What is a Guest Blog?
You may have heard a lot of talk lately about “guest blogging” as a marketing tool or a way to gain readership. So what is it? Simple, really. You write a blog post, and offer it to someone else to post on their site (with a byline and a link).
Why Write a Guest Blog?
Why give away your content for free? Well, there are several advantages to be had. First, you’re going to get exposure to the readership of the site you are guest blogging for. You’ll include a link back to your site; if readers like what they see, you’ll find you’ve gathered a new following. Also, that link is helpful for boosting your site’s search engine ranking.
In researching other bloggers and finding people with common interests, you have the chance to become part of a greater community. You may discover new favorite bloggers this way – and also make contacts who can help you with your own blog. In addition, you’ll likely get to research new topics and improve your ability to tailor content to various sites. That’s a useful skill to have. Finally, as you increase your exposure, you will also likely increase your reputation in your field.
Guest Blogging Do’s
- DO use keyword searches to find sites that are relevant to your topic, where your blogs would fit in well.
- DO keep organized and compile a list of your favorite bloggers who accept guest posts. Follow their blog, and read the guest posts as well. See if you can get a feel for their style and what they look for in guest bloggers.
- DO use connections when you have them. Use friend’s connections too.
- DO address the blogger by name when you contact her.
- DO include at least one idea for a guest blog in your pitch.
- DO follow all guidelines you are given for guest blogs. That includes meeting deadlines.
- DO check for proper spelling and grammar on every bit of communication you send out, as well as your finished blog post.
Guest Blogging Don’ts
- DON’T go charging in blind. Have a strategy. There are lots of “how to” resources out there for getting started with guest blogging. Use them.
- DON’T pitch to blogs that have nothing to do with your content. If you blog about circus animals, don’t pitch to a technology blog.
- DON’T send your pitch to the same blogger five times. He’ll probably notice.
- DON’T forget your research. Nothing says sloppy like pitching a blog title which the blogger used just last month.
- DON’T litter your guest blog with links to every one of your 20 social media pages. Pick the most important.
- DON’T slack off once you get the gig. If you do all the work to get a guest blog slot with your favorite blogger, you owe it to yourself to provide her with the best writing you have to offer. Good writing will draw in readers and often leads to further opportunities.