How to Be a Successful Guest Blogger

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Why, you’re probably wondering, should you be a guest blogger? You’re hard-pressed to carve out enough time for your own blogging, right? Consider this: When you’re a guest blogger, you will be given a deadline. Not an “artificial” deadline that you’ve given yourself, but a deadline that the blog owner has set that you’ve agreed to. This blog-owner-set deadline could just motivate you.

Deadlines aside, why should you be a guest blogger? In many cases there is no pay, so you might be asking, “What’s in it for me?”

Here are a few reasons to consider guest blogging:guest blogging how and why

  1. Try out a new area of expertise. If you’re known for Topic A and that’s what you blog about, but you really want to test out Topic B, but don’t have a space in which to do it, guest blogging could be the ideal space.
  2. Be introduced to a new audience.
  3. Create new backlinks to your site.
  4. Build relationships with key influencers with whom you want to connect.
  5. Explore a new passion project.

How To Be A Successful Guest Blogger

Before you start researching places to guest blog, I urge you to know your WHY behind guest blogging. Just as you need to know your WHY for having your own blog, so too do you need to have a reason for adding “guest blogger” to your portfolio.  Look for guest blogging opportunities that align with your goals.

To find guest blogging spots you will need to prepare a pitch. Here are ways to make your pitch stand out.

  1. Read the guidelines
  2. Personalize the email. Don’t send it to “Dear Blog Owner.”
  3. Show that you’ve read their site
  4. Explain who you are, what your social media numbers are and why you should be a guest blogger
  5. Offer potential blog titles and a one sentence description for each

Read more: How to Write Pitches Editors Can’t Ignore

Once you score the guest blogging gig, make the blog owner want to offer you a guest blogging spot for the long-term (if that’s part of your WHY, of course).

It’s not about you. When you submit a guest blog post, the reason you’re doing this is, first and foremost, to offer valuable information to the reader of the blog on which you’re guest posting. Your blog content should be valuable and useful, not salesy.

Adhere to the guidelines. If the guest blog requirements are for a blog post of 500 words with two links and one royalty-free image, that’s what you need to submit. Read a few posts before you submit yours: Do they use bulleted or numbered lists? Do they use subheads? Emulate the format.

Don’t forget a Call To Action. Spur the reader to action or to comment on what you’ve written. Don’t just sign off at the end of your post without prompting an action.

Read more: How to Create a Call to Action That Gets Readers Clicking Through

Deadlines matter. Don’t miss deadlines. This is amateurish and doesn’t put you in a good light with the blog owner. The offer to guest post may be rescinded.

Include both internal and external links. If the guidelines say you can link back to your site, then do so. Include internal links as well to drive readers back to content on the site on which you’re guest posting. This will help the blog owner with time on site and will also show him or her that you’ve taken the time to read their content.

Edit. Edit. Edit. Enough said.

Promote the post. Just as you’d promote a post you’d written on your site, so too do you want to promote the guest post. This will help that site’s analytics and when you promote your post and link to the site, it could just amp up your expertise among potential new clients.

guest blogging tips

Write a wildly successful bio for your guest post.

If you’re writing a post for free on a site, it’s generally understood that you will be given the opportunity to craft a great bio for yourself. Make use of this bio and all of the words allocated for your use.

Goals matter. If your goal for guest blogging is to drive traffic to your website, link there. If you want to grow your social media followers, link to your social sites. If your guest blogging goal is to get newsletter sign-ups or to give away a lead magnet-type product, set up a landing page and drive readers to the landing page.

Focus. Don’t try to fit in all of your work experience into a brief bio. Add highlights that you want to target. If the readers are interested enough, they will click through to find out more about you.

Keep it relevant. If you’re guest posting on a dog website and you write about dogs, it doesn’t make sense to fill your bio with your high school accolades or the fact that you’ve just penned a pirate romance.

Be persuasive. It’s no secret that when people guest blog, they are looking to build their own readership, to sell products or to get people to sign up for their newsletters. Make sure you have a goodie to give away to those readers who click through to your site.

Food For Thought

Does guest blogging fit into your business mission and vision? Would guest blogging help you explore new niches? Are you looking to become an expert in a new, different field and are looking at a guest blogging gig to help you build your expertise and following? I’d love to know.

If you’re a blog owner who accepts guest bloggers, do you have any tips to offer a potential guest blogger?

Robbi Hess is an award-winning author, full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter. If you’re interested in time blocking, email me and I’ll send you a sample page. (Robbi AT PositivelyWoof DOT COM)