If you are using content marketing, blogging, and SEO, to grow your small business brand, guest blogging is an effective way to go about it. Guest blogging is when you write a blog post for someone else’s website. To properly pitch a guest blog post, the key is to understand the purpose of the blog/website and the audience that reads it—then write an article that will fit in.
If you think you want to pitch a guest blog post to a particular website, read that blog for a few weeks to get a feel for the content of the blog. I can’t tell you how many times a week I’m hit up by pitches that are not relevant to my audience, from books about enterprise businesses, career sites or casinos offering me a guest post. I am also constantly approached by SEO link farmers who pose as business people trying to submit a blog post. Often when they do submit something, it’s poorly written because often English is not their first language, or they know nothing about the subject or the content is plagiarized. Because of this, we have put many safeguards in place to keep our content high quality.
If you want to pitch a guest blog post to any site, make sure you know what the requirements are to submit a post. On my site, I require 1000-1500 words. I only publish original articles that are not published anywhere. Since low authority links are no longer a benefit to blogs, I ban authors from submitting posts with more than one link, and that link must be from a website they run and own. I also require a headshot. I do this because I want to see the name and face of the author.
7 Rules for Pitching a Guest Blog Post
If you want to pitch a guest blog post to my site or any other blog, keep these 7 tips in mind.
- Read the blog submission guidelines
- Pitch 3 ideas first to see whether they would be something they would publish
- Pay attention to what has already been published on the blog
- Write an amazing piece of original content
- Craft a perfect title (always consider keywords)
- Submit artwork too, and infographics that are unpublished
- Write specifically for the audience of the blog
One more thing to keep in mind: don’t expect people to notify you when your post runs. Many big sites, including mine, will never do this; we just get too many submissions. You should have a Google alert for your name to notify you when your piece runs.
Also, some guest bloggers may be compensated, but most will not be because exposure on a ranked site with high domain authority is valuable to an emerging brand in-and-of-itself. This purely depends on whether the website publisher has any budget to pay, and if the editor contacted you. Also sometimes guest bloggers will offer to pay for the post to appear. Just know that when you offer to pay for a guest blog, you to come off like a link farmer (and make a bad impression). In addition, if you email every day asking about your post—we will never run it, once again, because you come off desperate and like a link farmer.
Another thing to consider before you pitch a guest blog post is that if a post requires a ton of editing it is likely to be a red flag for the site owner. Here at Succeed as Your Own Boss, we just reject it if it requires too much editing; no one has more than 10 minutes to read through and edit blog posts. And here’s the biggest no-no of all: don’t post the same article on multiple blogs! You will be found out and banned.
There is not much difference between guest posting and being a regular contributor to a blog. Guest posting is more for those who are looking to contribute once and move on. On the other hand, as a contributor, you are seen as a columnist, producing 2-4 posts per month. Your goal is to provide a quality post of value on reputable websites to get the exposure and link juice.
5 Main Benefits of Guest Blogging
Now that I’ve broken down the do’s and don’t of guest blogging, it’s time to let you know the key benefits.
Increase Brand Awareness
Guest blogging can expose your brand to a much broader audience. People are more likely to trust and buy from a small business brand that has a powerful web presence.
Reach a Wider Audience
Contributing your work to popular websites should mean that more people will see you demonstrate your expertise. When I became a contributor to the NY Times, you would not believe how often my phone rang. My LinkedIn connection requests also increased significantly.
Generate Quality Referral Traffic
Quality blog content that gets seen by 10k+ readers is likely to generate tons of quality referral traffic. This can lead to more opportunities and more sales.
Become an Influencer
Being featured in authoritative websites could make you an influencer in the eyes of your potential sponsors. You’ll be viewed as an expert in your niche, and will often be cited as a leader in your industry.
Build Your Social Media Reach
When someone likes your work, often they will follow you and share your article, which is one of the main reasons for doing a guest blog in the first place.
Who Can You Pitch a Guest Blog Post To?
Now, it can be really hard to get your work accepted by some of the sites on this list, and some are moderately difficult to get into. However, I should be clear: none are easy to submit a post too. But if you have a good angle and are a decent writer, you have a shot, especially if it’s a new area that not a lot of people have written about.
If you are interested in building your brand online, guest blogging is a perfectly fine way to do it. Just don’t be spammy. Don’t contact the blog publisher directly. Follow the submission guidelines and write a really good article that is copyedited before submission. If you do, this you’ll be welcomed back to write again, and your personal blog and sales will grow.