I am so excited to share the talents of some great guest bloggers this upcoming week. Over the past couple of weeks, I have shared guest posts by my wife and my son, and it has been remarkable to see the response. Recently, I’ve started asking people if they would be interested in sharing their “stretch marks” on my blog. This has provided an opportunity to hear what others have to share, but it’s also been an incredible opportunity to connect the blogging community. I cannot wait for you to read the posts coming up this week, and I’m looking forward to the feedback and dialogue that will be generated through these posts.
Here are seven steps to successful guest posting:
- Check the guidelines. Many established blogs, including this one, have a list of guidelines that you can follow to make a guest post. Before submitting your post, read the guidelines and follow them.
- Study the blog. Do some research to understand the subject and voice of the blog and to see what topics haven’t been covered yet. If you know someone who has guest-posted for the blog, ask him how he did it.
- Contact the blogger. Email is probably best. In the message, get right to the point. Either pitch an idea or send the whole article, but don’t waste time with unnecessary flattery or self-deprecation. Don’t say “sorry,” and don’t be arrogant. Just be yourself.
- Write the best post you can. (This may happen concurrently with #3). Once you’ve made contact with the blogger, you can begin writing. Fight the temptation to hold back your “A” content for your own blog. Guest posts are your best marketing collateral, so don’t submit something less than your best. Once finished, send the ready-to-publish post to the blogger with a byline and link to your website.
- Follow up. Depending on the guidelines, give the blogger some time (usually a week) before following up. When you do follow up, keep it positive and polite. You can follow up again a week or two later. If you don’t hear back in a month, tell the blogger that you’d like to take the article elsewhere.
- Engage and promote. If the blogger posts your article, first thank her. Then, treat it as you would one of your own posts, if not better. Tweet it, share it, email it, etc. Post an excerpt on your own blog and link to the whole article. Interact in the comments and engage readers who respond. This is a must.
- Repeat. Whether you succeed or not, start the whole process over again. If you get rejected, don’t get discouraged. And don’t let it be the last time you try to guest post. Sometimes, the topic is just wrong. Other times, it’s the wrong audience. Regardless, you need to guest post more than once for it to be an effective strategy. So, don’t give up.
If you’re interested in joining in and becoming a guest blogger on “Jon Stolpe Stretched”, please drop me a comment. I would love to connect with you!
Are you a blogger? Have you ever had others guest post on your blog? What tips to you have for guest bloggers?