For a blogger, getting the opportunity to guest post on a popular, high authority blog can be a dream come true. Guest blogging not only provides an opportunity to put your content directly in front of thousands of potential new readers, it has search engine and branding benefits as well. Regular guest blogging is one of the best ways to increase your online visibility.
Although guest blogging is a straightforward way to increase your traffic and build the authority of your blog, it’s certainly no easy task. In order to get guest posts published on quality blogs, you need to deliver fresh, quality content that offers real value.
In addition, popular bloggers often get dozens of guest blogging offers every single day. In order for you to stand out and get noticed, you need to convince busy bloggers to choose you over the dozens of other eager blogger. Luckily for you, most bloggers looking for guest posting opportunities shoot themselves in the foot by committing some of these extremely common guest posting mistakes. If you can avoid making these mistakes yourself, you’re well on your way to reaping the benefits of guest blogging.
Mistake #1: Not Reaching Out To Bloggers Individually
One of the most common strategies of the newbie is to write up a template email and send it to as many bloggers in their niche as possible. The problem with this strategy is that a) the emails often sound like the stilted, hackneyed form e-mails that they are, and b) you can’t craft a convincing pitch if you don’t know who you’re targeting.
If you’re just starting out with guest posting, skip the cut and paste emails and instead, focus on quality over quantity. Find bloggers in your niche that you read and admire and craft a personal email that shows that you understand their audience and that you have something to offer.
Even if you want to guest post for bloggers you don’t read regularly, take the time to read their About Me page, read a few of their recent/popular posts, and skim their twitter feed before you hit “Compose”. Remember, there is a real person behind that email address; why would he/she take the time to read your proposal, if you don’t even take the time to write it? If you’re regularly sending out guest blogging proposals, it’s certainly ok to have a basic template that you follow, but you should be customizing it/rewriting it for each e-mail.
Mistake #2: Submitting Articles Without Clear Proposals
Another common mistake by newbie guest bloggers is to simply write up a post and submit it without prior contact (an even larger faux-pas is to send the same post to multiple bloggers, but hopefully you’ve figured that out for yourself!). By reaching out to bloggers before you actually write the post, you’ll save yourself a ton of time. Successful bloggers are busy people and you’ll find fairly often that emails go unanswered. There are few things more disheartening than pouring your heart and soul into an incredible blog post – only to get no response after you submit it. Reach out beforehand and make sure the blogger is active and interested in what you want to write about.
One more tip: when submitting proposals for guest posting, you don’t want to be the person offering to write a guest blog post on “any topic you want”. Know what your strengths are, and know how your strengths can add value to the blog you want to contribute to. Once you have this understanding, you’ll have no trouble coming up with a list of 3-4 potential blog topics that might interest another blogger’s readers.
Mistake#3: Not Organizing Your Emails
If you start to have some success with guest blogging, you’ll soon find yourself sending out multiple emails a day to different bloggers. Often, there will be a back-and-forth involved in these emails to work out publishing schedules, content ideas, and content revisions.
Unless you’re organized, it can be easy to lose track of which blogs you’ve written for, who you’ve pitched certain articles to, and even which posts you’ve already published – just storing everything in your inbox simply isn’t enough when you need to follow up on multiple streams of correspondence that happened a months ago! To be a long-term successful guest poster, you’ll want to keep an organized log of your outreach efforts. You can do this through simple, free tools like a Google Docs spreadsheet, or you can use advanced CRM software designed with bloggers in mind.
Mistake#4: Submitting To The Wrong Bloggers
While this mistake is similar in nature to mistake #1 (not reaching out to bloggers individually), it’s a separate mistake of its own. Even if you’re taking the time to reach out to bloggers individually, it’s important to target the right bloggers.
This goes beyond simply targeting bloggers in your niche, although that’s obviously an important first step. Submitting to the wrong bloggers can mean submitting posts to bloggers in your niche who are simply too busy to consider posts from relatively unknown bloggers. You can find more success if you target bloggers who are “closer to your level”, so to speak. While everyone wants a guest post published on an “A-list” blog, the most popular blogs get dozens, even hundreds of guest posting requests a day. They have a busy schedule and often only accept high level expert content from recognized authorities.
If you’re a relatively new/unknown blogger, your time may be best spent targeting blogs that are a notch below the top authorities in your niche. These are the respected, regularly trafficked blogs that provide quality content, but aren’t so swamped with guest posting requests that they have to be ultra selective with their editorial process.
This certainly isn’t to say that you shouldn’t try to target the best blogs in your industry – provided you have something unique, interesting, and valuable to offer. But targeting A-list blogs exclusively will likely result in failure and disappointment if you’re not already a successful blogger.
5. Failing To Deliver Awesome Content
A common misconception amongst beginning guest posters is that you should save your best content for your own website. While your website obviously needs to showcase your best work, the work you submit to other blogs should be equally strong. After all, why will other blog readers come check out your blog if your guest post isn’t outstanding? Why would another blogger publish your article if they’re not something you’d be proud to publish on your own blog?
Remember, successful guest posting is all about delivering value to the blog owner and their loyal readers. Create amazing content and use an organized system to send out personalized guest posting pitches to respected blogs in your niche, and you’ll soon find yourself with more readers, more authority, and more blogging success.
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