Are you brimming with excitement over your new blog?
You’ve been a great blogger and produced consistent content you know people are going to like.
Two months go by, and you’re still smiling from ear to ear because you have people coming to your site! It’s not a lot, but at least your blog isn’t your diary.
But, six months later, what little traffic you had is gone, and no one is sharing your posts or even commenting on them.
How do the big bloggers do it? How are they successful and generating a ton of traffic?
And it’s not like you don’t know how to grow an audience; it just seems not to be working out as quickly as you’d like. Well, luckily, there’s an easier way to get people coming to your blog and sharing your content.
A surefire way to get eyes on your blog
Guest blogging is helping big bloggers like Adam get to be where they are now. But, how can writing a guest post on someone else’s blog help you?
In a nutshell, guest blogging can put your content on a bigger and better platform and reach more people than your blog ever could – that is if you guest blog on a popular blog.
Guest blogging also helps build a name for yourself. Let’s say you’re a personal trainer, and you started a blog, but no one’s going to it or buying your products and services.
You can’t understand why – your blog posts are filled with extremely useful tips for busy moms, business people who have to travel all the time and for those who don’t have the motivation to get fit.
So, you start to guest post on CrossFit sites, Paleo sites and other diet and fitness sites. Your guest posts show your expertise as a personal trainer, and this helps you build credibility in the health and fitness niche.
Guest blogging also can help grow your email list. Normally, when your guest post is published, you also get to have your author bio displayed at the end of the post.
This is where you can link back to your website and even provide a link to your opt-in or landing page.
And finally, guest blogging can be added to your promotional marketing campaign. If you have a new product, and you want your launch to be successful, doing a “blog tour” can help catapult your sales and help establish recurring business.
So you see, when you guest blog and give away your content, you’re inviting new people back to your blog. And, if you make guest blogging on a variety of blogs a consistent habit, you can assure yourself that you’ll reach a new audience every time.
But, how do you begin? What are the steps to make sure you’re doing it right?
Before you actually guest post…
Let’s look at the steps you need to do before you even write the best blog post you’ve been saving for a rainy day.
1. Source blogs that accept guest posts
This might be a no-brainer, but many sites don’t overtly advertise that they accept guest posts.
Let’s look at an example. Say you’re interested in guest posting for Kissmetrics. You read their blog all the time and know there are multiple authors on the site.
So, you look on the website but notice no link to guest posting – either on the main menu or bottom bar menu. To find out if they even accept guest posts, run a quick Google search.
I typed in, “guest post” Kissmetrics and found out that they do still accept guest posts.
2. Source popular blogs to guest post on
But, what if you don’t know a site is popular? It’s easy to find out quickly if a website is an authority in its niche.
Going to Alexa, Compete or Quantcast and checking a site can give you a quick analytical overview of traffic. Alexa offers a simple view of a site while the last two are good for comparing larger sites.
3. Look to your niche when you guest post
If you find you are having a hard time landing a guest post on a popular blog, you might want to consider the next best approach – guest posting in your niche.
For others, it makes better sense to guest post within your niche, rather than on a highly trafficked site. For example, maybe you’re a beekeeper and there aren’t any popular beekeeping sites.
When you have a blog in a small niche, it’s best to find similar blogs to guest post on. For example, maybe there are personal beekeeping blogs you can approach such as Linda’s Bees or Bee Thinking.
Doing this will give you a chance to introduce your expertise to a brand new audience – that you know are into bees – and turn them into readers of your blog.
The step-by-step approach to landing your next guest post
Now that you have an idea of where to guest blog, you shouldn’t just email the owner and ask if you can submit a guest post. To increase your chances of actually landing a submission, there are a few mini-steps that you should do first. So, let’s get to it.
1. Read and comment on the blog
If you aren’t already a regular reader of the blog, start including the blog you want to guest post on in your daily blog-reading schedule.
Some blog owners encourage their guest poster to “infiltrate” their blog and become a regular. Harleena Singh of A-Ha Now makes it known that it’s in the best interest of the blogger to acquaint themselves to the A-Ha Now audience.
Doing this is also good for you because it can help you:
- Discover what types of posts are popular with their audience. If you know tutorial-based posts are heavily shared and attract the most comments, then you might want to consider pitching an instructional post.
- Develop a relationship with the blog owner. Commenting on posts frequently and regularly puts you on the radar and makes it hard for the owner to miss you.
- Figure out how their blog posts are formatted. Do they bold words or italicize them when they want to emphasize a phrase? Do they encourage screen shots? What size of images will fit perfectly within the blog’s theme? Knowing this will make your guest post easier to accept.
- Introduce yourself to the audience. Your comments – provided they add value to the discussion – will be read by the blog’s readers. Over time, they’ll see you as someone who is an expert in your niche.
2. Promote their blog posts
Once you become a regular reader of the blog, it’s natural to want to promote it.
This is just another way to get noticed by the blog owner. Following them on Twitter or sharing their post on Triberr will help you more than it will help the owner.
By promoting their blog posts, you open the doors to reciprocity.
Reciprocity simply means when you do something nice for someone – promoting a blog post for example – they will feel compelled to return the favor.
You’re banking on the fact that the many favors you do will turn into a guest post on their blog later on.
3. Follow the guest post guidelines
One of the quickest ways to get your guest post denied is not following the rules the blog owner has in place.
You will find out that each blog has a unique set of guidelines. Some may want your entire draft before they consider you, while others only want a few topic ideas.
For example, HubSpot wants your completed article.
While, over on The Daily Egg, you only need to read two posts and submit a form.
4. Draft your pitch
The time has come.
It’s time to pitch your idea to the blog owner. You’ve read through all the guidelines, become a regular reader of their blog and socially promoted posts you found interesting and wanted to share.
With all that being said, how do you actually write a pitch? Here are some guidelines to consider next time you sit down to draft your email:
- Keep it short – popular bloggers get inundated with many emails and pitches. Their time is limited so only include the important things in your pitch.
- Be personal – including the name of the person who will be reading your email gives it a personal touch. It shows you went out of your way to find out the editor or owner’s name.
- Be casual – Your email is a reflection of how you will write your blog post. So, keep it fun and casual.
Need more help? Check out this post where Karol K interviews several blog editors to find what they look for in a pitch.
Wrapping it up
On the right blog, guest posting can catapult your traffic and solidify you as an expert in your field.
By writing on someone else’s blog, you get to share your best content with a larger audience making your reach that much bigger. It’s certainly how Adam, and many other popular bloggers, rose to the top and are continuing to be a successful in their industries.
If you haven’t thought about guest blogging – and your blog isn’t performing the way you want it to – then maybe it’s time to give guest posting a shot.