Guest blogging is an integral part of our marketing and audience-building strategies because it. . .
- Generates publicity and increases our visibility
- Builds trust and enhances our credibility
- Establishes our status as an expert
- Generates traffic to our website
- Improves our website ranking
But once our business grows and we get even busier, keeping up with our guest blogging becomes challenging.
It’s a lot easier to maintain this essential marketing practice when you have a system in place, so I want to share something special with you.
SYSTEMATIC SUCCESS BLUEPRINT FOR GUEST POSTING
1. Determine your audience
Clarifying which audience really needs to hear your message and will benefit from your offerings makes it so much easier to find and pitch to the right websites.
Start by pitching your guest blog posts to people you already know and whose audience you feel is a good fit for you.
As you get more comfortable with the process, reach out to strangers.
2. Evaluate each website
Writing blog posts takes time, so you need to make sure it’s really worth it to pitch to and write for other people’s websites.
The first thing you should do is quickly scan the site to see if guest posts are an option.
You want to pitch to blogs where readers are actively engaging in conversations.
Check out the way articles are shared on social media. How many likes, Tweets, +1’s do the posts tend to get?
It’s important that the blog gets updated frequently (preferably weekly or bi-weekly).
See where the site stands in the Alexa Traffic Rank. A “good” website has a traffic rank below 200,000. This is quite subjective, though. A lot of times, tiny niche websites can get you much better results than websites with huge audiences.
3. Do your homework
Before pitching, familiarize yourself with the website. You’ve got to understand the company’s mission, their audience, what types of articles the blog tends to feature, and if there are any specific guidelines for submitting pitches.
4. Decide on your topic
Look at the previous posts on the websites you’re targeting and see which ones get the most comments. That’ll give you a really good sense of the topics that tend to generate more interest in this community.
Another “Sherlock” tip. Businesses/websites are conversations, so start noticing the general types of conversations that the business owner is moderating.
For example, for me it’s:
- Entrepreneurship in the connected age
- Creating a business that supports your ideal lifestyle
- Work smarter, not harder
- How to scale your business
- How to be uncommonly productive
- Using systems to grow your business
When you decide what types of conversations you want to participate in, finding websites to guest post on will get much easier.
5. Pitch your guest post
If there are no guest post guidelines provided and you’re pitching your post to someone with whom you’ve never interacted, you should include the following in your email:
- One-line introduction
- An indication of how you know the business owner and what you admire about them or their work
- A sentence that clearly expresses your desire to write a guest post on their blog
- Either a fully developed pitch for a specific blog post (and why you feel their audience would find it interesting) or a couple of ideas you want to run by them
- Your signature
6. Track your guest posts
It’s important to keep track of the pitches you send and responses you get (and don’t get). You need to ensure that you create the right pieces for the right websites, follow up with the websites that didn’t respond. If your follow-up doesn’t elicit a response from the website owner, you can re-pitch the same idea/article to another business owner.
Here is a spreadsheet that can help you manage your guest post submissions.
7. Prepare your must-have materials
To get the most traffic from your guest posts so that you can enhance your online reputation, you must prepare ahead of time and be ready to send the following
- Your bio. It’s a short piece (under 75 words) that communicates your line of work and the type of results you create for your clients. If you have a signature program or service, mention it. It’s also a place to identify where people can find you. This can be a link to your website or social media profile.
- Head shot. Make sure that it’s a high resolution, professional looking photo. It’s best to use the same photo that appears on your website and social media profiles. This way when people see you around the web they’ll begin to recognize you from your photo.
- Freebie. Your freebie doesn’t have to be complex. It could be the same one you use to attract new subscribers, or it could be a link to a page on your website which includes valuable resources. Later on, when you write for a high-profile website that might bring you a wave of traffic, you might consider creating a separate landing page with a freebie specifically designed for the readers of that website.
8. Write your guest post
Make your guest post stand out by creating an eye-catching headline, an opening paragraph that draws the reader in, and a coherent post.
Weave in stories, case studies, and eye-opening statistics; provide takeaways or step-by-step instructions; mention additional resources (if applicable); and an invitation to take action.
I know it seems like a lot. And it is. But over time it will feel like second nature. I promise!
Back to You
What’s been your dream website to guest post on? What single step can you make today to make that dream a reality?