Guest blogging is a terrific way to boost your thought leadership and an effective form of brand building. But to secure a guest post, you gotta pitch your heart out!
Or just write a guest blogging proposal that gets accepted. Let me show you how.
1. Know your audience
This bit is extremely IMPORTANT. You must choose guest blogging sites carefully and with intention. (Neil Patel wrote a very comprehensive article about how to find spots for guest blogging)
In order to drive real ROI, you must provide value to your new audience, which might include expertise, experience, a unique point of view or exclusive information.
The absolute best way to up your guest blogging game is to score a post with a single, top-notch website. This one post can be your trophy that you show to other sites, signaling that you're serious about what you do and that you do it well. Do your homework for each opportunity by checking out the sites page authority, domain authority, trust flow, citation flow, etc. (Moz and MajesticSEO have great tools for doing just this.)
2. Sending the Email
It's best to go directly to the source with email. And keep it as simple and straightforward as possible. A few general tips:
Bullet #1: Use a professional subject line
This is the editor's first impression of you and will determine a) if your email even gets opened and b) how its received. Try:
- Guest Submission: 4 Mistakes Most Beginner Bloggers Make [and how to fix them]
- Request for Guest Posting [article attached]
Both examples above are very clear regarding their purpose. And that little word attached might just pique their interest enough to open the email. (Click here to learn more about how to create engaging titles)
Bullet #2: Use a professional FROM line
Please, please please retire your email@example.com email address. Given that the "subject line" and the "from line" are both readily visible on the same line, they carry equal importance.
The best email to use: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bullet #3: The Body Content
There are a few key necessities to hit in the body of your guest blog proposal.
- It's common courtesy to address an individual by their name. A simple and polite, "Hi John" is fine.
- When sending an email to a stranger, its vital that you introduce yourself. Example, "My name is Courtney Lyerly, owner of EELECTRIK marketing." You might also link to your LinkedIn profile or Twitter profile to confirm that you are, in fact, a real person.
- Next, tell them why you're a big deal. Tell them about other places you've written, a project you've completed that fits within their niche or share a current passion project.
As Neil Patel said, "Each proposal must be crafted with laser-like precision to the site you’re pitching. Research the site, research the readership, analyze their content, read everything you can. Get a pulse on the most popular posts they’ve produced. Know the site, and use that knowledge to craft a more compelling, relevant pitch."
3. Share your content
Guest blogging means you've already put in the work and you're willing to share said content for FREE. However, you also can't send the same article to 20 websites and run the risk of multiple publications. That would make you both look silly--and editors likely won't want to work with you again in the future.
Another note: share your work via a google docs versus a Word.doc. You'll want to allow anyone with the link to view the content since often times a good article will get sent to multiple people: scheduling assistants, co-editors, webpage managers, etc. before an article gets published. And don't stress about them stealing your work without giving credit. If you already did your homework (see Step #1), you know they're a reputable site.
Now that you've got a great outline for the email + it's contents, I also wanted to share a few advanced guest blogging tips.
4. Form relationships
Be consistent and responsive. Your main goal here is not to build backlinks--the site owners will see right through that B.S. Your goal is deliver high-quality content.
Submit articles on a regular basis because once a site finds a great writer, they'll try to work with them on a regular basis. Also note that each website has their own set of guidelines, so if they they ask for revisions, don't take it personally. Just do your best to reply in a timely manner.
5. The more you guest blog, the more you guest blog
Once you land a spot as a contributor on a major website like Fast Company or Mashable, its pretty easy to secure guest blogging opportunities on other sites. That high profile piece will garner attention and score more sites. But in order to get to that point, you need to start small and build up.
Guest blogging is no easy task, but if you're willing to put in the time, effort and resources--there are some great upsides!
Got specific questions about blogging? Please leave a comment below and we'll get back to you. Throughout the month of September, we'll be focusing on "Back to Blogging" basics and related topics.