Ultimate Guest Posting Guide Pt III: 9 Steps To Getting Your Guest Post Approved
Think about guest posting from the host blogger’s perspective. They have probably invested an awful lot of time and effort into their blog. They are likely to be picky about the guest posts they approve – possibly even fussier than they are with their own articles.
It goes without saying that you should have a solid guest posting strategy in place so that your chances of being approved are as high as possible. Having said that, you do not need be too intimidated by the process – it is not that difficult to get your guest posts accepted if you go about things in the right way.
So let’s look at the 9 things you should do to maximize the chances of your guest post being accepted.
1. Read the Blog
This is one of the most important points I can make, which is why it is first in the list. If you want your guest post to be accepted, you need to know the blog, and you need to understand what the audience wants.
There is no use in writing a guest post about iPhone apps that you intend to send to the owner of a car blog. That is an extreme example, but the principle applies elsewhere. Get to know the most popular types of articles that are published on the blog, and write the article with your findings in mind.
For instance, articles on my blog cover a fairly broad variety of topics, but the most popular articles are my income reports and niche site updates. So if I were guest posting for my blog, I would probably write up a niche site case study, or some kind of “here’s how much I have made and how” article.
2. Write the Post
I might meet some resistance on this point, but I personally follow this approach and it works well for me. You should write the post and send it to the blogger, rather than submit suggestions. If you have followed my advice in step 1, this should work out fine for you. There are two reasons why I like this approach:
- It demonstrates initiative
- It is likely to make the blogger feel more compelled to publish your post – after all, you’ve already gone to all that trouble…
I have written around 10 guest posts so far, and haven’t had a single one turned down (yet!) with this method. Worst case scenario, if your post does get turned down, you can probably re-jig it and submit it to another blog or use it for your own.
3. Read the Guidelines!
Please, if the blog in question has guest blogging guidelines, read them thoroughly and follow them to a tee. If you do not take the time to do so, it will clearly demonstrate to the blogger that you are more interested in what you can get from the opportunity, rather than what the blogger can get.
There is one potential exception to this – guidelines may stipulate that you submit suggestions (rather than a post). I’m a bit naughty and ignore this advice when I see it. I’ll typically email the blogger with something along the lines of, “I know you typically like to see a few suggestions ahead of time, but I thought this article would suit your readers perfectly!”
4. Don’t Go Over Old Ground
This links in with my first point. When you are researching the blog, take a good look at all of the recent articles. If you submit a post on a topic that was covered only recently, the blogger is likely to turn it down, regardless of how good it is.
5. Keep It Punchy
When it comes to writing your post, err on the side of brevity. Us internet folk are an impatient lot, and we want information delivered to us in concentrated shots.
If you are writing an epic post with an enormous amount of helpful information, you shouldn’t necessarily chop it to pieces. But often you can deliver the same amount of value in half the amount of words.
6. Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar, Structure, and All That Jazz
I’m sure you knew that this was coming, so I won’t ramble on. Make sure that your article is well written, well-structured, and free from spelling mistakes.
Don’t let silly errors detract from your epic content.
7. Keep Your Application Straightforward
When emailing the blogger, attach the post as a separate file. Make it easy for the blogger by ensuring that the post is already formatted with headers, images, and so on. Ideally, the blogger should be able to copy and paste the article into their WordPress text editor and hit publish.
With regards to the email itself, there is no need to tell the blogger your life story. Just keep it nice and simple. You like what they do, you think that the attached post is perfect for their audience, and you hope that they like it. If their blog is popular, they will receive plenty of guest post applications, and will appreciate an application that gets straight to the point.
8. Make Sure That YOUR Blog Is In Good Shape
You might write a spectacular guest post. The blogger might read it through and be stunned by the sheer weight of awesomeness that is contained within your words.
They then check out your blog, which looks a little worse for wear. Shoddy design perhaps, irregular updates, masses of advertising, or any other number of issues.
Bloggers don’t want to be seen to endorse poor quality blogs. In order to best your chances of getting guest posts accepted, you must get your own house in order first.
9. Do It for the Right Reasons
This point is a little less tangible than the rest, but no less important.
When submitting a guest post, you shouldn’t just have the traffic or the backlink in mind. There is so much more to gain, and so much more to give.
If you are completely self-centered about the positives to come out of your guest posting application, it will be apparent to the blogger.
Any guest post should be beneficial to both parties, so make sure you are writing it with not just yourself in mind.
Over to You!
Only 9 points…doesn’t seem quite complete, does it? There should be at least one more to round the article off, you would think…
…and that’s where you come in, faithful reader. What suggestions do you have for giving a guest post application the best possible chance of success?