Following on from my last post on why bother to guest blog, I decided it is worth the effort. Now I want to know how to get invited. As usual, I’ve scoured the available published information and it does take some effort. You usually don’t get lucky enough to just be discovered so I’ve pulled together the following step-by-step guide:
Step 1 – Decide where you want your guest blog to appear
This goes back to understanding your niche and who your own target audience is. A good starting point is A-lister blogs in your niche. Ones that you usually read and who you think provide quality content.
Step 2 – Find out the number of subscribers that blog has or the blog’s value with Google Page Rank finder and Alexa rank
It will be more beneficial to you if the readership of the blog is quite big. You can install Page Rank Status on Chrome as this will give you the rank details of any web page. It may take a while to find out the right blogs, so be patient.
Step 3 – Closely read those well-established blogs
During this time, you’ll learn about the style of posts in the blog and see what subjects they are interested in publishing. You’ll also get to know the community and see which blog subjects or themes attract the highest level of interest.
Step 4 – Check whether the site has guidelines for guest blogging
If the site has published guidelines, these can be incredibly useful. I found a really clear set of Guest Blogger Guidelines for Mention which talk about exactly the type of blogger they are looking for. The guidelines cover the topic areas of their content, the style of language and blog and then clearly outlines what’s in it for you. If the site you’re interested in has this kind of clear information, then you know they are serious about who gets invited to guest blog.
Step 5 – Start making comments
This is when you can start to leave valuable comments or interesting questions to develop a relationship with the blog’s owner. If you can start a conversation and have attracted the notice of the owner already, you will be more familiar to them and we all know people prefer to deal with someone they like, know and trust.
Step 6 – Pitch your guest post
This is done by email and I found some great advice on About.com. These are the headlines from their checklist on pitching:
- Your email address needs to match your blog URL
- Your pitch follows all of the blog’s guest publishing rules
- You’re pitching from a high-quality blog
- You’re pitching highly relevant and high-quality content
- Your pitch is not passive
- You’ve clarified that your post will be 100% original
- You’ve explained that your post will not be self-promotional
- You haven’t tried to butter up the recipient by saying how great their blog is
- Didn’t include links to random content on the blog to pretend you read it
- You explained how the blog will benefit from publishing your guest post.
There seems to be a difference of opinion on whether you need to have written your guest blog already. To start with, have your post already written. This will make certain you’ve had the time to do enough research and that it is a good quality, original post.
If you decide not to write before you pitch, the minimum you should have is your killer headline and a couple of paragraphs that illustrate the style and quality of the content. Personally, I would go for the already written approach!
You should also pitch several ideas, as the one you like best may not be the right one for that site at the time.
Step 7 – Accepted – celebrate and let the world know!! Rejected – try again
If you get accepted, don’t forget to congratulate yourself but don’t stop there. You now need to use social media and your current subscribers to get the message out and get publicity for your blog.
Don’t feel bad if your guest post gets rejected, it happens. Just switch to the next blog on your list and send the same guest post to that blog. Do a re-formatting if necessary, to suit this blog but don’t give up.
As the saying goes – “that’s all there is to it!” I said guest blogging wasn’t a quick fix but there are definite rewards if you want to build your niche following and blogging is part of your marketing strategy.
I’d like to know whether this is something that you’d consider so please leave me a comment.