I was a journalist for years. I had bylines on Page 1 and throughout the paper and wrote thousands of news stories. But the most recognition I’ve ever felt for my writing was when a tweet I posted was on a local billboard.
An outdoor marketing company used to post tweets about local things on their billboard on one of the major highways where I live. I don’t even recall the tweet, but I remember being ecstatic when I saw it on the billboard.
Sometimes you just want to see your byline somewhere fresh and new, and so do your readers. That’s one of the reasons guest posts on other blogs can help build your credibility. It also can reignite your energy around something you’ve done for years — writing.
How Guest Posting Builds Your Credibility
Guest posts mean someone else values your expertise or views enough to put your name on their site. Aside from that, there are other ways guest posting benefits you.
Guest posting builds your credibility by:
- Establishing Expertise. When you share your knowledge and insights on a topic, you demonstrate your expertise and establish yourself as a thought leader or person worth paying attention to.
- Building New Audiences. Guest posting helps you reach new readers, expanding your reach and increasing your visibility.
- Creating Relationships. Some back and forth goes along with writing on someone else’s blog. Building a relationship with the blog’s owner or editor can expand your network and establish trust.
- Getting Backlinks. You can usually put a link back to your blog or a post you’ve written in a guest post. Backlinks can help improve search engine rankings and drive traffic to your site.
- Generate Authority. Your byline appearing on other sites and backlinks to your site help generate authority with search engines.
In addition to building credibility, guest posting also can add to your professional resume and result in ongoing paid content opportunities.
Finding Sites to Guest Post On
So, you understand why you’d want to guest post, but how do you do it? How do you even find sites to guest post on if you don’t already have website owners in your network?
Find sites to guest post on by:
- Looking in Your Niche. What area are you qualified to write in? What’s your expertise? Once you identify your niche, look for other blogs on that topic.
- Consider Branching Out. The alternative to finding something in your niche is looking for a site you have the knowledge to write for but is outside your typical area. For example, I might contribute to a marketing or public relations site instead of guest posting on a writing site. I also know these topics but don’t usually write about them here, so the content wouldn’t overlap. It’s a new opportunity and a chance to reach a unique audience.
- Using Social Media. Look for opportunities to guest post on sites like Twitter or LinkedIn. Search for hashtags related to your niche to see if anyone is looking for contributors.
- Watching Job Boards. Pay attention to writing job boards, like the one from Superpath, or writers that post jobs, like Kat Boogaard does in her newsletter. Reach out if you see an opportunity in your area.
- Asking Around. Ask people you’ve written for before or others in your network if they know of anyone in your area looking for guest posts. If they do, ask for an introduction.
Remember, when searching for sites to guest post on, it’s essential to prioritize blogs with a high-quality audience and substantial traffic. Focus on providing value to the blog’s audience and building relationships with the blogger.
Making the Most of a Guest Posting Opportunity
Once you determine where you want to guest post, it’s time to take steps to secure that opportunity. You’ll want to follow the advice below to make the most of a guest posting opportunity.
Do Your Homework
When you identify a blog you’d like to guest post on, look around the site to see if they’ve published contributors’ work in the past. If they haven’t, they might not be interested in guest posting. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t contact them, but knowing whether they even accept outside work before you contact them is good.
While on the site, try to understand who the audience is and the type of posts the blog runs. Take note of the voice posts are written in and the type of content the blog seems to be missing. The more you know about the site and its audience, the better.
Check the Guidelines
If a blog accepts content from contributors, it often posts guidelines for how to submit and what they’re looking for. Read these guidelines carefully before contacting anyone. The last thing you want is to lose credibility with the blog’s owner because you didn’t bother reading the material they already provided on making a post happen.
Follow the Rules
Some posting guidelines want you to reach out and pitch a post before you write the entire thing. Others will ask you to submit a completed post. If they want a full post, they’ll also provide formatting details that help ensure your post is accepted. Whether they pay for contributions and how much also should be outlined.
Contact the Blogger
If the guidelines say to contact the blogger, you’ll want to ensure and do that as outlined. If it doesn’t, you may still contact someone with the site if you know a writer there.
Write Great Content
Write the best post you can. Remember that the post is a representation of yourself and your brand. The quality of post you write also will help determine whether the blogger uses you for future guest posts or ongoing content.
Pay attention to the guidelines, but following up in about a week typically makes sense. Just let the blogger know that you’re checking on the status of your blog proposal. Ask if you can provide any further information or if there are any edits they would like you to make.
Explore Your Options
If the blogger isn’t interested in your post, you should pitch it to another blogger at a different site. But be upfront about doing this. You can write something like, “I appreciate your consideration of my post. Since you’ve decided that the content isn’t the right fit for your blog, I will send it to another blogger for consideration. I hope to provide content for your site in the future.”
You shouldn’t offer the same post to more than one site simultaneously. Each blogger should get a chance to consider your post as unique content for their site.
Use Your Manners
Make sure that all of your contacts with bloggers are professional and well-mannered. This approach includes making certain to proofread and edit your email correspondence.
Promote and Engage
If your post is accepted, thank the blogger after it runs. It’s an excellent time to send a written thank you note.
You also should promote the post via your social media accounts, engage in comments on the post, and repost the blog on your site according to the blogger’s guidelines.
Repeat the Process
Once you have successfully pitched, written, and published your first guest post, repeat the process. Remember, each guest post you publish builds your credibility. Guest posting also can lead to freelance work or ongoing content if you’re interested.
I could not agree more. I do a lot of guest posting. I write for Lattice Engines, Marketo, Salesforce.com and JeffShore.com. And as Copyblogger says, guest posting not only brings links, it brings an audience.
Thanks for sharing the power of guest posts?
Jeff Ogden, Creator and Host
Marketing Made Simple TV
I use these steps myself! Following the rules is vital. it can make or break your pitch and you’ll end up losing (or waiting for another) opportunity.
Glori I haven’t done a lot of guest posting, so it’s good to read that my tips are on point. Thank you, Glori, for reading and commenting.
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Well said. As I’ve opened up guest blogging on my site, it’s important to lay the foundation for writers. It’s a fine line, enabling writer creativity, but maintaining site continuity. Thanks for this insight blog post.
Nice post, Kenna. This is a nice step-by-step guide on guest blogging. If I may add, a personalized pitch works most of the time.