How to Start Guest Blogging: A Comprehensive Blog Post Guide
The practice of guest blogging allows you to create unique high-quality content. When you guest blog, your posts will cater specifically to your preferred online industry. Then, you can easily drive traffic, improve online relationships, promote specific products, and more.
In this in-depth guide, we will talk about exactly how to build a reputation online through guest blogging. Many major brands have successfully implemented guest blogging over the last few years. With the right knowledge, you can too!
Below, we will take a look at how you can find the most lucrative guest blogging opportunities. Then, we will show you how to achieve real results. This way, you will be set up for success as you begin guest blogging in your industry!
Set Your Goals and Stick to Them
Before you start generating content for your blog, it’s a good idea to set clear goals. Your goals and objectives will set the tone for all future endeavors. As such, having a game plan in place before you begin guest blogging is essential. This way, you will be able to create a more structured blog with targeted direction and a clear intent.
Building Blocks of Guest Blogging Success
As you determine your guest blogging goals, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Most blogs are created for one of three main purposes. Generally, these are to establish an industry or product, to drive traffic, or to promote backlinking.
- Industrial Promotion
Set yourself up for success by making a name for your brand in the industry of your choice.
- Overall Traffic and Exposure
Drive online interaction with the intent of getting exposure and smart traffic to your website with blogging.
- Website Backlinking and Affiliation
Creating a blog to get better backlinks to your website and or to affiliate yourself with other quality sites.
When you’ve created a well-structured blog with good content, any of these goals are easily achievable. With the right guest blogging practices, all three can be met simultaneously. Once you get the hang of things, guest blogging isn’t as hard as it may seem.
If you are trying to focus mainly on driving traffic and promoting your website, a large audience is key. If you mainly want affiliation and backlinking, it’s smart to pinpoint blogs with a lot of domain authority. For all three goals at once, target authoritative blogs with a large audience.
Search For The Best Opportunities
First off, it’s a good idea to know where your best guest blogging opportunities will be. When you’re looking for places to post as a guest, you need to find sites in your niche. These sites should also be in or related to your industry.
Tips for Identifying Guest Blogging Opportunities:
- Find content in your industry
- Look for content in your specific niche
- Make sure your audience is interested in the topic you discuss
- Find engaged readers who are active online
- Check for activity using social media activity, shares, promotions, etc.
Then, you’ll want to search out some common factors. For instance, is the owner of the blog you want to guest post to active on social media? Are there a lot of comments being generated? How well will what you have to say be received?
For example, let’s say you are selling athletic shoes. You will want to search for workout blogs with an engaged audience of physically active people. Next, we will talk about how you can go about finding these posting opportunities for yourself.
Where to Find The Best Places to Blog
Now that you know what criteria to look for, let’s talk about where to go. In general, finding the best places to guest post will involve some footwork on your end. This is because you will want to find specific posting spots that fit with your niche.
If you already have connections or leads, explore them as much as you can. Otherwise, you’ll need to get ready to do some serious Google searching. Not to stress, it isn’t all that difficult. There are a few tips and tricks that you can use for uncovering great guest blogging opportunities in your industry.
Here are a few ways to find great places to blog as a guest:
- Use Google to Your Advantage
Google Search is a great way to find places to guest post. There are a few keywords that can help you effectively target websites that allow guest blogging.
Keywords/Phrases to Search for Guest Blogging Opportunities
- “Submit Post as Guest”
- “Guest Post”
- “Post By As Guest”
- “Accepting Guest Posts”
- “Taking Guest Posts”
- “Submit Guest Post”
- “Guest Post Here”
- “Our Guest Post Guidelines”
- “Guest Post Below”
Now, all you have to do is search a keyword from your industry or niche, and then follow it with one of the above key phrases. So, if you are selling athletic clothing, you could Google something like, “Yoga pants submit a guest post.” Or, “our guest post guidelines best workout shoes.”
As you can see, it’s as simple as knowing what the most effective keywords in your industry are. Then, combining them with some guest blogging keyphrases. In this way, you will be able to hunt down blogs that are taking posts and allowing them to be published.
- Productive and Well-Known Guest Bloggers
Another thing you can do involves finding prolific bloggers in your niche. You should take the time to read blogs that concern your industry and take notes. If you haven’t already been reading blogs by other well-known bloggers, it isn’t hard to start.
Google Searching Popular Guest Bloggers
First, pull up Google search again. Now, simply type in “(industry/niche) guest post by” and Google search will likely fill in names. Click the search options that come up. If you are guest blogging in an industry or niche that’s super specific or somewhat obscure, this may not work as well. Not to worry.
Find the People Who Frequently Post and Make Strong Connections
If your industry doesn’t seem to have many established guest bloggers, that’s okay. Simply find places that people are allowed to post and are already guest blogging. See if there are any links to the profiles of individuals who are guest blogging a lot. Use those names in your Google search with the same guest blog post keyphrases listed above.
This should lead you to sites that these guest bloggers have been using. If they can post there, there is a good chance that you will also be able to. Now, to get the ball rolling even faster, it’s a great idea to connect with these bloggers. Making connections with others in your industry can be beneficial.
- Competing Backlinks
Another option to consider is using competing backlinks to your advantage. If you or another marketing company has ever investigated the SEO campaign of a competitor, this is where to start. Simply look into the backlinks from their existing guest posts.
If you don’t have the backlinks analytics available, you can just check out their websites and follow their backlinks and hyperlinks. Chances are, you will eventually find a few decent places where you can begin guest blogging.
- Social Media Searches
Another option is social media. Many bloggers find that guest posters like to share their favorite posts on social media. This can be on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Reddit, etc. Twitter is one of the easiest places to start.
Use Google to search the keywords for guest blogging that we listed above, and just add the social media site in. So, you’d Google something like, “guest post (your industry) Twitter Tweet” or something along those lines.
Approaching Everything Properly
Once you’ve found a great place for your guest blogging, don’t start posting right away. Before you start guest blogging, there are some things you’ll want to do. Namely, preparing and timing your content so that your posts will be optimized for success. Here’s how:
- Know the Content of the Blog
This is a key part of posting content that will help you target the right audience. Be aware of things like:
– The level of skill that the audience you write for has.
– What kind of crowd you are trying to communicate with.
– The grammar skills and reading capabilities of your target market.
– Slang, common phrases, or abbreviated words used by your readers.
– Whether you are writing casually or professionally in tone.
– The exact type of content you will write, whether it’s guideposts, lists, tutorials, etc.
- Be Aware of the Etiquette of the Site
It’s also a good idea to be aware of the website etiquette of your readers. For example, there are usually certain community guidelines and standards that you will be able to read and follow before posting. However, there are also often sometimes unspoken rules.
For example, in some communities, mentioning specific brands or creating content that comes off as “spammy” is frowned upon. Unspoken rules and etiquette can vary greatly by industry and community, so be aware of this before submitting your posts.
- See How Other Blog Posts are Doing
Many blogs have areas for guest posting. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should post there. You don’t want to waste your time somewhere that all posts tend to flop. You can check for a few themes to see if a guest post area is worth your time by asking these questions:
Do guest bloggers gain traction here?
Do guest posts get comments, likes, shares, hype?
Is the audience interested in guest posts, or only the blog owner?
- Know Your Fellow Bloggers
Some blogs allow guest posting, but they only publish certain posts. This is usually the case when the blogger knows fellow posters personally. If this is the case, you will need to form a relationship online with the blog owner. You can do this by attempting to connect with blog owners and establish rapport.
This can be a learning process, so don’t get discouraged. Take notes, learn as you go, and apply what you’ve learned. You should try and have something to offer as you go. Look for fellow bloggers, freelancers, business owners, and marketers in your specific industry.
- Take Note of Posts That are Doing Well
Another thing you can do to help your posts succeed is to study up on other posts. Ask yourself questions like:
What topics are discussed the most?
Which specific topics are trending and why?
Are certain topics overly discussed and becoming stale?
Why are some posts gaining traction while others aren’t getting many hits?
Which posts are doing well already?
Are they only doing well because the blog owner is promoting them or are these posts thriving because of real interaction? What topics are being discussed?
Finding the answers to these questions can help you get a better idea of how your posts should be structured. In this way, you will save time, avoid problems, and succeed more quickly.
- Get Familiarized With the Guest Blogging Community
Also, it’s important to become familiar with the guest blogging community. This will help to improve your chances of getting recognized and accepted. You might want to dedicate a few days or weeks toward commenting and observing trending posts in the blogs you plan to guest post to.
Additionally, sharing work from others gets you brownie points. When fellow users see that you are a real participator, they are more likely to interact with you in turn. Make sure to include @ tags for Twitter and hashtags when applicable.
Once you’ve been interacting, sharing, commenting, and building relationships, your posts will do better. It takes a bit of time, but remember, first impressions count. It’s better to make a good first impression than to spend twice as long as correcting a poor one.
Guest Blogging Basics and Pitching to Perfection
Now that we have discussed where to post and what to do before you post, we can get into how to create great posts. There are many different things to consider as you create guest blog posts. As such, you’ll probably want to take the information you read here and tweak it to match your specific style, niche, or industry specifications.
Wise Pitch Practices
These are the absolute musts for pitching your posts. When you are pitching your guest posts to a blog owner, it is wise to keep the following rules in mind. Otherwise, you’re likely to burn your bridges unnecessarily and waste your energy.
Be Well Aware of Community Guidelines and Standards
Violating the rules of a blog or website is a surefire way to stagnate your progress. Always read the rules, community guidelines, and standards of the website and blog that you are posting on. You can’t make progress if you get yourself banned or blacklisted.
Personalize Your Emails
As a blogger, you absolutely must have a personalized email approach. When an email starts off “Dear user,” or “To the owner,” or with only a “hello,” it automatically feels spammy and ingenuine.
When you’re trying to make connections, you have to know who you are talking to and address them. Somewhere on every blog page or within the subpages is the name of the blog owner. Find it, and use it. It’s also a good idea to try and find out a bit about the blog owner if you can. This way, your emails will be warmer and more personalized.
Be Warm and Competent
Additionally, it’s important to approach things with both warmth and competence. First with warmth, next with competence. These two concepts are a huge part of establishing a good relationship.
When you are friendly, warm, and personable, there is a good chance others will want to engage with you. Then, when you show yourself competent, capable, and knowledgeable, you seem more trustworthy and helpful. Which brings us to our next point…
Properly Communicate Why Your Posts are Relevant
Once you have established rapport, reached out, and shown that you’re a real person trying to become a guest blogger, it’s time to showcase your skills. You have to explain why you are an asset. What do you bring to the table? How skilled are you? Communicate exactly what you can contribute.
Make Sure Blog Owners Know Who You Are
Now, it’s time to talk about yourself. Most guest bloggers also have their own blogs somewhere. Introduce yourself as a fellow blogger, and explain what your business is and why it’s relevant. First focus on your blogging skills, then discuss why you should be guest blogging on the specific blog you are looking into.
Timing is Key
You will not always have the perfect opportunities available for pitching your guest blog posts. However, sometimes you will have certain advantages available to you. This can include:
- When a blog owner mentions their posts on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Whenever a blog lists your business, brand, or product you’re affiliated in a post.
- If a blog specifically advertises that they require guest posting.
- Whenever you see blogs publishing new guest posts.
What to Keep in Mind as You Write Your Guest Blog Posts
So let’s say that you’ve contacted the blogs you want to post to. Hopefully, you were accepted into the community and now have posting access. It’s time to start writing great guest blog posts. Below are some helpful pointers on how to do this.
Tips on Guest Blogging
- Remember to post for your audience.
Make sure that you are posting as if you are talking to each specific group. Don’t be over-generalized. Your readers are likely to pick up on content that is overly vague or unspecific.
- Do not act like you’re writing an advertisement.
Do not get overly sale-oriented or spammy. Stay on topic. Remember, less is more. This is especially true when pitching products, websites, or services.
- Format posts like the other posts that are already there.
Try to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb. Look at the other guest posts and try to format your content accordingly.
- Include links to internal sources.
Show the blog owner that you are familiar with their work by adding internal links where you can. This goes a long way toward being kept on as a guest blogger.
- Add a call to action or engage with your readers in some way.
Invite your audience to participate in some way. This can be by sharing, commenting, checking out specific links, and more. Customize your call to action for your target audience.
- Stay on topic.
It can be tempting to promote certain content, focus on a website, or discuss related services. Don’t do this. Your guest posts are not to be treated as advertisements. Once again, being overly promotional, spammy, or sales-orientated, can be a huge turn-off.
- Provide new information and relevant content.
- Keep your audience in mind for each separate blog you guest post on.
Stay on target and treat your audience as if they are your only audience. Many guest bloggers write for several different blogs. Focus intently on each audience so that your work is effective, genuine, and well-received.
Putting It All Together
So there you have it! Now you know where to find the best guest blogging opportunities, how to get in touch with blog owners, when to start posting, and how to structure your posts. Hopefully, this has been helpful!
Remember, becoming an established guest blogger can take some time. Keep at it, and learn as you go. Before you know it, you’ll be guest blogging constantly and seeing continuously better results.
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