The Guide to an Effective Guest Blogging Strategy
August 30, 2018

The Guide to an Effective Guest Blogging Strategy

Malgorzata Weglarz

CrazyCall Partner Program

Guest blogging is an inbound marketing strategy. It simply means writing a piece of content for someone else’s blog. The author includes a short bio to build exposure and awareness of their personal or business brand.

The main goals for guest blogging are:

  1. Getting traffic back to your website.
  2. Building backlinks to your website.
  3. Positioning yourself as an authority
  4. Building relationships with other bloggers and companies.

Blog owners accept guest post because they give a new perspective to their readers and fresh new content. It’s also a strategy to get free articles and increase visibility to a new audience.

Finding Guest Blog Opportunities

Research is essential to guest blogging. Your main goal should be to find sites relevant to your niche or industry. You should look for and pitch the right blogs instead of submitting your posts on every website that allows guest author contributions. Links to your website on poor quality sites won’t help you achieve your SEO goals.

If you don’t have significant writing experience, start off by focusing on highly-targeted niche blogs. Once you showcase your writing skills, you can start reaching notable sites. Have in mind though, that although big names bring prestige, sometimes you can get more visitors (and leads if you have a corporate blog) from niche sites.

Search for websites that fit the following criteria:

  • the content is focused on your niche/industry.
  • the audience might be interested in your product/industry
  • the blog has engaged readers that comment and share posts
  • the blog writers are active on social media
  • you would like to be associated with a blogger or a company you want to write for.

Google the keywords:

To find blogs that accept guest authors look for a keyword relevant to your industry and add one of the phrases below:
“guest post guidelines”
“guest post”
“guest post by”
“accepting guest posts”
“guest posting guidelines”
“guest author”
“submit your guest post”
“contributor guidelines”

Google Reverse Image Search or author bio

If you know someone in your industry who writes the blog posts, grab the URL of the headshot they use in their author bio and Google reverse their image. You can also copy text from their author bio to search for a website where they are contributors.

How to Be Accepted as a Blog Contributor

Get noticed

Build a relationship with blog authors before you pitch them. Engage with them to get noticed: quote them, share their articles on your social media channels, tag them, comment on their posts, etc.

Write a pitch

Personalize your pitch

Before you send your email, make sure to address it to a person responsible for the blog section. Don’t use “to whom it may concern”.

Introduce yourself

Provide some information about you and your website (if you have one). Include links to your previous articles to give the blog owner a feeling of your writing style and choice of topics. Show them a track record of creating great content. Many authors are pushing out spammy content, so you need to prove you are not one of them.

Follow the submission guidelines

Make a good first impression by following the submission guidelines. You need to tailor your pitch to the blog’s requirements.

Share stats on your blog

If you are interested in a post-swap, a blog owner will want to know more about your website and your audience.

Proofread your email

There is nothing worse than sending a pitch full of grammar and spelling mistakes when you want to ask a publisher to take a chance on you.

How to write a great guest post

Guest posts, same as posts on your blog, should provide value to the readers. They should be comprehensive, data-driven, well-written, and interesting. Guest posts shouldn’t be considered an advertisement. You can add information about your business and a link to your website in the author bio. Editors often allow one or two links in the article body, but you shouldn’t try to sell. Link only to additional resources valuable to the readers.

You need to write with the blog’s audience in mind. Make sure you read some of the posts to get the feel and a tone of the voice the blog owner use. Do they usually use a formal language? Will the audience understand your jargon? Try to adapt your voice. Don’t be afraid to ask the blog editor for details about their audience.

Stay in touch

Being a writer doesn’t end with hitting the publish button. The distribution and promotion of your content are crucial. Become a dream guest post blogger by helping the blog owner to reach a wider audience and build a community. It is a good way to show appreciation for publishing your guest post. As on your blog, you should also engage with the readers of your articles. Don’t forget to reply to comments. Follow up with the editor to see the stats on your post. Think long-term and focus on building a real partnership with blog owners.

Reasons you get rejected

There are many reasons why the editors reject guest posts. Always read the guidelines before submitting your piece. Blog owners/marketing managers do not consider submissions that do not follow their rules. Make sure you meet their requirements. Do they require minimum 1000 word and your post is much shorter? Is your post type what they look for?

For example, HubSpot doesn’t accept:

  • posts on the subject that have been covered before.
  • anything that may be construed as a link-building scheme.
  • posts that are too promotional.
  • anything that’s offensive or inaccurate.
  • anything that’s overly critical of individuals or companies.

Set Your Guest Posting Guidelines

If you are a blog owner and want to accept guest blog posts, don’t forget about guest post guidelines. Clear rules will also help you attract writers as having guidelines will show them that you treat guest posting seriously. They will also prevent you from receiving too many posts that don’t meet your requirements. You need to be picky. Accept guest posts only if you feel that they will help your audience. Set strict standards from the beginning and be consistent.

Here are some suggestions of what you can include in your guidelines:

  • We only consider 100% original content. Do not submit posts that have been published anywhere else.
  • Browse our blog to make sure we haven’t covered your topic already unless you want to present a unique angle.
  • Articles should range from 1,000 to 3,000 words in length.
  • Your post should be well-written and without any spelling mistakes. Use apps like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor to check your text.
  • Consider what visual elements you might include in your post: photos, graphics, and screenshots. Send them with alt text.
  • Quality is our priority. We don’t allow poor quality posts.
  • Posts should be well-researched and fully supported. Provide attribution for all data or statistics cited with a link to reputable sources.
  • Posts should include no more than one link to your company’s website
  • We reserve the right to edit, adapt and update your guest blog content as we see fit.
  • Guest contributors are not allowed to republish their posts elsewhere.
  • We will be happy if you help us promote your post.
  • We reserve the right to reject contributions.
  • Due to the volume of requests we receive, we will not respond to unsuccessful submissions. If you don’t hear back from us within two weeks, feel free to publish your guest post elsewhere.

Checkpoints to make sure a guest post is right for your blog

Once you receive a guest blog, use these checkpoints to make sure you are comfortable with publishing a guest post on your blog.

  1. Does it provide value to your readers and align with your voice?
    Posts on your blog shouldn’t confuse your readers. Let’s say that you wrote an article that you don’t believe that cold calling is still a thing and your guest author wants to publish a post about cold calling being the best way to find new business. Don’t accept the articles if you don’t believe in them. You should also reject the post on topics that sound irrelevant to your audience.
  2. Does the post meet your requirements?
    Is the article well-written, interesting and follows your guidelines? Let the author know if you like the post but believe that it requires some changes.
  3. Is the post original?
    Some authors tend to spin content continually. If they contribute on many websites, they may want to publish very similar articles. Do not allow posts that have been already published on other sites. Make sure their post is not plagiarized.
  4. Check links and sources
    Make sure that the author links to trustworthy sources and you are comfortable with sending your readers to those websites. Remove content and links if you feel that they are too promotional.
  5. Formatting and images
    Do the format and pictures align with your blog? For example, if you always use illustrations on your blog, you may want to add them also to the guest posts.

Wrapping up

A key to successful guest blogging is to contribute only to blogs that are a match with your industry. If you are a blog owner, accept only high-quality articles that meet your requirements and audience expectation. Don’t be afraid to be picky. Publishing low-quality posts and the ones that cover topics irrelevant to your blog can result in losing your readers and harm your website. Guest posting is a great way to capture a wider audience, but you need to set your editorial standards. Don’t accept too many guest posts. Although your audience may be happy with the new content, they visit your website mostly for your articles.

Pss, interested in blog post swap? We are open to your ideas!

Malgorzata Weglarz

CrazyCall Partner Program

Małgorzata is in charge of the CrazyCall Partner Program. When she's not helping affiliates or teaching people how to pronounce her full name (well.. just call her Margo :)), she is listening to street artists, eating Greek olives and traveling. You can reach her at [email protected]

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