"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Guest Blogging (but were afraid to ask)




 
 
Every blogger who’s been on the scene for a while, knows that Guest Blogging is as hot as “Bieber Fever!” Guest posting is a great way to garner greater visibility, share expertise, and build one’s brand.
In fact, Leo Babauta, mega-successful blogger, author, and creator of Zen Habits, (with more than 200,000 subscribers), states in an interview: “Guest posting is by far the best way to grow an audience.”

And as someone who has reaped the benefits of being featured at top-tier sites such as Men with Pens, Pro Blogger, Daily Blog Tips, and Write to Done, I would definitely agree. But, it’s also important to recognize that much like other creative pursuits, it’s not just what you do, but “how” you do it that matters. In other words, there’s a right and a wrong way to guest blog for optimal results.

With this in mind, here’s the ultimate guide to getting started, and a few insider’s tips for greater success.

1. A common question is “How do I get started?
Well, it’s unlikely you’ll receive a personalized invitation. So your best bet is to simply Google “Guest Posting Opportunities”. Once you yield search results, make a list of maybe ten, (based upon the niche area, topics addressed, and readership) to target for potential posts. Start there.

2. In real estate, there’s a popular mantra that states, “location, location, location!” The same rule applies to strategic guest blogging. Where you blog matters. However, until you hone your skills and build your confidence, don’t shy away from approaching smaller, lesser known sites. They too have merit. Size is not always an indicator of quality. Once you’re able to score at smaller sites, it will be easier to graduate to the more popular sites, (which should be your ultimate goal). To beef up your Bio and your portfolio even more, aim for sites with a Google Rank of 3 or more. To check a site’s Google Rank, see here: 

http://www.prchecker.info/check_page_rank.php

3. Never approach a blog owner with a sense of entitlement.
A “virtual home”, much like a real one, requires permission for access; it is a courtesy, not a right. Always interact with blog owners professionally, observing the protocol established through their guidelines.

4. Big site or small, make sure that your post is unique and of the utmost quality.
It increases the likelihood of being welcomed as a “guest” in the future. Remember, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

5. Have realistic expectations.
Can you make money? Sure, but not right away--and not all the time. Your efforts won’t likely land you a book deal or “cult-like following” either. At least not initially. Give it some time and give it some effort. Though results vary, within 3-9 months you should see measurable results.

6. Recognize that not all blogs are created equally.
Your goals should dictate your game plan. For example, if you’re seeking to get good traffic to your site, or quality links, it would stand to reason that you would post at blogs that have a substantial following. If you’re seeking to “win friends and influence people,” or a more intimate experience, then a smaller blog might be more effective.

7. What should you write about?
Choose a topic for which you have both expertise and genuine interest. Although this is not a mandatory requirement, it typically yields greater success. The more passionate and versed you are in terms of the subject matter, the easier it is to connect with your audience and to establish authenticity and authority.

Follow the following timely tips to take the “guess-work" out of guest posting, and to reach greater heights in 2013.

Questions? Thoughts?
Anything come as a surprise here?

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

5 comments:

  1. Wonderful advice, Jennifer! I like #3 especially. I've had people approach me as if they were doing me a favor by offering a blog post. While it is in some ways, as you said, they are not entitled to jump in just because they want to.

    Another thing to consider is the blog's guest post guidelines. Of the dozens of people who've approached me about it, only two or three people followed my guidelines. By not following the blog's guidelines, you make more work for the host, and you are less likely to get accepted. This is one reason I've temporarily taken my guest post tab down on my blog. I don't have time to walk everyone through the guidelines, nor respond to an impatient message about why I haven't gotten back to them yet.

    Thanks for these great tips. I've been meaning to submit more guest posts, so I appreciate the reminder. :)

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    1. Thought I should soften my response a tad - as a host blogger, guest posts can be a wonderful help and addition to the lineup. As a writer - I agree with you, Jennifer, they provide great opportunities. :-)

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    2. Karen,

      Good to hear from you on this. You should definitely try to guest post more in the future; it's a win/win for both the guest and the host! Let me know when you do, so I can cheer you on. :-) Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Yes, I recommend guest blogging because it increases traffic to your own site, but also because it's FUN! You meet great people that way, and it boosts your credibility.

    My problem is guest blogging consistently. I'd see better results if I appeared more regularly on other sites. That's why I'll be dedicating an entire month to guest blogging this year. It should be fun.

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    1. Hi Sarah,
      It is fun, isn't it? :-) I hope to add a few more "virtual stops" to my list this year. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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