If you can write a blog post for yourself, then you can certainly write a guest blog post. The difference is that instead of posting to your own blog, you make arrangements with another blog owner to post your article along with an author’s byline and link.
Why would you want to give away your content?
Simply to gain more exposure to another segment of the internet world. It’s impossible to reach every single person in your niche so don’t try to. Even the most famous celebrities in Hollywood come across people who don’t know them and the same will be true in your business life.
Finding another blogger with possibly a larger audience than you currently have is a great way to showcase your expertise on your subject matter and to make those readers a special offer for signing up to your list.
Going back to your research, find those bloggers who have a large following on their blog and who also keep their blogs updated frequently. It makes much more sense to be featured on an active blog which attracts a large audience rather than posting on a less active blog with little traffic.
Also, before making contact with these bloggers, read their blogs and learn about what type of content these bloggers give to their audience. A more focused blog about web design, for example, will likely stick to categories related to logo design, WordPress, Photoshop, or printed materials. If you approach them with an article about how to write a special report, they may reject you immediately because your story idea doesn’t gel with their content goals.
How to Win a Guest Blog Opportunity
When you’re reading the blogs for content, also look for a page specifically about Guest Blogging Opportunities. It might be titled something else but those bloggers who welcome guest bloggers will likely have a page dedicated to their submission rules.
If you don’t see a webpage about article submissions, simply email the blog owner asking if they offer guest blogging opportunities. You never know what the answer will be if you don’t ask! Remember, this is a networking opportunity and first impressions are important. Put some thought into your email instead of just slapping it together and pressing the Send button.
First, ask if this is something they have done in the past and mention there are certain benefits for them, the list owner. Not only will you create content, which gives them a break from writing, you will also help them spread the word about the article when it’s published. Even though you are doing this to spread the word about your list, don’t include that in the email. Focus on what THEY will receive instead.
Next, mention your article title or idea and ask if this is suitable for their audience. This will show the blog owner that you have done your research by looking over their website instead of just sending out random emails. However, don’t be discouraged if the blog owner responds that they’ve done a similar article so they won’t use your idea. Kindly ask them if your Plan B article title would suit them better. If the response is still a no, then consider how much time you want to spend pursuing this blog owner.
It’s also quite common to ask for writing samples, especially if the blog owner doesn’t know you, so be proactive and send links to your writing when you first make contact. Link to your own blog but also link to a few other guest blog posts you have written. If you write well and are able to convey your thoughts and ideas clearly without a lot of “fluff,” chances are good the blog owner will accept your proposal.
Once an agreement is made and you have a deadline for submission, be professional and follow all the submission directions carefully. Write as carefully for this blog as you would for your own. Proofread your article to check for grammatical errors but also smooth flow. Better yet, have a trusted friend proof your article.
One piece of advice:
Never, ever cut and paste bits of published articles and present it as your own. Most blog owners want 100% original material, which means that each word must come straight from your brain, through your fingers, onto your computer. Sure, do topic research if necessary, but copying and pasting from other articles is plagiarism and unacceptable.
On a similar note, don’t submit an article that you have already published on your own blog. Yes, it may be original but this now turns into a reprint article that could have been taken from any article directory. Writing about the same topic is acceptable but it should be a completely new article.
How to Get The Most From Your Bio
Every guest blog article you submit should have an author’s byline at the end. This is simply a short biography about the author and usually includes a link to their website. In fact, if the blog owner does not want to include a bio, then it’s not worth submitting the article because you won’t get the credit. But most successful blog owners are fully aware of the guest blogging opportunity and will gladly give you a link back to your site.
But you don’t need to just link to your home page. This is where you can get creative.
Keep your current squeeze page if it’s getting traffic and sign ups but consider creating a second squeeze page specifically for this guest blog article. You can create a special offer just for these readers, maybe a report, audio or video on a different topic and use this new link in your author’s byline.
Now, when someone clicks on the link in your author’s byline, it will direct them to this new squeeze page with the special offer. Of course, you will need to get creative with your text copy in this byline and make the special offer very clear so you grab the readers’ attention but this new link allows you to track how many of these readers followed through and signed up for your list.
Is there a “best time” to inquire about guest blogging opportunities?
Not especially but consider asking a few weeks or a month before summer starts or before the holiday season gets into full swing. Some bloggers want to have posts scheduled while they are away on vacation or while they are enjoying the holidays and your email might arrive just when they are planning their publishing schedule.
Of course, there are also some blog owners who would appreciate guest blog posts throughout the year to help them improve their search engine rankings. It truly depends on the blog owner’s own schedule and needs.
Arranging a Blog Tour
A blog tour is simply a selection of guest blog posts that revolve around a central theme and are usually scheduled within close proximity to each other. One example I found was internet marketer Nicole Dean’s Summer Blog Tour.
Nicole’s goal was to guest blog on a different blog each week during the summer, each post about a different topic. That was 15 different articles, posted on 15 different blogs for thousands of viewers to see over the course of the summer.
Contacting blog owners regarding a blog tour is no different than contacting them for a random guest blog post but it’s smart to give them the central blog tour topic and title idea in the initial email. Listing the calendar of events along with a link to each of the blog tour participants on your own site will sweeten the deal for the blog owners.