Writing posts for other people’s blogs is a great idea for so many reasons. You make a connection with another blogger, you get to practice your writing skills, you can add it to your CV, you get your name out there AND you can increase the number of clicks to your site. Of course guest blogging also helps on an SEO front.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (more commonly known as SEO) is about making your site more visible to search engines [see Wikipedia definition]. Being more visible means getting more clicks, leading to more product sales and better brand awareness. There are lots of strategies to do this including: Considering the search terms that people use when searching for a particular product; paying for links on other sites; designing an SEO-friendly site and getting organic links.

Guest blogging for SEO purposes is hard work but gives you organic links and can target new audiences who might not otherwise see your brand (whether that’s self-branding or for a company).

I have written guest articles for several companies and have received them when I was briefly in charge of UKPreneur.co.uk.

How to get guest posts (and publish them)

It’s a bit of a hit and miss art really, but here are some tips I’ve discovered from doing it over the last few months.

1. Create a table or an EdExcel document with date, site address, status and comment at the top.

2. Make a list of websites you want to approach. Sometimes this is the most time consuming part. BuzzBlogger.com wrote a fantastic post on 500 places to syndicate your content, (be aware that some of these sites no longer accept guest post), have a good read of their terms and conditions and see if you can satisfy them.

3. Check the page rank of the site to see if it’s worth posting. If I have a long list I try and post for sites as close to the magic ten as possible. You can do that here, and while you’re at it why not check your own blog?

4. Try and find out how the site editor best likes to be contacted: Email, contact form or comment? Write a polite but concise message, like the example below:

Dear [editor's name],

My name is [your name], I’m writing on behalf of [your brand/website]. We regularly write lots of content on [topics]. We really like your website, [their website name] and think we could write a fantastic unique post for it on [post topic]. This article would be [number of words] long and [any other details].

Please, let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

[your name]

Some sites only accept posts that are already written. Sometimes it’s good to have a stock of relevant articles ready which can be adjusted as necessary. Give the site the opportunity to reject it before you submit the content elsewhere. Vary the message as much as possible without making the task impossible.

5. Keep a record of your actions in the table you designed in step one. I’ve found that you get around one acceptance for every ten rejections, so keep at it. If you’ve not heard within two weeks consider reapplying through a different channel, some editors respond better to email than contact forms. Also look for signs that the site’s changed hands.

Content

Include a biography with a link back to your site. Keep links within the body to a minimum, certainly no more than three. The articles you send to other sites still need to be good, this is still your influencing people’s impressions of your brand even if it’s elsewhere. Check your grammar, spelling and re-read your drafts. If you’re contacting lots of sites then create a content plan to help you deliver the posts on time.

Other ideas

  1. Use your own site as a case-study
  2. Suggest exchanging guest posts
  3. If you’re small-scale aim to write just one a week
  4. Utilise the skills of other people you know
  5. Offer infographics, photos, videos or other more unusual content
  6. Offer to collaborate
  7. Follow blogs for as long as possible before approaching them
  8. Hire someone externally to specifically write SEO articles

More guest-blogging advice

Do you accept guest blogs? Want to write guest blogs? Why not leave your details below….

7 responses »

  1. Hi Charlotte

    Great post with a lot of really good information, tips and links.

    I’ve been considering guest blogging myself recently but I haven’t built up the courage to make the leap. I suppose I’m still trying to write enough for my own blog at the moment but as I gain in confidence I will definitely be actively looking to guest blog for many of the reasons you’ve set out in this post.

  2. charlotteelizabethclark says:

    Thanks Gavin. It can be a little scary but I think that it’s actually a lot easier to get attention as an individual rather than a brand. Start by putting out a call on Twitter and see if any followers need submissions.

    It’s also worth mentioning to people that you use social media to market your own blog and would of course do the same for any guest blogs you write.

    And target the little guys. Lots of blogs are just starting up, if you see a spark of potential get in there before they get big.

    If they say no, don’t take it personally, sometimes people don’t realise there’s another human behind an email.

  3. Some more great advice, thanks.

    I like your tip about targeting the little guys. A big aspect of social media is about identifying the up-and-comers and helping them out (and vice versa) and guest blogging with/ for them could form a part of this process.

    I’m currently in the process of developing a WordPress.org site and once I’ve got that set up I think I’ll begin on a guest blogging crusade (and using your advice as a guide).

  4. I found this article really interesting. I have been considering doing some article writing and posting but I am not always quite sure how to go about it. Should I really go through with it, I will definately be coming back to your article for reference.

  5. charlotteelizabethclark says:

    Thanks Julie, if you have any questions I’d be happy to try and help you.

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