So you’ve heard about guest posting and you’re keen to try it out, but you’re not quite sure where to start. You see people in your niche getting published on top industry websites, and receiving all the accolades and list building benefits that go along with it. You’d love to join them, but with a track record of zero guest posts, and your writing currently featured only on your own website, where on earth do you start?
I’ve been successfully guest posting since early 2013. Guest posting has been a cornerstone to driving traffic to my website, building my email list and generating sales, and I believe it’s an essential strategy for every business. Today I’m sharing my quick start guide to guest posting. It’s everything I wish I knew when I started out, and it’s sure to fast track you to success.
1. Identify potential websites to guest post on.
You likely have a good idea of some sites you’d like to be published on already, but as our first step we want to expand this list out to at least 20 potential targets. To generate your list you might like to :
- Ask fellow business owners in Facebook Groups or forums for their best recommendations of where to guest post
- Google search ‘guest post’ or ‘contribute’ + your niche area e.g. ‘guest post yoga’ or ‘contribute yoga’
- Google search ‘guest post’ + the name of a popular blogger or business owner in your niche e.g. ‘guest post Melanie Smithton’
2. Determine guest post submission guidelines for each website.
Visit each potential target website to find out the process for getting a guest post published. Guest post submission guidelines are often found under the ‘About’ or ‘Contact’ section of a website, or may also be a small link in the footer area of the site.
Read these guidelines carefully for each website, then collate a list of sites accepting submissions in an Excel spread sheet. This will likely cut your initial list down to just 10-15 websites.
3. Narrow down your list of websites to just five
Cut your list down further to focus on pitching a guest post to the five most promising websites to begin with. Your top five target websites should have–
- An audience similar to yours.
- A strong following. Check their number of email subscribers (if published) and their follower numbers on social media.
“Guest posting has been a cornerstone to driving traffic to my website, building my email list and generating sales, and I believe it’s an essential strategy for every business.”
4. Pitch a guest post to your five target websites
When writing your submission consider the following:
- What kinds of posts does this website publish? Are they in-depth opinion pieces, list posts, how to’s or something entirely different?
- What kinds of posts are most popular with their audience? Make sure you pitch something in line with their current popular content, but unique enough to stand out.
- Is there a suggested word count? Make sure you stick within it.
- Pitch only 100% original posts. Never pitch something that has already been published on your website or elsewhere online.
- Include a compelling author bio. Your author bio is your chance to drive people back to your own website. Sell yourself and what you do, and offer readers your free opt in gift right there in the bio with a link to your squeeze page.
- Any website specific submission guidelines.
5. Follow up with non-responses
Response times vary from website to website, but unless an estimated response time is specifically stated in their guest posting guidelines follow up with all non responses after two weeks. If your guest post is rejected, find another website to pitch it to in the same niche area.
6. Be present on publication day to respond to comments and share the post
Once your guest post has been accepted, the publisher will inform you of the publication date and time. Make sure you are available on this day to be online and respond to reader comments as they come in and share the post on social media channels. This is an essential part of the guest posting process and will not only engage your potential new subscribers, but will also increase your chances of being asked back to guest post on the site again.
Michaela Ann-Marie helps passion-fuelled women entrepreneurs build their online empire and share their message with the world. She is founder of michaelaannmarie.com, where she shares everything from list building strategies to how to start a stellar mastermind group.
If you liked this post, you’ll love her free eBook ‘7 Essential Tools to Build Your Email List (as used by the experts!)’. Click here to get your copy.