A Beginner’s Guide To Guest Blogging

Step 1: Discover

Prior to any writing or posting, you need to understand discover the opportunities and communities. Guest blogging should never be your SEO strategy, it should be a small percentage of your ongoing efforts in that strategy. You first must find these opportunities online, use your industry knowledge and look where people are getting their news and information. A lot of times these resources are places that you commonly visit to get information. Another method to discover guest blogs is to search for “your term” guest blog in Google to find open blogs that are known for guest blogging. There are many different ways to find guest blogging opportunities for your industry, but you need to be careful and make sure that the site is well respected and your content will not appear to be spam in Google’s eyes.

Find Your Blog:
  • Google search “industry phrase” submit a guest post
  • Ask your community
  • Where do you get your news and resources?

Step 2: Qualify

Once you have found a blog or website that you would like to reach out to, you need to qualify the blog to make sure that it will be valuable for your business and valuable in your link profile. The goal should not always be to get links, but to increase your brand awareness and provide value. If you continue to provide value online, links will come naturally. The website will need to reputable and be a good source of qualified traffic to your website. You want to stay away from low quality sites for many reasons, but it will be a waste of your time and efforts in establishing your brand. In many cases it is more wise to focus on a few sites and producing the best content possible, rather than go by the numbers and submit a lot of thin content.

How To Qualify The Blog:
  • Domain Authority (metric by moz.com)
  • Frequency of posts
  • Quality of content

Step 3: Brainstorm:

When you have a website in mind its time to brainstorm. The last thing a webmaster, moderator wants to hear is a non genuine email from someone asking to guest blog. They want to see that you are going to put the effort in and add value to the website. Remember, if you put yourself in their shoes it makes this process much easier. Don’t try and get by with poor content and lazy outreach. Great content comes from demand. What do your customers, industry colleagues and community want to know or learn? Come up with several great ideas that you can prepare for and pitch for the moderator. And remember above all, provide value.

How To Generate Ideas:
  • What are common questions your customers have?
  • What is a problem in the industry you want to discuss?
  • What is a topic that is commonly misunderstood in your industry?
  • What resources can you create?

Step 4: Pitch

The pitch is a crucial step in the guest blogging process. When sending the initial contact, it is very important to take the time prior to understand the type of content that they website publishes and make a genuine effort to provide great content for them. These moderators see a lot of spam email and won’t waste any time on an insincere request.

Keys To A Successful Pitch:
  • Be genuine
  • Find a common point of interest
  • Provide details of post

Step 5: Direction

The moderator will respond accordingly, if they respond positively they will confirm your angle and depending on the moderator, they will recommend changes or give direction. The direction that the moderator gives is important, you need to make sure you address their direction in the article that your write, however do not let it dictate your writing and sound unnatural.

Key Takeaways :
  • Be open to ideas
  • Appreciate the opportunity

Step 6: Write

With the established direction and confirmation from the moderator, being the writing process. Your initial draft needs to be your final. You only have one shot to gain their trust and it is important that they see you were consistent with their direction and is not just a blog about you and your company. The last thing the moderator wants to see is a 900 word ad for your business.

Writing Advice:
  • Don’t promote your business
  • Provide value
  • Proof your article
  • Have a colleague provide feedback

Step 7: Review

After you submit your article to the moderator, don’t be alarmed if the response isn’t immediate and give the moderator time to review on their own time. Set a reminder to follow up 3 – 4 days later and don’t be pushy. The moderator will accept, deny or request feedback on the article. Whatever the response, be grateful for the opportunity because you may reach out to them in the future.

Advice:
  • Be grateful for the opportunity
  • Don’t be pushy
  • Be patient
  • Respond to criticism well

Step 8: Revisions

If the moderator requests changes to your article, review them and make the necessary changes as long as it doesn’t diminish the value. If the moderator diminishes the value of your article in their requests, it may not be the best opportunity for you and your business. Make the changes quickly and correctly, don’t let too much time pass before responding with the revisions because you want the article to be fresh in their mind.

Making Changes:
  • Don’t be offended by criticism
  • Respond quickly
  • Ask for clarification if needed

Step 9: Publish

In most cases the moderator will notify you that the article is scheduled or will be scheduled to post. In other cases, they will post the article without notifying you. Once the article has been published, review to make sure that it is correct and attributed properly. With all content that you have written, it is important to respond to commentors and provide answers to questions and feedback from the article.

Once Published:
  • Properly thank the moderator
  • Make sure attributed properly
  • Verify content
  • Respond to commentors