Written by Tom Ewer on 02 December 2013
In the first part of this guide I covered the basics of why you should consider guest posting as part of your online marketing strategy, how to find blogs to place guest posts on, and some tips for creating content that bloggers will actually want to publish.
While it may not seem so at first, creating your content is actually the easiest aspect of guest posting. The tricky part is when it comes to getting it published. No matter how great your content is, if you don't submit a well-written pitch, your email will most likely be ignored.Blog outreach is all about selling yourself and your writing in a way that makes it almost irresistible to the bloggers you are pitching to. It is a skill that can take a while to get right, but like most things in life, it gets a lot easier with practice.
Tips for Successful Blog Outreach
It's best to keep track of the name and URL of the blogs you find in a simple spreadsheet along with contact information and submission requirements. This helps you to plan more effectively and reduces the possibility of you making the mistake of contacting the same blogger twice.
You may also want to include other information in your spreadsheet such as Page Rank, Page Authority, Domain Authority, Alexa rank, number of Twitter followers, Facebook likes and other details that can help you to measure how valuable each site is.
Always read the submission requirements carefully before contacting the site owner and make sure you follow them. Some sites ask for an outline of the main points you plan to cover, whereas others will ask for you to send the whole article.
It's also a good idea to build up some kind of relationship with the blog owner before pitching your post, which will increase the possibility of them wanting to work with you. Take the time to leave helpful comments on their blog posts, re-tweet articles of theirs you enjoyed reading, and generally try to get your name noticed over time so there'll be some kind of recognition when you send your pitch email.
If nothing else, make sure you personalise the email and don't just send out a generic request. Canned pitches send a message that you have no interest in the blogger personally and that you're basically only interested in promoting yourself. Look for information on the 'About' page so you can address the blog owner by name and have a read through some of the posts to find something you can comment on in your pitch email. A bit of flattery doesn't hurt either!
Remember that popular bloggers will receive dozens of pitches a week so take the time to get it right. There is some great advice in this guide on I Will Teach You To Be Rich for pitching guest posts to high-traffic bloggers.
What to Do After Your Post Goes Live
Getting a guest post written and accepted is not the end of the story. You should also promote your post by linking to it from your website, sharing in on your social networks and telling your email list about it (if you have one). It's also good manners to moderate the comment thread for at least a couple of weeks after your post goes live and take the time to respond to questions and comments.
Make sure you have some kind of analytics software set up on your website so you can track new visitors arriving from your guest post and see which sites are giving you the best results.
Lastly, whether you are directing readers to your blog, portfolio site or social media profile, make sure your contact information is easily visible. It's no good attracting new clients if they can't see how to get in touch to discuss working with you. You may even want to set up some kind of special landing page for visitors from a particular guest post so that you can guide them towards certain services you offer or encourage them to opt in to your mailing list.
Guest Posting Is a Win/Win Strategy
Everyone benefits from good quality guest posts -- the blogger gets some great content for free and the guest poster gets increased exposure and links to their site.
Even just one guest post on a popular blog could catch the eye of a client you've been hoping to work with for years and all you have to lose is a little of your time. If you've not considered this strategy as part of your online marketing efforts yet, it's well worth building into your overall promotional plan.
It's so easy to break into guest blogging so start brainstorming some topic ideas, researching blogs to reach out to and get started today. It could just help you towards the big break you are looking for in your business.