If you’ve ever tried guest blogging then you know that it’s not always as easy as some people want you to believe it is.
For instance, there’s an awful lot of articles online talking about the importance of guest blogging and the benefits it can bring, which is all fine.
However, there’s lot less info on how to actually deal with guest blogging on the networking side (how to handle the common scenarios you can encounter when contacting people and sending your articles).
Basically, the idea of guest blogging itself is quite simple. You find a blog, send an article, and get published, but the practice shows that things often get a bit more complicated. Here’s how to deal with this.
Image credit: ScottieT812
The stages of guest blogging
Finding quality and relevant blogs where you can guest post is something you can surely do on your own, so I’m not going to talk about it here. What I am going to focus on is what happens after you decide to target a given blog.
Now, two paths for you to choose:
- Some people prefer to send an article pitch first, and then send the actual article only when the blog owner approves the idea.
- Others prefer to send the complete article right away and hope for the best.
No matter what’s your method of choice, you still need to get ready for a number of scenarios, and in this post I’ll try to describe every one of them.
Furthermore, things can happen even after your post gets approved and published, so the story doesn’t end there…
Sending the pitch first
This is where one of three things can happen:
1. No answer
I’m starting with this because it’s often the most common scenario to happen. No hard feelings though.
There can be a couple of reasons why someone didn’t send you an answer: they might be uninterested, they might have not received your original message, they’ve decided to let it sit for a while until they find some time to answer, etc.
Well, you don’t know what the case is so you can only send your message again. I advise waiting seven days before doing so.
When you send another message, make it clear that you’ve tried contacting the person a while ago, but be careful not to sound aggressive.
If you don’t get an answer here too, wait for another 5-7 days and send yet another message.
No answer again? At this point it’s probably a good moment to move on.
“No” doesn’t have to necessarily mean no. Just like in real life…
Anyway, two kinds of negative responses you can encounter: (1) the blog doesn’t accept guest posts at all, (2) your post didn’t seem to be interesting.
In case it’s (1): Move on.
In case it’s (2): Try pitching a completely different idea. Or better yet, come up with 2-3 separate ideas. Whatever you do, don’t try to recycle your already declined idea. This won’t work.
3. Green light
If you’ve got lucky and someone is interested in your guest post, there’s nothing more for you to do other than to send the post for review.
If the blogger doesn’t mention any preferred format, always send the post as a WordPress-HTML – this is the simplified HTML code used inside the Text Editor in WordPress. The best way of converting your post into such a format is to submit it as a draft to your own blog, copy it from the Text Editor and save it as a standard text file.
Don’t forget about your bio (not that you would).
Sending the post
This is where the fun starts. No matter if you’re sending the post out of the blue or start by contacting the blogger first, you can basically still get the same kind of answers.
1. No answer
The reasons are quite similar to the “pitch first” scenario, only with one more addition. If you’re sending the post as an email attachment then there’s a good chance it’ll get flagged as spam.
In the end, it doesn’t matter why you’re not getting an answer. The only thing you can do is re-send your post (again, the 7-day rule).
Remember about pointing out that it’s your second attempt and make sure not to sound aggressive.
Also, consider including the post in the body of the email as opposed to sending it as an attachment again (the spam issue).
Wait another 5-7 days before sending the third message.
Still no answer? Move on, there are hundreds of other blogs out there for you to guest post on.
Image credit: Sean MacEntee
If your post has been declined because the blog doesn’t host guest posts then the thing is pretty clear… not much for you to do here.
But if the post you’ve sent doesn’t meet the standards of the blog, I would advise to go back to the pitch phase. Propose some new ideas and see what happens.
Sending another complete article right away (just like that) doesn’t convey the right message. It makes you look like a content mill or something, and this is not a good impression to make.
If you get declined again, it’s probably time to move on.
3. Accepted with probation
This is when the person sends you a message like “it’s a great post, but …”
No matter what comes after the but you should make the required edits and re-send the article. If you decide to give up at this stage, you’ll look like a complete spammer/content mill who isn’t even willing to edit their work to make it more suitable.
Remember that the blog owner always knows best what has the most potential to work on their blogs, so don’t argue, simply do what’s right.
Make sure to mark the date in your calendar (the day your post is supposed to go live) so you don’t miss out on responding to comments.
Also, if the day passes and your post isn’t published, contact the blogger and ask about the new publication date.
Mission accomplished. Have a beer, respond to comments, send a “thank you” email to the blogger.
The “what if” scenarios
Here’s a couple of things that can happen after your post gets published.
Your bio gets changed
Not such an uncommon thing, by the way, unfortunately… The most likely scenario is to have your links removed. I don’t really know why people do this, but they probably think that you won’t notice since the post has been live for three months or so.
If that happens, make sure to contact the blogger and ask them politely to restore your bio to its original form.
Your post goes down
I only had this done once. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do. If someone went ahead and deleted your post then they clearly no longer want to host it.
If it’s a related and evergreen topic, you can publish it on your own blog.
(Contacting the blogger in this case is optional. I didn’t.)
The whole site goes down
A situation very similar to the previous one (at least from your point of view). You can republish the post on your blog if it’s relevant.
I can’t think of any more scenarios, so it’s probably a good moment to conclude this tutorial. Experience shows that guest posting can force us to handle multiple different situations, not even mentioning the time it takes to write a quality post.
However, when it’s all said and done, it’s still a great method to build your brand and make a name for yourself in the community.
Two final questions: Do you guest post a lot? Do you deal with a lot of communication problems along the way?
This guest post is written by Tobi. If you’re looking for comparison of the top website builders, check out Website-builder.com