your guest post and get the best possible results from your efforts.
#1: Pitch well
Before you get into writing the guest posts at all, you need to make sure you create an excellent pitch. If you haven’t already read my post on how to pitch then please go back and read it now.
#2: Agree on an awesome topic
Once your pitch for a guest post has been accepted, it’s time to agree on a topic that you can cover. It’s important that you discuss this with the blogger so you can help solve their audience’s problems and stay faithful to your own niche and focus.
Don’t just talk about anything to get the guest post!
It’s very important that you talk about the same topics you usually cover, because this is what the audience will naturally associate with you. Again, this will help you build authority and become the expert in your niche.
Makes sense, right?
#3: Ask for guidelines (and stick to them!)
Before you create the guest post, make sure you ask the blogger for guidelines. If there are guidelines then make sure you stick to them. Remember, it’s your job to make the experience as easy as possible for the blogger.
If there aren’t any guidelines, then check out their blog and create your own guidelines to help guide you.
Include information such as how many words their existing blog posts have on average, how many images each blog post features, if there are any backlinks, if he or she does everything themselves, and so on.
As I said before, one reason why we guest post is to set up backlinks which point back to our blog. So I recommend that you include one to two links to your own blog within the content and one link in your bio.
If you’re ever in doubt, make sure you contact the blogger to check what he or she wants.
Remember, you need to make it easy for them. Don’t be a nightmare!
Seriously, I’m talking from experience when I say that.
I’ve had people contact me because they want to write a blog post on my website. But then they end up creating more work for me than if I just did it for myself! So don’t be this person, okay?
#4: Share your best stuff
Don’t be scared to give away too much of your knowledge! Share your best stuff and really put effort into the article.
This might feel counterintuitive because you want to protect what you’ve worked so hard to develop. But remember that nowadays we can get any information we want when we google long enough, so your business is not necessarily about the information you share.
Your business is about you and your expertise around this specific topic and this specific information so make sure you’re being yourself and don’t be scared to give away too much. Really, really add value.
#5: Ask yourself if what you’ve just written fits the audience of the blog
Once you’ve written the post you need to step back and ask yourself if what you’ve written fits the audience of that blog. Ideally, you did your research and you found out the audience of that blog before you pitched in the first place so this should be easy.
Put yourself in the position of the readers of this blog and the audience of this blogger and ask yourself, ‘Is this appealing and interesting?’ If not, then tweak your content until you’ve created a great guest blog.
#6: Link to posts on the ‘host’ blog
Internal links are a very important part of a strong SEO strategy so it’s also important to find opportunities to link from your guest blog to posts on the ‘host’ blog.
This saves them tons of time, adds extra value, and makes the whole experience with you a whole lot better.
#7: Don’t style the text
Whilst it can be tempting to make the text look fabulous by adding bold text, italics, bullet points and so on, resist the urge. Whatever you add has to be adapted when you upload it to WordPress so it just creates extra work for the ‘host’ blogger.
Just ask the blogger how they would like to receive the content (i.e. in a Word document, a Google sheets document or notepad file) and how you should style the content.
Having said that, it can be useful to add the correct heading tags (such as H1, H2 and so on) as it helps with SEO, but please ask the blogger before you do so.
#8: Include your bio
Your bio is the most important part of your guest post so make sure you include it at the end.
As with everything else, be sure to ask the blogger how long your bio should be. Also make sure that you add the most important information such as your name, your elevator pitch (including what you do and whom you do it for), your website and perhaps any social media links if allowed.
Sometimes you can write a bit more, sometimes you’ll only have space for three sentences. At a bare minimum, make sure you put at least your name, your elevator pitch, and your website.
#9: Share a high-quality photo of yourself
Usually, you’ll also need to send over a photo of yourself to the blogger. I would recommend sending a photo which is around 500 x 500 pixels and has a maximum size of 300 kilobytes.
As with everything else, make sure you’re clear on the ‘host’ blogs needs so you can send the right size photo for the blogger.
#10: Proofread your work!
And last but not least, check what you’ve created. This is very important.
If you don’t do this, your work is likely to be full of mistakes and you’ll only come across as unprofessional. It’s also very annoying if you’re on the receiving end because you’ll have to go through and correct all that person’s mistakes, adding extra work for them.
I’ve had people ask to guest post on my website, but then send me posts that are awful. I’m like, ‘Okay, do you really expect me to proofread it and to put it together so that it makes sense and to correct your spelling mistakes and grammar and everything??’
I don’t do this and I never have. I just send it back and I tell them, ‘If you want to get on my blog and to my audience, then you have to send me an article that is of high value and that you’ve actually proofread’.
I should only have to copy and paste it into my WordPress account, nothing else. It’s your job to get this right, no one else’s.
To recap – guest blogging is a vital part of every PR strategy so you need to make sure you do it right. Follow the ten tips I’ve shared above and you will create and submit a guest post that every blogger will love and take your business to a whole new level.
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