When people decide they want to start off blogging or creating any kind of content for their business, they’re likely to come across guest blogging as a strategy fairly quickly. Guest blogging involves getting a guest spot on someone else’s website and creating a blog post that not only relieves them from having to fill a content slot, but gives you some exposure to their audience. Plus, if you have built up a following, you’ll be able to direct some of that attention toward the other person’s blog. In short, they’re a win-win.
Unfortunately, the way that most people approach a guest posting opportunity usually boils down to barely more than cold emailing people and hoping someone A) sees their email, B) bothers to open it, and C) actually reads it and does something about the message inside.
Instead, here’s a quick and easy checklist you can use to increase your chances of being accepted as a guest blogger on another site and using that siphoned exposure to help your own blog in return.
1) Identify a blog with audience crossover to your own. You don’t need to find someone writing about the exact same topic as you, but you do want to be able to identify some crossover between your audiences. For example, if someone runs a fitness blog that focuses on exercise and your blog focuses on diet, their readers might be interested in what you have to say.
2) Read a few posts. Get a feel for the blog by reading more than just one or two of their posts. Note the tone of voice and ‘angle’ they seem to have.
3) Comment. Leave some thoughtful comments on their post. If you’re the guy or gal leaving “wow. Nice post!” type comments, you will be ignored. If, however, you leave something genuinely thoughtful and which shows you were interested in and are interacting with their content.
4) Follow them on twitter. Next, find a social platform they’re on, usually twitter, and follow them. Share out a couple of their posts on your own feed over the next few days. Tag them in one of your tweets to make sure they know you’re giving them credit and to alert them that you’re sharing their content.
5) Send them a DM asking for permission. Before you pitch via email, ask for permission to do so. Send them a message on twitter letting them know that you have an idea you’d like to run by them, and if they have an email you can shoot it over to.
6) Craft an effective email pitch. An effective email pitch for a guest blog post gets to the point quickly. More importantly, however, a guest blog pitch focuses on much value and utility you can bring the person you’re pitching. Focus on what you can do for them, not on why they should help you out or how badly you need it.
Following these six steps, and having the patience to execute them over a few days, will put you miles ahead of every other pitch your target blogger is probably getting, and that’s definitely something.