Guest posting is here to stay in the world of digital marketing, at least in the foreseeable future! And, why not? Almost every marketer agrees that guest posting offers fantastic benefits. You gain extra views, increased domain authority (DA), and cultivate backlinks. However, if you’re struggling to place those guest posts, you might need to consider if you’re following best practices for guest posting.
Why Have Best Practices?
All guest posts, regardless of subject matter, rely on a key element to success. You must have a host blog accept your guest post. However, it’s becoming more and more challenging to find placements for guest posts. This is because bloggers are besieged by large number of guest post inquiries every day. They’ve received some really bad posts and some really great ones. But, at the end of the day, they just don’t want to deal with the work that accepting guest posts entails.
Therefore, more sites have taken down their “Guest Post” pages or added administration fees to weed out the bad contributors from the good one.
Following best practices will give the host blogger a good impression of you, the company you represent, and guest posters in general. This may keep that blogger open to accepting future contributions from you in the future—even if they shut down to other digital marketers.
Best Practices for Guest Posting
Do Your Homework First
Before you wing out an email to a blogger, do your homework. Visit the blog. Look at their content. Ascertain if your content is a good match for their site. Is it relevant? Additionally, look at it from your client’s perspective to determine if this is a website from which they want a backlink. If you have a client with high editorial standards, he might not appreciate backlinks from a spammy website.
Respect the Guidelines
As you’re visiting the blog, look into their guidelines for guest posting. Make note of their word count requirements, photo requirements, and backlink standards. First, you will need this information to craft an introductory email to the blogger. Second, you’ll need to respect the guidelines when you write the guest post.
Write an Actionable Introductory Email
When you reach out to the blogger, write an actionable introductory email. This will show a level of professionalism to the blogger that they really don’t see very often. They will respect your effort and look kindlier at allowing you to contribute to their site. You would be surprised at how many long, rambling emails they receive.
Your introductory email should be about 3 short paragraphs (2-3 sentences each) and include the following:
- An introduction to you and your company (or client)
- Why you love their blog and wish to contribute
- Acknowledge that you read their guidelines (if they have them published on their site)
- Offer them a topic for consideration
- Ask them for a response indicating their level of interest
Those last two points are actionable. This should elicit a response from the blogger. Obviously, you want a “yes,” response; however, a “no” is much better than being left hanging.
Create Great Content
Some bloggers I know grumble about sending some of their best work off as guest posts instead of using it on their own websites. Higher quality host sites have strict editorial standards. They do this to keep spammers at arm’s length. Don’t be one of those people whose work they delete!
Make sure the content contains relevant and current information, double-check your facts, include great resources, and make it shareable. Low-quality content will probably get deleted.
Edit your Final Product
Before you send off your guest post masterpiece, give it a good and thorough editing. You probably wrote it in MS Word or Google Docs. However, these miss errors more often than you’d think. Give it a final review in Grammarly, which catches errors often missed by your word processor.
While host blogs reserve the final editorial privileges, they are not your editor. It’s your responsibility to submit error-free content.
Include Supporting Documents
Remember those guest post guidelines? They probably gave you directions on what photo size and file type they require. In addition, they may instruct you to send a head shot, author bio, or social media links.
Be sure to review that and send these to the blogger alongside your completed guest blog. Literally, you are not giving the blogger any reason to reject—or ignore—your content.
When you submit your content, also offer to “get social.” You can use whatever wording you want, but an offer to share on your social media is a strategic move.
First, it’s a gentle way to ask when the blogger will publish your content. If I have established a good rapport and the blogger is friendly, I usually try to say something cute, “If you can tell me the scheduled publication date, I’ll channel my social media genie on that same day.” If the blogger is all business, I tone that down to professional language.
Second, if a week or so passes and you’ve had no response, it gives you a reason to check back that sounds like you’re trying to help the blogger reach a wider audience. A nice reminder email saying, “I wanted to make sure that our social media manager doesn’t miss syncing up with my guest post.”
Thank You Email
After the blogger publishes your guest post, fire off a quick two sentence thank you email. “Thanks for allowing me to contribute a guest post. It looks great!” That’s sufficient. Again, it shows that you’re a professional marketer and places you at a higher standard than the spammy companies who give guest posting a bad rap.
If you are lucky enough to find a host who will allow you a backlink to your own page in the body of the email, make sure that your website (or client’s website) is ready! Be sure that users who are interested can contact you for information or subscribe to your own blog. While the backlink might be the primary reason you are guest posting, don’t waste that traffic surge!