Are you sitting on a blog that’s six months old without any comments or social shares and wondering what you can do to grow your blog?
You see other successful bloggers and wonder, how did they do it?
One quick and easy way to increase your traffic and engagement is to guest post. If you don’t know what guest posting is, it’s when you give away your best content on another blogger’s site.
You may not realize it, but by guest blogging, you can build a name for yourself, grow your list and provide links back to your blog – helping you generate more traffic.
So, how do you guest post and have your post accepted by an influential blogger with an authority site?
In order for you to have a chance at guest posting on high-ranking blogs, you have to do more than send an email to the owner asking them if it’s okay to write a post for them. Most bloggers are busy and don’t have the time to invest in people they don’t know.
You have to do a little legwork, but when you take the right steps and send the right pitch, your post has a good chance of being accepted.
In this post, you will learn the steps to guest posting and how to write a pitch letter that will get you noticed.
How Do You Start Guest Posting?
Before you write the best blog post you can muster, you have to search around for the right blogs to guest post on.
Here are three guidelines to follow when deciding to guest post.
1. The Blog Accepts Guest Posts
It’s important to find out whether or not the blog you want to guest post on is even accepting guest writers. On my blog, I don’t make it known that I accept guest posts, but a quick Google search will let you know.
In Google, just type the name of the blog you want to write for along with “write for us” or “guest post” and you will usually see if the blog accepts guest posts.
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Other sites will have it on their menu.
2. The Blog Is Popular
Guest posting is a powerful tool for bloggers, especially if you guest post on a highly trafficked blog.
While it might seem impossible to guest post on these sites, you can still aim high by looking at blogs that are not as popular. Such blogs still offer you a great opportunity to get your name out there.
To find out if a blog you’re interested in guest blogging for is popular, you can check out their stats online. For example, you can get a view of their demographics and get a rough estimate of their traffic stats and popularity.
I like to go to Alexa because it can give you a quick analytical overview of many sites. Each site receives an Alexa rank – a metric based on the amount of traffic recorded from visitors that have the Alexa toolbar installed.
The value of a site’s Alexa rank is debatable, and it can also be manipulated. However, it is quite revealing when used as relative comparison measure between sites.
Compete and Quantcast are other similar sites that have their own traffic ranking algorithms and are useful when evaluating potential guest posting sites.
3. The Blog Is in Your Specific Industry
While it’s important to find popular blogs that have more traffic than your blog, when it comes to guest posting, it’s just as important to find blogs within your niche.
So, let’s say you have an insect farming blog and you want to attract more readers. You decide to guest blog, but you can’t find any well-known insect farming sites.
When you have a blog in a small niche, the best thing to focus on is finding other similar blogs to approach, rather than finding popular blogs to write on.
This helps in building your credibility as an expert in your industry, making viewers want to read to what you have to say.
The Steps to Guest Posting
We’ve already covered how to find the right blog to guest post on. The next thing you have to do is start to build a relationship with the blog owner.
Get Noticed By the Blog Owner
How do you do this?
- Follow their blog
- Follow the owner or blog on social media
- Comment frequently on blog posts and on social media
- Share their content on your social media channels
By engaging with the blog owner on his or her own blog, and in social media, you’ll start to develop a relationship, taking you one step closer to landing that guest post you want.
Something else you want to pay close attention to is how the blog is formatted. Studying the blog will help you out when it’s time to write a post. When looking at the blog you want to guest post on, be sure to look at:
- The size and number of images on the blog post
- If there are captions or not
- If subheadings are used liberally
- Whether they use short paragraphs or not
- How they emphasize important phrases – are they italicized, bolded or in block quote?
Many bloggers write their post in MS Word or in Google Docs. But, posts in these formats don’t always import correctly into a content management system (CMS) like WordPress.
When an editor gets a post like this, they have to fix the spacing issues and heading styles manually.
If you are using MS Word to type your post, you can use styles for your heading and subheadings with one click of your mouse, instead of clicking three times for the font size, boldness and font name.
For the title of your post, use Heading 1. Use Heading 2 and 3 for your subheadings.
If you are using Google Docs, use the styles toolbar drop down menu to format your text.
By taking a few minutes to find out how posts are formatted on the blog you want to guest post on, you’ll save the blog owner or editor a lot of time. Since I’m on both sides of guest posting – being a guest poster and receiving guest posts for my blog – I can say that it’s always a treat to get a correctly formatted document.
Follow the Guest Post Rules
Ever since I opened up my blog to guest posters, I receive a lot of emails vying for a spot on my blog schedule.
To help me pre-screen all the pitches I receive for a guest posting opportunity, I’ve made specific rules to filter unqualified writers. Many other bloggers do the same since it helps us narrow down our choices.
Everyone’s rules are different – while I only ask for the headline at first, other bloggers require a detailed outline with title and subheadings laid out.
So, take the time to read a blogger’s “write for us” page thoroughly, or you’ll be stuck in the reject pile.
Rock Your Pitch
Now, it’s time to send an email to the blog owner or editor. What do you say? Aside from following the specific rules for guest posting on their blog, how do you set yourself apart so you will be the one chosen?
- Make it short. Who has time to read long emails? Impress the blog owner by making your email only have the required information needed.
- Use the correct name. Many blog sites have other people in charge of content queries. So, make sure to address them in your email.
- Keep it casual. Avoid formal introductions in your pitch.
Instead of just talking about a pitch letter, let me give you an example I use to inquire about guest posting on other sites:
Hey [Blog owner or editor],
Quick question: how would you feel about me sending you some ideas for a guest post on [topic or headline – depending on guest post rules]? I’ve been studying your popular posts like [name popular post to show you are a reader of the blog], and I have some topics I think would be perfect. Do you have a quick time to look?
Over to You
On the right blog, guest posting can be a powerful tool to grow your blog traffic, promote your posts and build credibility in your niche.
Getting your guest post on a blog isn’t rocket science either. You just need to:
- Get to know the blog
- Follow the blog or owner on social media
- Engage by commenting and sharing
- Read over the guest posting submission rules
- Send a short and thorough pitch describing what you want to write about
Now it’s time to tell me how you’re going to use this information for your next guest post that will bring a wave of traffic to your site.