You know them already. The unwritten rules that are supposed to all but guarantee you a lucrative guest posting spot. Add in essence of relevant content, sprinkle in some lovely flavoured headlines, and then add a liberal helping of great writing to convince your guest post host to anxiously await the date that they can post it to their blog.
Yet it doesn’t work. Maybe they sent back a polite “no thank you”. Or maybe you got the kiss of death – an empty ringing silence. You to cry yourself to sleep every time you end the day without getting as much as a whiff of a possible guest posting spot.
Of course, any writer or blogger worth their salt knows the importance of guest posting. But what many don’t know is that a good idea and god writing often aren’t enough to get a guest post pitch accepted. In fact, the good guest posters, the ones that you envy as their names get plastered around the internet, have a number of things that they do to almost guarantee that they get the guest post slot long before they ever both to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
These “tricks of the trade” are rarely ever shared with others. It may be simply a case that for many of these great guest posters, they don’t even know that what they do is increasing their likelihood of success. But these tips and tricks can make the difference between success and failure.
Here are 4 things that nobody ever told you about guest posting:
1. Make a personal connection with your guest post host
The person that runs the blog you’re writing for?
They’re kinda important.
Interacting with your guest post host is the most important thing that you can do to raise your chances of getting a guest post slot. Many potential guest posters overlook the importance of having a personal connection with the person running the blog, but it cannot be understated. For example, Danny Iny of Firepole marketing managed to get his first big guest post on Copyblogger, thanks to a personal relationship with one of editors there at the time, Jon Morrow.
Of course, not everyone is going to get a chance to get the inside track to the editor of one of the biggest sites on the internet! Thankfully, it is relatively easy to establish a personal relationship without having to pay to join an exclusive blogging program. One way to doing so is to interact with the owners of the website. By showing genuine interest in them and their business by posting relevant and worthwhile comments, you can almost instantly grab their attention and foster a feeling of familiarity. That way, when they see your email in their inbox, you’re not just another faceless email address, but an actual person who they feel familiar and know about.
2. Wait to send in your pitch
Don’t send in your guest post pitch the first time you notice a blog that you would like to send in a guest post for. Instead, take a few days (or weeks) before you send in that pitch. Go through past articles which will allow you to get a feel for the host and the community. Find out what the blog owner values, and relevant questions or concerns that their community may have. Read through the comments section and make comments yourself. Have a look at other topics the blog owner may have an interest in. When you’ve done all of that, if your guest post idea still stands, then feel free to fire away.
3. Write something new or different
If your guest post pitch isn’t new or different, then there isn’t a point in sending it. People derive value in learning something, and this can only happen when that information is new in some way. Writing another guest post that covers the same points with the same information covered numerous times elsewhere isn’t of any use to the reader or blog owner.
Thankfully, there’s a quick and easy way to get around this. By making your content different in some way, then you will instantly add value to it, making it more attractive to readers. This could be done in a number of ways, for example by writing on your topic from a different topic or angle, or by adding in more information than other articles contain. An article on “how to ride your bike” might be a bit overplayed, but an article titled “what blogging taught me about how to ride a bike” probably wouldn’t be!
4. Work your way up
Unless you have advanced experience or knowledge in a topic, it probably isn’t the best idea to target the highly popular publications at first. For example, if you’re a new writer with no clips and credits to your name, you probably won’t get that lucrative guest post pitch to Forbes on your first try!
Instead, target the small to medium sized blogs at first. Many of these blogs are just dying to get good guest post content, and being published on them will still serve as a platform to display your expertise. That way, when you do decide to approach the bigger sites, you will then have bona fide examples to show to them that will display your knowledge and experience.