With an over-saturation of blogs crowding cyberspace, finding new and creative ways to stand out within the blog-o-sphere is tough. That’s why one of the most trusted methods is still one of the best and surest ways to gain notice online and exponentially enhance your link exposure: guest posts.
The daunting part is locating a relevant blog with an engaged audience, but your potential return can be well worth the slow and gradual crawl. But before you can begin dazzling a slew of new readers with your one-of-a-kind witty prose, you’ve got to actually land the gig. Keep the following tips in mind, and the winds of opportunity may just blow in your favor.
Short = Good: Introductory emails should as a general rule, be kept short. Introduce yourself, express an interest, suggest the topic of your post, include a few terse sentences that illustrate its gist, and wrap it up with a thank you. That’s it. Long-windedness is always bad. My favorite maxim holds true: quality over quantity.
Come Informed: It makes perfect sense to know the blog you’re pitching yourself to right? Now I’m not suggesting that you read every post, but at the very least, have a basic understanding of its tone, its target audience, and know a bit about the writer by reading their ‘About’ section. Also make sure that if there are any posting guidelines, that you follow them to the letter. Regardless of how well you write, not being able to follow simple directions is the quickest way to sink your chances.
Be Prepared: The same rules of pitching apply across the board, whether you’re pitching to the head of development at Paramount Pictures or to a blog you’ve been itching to guest post for: come ready with your material. It’s crucial to make sure that not only is the post fully completed and ready for submission should they ask for it, but that you’ve got several others in your back pocket as well. Nobody goes into a pitch meeting with one idea, unless they’re either hopelessly uniformed, or a glutton for punishment.
Some Don’ts: Unless you’ve taken the time to develop some kind of relationship with a fellow blogger like commenting on their posts, following them on twitter, etc., they’re probably not going to be too keen on the notion of giving you a ‘shot.’ Also, nix any bad grammar/spelling and make sure you’re well-informed about the topic you’re writing about. Remember: a guest post is equally reflective on both of you; they certainly don’t want to look ridiculous and neither do you.
Guest-posting on someone else’s blog is not only a fantastic way to expand your online scope/visibility as a writer, but it’s a privilege and should be treated as such. Unfortunately, it’s usually the most obvious mistakes that ruin people’s well-intentioned plans, so instead of swinging wildly in the dark and hoping for a miracle, add some ‘light’ to your guest-posting approach. And most importantly, keep on writing at all costs.