Guest Blogging: The Road to Writing Success

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guest-postingThis is a guest post by Annie Wallace who blogs on social media news as well as guest posts throughout the Internet!

If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Guest blogging is a great way for writers to hone their craft and expand their audience in the process. Whether you’re a writer whose relatively new to blogging, or an experienced blogger, everyone can benefit from the additional self-promotion that comes as a result of successful guest posting.

Getting more readers and subscribers is perhaps one of the most obvious reasons for wanting to guest post on a successful blog, but it’s not the only one. Another tangible benefit is that the more your presence is felt on successful blogs across the net, the more your reputation for handling specific subjects will grow, providing more opportunities for paid work and once again helping to increase your number of loyal followers.

If that’s not enough, here are another 20 benefits of guest blogging that should help you to see how making free guest posts on successful blogs could be useful to you. Really, it should be obvious to anyone what the promotional value of guest blogging is, for many the problem isn’t not wanting to do it, but not being sure how to go about actually becoming a guest blogger.

As with many things in life, writing often comes down to the three P’s, preparation, pitch and patience.

Guest Blogging: Preparation

First of all you need to actually find some blogs to guest post on. The easiest way to get onto someone else’s blog is to ask people you already know well (particularly friends) if you can post on their blog. Whilst this may not get you a huge amount of new subscribers (though it could depending on who your friends are), it will almost certainly help build your confidence if you’re new to blogging and it may well get you a few new followers along the way.

A natural extension of that idea is to find a community that is dedicated to blogging, become a member, share your blog, make some friends and see if any of the other members would be interested in having you make a guest post.

Some popular blog orientated forum sites are:

  • Authority Blogger a community set up to talk about blogging in general.
  • BlogHer a forum for female bloggers.
  • MyBlogGuest a forum for connecting people who need guest bloggers with people who want to post on other peoples blogs.

I for one use the latter (MyBlogGuest.com) and am a huge fan of it. MyBlogGuest is the perfect free platform that connects bloggers to guest authors and provides for numerous opportunities. I am a Premium member (and using its Articles Gallery to place my articles weekly) but in fact, you can use the platform to its fullest without even upgrading: it’s just cool and free!

guest-blogging

Try not to be overly aggressive about becoming a guest blogger when approaching people on these sites, as not all of them are set up specifically to facilitate guest blogging. Those that aren’t do sometimes run guest blogging events, which can help break the ice between members wanting to get involved in that kind of activity. You don’t necessarily have to wait for such events to happen, but be careful not to just be seen as a pushy self-promoter in communities which aren’t geared towards that.

Finally you can find guest posting opportunities using Google, it’s just a matter of knowing what search terms to use. Try some of the following queries to help get you started on finding blogs that are looking for guest posters:

  • “Add blog post”
  • “Become an author” (replace author with writer, poster, etc)
  • “Send a guest post”
  • “Submit an article”
  • “Submit a guest post”
  • “Write for us”

And of course, be sure to check out this post at WeBuidYourBlog on finding guest blogging partners.

Guest Blogging: Pitching

When you have found some blogs that you’re interested in posting on, as well as the contact details of the blogs owners or editors, you are ready to start working on your pitch.

The first thing you need to do is read any potential blog thoroughly before you pitch to them. This is because when pitching to someone you need to present them with a subject that ideally hasn’t been covered before on their site, but one that is related to a topic which has. It also helps to make sure you have a good feel for the kind of blog it is, so that any post you make will reflect the style of the site it’s being made on.

Once you’ve done that you should consider what articles you could write for the blog that would add value for the people who run the site you want to post on. Once you’ve come up with a few titles either write your articles straight away (while you are fully motivated) then send the best one in for consideration, or get in contact with the blog owner offering to make a guest post on one of the subjects you’ve outlined (remember to send samples of your work). Some people prefer to send full articles when applying for guest post positions, whilst others prefer to maintain full control of their work in case they get rejected.

When contacting people make sure to write a personalized pitch aimed at the owner (or editor) of the specific blog in question. Nothing turns people off more than a standardized form, if they ask you to provide any information with your submission make sure you do it. Remember not to be pushy, just explain in a clear manner who you are and why you think your post would be a good fit for their blog.

As guest posting works to build up your online presence, it’s advisable to always do your best to prepare a great guest post for any potential platform willing to promote your work. Guest blogging is not article marketing, blog posts should be creative, informative and unique pieces of content that people actually want to read, anything else is a waste of time for everyone involved.

Guest Blogging: Patience

The hardest part of applying for any writing position, paid or otherwise, is waiting for a response from the person who gets to make the decision on whether you are in or out. As with print publications, the more high profile bloggers will be extremely busy, which can result in a significant delay before you hear back from them regarding your particular proposal.

Waiting a week or so is not uncommon, though if you haven’t heard anything back by the end of the second week I would recommend sending in a polite follow up email requesting information. If after sending the follow up email you still don’t get a response within another week or so, then send a final email letting them know you will be offering the piece to another distributor, but if they would like to make use of your services in future you would be happy to oblige. Very popular sites have waiting lists going back months, so don’t be put off if you don’t hear anything and be careful not to burn your bridges as you go.

Once you managed to get a piece published, remember to visit your guest posts often so you can reply to any comments they may receive. Interacting with people who have cared enough to leave a comment (good or bad) is a great way to pick up new long term readers.

Often it’s worth tracking twitter and see if anyone is talking about your articles, BackTweets, Twitter Reactions and Topsy are all tools for keeping an eye on the people who could potentially become fans of your work.

This is a guest post by Annie Wallace who blogs on social media news as well as guest posts throughout the Internet! Feel free to follow Annie on twitter as @ViralMomTweets

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20 Responses to Guest Blogging: The Road to Writing Success

  1. Patricia February 21, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Hi Annie

    I have done several guest posts. It has introduced me to some new bloggers and also the blog owner has met some of my readers who have visited their site to read the guest post and meet the blog owner. All the guest posts I have done, I have been asked by the blog owner to do and have enjoyed each of them.

    Have had quite a few emails from people who have asked to guest post on my site. However, they are not people who interact on my site and I do wonder their motives for requesting to GP on my blog.

    I have only just started accepting GP and by invitation only. For me, it is important that I know the blogger who will write on my blog. When my readers come to my site they expect to find me or at least someone who regularly contributes to the conversation through comments on my site.

    Patricia Perth Australia
    Patricia recently posted..Create Impact- Not Traffic SpikesMy Profile

    • Annie Wallace February 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

      Hey Patricia, thanks for your comment! There’s really no recipe as to whether accept guest posts and how. It largely depends on your blog type, style and audience.
      Annie Wallace recently posted..Quick- Easy Ways to Get OrganizedMy Profile

  2. Debbie
    Twitter:
    February 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Wow this is a lot of great information about guest posting. One question that I do have is, how many guest post would you recommend in a week or a month? Sometime I feel maybe I am not doing enough. Thanks Annie for the info and Thanks Andrew for the well informed guest post.
    Have a great day.

    • Annie Wallace February 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

      Hey Debbie, do you mean accepting or writing guest posts?

      In either way, it really depends… I usually go for at least 1 or two guest articles for a blog which is updated daily. This way it is still offers variety without losing its identity.

      As for writing guest articles, it depends on how much time you can afford. I can only write 1 article per week to place it elsewhere and promote my blog!
      Annie Wallace recently posted..Quick- Easy Ways to Get OrganizedMy Profile

      • Debbie
        Twitter:
        February 22, 2011 at 12:29 am #

        You answered my question and I thank you Annie. I do wonder if I shouldn’t start asking for guest post. Thanks again.
        Debbie

  3. Delena Silverfox February 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

    This is a really great post; very informative! I’m really new to guest blogging, and I think for me the biggest issue is just time. Of course, that may be because I’m avoiding admitting that patience is a virtue I never mastered, either! =) Sometimes it’s hard to wait for a response after submitting a proposal for a guest post.

    But it’s part of the fun, too!

    Delena
    Delena Silverfox recently posted..Eleven2 Promotional CodeMy Profile

  4. Dennis Edell February 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    You raised an interesting point in there, whether you know it or not.

    My take is this, when first starting your guest posting, forget about big dog blogs, forget about ultra-popular, forget about all the traffic and subscribers and what not (unless somehow you can come about them easily).

    Guest post anywhere and everywhere you can and just get yourself out there…..EVERYWHERE. Make people sick of seeing your face. 😉
    Dennis Edell recently posted..The Scrolling Homepage- A Sticky Tactic You Haven’t Heard…My Profile

  5. Ben February 27, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    Hello Andrew, great guide on guest posting, I have found using similar google queries very effective for finding guest posts. I thought maybe your readers would be interested in in a new site we have just launched that connects guest bloggers with site owners, and we want to turn it into the best resource for guest blogging. The site is guestpostexchange.com and it is completely free.

  6. Pete March 8, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve put a lot of them into practice for my own guest blogging campaigns (emailed about 50 sites in my niche) and now I’m waiting for the results. : )

    Pete

  7. Dee February 23, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    Well, I’m glad to finally get an idea of how long the potential wait is.

    The first guest post I sent was to a huge site that published within a week.

    Now I have 3 articles out (one as long as 3 weeks) and I still haven’t heard a peep even after my polite inquiry.

    Based on my short experience, my plan is to only send excerpts because I’m nervous about giving out one of the articles I have languishing at one of the pokey blogs… just in case they do decide to post it.

    dee

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