How to Guest Post on Popular Websites
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When you first start out online, it can be hard to get any traction. You know you have a great message and you know who your ideal audience is, so why is it so hard to get their attention? In order to begin growing your list and attracting customers, you need a large platform to send traffic to your website. You can borrow someone else’s platform (and their traffic) by writing a guest post on a popular website. Here’s how to do just that….
Find Popular Blogs to Guest Post
The first thing you’ll want to do is create a list of popular blogs. You can find these sites by using a search engine. You will want to look for blogs that are in the same niche as you or at least have some commonality. The important thing is can you see your subscribers being interested in that blog?
For example, maybe your blog is all about natural cleaning products. Would a mom lifestyle blog have subscribers interested in natural cleaning products? I would say probably so. But a business blog probably wouldn’t.
Make sure you search for the words ‘guest post’ or ‘guest contributor’. For example, your search might look like this: “natural skin care + guest post” or “health and fitness + guest contributor” (without quotations).
Take a Look at the Numbers
Once you find a few websites, look at the blogger’s platform. How many subscribers do they have? How many followers on Instagram and Twitter? What about their Facebook page or group?
Ideally, you’re looking for bloggers that have 10K-100K in followers and fans. You can reach out to bloggers with millions of followers but it can be much harder to get their attention since they typically receive hundreds of guest post requests.
Read the Posts
After you’ve found a few bloggers that look like they might be a good fit for you, start reading their posts. Get a real feel for that blogger. You will want to read the past 2-3 months worth of content. This will ensure that you don’t pitch an idea that they’ve recently covered.
As you read through the posts, look for gaps that the blogger may have forgotten to cover. For example, if you find a Paleo blog that would be a great fit for your audience read through the posts on the site. Maybe you will discover that the blogger hadn’t talked about how to handle the holidays without abandoning their Paleo diet. That would be a perfect topic for you to write a guest post.
Engage in the Community
The next step you will want to take is to interact with the blog’s readers. You can do this by commenting on posts, participating in Twitter discussions, joining in Facebook groups or commenting on Facebook Live videos of that blogger. Really read the content and give heartfelt comments. You can also ask questions as to get more conversation going.
Spend a couple of weeks on this task. Take your time to really get to know that blogger’s community. Keep in mind that many of these people may very well become your subscribers in the future.
Follow the Guidelines
Many bloggers have submission guidelines on their sites. They explain what the blogger expects and gives you inside information that can be useful. For example, some bloggers prefer to only receive a “pitch” or short idea from you rather than a long blog post you’ve already written. Knowing this will save you time and effort.
Scope out the whole website for this information. They may list this in the about me section or on a particular page just for these guidelines. If you don’t see it fill out a contact form or send them an email and ask if they have specific guidelines for guest posts.
Reach Out to the Blogger
Once you’ve read the guidelines, it’s time to contact the blogger behind the scenes. The best way to do this is usually by email. However, some bloggers may prefer you fill out their contact form on their website. When in doubt, use the method that the blogger asked for.
In your message, let the blogger know that you are a regular reader. If the blogger prefers a pitch, let her know what your idea is and give a brief outline of your guest post.
If the blogger prefers to receive the full post, send it in the body of your email. This means actually copying and pasting your text for your blog into that email. This makes it less likely to be flagged as spam since you haven’t added an attachment.
When submitting a guest post you really want to submit your best work. This means well thought out content and a very polished presentation. Read the post out loud to make sure it makes sense. Use a program like Grammarly to double check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar usage. You don’t want to send something with a ton of grammar errors.
Have clear professional pictures for the guest post. If you aren’t a professional photographer no worries! I use Unsplash.com and Pixabay for beautifully clear images for my blogs.
Guest blogging is a simple way to grow your mailing list. But it’s not an instant process. It takes time to find good blogs and build a rapport with the communities behind them.
Now it’s your turn…
- List 3-5 sites you’d like to guest post on.
- Are you engaging with the communities around these blogs? If not, consider how you could participate (e.g. joining the Facebook group, creating a list of Twitter users, etc).
- What topics would you like to discuss in your guest posts?
- Let me know in the comments what blog you found to guest post on and any tips you have to share.
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