Have you been hearing the phrase “guest posting” or “guest blogging” a lot lately? If so, and it has finally got your attention. You probably have a few questions on the topic.

newbie blogger guide

image via (Pic Monkey)

Although guest writing has been around for quite some time, it didn’t actually become popular till this past year (2011) when everyone started talking about and practicing it. Also in 2011 is when Ann Smarty decided to promote heavily the resource now known as My Blog Guest which only propelled the practice even further.

If you want to get started with writing and submitting guest articles. Below are a few tips for you. The newbie guest blogger.

1. Create A Mini Plan Of Action – the first thing you should consider is creating a mini plan of action as to what you hope to accomplish with a guest posting campaign. Maybe you’re sit e or blog is new and you hope to get more eyeballs and traffic to sign up to your email list, more social media followers, company leads, and so on. This step is listed at number one for a reason. Because this step will also determine how you will guest post, where, when and what your articles will be about. For example, if you hope to gain more social media followers via a guest posting campaign, then your articles would most likely be tailored to this topic and submitted to social media themed blogs. Not only that but your author box would contain specific information on where readers could go to follow you.

2. Seek Out Related Sites To Guest Blog On – if you’re site or blog is about travel and you wish to have others who are interested in this topic, you would then seek out travel and travel related blogs. How do you do this? You can go to Google and type in travel blog, you can go to guest blogging portals such as My Blog Guest and check out the travel category, you can look at the blogrolls of travel blogs (this is one of my fave ways to source related guest sites), you can sign up for Blogger Linkup a fabulous email list curated by Cathie Stucker which is basically a long list of sites that accept guest posts and is categorized by topic. The email comes out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. As you can see there are many different ways to source sites to guest on.

3. Create Email Guest Blog Pitches – You can open a simple text document in Notepad and create a guest blog email pitch template that you send out to prospective blog owners to speed the process up a tad, but you ALWAYS want to address the owner by name and make sure to visit the blog first before EVER emailing and asking about a potential guest post. Why? Because many blog owners will clearly place their guest article guidelines on their site detailing how they want to be contacted, what type of articles they accept, the word count acceptable, etc. So no need to ask any of this, when many times it’s clearly already noted in their guidelines page. Essentially the reason you’re contacting them is to pitch your guest article idea.

I just wrote about this a few days ago and in my article I detail three different ways to approach a blog owner and pitch your guest article idea. Have a look when you get a chance.

4. Write or Outsource Your Guest Articles – after you create your mini plan of action, seek out related guest blogs, you then need to write your articles. You can DIY or you can outsource this like any other work that you outsource to freelance writers. Freelance writers charge a premium for this service since as you can see, it’s a time consuming and laborious process. But if you have the budget, outsourcing can be a great way to free up time so you can concentrate on other things. If you’re budget doesn’t allow for the outsourcing of a guest blogging campaign, then of course – you can DIY.

5. Keep Track – there are complicated tools and checklists on the web to help you keep of track of guest posts that you write and submit, but really all you need is a simple log sheet. You can create the log sheet on Google Docs or any preferred word processor and list the name of the site, the link to the article once it has been published, the date and any other notes.

6. Follow Up – You should follow up on all your guest posts. However to save everyone time, the best course of action is to get the details ironed out up front upon first point of contact. This means that if you know you want your article to go LIVE same week as submitted, then you make this clear to the blog owner and he or she should also advise you as to what his or her publishing schedule looks like. If a blog owner is on some sort of power trip and doesn’t want to tell you or gives you a vague answer like I will post your guest article “sometime this week” or “sometime this month”, I would skip this site and move on to a professional blogger. There’s no reason why a blog owner who is in tune with his site can’t give you at the very least, a date as to when your article would be published. None at all. If so – he or she is just being a jerk at this point, so move on.

If you’re not on any sort of time crunch and getting your article published next month or next year is of no concern to you – then by all means, jot this down in the notes section of your log sheet.

7. Celebrate – Once you have done all of the above and officially started your guest posting campaign, it’s time to celebrate. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done and for taking that critical first step known as – ACTION.

guest posting faq

See some frequently asked questions about guest blogging below:

Why should I write content for another blog, as opposed to placing it on my own blog? Because the point of guest blogging is to leverage the traffic, audience and SEO of an existing site. Guest blogging is also one of the best ways to get a new blog – credibility, traffic and links.

What do I write about? You would write about your niche, this is why it’s important that you seek out (related) blogs so that you both benefit from each other.

How long should my guest posts be? This will vary depending on the host blog. Some will have a requirement that your post be a certain length, while others will not. Some will require that your article be at 800 words, some only 400 and so on. So it varies by host blog.

How do I contact a blog owner about guest posting? Look for a contact form on the site and send them a brief email with your intended guest article idea.

What happens if I don’t hear back from a blogger? Then skip it, and move on to another one. There are tons and tons of blogs out there.

Blog owner from X blog doesn’t allow any in content body links, what do I do? We think this is silly and this blog owner must not be experienced or savvy about web content. Because in content body links are beneficial to any post and only help cement the topic further. Having said that, there’s nothing you can do. It’s up to you whether it will be worth it to pursue or not. However there’s no need to get into a “war of words” with the owner, it is after all his or her site and can do as they please.

How do I know if a blog is a good one to guest post on? You would look at various things – Alexa rank, Google rank, an About page, recent content, social media accounts, professional conduct via email. If you use Firefox, try the add on called SEO Status Bar for checking Alexa and PR on the fly.

A blog owner is charging me to place my guest article? Due to the volume of emails some owners get, some have decided to charge for guest posts. This is entirely up to you, whether you will pay for placement or not.

How do you know so much about guest posting, are you a professional guest blogger? Yes! I am. It is one of the services I offer as part of my overall freelance writing work.

I submitted my guest article to a blogger (after several communications back and forth) and have not heard back from him? We think this is rude and unprofessional. If after two spaced out follow ups, you still do not get a reply. We advise you move on and submit to another blog.

Where can I get a list of guest blogging opportunities? You can Google that exact search term or a variation of it, such as “list of guest blog sites”, “sites that accept guest posts”, etc. There are quite a few of these lists on the web.

Blog owner from X blog is making me jump through hoops to place my guest article, such as requiring my guest post have 6 images, run at 1,500 words, link to it from my blog, submit it to social media sites, reply to comments on the article till infinity within 5 seconds of said comments and no follow the links in my author BIO box. We say report this blog here to me, so we can chastise them in public for such malevolence in the blogosphere. We kid, but you get the picture. Unfortunately some bloggers that have decided to accept guest posts do not have a VET system in place, then get upset when they’re bombarded with emails about said guest posts then turn around and start making allegations about how BAD guest posting and guest posters are. When in reality they simply do not have a good management system in place.

I can barely speak English, let alone write it. Should I start a guest posting campaign? No, you should not. Instead outsource your campaign and hire writers who can write English for you.

READER QUESTION:
What questions do you have on guest posting? Leave them below and I will do my best to answer them.


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