How To Get Guest Posts (And Why You Should Be Doing It)
Guest posting is an online marketing strategy that has been around for a long time – because it works! A guest blog post is where you write a blog post that gets posted on someone else’s site.
If you enjoy writing, guest blogging is a great strategy for building your list. I’ve had guest blog posts generate over 100 new subscribers to my list.
You can imagine that if you regularly published guest blog posts that you would have a nice flow of new subscribers coming in!
A few benefits of guest blogging are:
Attract a new audience – Writing a valuable blog post for a website that has a bigger and/or different readership than yours allows a whole bunch of new people to see your content and learn about you and what you have to offer.
Grow your list – In your guest post, you’ll be able to include a link back to your website or a landing page. This way, all of your new fans can see learn more about you and join your list. (Next week I’m going to dive into exactly how to build your list with guest posts, so stay tuned for that post.)
Establish Authority – Once you begin to write for publications and sites other than your own, you start to build a reputation as an expert on your topic. This will also allow you to put an “As Seen On” section on your website where you highlight all of the press, media, and sites where you’ve had guest posts published.
How To Land Guest Blogging Opportunities
It might seem a little intimidating at first, but getting others to post your blog articles is totally doable —even for beginners. My simple, step-by-step approach will guide you to guest blogging success.
Step 1. Outline Your Plan
Creating a plan for guest posting is an important first step.
First, take time to very clearly outline the type of audience you want to reach.
You may be tempted to go after very large publications with an audience in the millions, but consider if their readers are a good fit for you. Does the blog have readership of the types of people you want to work with?
For example, writing on a large site like Baby Center or Mashable would be great recognition for you, but if the topic of the site has nothing to do with your area of work, the readers likely won’t turn into subscribers or paying clients down the road.
Once you you’re clear on who you want to reach, set a goal for how many guest blogging gigs you’d like to get. You may think you want 10 guest posts right away to grow your list quickly, but remember, once you get the ‘ok’ you’ll have to write a blog post. (Each guest post should be unique content. This means you don’t want to post the same article on multiple sites.)
With this in mind, consider how many posts you have time to write each month. If you have time to write 2 guest posts, start by applying for 2 posts. This way you won’t be overwhelmed by having to suddenly write more posts than you can manage.
You’ll typically hear back within 2-5 days. If you get accepted by both blogs, then you’re set for the month. If you don’t get accepted by one or more of the blogs, reach out to 1-2 more sites.
Step 2. Start Your Search
Create a spreadsheet or word document to keep track of all the sites you’re researching and reaching out to. You can get a copy of the spreadsheet I use to keep track of all my guest post submissions here.
Start searching for blogs and publications that might be a good fit for you to guest blog on. You can write for large publications, like The Huffington Post or Mind Body Green, or smaller niche websites and blogs, like Modern Mom. You also may want to reach out to solo-preneurs and coaches who have a blog on their website.
A great way to generate ideas of places and people to reach out to is to ask your clients and audience what sites and blogs they read.
Step 3. Start Building A Relationship
It’s important to build a relationship with people you’re pitching. This will make them more likely to open your emails and take your request into consideration. Building a relationship beforehand can turn your request from a cold email to a warm one … making it far more likely that your email will get noticed and read.
Once you’ve compiled your list, add the people you’ve identified as possible opportunities to your social media channels. Follow them, retweet them, comment on their blogs, like their pictures. Now, when they see your name in their inbox they may recognize you.
Step 4. Make Your Pitch
If you’re pitching a large site like Mind Body Green, they typically have a submission process you need to follow. Do a search for “name of publication + contribute” and you will likely find their contribution guidelines.
If you’re reaching out to a smaller blogger or solo-preneur, first check their site to see if they have contribution or submission guidelines as well. If not, draft up an email to let them know you’re interested.
Your pitch email should be friendly, not salesy. Let them know that you enjoy their blog or website, and even include an example of an article that particularly struck you. Next, ask if they are accepting guest posts. You can also show initiative by suggesting a few potential topics you could write about.
Try to make looking for guest posts part of your monthly routine. Getting guest posts takes some time, but it can pay off by growing your audience, your list, and your reputation all at once.
Now I’d love to hear from you!
Have you tried guest blogging? If so, how did you land your gigs? If not, where would you like to get a post published?