Blogging Basics for Beginners

While guest posting may seem like a simple concept in theory (All I have to do is write a little something and get someone to post it — easy!), it really isn’t… in practice. There are more steps to it than you might think, and even if what you’re writing is awesome, readable and informative, that doesn’t mean that search engines will deem it so.

Getting your guest post out to the right place is an essential piece of the guest posting puzzle, because you want to be certain that you’re seeking out the appropriate opportunities. Just trying to shove your guest post in anyone’s face who is willing to read it is not only a waste of time, but you’re even less likely to be successful in the process.

So, you should always make sure that where you’re placing your post has a high relevancy to what you ultimately want to accomplish. While you naturally want to gain links, you don’t want to open your doors for just any old links.

Do Your Research First

Before you decide where you want to send your guest post pitches, do some good old-fashioned research. While you may not want to take the time to do this, I promise that it will help you in the long run, because you’ll be ensuring that you are choosing the right places to pitch your post.

You might ask, “How do I complete this research and locate this amazing place for my post?”

It’s not all that hard. If you want to locate the right place to guest post, all it takes is a simple Google search using the right keywords — think keywords, keywords, keywords. For instance, say you’re a fashion jewelry outlet and are looking for some fashion blogs to write for. In this case, you might want to use the search terms “fashion jewelry” “submit a guest post.”

You can duplicate this for whatever you might be looking to write about. Using this method will get you to the right place very quickly, and you can easily determine the best sites to submit your pitch to from there. If you don’t use the correct search terms, then wading through all of the search results could prove to be pretty time-consuming and unnecessary, so searching correctly and keeping a list will make this as simple as possible.

Keep a List by Your Side While Researching

The next best step is to make a list of the blogs and websites that you want to pitch your post to, and you can even put them in order of priority and relevancy to make your life that much easier. From there, plan a pitch out to each one and make sure you are adhering to what they are all about rather than just composing one standard, generic pitch for each one. Besides, if you end up writing for more than one website, then it’s more than likely they are going to want the content to be exclusive to them.

When doing your research, ask yourself these questions:

  • Can you trust the site?
    • Is it a blog that you would go to on a regular basis?
  • Would you trust their information for yourself?
    • If not, it’s a no-go. Move on.
  • Is the site spammy?
    • This is an obvious one, because it’s doubtful you would want to write for a spam-ridden site.
  • Does the site target what you’re looking for? Is it within your market?
    • You want to make sure that where you are posting fits well with your industry specifics.

These are all things that you’re going to want to take into consideration when researching and deciding upon the best place to pitch your guest post to. So, take the time to complete your research, take notes and keep a list of all of them, even those you decide not to pitch to. This will prevent you from running into them when researching for another guest post down the line.

The easiest way to do this is to copy the URLs into a spreadsheet with one tab for “use these” and another for “do not use these” or similar.

Once you have your list down, prepare a well thought out pitch[1] for each one. While this seems like it may be time-consuming, it doesn’t have to be, and it will prevent you from having one generic post for every site (let’s avoid redundancy here.)

Pitch Away

Success is all about being a great writer and knowing the best way to reach out to your potential new guest post home. In this article, (originally from Stephanie Beadell and updated by the WPCNMA™ team for 2019) we explain some ideal ways to succeed, as well as some of the best (and worst ways) to perform outreach. It’s a lot more than just typing up an email and clicking “send,” so paying attention to these pointers will prove extremely beneficial.

There’s no sense in even submitting a pitch if you aren’t going to take a look at your writing and the way you present yourself. You’ll be wasting your own time, as well as that of the person you are sending the pitch to, and this is something you want to avoid at all costs.

Patience Is A Virtue

While you may get anxious to hear back from someone right away, it’s best to remember that everyone is busy just like you are, so once you click that send button, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to receive a response 5 minutes later (unless you hit someone’s inbox at the perfect moment.)

So, you’re going to want to be patient and kind. Don’t go nagging people a couple of days later, as this will make you seem desperate. Allow sufficient time and use yourself as an example. If you received a pitch email, how high would it be on your own priority list to read and respond to it? Put yourself in the receivers’ shoes to get a better idea of when you might expect to receive an answer.

What Else Should You Do?

Keep things short, sweet and to the point. Don’t become some sort of a wordy essay-writer when submitting a pitch (I must admit, it was a habit I had to break myself of) – it’s best to keep it concise so the reader knows your point from the get-go. Because most people are busy at their jobs in this day and age, seeing some long, stretched-out, sales pitch is going to be an immediate turn off. If I received something like that in my inbox, I would automatically delete it.

It also means a lot more if you personalize each message rather than writing one and then blind copy (bcc) it to everyone on your list. By the way, if you decide to do that for whatever reason, make sure when sending to everyone on your list that you are using Bcc. Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of cc-ing everyone. Bad, bad, bad. Taking a little bit more time could mean life or death for your pitch and ultimately, your guest post.

Always Proofread!

No one wants to get a sloppy unorganized e-mail. If you send such an email, it’s more likely to show your not-so-good writing skills. If you aren’t all that confident in your writing skills and feel like you would benefit from having someone on your team proof it for you, that’s most definitely the best thing you can do, especially if it’s going to help everyone in the long run. You can even outsource clean-up or editing and proof-reading of anything you’ve written very inexpensively at this link.

As in life, nothing is perfect, but when guest posting, you want to be as close to perfect as you can be. So, you’re going to want to do things such as:

  • Make sure the subject line isn’t spam-filled, or something like, “Hi, this is Alvin from Alvin’s Website Service.” Make it so the reader can relate to it, and make sure the recipient wants to open it.
  • Refer to something that they wrote on their blog, a post that you found to be interesting. Even if you aren’t an avid reader, you can at least make it known that you took the time to read through and find out what they had to say. Otherwise, why would they want to put your post on their blog if you don’t take a moment to find out what they are all about?
  • If you aren’t sure of a topic (and this happens all the time), suggest one and then let them know that you’re open to writing other topics if they have something else in mind.
  • Include every method of contact that you have. Even if you’re an email junkie and aren’t a fan of talking on the phone, list your phone number. Some people find it much easier to pick up the phone and make a quick call, so it may be worth it.

My Guest Post Is Approved! Now What?

You’ve taken all the steps to get out there and pitch your guest post, and you’ve received a Yes! Now comes the fun part after all your hard work and outreach — composing your guest post. Think about everything you want to include in it, and keep it entertaining with a conversational tone.

Create a fun and interesting title. Not sure what to make it? A great way to figure this out (and to get more hits) is to find out what people are searching for:

In this case, I might go with a title such as “Fashion Jewelry Designers: September 2019 Trends.”

When writing, keep to your pitch. Make sure you are observing the topic of your pitch, and make it known that you’re a pro in that niche. When you’re done, proofread it again… and also, have someone else proofread it.

Once you get your post up and running, you know what to do from there.

Now go for it!

 

[1] What is a “pitch”? It’s your marketing text for whatever you’re trying to generate interest in.