Here we are: the final part of this eight-part series on better blogging for writers. After running through this series, writers should be able to blog at a higher level than most. Of course, there's more to learn once you get comfortable with the basics. For today's installment, we'll look at how bloggers utilize guest posts for blog success.
Utilize Guest Posts for Blog Success
Before we get too invested in the how and why of guest posting, let's take a moment to understand the what. Guest posting is the act of posting on another person's blog. You would be guest posting on the There Are No Rules blog if you are not one of the Writer's Digest editors; I would be guest posting if I were to craft a post for your blog. Get it? Good.
Why would someone do this? For bloggers, inviting people to write guest posts provides bloggers with content they don't have to create themselves. At times, it may even be content created that is outside the experience level of the host blogger. That's a bonus for the blogger, right?
For the guest, guest posting is a terrific way to reach a new audience that (if they like your post) may migrate over to your blog. As such, guest posting is often called a win-win for bloggers and guest posters (who are often bloggers themselves) alike.
In fact, there are many bloggers who swear that guest posting is the most effective way to promote your own blog and grow your audience.
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How Do I Make This Work for Me?
There are two ways to approach guest posting: You can solicit guest posts for your blog, and you can pitch guest posts for other blogs.
Here are a couple ways to solicit guest posts:
- Ask readers for guest posts. If you're interested in soliciting guest posts, you should say so in a post (content for a day).
- Ask experts. People in your field, folks in your social circles, connections on social media, and so on.
One thing I've learned over the years is that the simple act of asking will often yield wonderful results. Go into it expecting a "no," but more often than not you'll receive a "yes."
Here's the best way to pitch a guest post:
- Familiarize yourself with the blog you're pitching. Read several posts to get a good idea of the content, voice, and treatment of subjects.
- Search for posts on the blog similar to what you're pitching. If there's not already a post and it fits with the blog's treatment of the topic, then you have a better chance of being accepted.
- Send a pitch. Don't start off talking about yourself. Pitch your idea in 1-3 sentences, explain (in 1-2 sentences) why it fits your blog and audience, and then, share a little about yourself (like 1 sentence). Keep it concise and include your contact info.
Guest posting is a wonderful way to build your audience and connect with new readers and do it with intrinsic benefits for your readers. And if you remember, intrinsic is the way to go.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. He regularly blogs at the Poetic Asides blog and writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine. He also leads online education, speaks on writing and publishing at events around the country, and does other fun writing-related stuff.
A published poet, he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere.
Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.