I'm trying to blog every M-W-F...but we'll see how this goes this month. I feel like if I can just do it for ONE month, I'll get the hang of it! How often do you blog?
Guest posting is hard when you don't know the rules. It's like being thrown into an arena and expected to fight when you've never been trained, except it's with nice bloggers and we're all sitting at our own laptops, not in an arena.
I'm here to tell you the rules for guest posting so that you can go into your next collaboration feeling confident and at ease. We'll go over
- the pitching stage,
- what questions to ask,
- formatting and delivery,
- and what to include in your final email.
Are you ready to go on this little journey with me? Let's go!
Related: How to Brainstorm New Blog Content
The Pitching Stage
When you find a blog you really enjoy, or are even approached by someone who likes your content, the next step is going to be pitching your ideas to them. What I typically do is find their Twitter handle from their blog if I've stumbled up THEM, and I tweet them asking if they're accepting guest posts currently. Sometimes websites are out of date or they say nothing about contributions, but should the topic be brought up they'd be open to it.
Your email should look a bit like this:
Why you love their blog
Why you find your content would do well on their blog
What your content would do to benefit them
At least three blog post titles with a small breakdown of each
Exit phrase (thank you, your name, your email)
It's imperative that you include at least three blog post titles. Including the breakdown of the post (kind of like I did above when I talked about what we'd cover here) is going the extra mile and most bloggers really appreciate it. After all, wouldn't you want to know what would be published on your blog?
If they don't respond within a week, I suggest emailing once more. If they don't respond at all, that's that and I wouldn't push it.
Related: How to Send the Perfect Pitch Email
What Questions to Ask
If the blogger writes back and is pleased with your article ideas, great! However, some bloggers DON'T respond with guidelines, so it would be good to have a bundle of questions handy that you ask each blogger who doesn't provide their own guidelines.
- What word count do you prefer for your blog posts?
- Do you allow mentions of freebies or opt-ins from your guest posters?
- What tone do you prefer for your blog?
- Do you have regularly scheduled posts? Do you have an idea of when my post would be published?
There. That should take care of some of the most asked guest posting questions.
Formatting & Delivery
Having written your article, go through it again with a fine-toothed comb to ensure there aren't any typos. It's the WORST THING EVER when I get an excellent blog pots that's riddled with typos. I don't have time to sit there and correct them! That's tedious work.
Per typical posting etiquette, each paragraph should be two or three sentences long with no extreme run-on sentences. You should have at least three headers within the blog post to make it easier for skim-reading, because most people read that way these days.
I suggest putting it into a Google Drive document, then placing the article, head shot, and bio all separately into a folder. Whatever you do, don't paste your head shot into your document! It's the hardest thing ever to save and I typically end up having to screenshot it and then crop that. It's super inconvenient.
Share that folder link with your host and make sure the sharing settings are all public so they can see everything.
What to Include In Your Final Email
This is the most satisfactory part of guest posting! You get to place the link to your neatly packaged content folder and give them your thanks! Be sure to mention that should they ever wish for another guest post, they can come to you anytime.
Extend the same to them and let them know that if they'd ever like to guest post for you, that would be lovely. Be friendly, kind, but don't take up too much of their time. They're busy people just like you.
Do you guest post a lot? What's the first tip you'd give someone who was just starting to guest post?
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