Guide to Guest Blogging

Blogging has become a powerful tool for Web workers across various industries. It's sort of like a magic solution to many problems in that it engages users, drives traffic, improves SEO efforts, garners a few links and more. With all of the benefits that blogging presents, it's a wonder that everyone isn't doing it.

Oh, except that it requires a lot of time and effort on the part of already-busy Web pros that may not be able to work blogging into their schedule, at least not regularly enough for it to make a notable difference. But that is why more and more people are turning to guest blogging every day, to try to keep their blogs consistently updated with quality content that will reel in and engage users.

For that reason, aspiring and established Web worked, alike, should take the available opportunities to provide blog content to new media, Web-focused publishers. This will help them establish themselves as industry authorities, promote their name and brand to a new audience and get more fresh links for their websites. But how does one get started guest blogging? Just read this guide to guest blogging!

Look for opportunities

It should go without saying that in order to start guest blogging, you're going to have to find publisher that need guest bloggers. But in order to find the best blogs to submit guest posts to, you need to figure out what your want to gain from guest blogging, which usually boils down to gaining yourself or your brand some exposure, driving traffic to your site or fishing for links. Exposure and traffic both come from blogs with large, highly engaged audiences, while links tend to come from blogs with strong root domain authority; however, the best blogs can do all three for you.

Finding guest blogging opportunities can be as simple as a quick Google search or as involved as setting up an account on one of the many services available that bring together bloggers and publishers.

Search engines
If you're just going to use a search engine to track down blogs you can write for, just make sure you use the hottest and most relevant keywords from your industry along with "guest post" or "submit guest post." However, this is the crudest and least efficient way to find opportunities.

Other bloggers
You can also look for regular guest bloggers from your industry (their names should be familiar to you from seeing them on other blogs) and look for the blogs that they contribute to most frequently; many of them will even post about their guest blog entries on social networks, so you can also search on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ to see where they're being published.

Guest blogging communities
But perhaps the quickest and easiest way to find a place to post is by looking for outreach communities online where you can look for blogging opportunities by industry, present pitches and network with publishers in your nice. There are plenty of these sites out there, including MyBlogGuest, BlogSynergy, BlogDash, Blogger LinkUp, GroupHigh, Guest Blog It, Guest Blog Genius, Guestr, and PostJoint.

Once you're sure that the post you want to pitch fits the blog, and you've read the publisher's guidelines, check the site to make sure that the topic hasn't been covered before. If it hasn't, you're golden, and it's time to begin forming a relationship with the publisher.

Pitch your idea

Not to be too repetitive here, but again, it's absolutely imperative that you do your research on a blog before you bother pitching your post to the site. Primarily, you should be aware of the site's content beyond just the fact that it relates to the keyword you search for; this includes the type and level of the audience that it's publishing for and they type of content the write (i.e. lists, how-to posts, short-form content, etc.). Mostly, this means knowing which type of posts perform the best on the site, so that you can add value to the blog and gain some attention for your work at the same time.

After you feel like you've found the perfect site (or sites) to contribute to, you should bide your time until you see the best opportunity to pitch your post. Usually, this will be when the blog mentions you or your company in one of its post or on social media, or if it recently publishes or asks for guest blog posts.

Best pitch practices
When it comes to formally making a pitch, there are a few things that you should do to make sure your pitch is well received. As previously stated, the first is to read the blog's contributor guidelines to make sure your content is in line with and appropriate for the site. If it is, write a personalized email that tells the publisher about yourself and what some of your most valuable credentials are. In other words, tell them why you should be selected as a guest blogger and provide some evidence (e.g. links to other guest posts or your own blog posts) to prove it.

Also, it would behoove both you and the publisher if you pitched a couple of different post ideas, so that they have some to choose from.

Write your post

All that's left is to write the best guest post that the publisher has ever seen - or something like that.

To do this, remember that the post isn't about you or your brand, so keep them both out of the content. The post should be geared toward helping the publisher's core audience, not advertising yourself or your company. Once in a while it's okay to reference a real situation that you or your company may have dealt with, but only if it directly relates to the content, and you don't dwell on it.

Furthermore, you should make sure that you format your posts to look like the site's regular content and include internal and source links to other posts on the blog. Both of these will not only improve the user experience and engagement for your post, but they'll also show the publisher that you're familiar with their blog. Finally, insert calls-to-action and write posts that encourage users to comment and interact with them.

You should also include a guest bio with your post, especially if your purpose for writing is to establish yourself or your brand in the industry. Do this in place of making direct self references in the post itself. You bio should have your name, the name of your company and a brief summation of your credentials. In addition, you should add in some links back to your website, specific Web pages or one or more of your various social media accounts.

And then you're done. Congratulations on officially becoming a guest blogger. Now get out there and write some more!