“And then they stripped my guest post of all the links…”
Yes, I'm at a blogging meet up and that's just one of the many conversations I've heard about guest blogging and how hard it is for decent bloggers to get a guest post on a decent site.
A lot of the issues the bloggers are talking about are simple good manners or guest blogging etiquette. Guest posting is not a free for all, it's not the wild-west. Those days are over.
This list of things to remember when guest posting is in no particular order, yet each one a bug-bear for host bloggers when they receive your guest post, My favourite line from would-be guest bloggers is “what an amazing opportunity it is for you to publish my post“. It's not. Don't say it.
- Always take the time to research the blog owner’s name so you can personalize your email.
- If you can’t find the owner’s name reference the blog name in your email. Hell, reference the name of the blog anyway so they know you have a brain.
- Read the blog's guest post guidelines before submitting your article. Ensure that it meets the required word count, topic and adheres to any formatting guidelines.
- Make your blog post easy to read. Use bullet points, lists and bold words when necessary. Keep your paragraphs short and provide lots of white space which is easy on the eyes. Remember to include images or graphics if required, again refer to the guidelines for assistance.
- Reference other guest blog posts you have done. Show that you have other posts and content that's popular elsewhere.
- Have a clear call to action in your bio or resource box. Guide the reader so that know they can get more information or download a free guide by clicking your link. Don't let your resource box sound like a sales pitch or a spam fest.
- Reply to comments on your post. Nothing annoys me more than negotiating a guest post, publishing it and then having the comments ignored… Don't ignore the commenters, make a connection with them and thank them for their time.
- Use the comments and questions from your post as material to create new posts.
- Develop a relationship with the host and explore the option of writing on a regular basis for them.
- Write for the readers forget about the search engines.
- Remember that guest blogging brings you an audience and not just visitors.
- Direct the readers of your guest post to a free giveaway on your own site if your host allows this.
- Tweet about your guest post and post it on your Facebook page. Share it everywhere and encourage others to share it too.
- Research your target blog carefully.
- See how many posts were written by other guest bloggers and which ones are popular.
- Edit your post very carefully before submitting it remember to check facts, figures, grammar and links
- Include a short bio with a link to a relevant topic or giveaway on your site but make sure you don't conflict with what your host is offering.
- When looking for site look for those where the owner states that they are going away on holiday or travelling and target those as these owners have a more urgent need for quality guest posts
- Check the guidelines or ask if any special file formats are required when submitting posts. And then when you have the information use it!
- Approach your target host blog with a series of articles for posts as this can increase your chances of acceptance but only if each one is totally awesome. 23 posts that are crap will get rejected along with one crap post.
- Ensure that your guest posts offer valuable, usable information and are not just a sales pitch for one of your own products.
- If you do include links in your article double check that they are live when published.
- Make sure your content is original, don't post it on your site then offer it up as a guest post
- Offer to supply images with your post
I could go on… but I think that covers the guest blogging etiquette basics :)
If your post doesn't fit the format of the site or comply with the guest blogging guidelines then the host blog will make changes. Be prepared for that.
As for stripping out the links, I couldn't really comment without seeing the post. Some might think one link in the body of the article is enough, others may like lots of links. But without doing your research and following the guidelines available to you then you'll never really know.