Writing guest posts on other blogs is just plain smart. It exposes you to other audiences and does help grow your blog’s traffic. But, how should you approach doing it?
I have compiled a quick series of bullet points that will maximize the effectiveness of guest posting.
- Know the Audience. It is important that you know who you’re talking to. Additionally, choose blogs that are relevant to your own blog.
- Form a relationship with the blog owner. It is best when you have some common bond with the other blogger. I meet a lot of bloggers at conferences. That provides a way to create a relationship with them. Even if I don’t have the chance to have an in-depth conversation with them at a conference, the fact that we were both there is a common reality between you. I met Darren Rowse of ProBlogger and talked with him for quite awhile at BlogWorld Expo, and last week I did my first guest post on Problogger. Networking ALWAYS helps.
- Just Write It. If you send the blogger an email asking them what they want you to write about, they’re probably going to ignore you. If you have an idea, just write it and send it to them. Let them judge it.
- Make the guest post some of your best stuff. Do not approach guest posting from the standpoint of saving your best stuff for your own site. You need to provide really good material for the host blog because it represents you.
- Send the post in an easily digestible format. You want the host blogger to be able to do something as simple as copy and paste and that’s it! Make it EASY to post your guest post. When I sent my post to Darren, for example, I pasted my article (with HTML) into the email underneath my email signature. I also attached it as an HTML file. The HTML in that article was VERY simple.
- Include your bio. Most guest posts include a small link and blurb about the blogger which links to his/her blog. Write this yourself and include it with your guest post. Keep it short! Long bios are annoying, take too much space, and the host blog isn’t going to want to post it. So, be pithy. Likewise, send this phrase with HTML. If you want to link to your blog, include the full HTML for that link.
- Interact with Commenters. If your guest post is published, you should monitor any comments which are posted in response and respond to questions. Be approachable.
- Welcome new readers. A little trick…you might want to provide a custom welcome message to any new readers who arrive to your blog from the host blog. Set up a plug-in like WP Greet Box. This way, you can welcome new readers specifically from the host blog and welcome them to the fold, ask them to subscribe to your RSS feed, etc.
So, in short, provide good material and make the act of posting your post to the blog as easy as you possibly can for the host blogger. From there, you might want to explore following up with additional guest posts to the same blog so as to solidify your position within their audience.
Lastly, yes, I’m always open to guest posts on this blog. If you’ve got an idea, send it over.