Now that you know why guest-posting is a great strategy for getting people to your website, let’s talk about how to do it like a pro. Here's how to do it like the best of the blogosphere:
1. Find Blogs That You Want To Target
Deciding where to guest-blog is one of the most important parts of the process. Don’t blog for just any site. It doesn’t do you much good to blog on a site with a small audience or low quality content.
Pick sites that you want to guest-blog for based on three factors: the quality of their content, the size of their audience and the type of their audience (Are you looking for photojournalism enthusiasts, fine-art lovers, or engaged couples? Answering this question is important.).
Make a list of ten sites that hit the sweet spot for all three of those categories. A good place to start is to pitch the blogs that you read often; it sets you up well for our next tip.
2. Scout Out Your Target Blogs
Get familiar with your target blogs. Read them daily, learn their editorial voice and understand their sensibility. When you are pitching your post, you need to know what they are looking for.
If you are an active reader on their site, editors and writers will take notice. Comment insightfully on stories often. The staff will start to recognize your name and, knowing that you are an active member of their community, will be more open to you guest-blogging for them.
3. Make The Perfect Pitch
Pitching is the hardest part of the process. Popular blogs receive floods of emails and pitches everyday. Yours needs to stand out.
If the site has a specific pitching policy, be sure to follow it. Sites use these policies to sort through pitches faster. Some people might argue that not following the policy can make you stand out; more likely, it will lead your email to go directly to the discard pile.
Here’s how to craft a great pitch: Keep your email short, but personal. Confine yourself to about three paragraphs. If you are much longer than that, you might lose the reader.
The first paragraph should be a pithy introduction with your idea for the guest post. Make sure the idea for the guest-post is a perfect fit for their editorial voice. The second paragraph should be a quick background on who you are and what you do, stated simply. It’s okay to pump yourself up here, just don’t come across as arrogant. The third paragraph should include s why you are interested in their blog specifically and a particular story that you like. If you are sending your pitch to a specific person on staff, pick a story they wrote that you like. This is to show them that you aren’t just sending out the same pitch to every website you can.
Feel free to tinker with the order and style of this setup, depending on what works for you.
4. Be A Social Guest-Blogger
After your guest-post goes live, show that you understand what it means to be a good blogger. Share your story on social media and promote it heavily. If your story gets good traffic, the editor is going to be more likely to use you again. More traffic also means a greater possibility of people clicking to your site.
Keep up with the story on their site. The commenting community on most blogs is almost as important as the editorial content. Its what often keeps readers coming back. Take part in the conversation. If readers have questions or criticisms, answer them respectfully and candidly.
Editors can recognize a blogger who knows what he or she is doing. As the clichè goes, “Act like you’ve been there before.”
5. Keep The Connection Alive
A few days after your blog post goes live, send a thank-you note to the editor. A simple gestures can go a long ways towards building a relationship. The more the staff gets to know you, the more likely they will let you guest-blog again for them.
Check in from time to time with new pitches and even offer for them to guest-blog for you. Getting your foot in the door with your favorite blog is only the beginning. Becoming a regular guest-blogger is what’s going to continue to drive traffic to your site again and again.