Guest blogging can be a terrific potential opportunity for you to shine – all while conveniently directing traffic to your own website – but only if you know what you’re doing.
Here are three ways a guest blogger can fail – and three ways you can make that post a smash hit instead.
Mistake #1: You haven’t done your research about your target website
Dear Sir. Dear Madam. To Whom It May Concern. These are all awful phrases to begin a pitch. Take a few seconds to personalize your pitch. Visit the site’s “About” section. Learn who’s running the show and learn about the types of content the site publishes. Your content must align with the site you’re pitching. If you’re proposing a piece about sports nutrition and you’re pitching a site about dog breeds, then you are surely barking up the wrong tree. (Sorry.) (But you won’t forget this tip now, will you?)
Mistake #2: You don’t read the guidelines for guest bloggers
If a website accepts pitches for guest bloggers – which you should know if you have done your research and successfully avoided Mistake #1 – read the guidelines if they are provided. Then follow them. Some site owners may prefer you submit dozens of ideas, while others may just want one solid comprehensive piece.
Mistake #3: Your content is terrible
I know. You may think you’re the World’s Best Writer®, but before you submit, enlist another pair of eyes: a friend, a subject matter expert, a corporate communications agency (ahem). These resources can tell you if the content will benefit an audience (which is really the only thing a site owner wants from a guest blog). Is it interesting? Informative? Easy to understand?
Three tips for success
I wouldn’t leave you hanging, dear blogger. Three bonus tips to help you on your way to success:
- Start with small sites to build your portfolio. You’ll have better luck pitching minor sites and increase your number of published pieces faster.
- Sell yourself in your pitch. What makes your content special? What will the audience learn?
- Include a call to action. Your pitch was successful. Your post will be published. But wait – don’t just link to your blog in your author bio. Give your readers an intriguing reason to visit before providing the link. “Want to learn the best way to train for a marathon?”/”What’s a surefire way to get an upgraded room when checking into a hotel?”/”Find out why millennials like avocado toast so much.” Isn’t that better? Just make sure your call to action matches up with your content.