Writing a guest post for a blog that fits in your niche is a great way to attract new traffic to your blog. If those readers like your content, chances are good that they’ll hop over and check out your blog as well. This will undoubtedly lead to some new followers and more buzz about your content – all of which are great things.
That’s all well and good, but designing a good guest post can be a project in itself. There are a lot of things to consider when writing this piece – it needs to be your best work to impress the blog’s editor, as well as the readers. You’ll need to ensure it’s properly researched, fits with your blog’s niche, hasn’t been done before on that blog, etc.
It can seem overwhelming when you first set out – there’s so much to do, and no definitive order in which to accomplish everything. Where do you start?
After going through the struggle of trying to decide how to write my guest blogs, I finally designed a step-by-step guide on how to write an amazing guest blog without too much hassle. If I follow these 5 steps, I find that I can write a good, well-received guest blog in half the time as if I didn’t have a plan.
Find a Place
You can’t start writing until you know what you’re writing about. Everyone knows that. But when it comes to guest posting, this can be a little more complicated than just finding a topic. Your first step should be to figure out what website (or websites, if you can find more than one with the same niche) where you can publish your post. Knowing where you’re going to publish your piece will be a huge boon when you start narrowing down your topic.
If you can find more than one blog that accepts blog posts in your niche, I recommend having some backups in case your first choice for blog doesn’t like your pitch or your article. Make a list of three, and keep your pitch on file. That way if you’re rejected, you can use the same pitch – maybe with some adaptation – for a different blog. This saves you time and energy. Plus, having your pitch saved will help you adapt new ones if you decide to submit some more guest posts.
Look Over Guidelines
This one is pretty important – once you find a site that accepts guest posts, you should figure out what their guidelines are. Normally, bloggers have their guidelines for article submissions (or pitches) contained in a blog post, or linked to their “Submit” or “Contact Me” page, making them easy and accessible for potential contributors to see and utilize. Sometimes this isn’t the case, however. In that case, it’s always best to use their “Contact Me” page and send them an email or message, asking what their editorial guidelines are, and what type of posts they prefer.
You should try and figure out these things before starting your pitch/post:
- How long a post should it be?
- What topics are accepted?
- Do they want you to pay for the post? Alternately, do they pay you for your post?
- Will they give credit for your post?
If they ask for payment or don’t credit you as an author for your post, then you may be better off finding a different blog on which to publish your post.
Find Your Topic
Once you know where you want to submit your post, you have a better idea of what your topic should be. You simply need to find where the blog’s topics and your blog’s niche intersect. That way, you know where to start when you start looking for ideas.
Once you have a vague idea of what you want to write about, spend a little time researching the blog where you’re pitching. Do they have pieces on this topic before? How recent are said pieces? Can you offer a unique enough take on the topic to justify revisiting it? If you think you can, your next step is to refine your topic, until you’re sure you know exactly what you’re going to write about.
Design a Pitch
This step is optional – you only need pitch your article if they require it. You may still choose to – if they allow it – so that you don’t waste your time writing a post that they won’t use. And – some blogs require a pitch when you send in the article, to make sure that they don’t waste their time reading something they don’t want. In any of these cases, you need to make sure your pitch is unique and stands out.
Marketing Director at George Sink, P. A. Injury Lawyers explains in a recent interview that to make a strong pitch, you have to “make sure your topic is strong, and your email is personal. If your topic is weak, or it seems like your email is generic, you won’t get the attention that you need to make sure you can publish your post.”
Write the Piece
The last step is by far the easiest. Once your pitch has been approved, you simply need to write the piece. Make sure you put your best foot forward, so to speak – your writing and research should be at its best quality for your guest post. But if you can manage that, and get your final post approved by the editor, you’re finished! You can either return to writing for your own blog or find some more places to publish guest posts, to drive up your traffic even more.
Amanda DiSilvestro is the Editor in chief for Plan, Write, GO. She has been writing about all-things digital marketing, both as a ghost writer, guest writer, and blog manager, for over 10 years. Check out her blogging services to learn more!