How to Guest Post Like a Total Pro Blogger

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So, here’s the deal. When I first started blogging, I was told that I should immediately learn how to guest post, and spend the majority of my time finding guest posting gigs.

Mind you, the advice came from an online marketer who has a special knack for ranking websites pretty high in Google search results.

I took the advice.

For several months, all of my energy and focus was directed towards all things guest posting.

I would spend hours pinning down sites to pitch, then I spent even more time carefully crafting custom pitches for article ideas to each individual website. My entire process was documented in a handy excel document.

I got quite good at guest posting. At one point, nearly all of my guest post pitches were being accepted.

How To Guest Post Like a Total Pro - EdenFried.com

You’re probably wondering why I spent the majority of my time guest posting. Why on earth would I invest my time and energy into creating content for someone else’s site and zero time creating content for my own?

Great, great question. Before you learn how to guest post, you need to learn the value of guest posting. That's why you're going to spend the next couple of minutes learning why guest posting is so beneficial to you and your blog.

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Why Guest Post?

1. Guest Posting increases your domain authority

You’re probably somewhat familiar with SEO. You’ve been told that you need to do keyword research and include keywords throughout your blog posts in order to rank in search engine results.

This is called on page optimization. And, yes, it is important.

However, there is also another side to SEO.

There’s something called off page optimization. This is all the stuff you do OFF of your site to boost your domain authority (which is a number that indicates how credible your site is and how likely you are to show up high in search results).

To boost your off page optimization you need to work on growing the number of backlinks that you have.

Backlinks: any link that points from ANOTHER site to YOUR site.

Guest posting is an example of a healthy method to get more backlinks to your site so that you can bump up your domain authority. When you guest post, you get to include an author bio with at least one link to your site.

Reason 1/3 to guest post: boost your domain authority #guestpost

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2. Guest Posting exposes you to a new audience

When you publish a guest post on someone’s site, you’ll get the unique opportunity to meet a bunch of new people that otherwise might not have found you or your site.

That’s the glory of guest posting. Not only do you get a new link to your site, but you also get to showcase your smartness to that site’s audience.

I can’t even begin to tell you how large my audience has grown thanks to my guest posting ventures in the early days of my blogging career.

Reason 2/3 to guest post: grow your audience

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3. Guest Posting establishes you as an expert in your niche

Say you’re an expert in creating curriculums for homeschooled children. So, you find about a dozen or so sites that will publish a guest post from you. All of those guest posts have something to do with homeschooling. Eventually, you’re going to become known as the homeschooling guru. That’s exactly the position you want to be in – and that’s the power of guest posting.

When you write stellar guest posts, people will notice. And the more you do it, the more you get from it, too.

Reason 3/3 to guest post: get expertise status in your niche

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How to Find Sites that Accept Guest Posts

Option 1: Head to Google and search

You’d be surprised what you can find in Google. Lots! I found tons of new sites to guest post on all thanks to the nifty search engine, and you can, too.

Simply submit a sourcing phrase and niche keyword.

Example: "guest post" cooking ​

How To Guest Post - EdenFried.com

You can use a variety of different sourcing phrases to help modify your search and generate more results:

  • Guest Post by
  • Guest submission
  • Guest contributor
  • Guest post written by

You can use a variety of different niche keywords, too. For example, instead of "cooking", consider "recipes", "baking" or anything that would fit within your niche. 

Option 2: Figure out where your competitors are guest posting

Did you see that your blogging mentors in your niche guest posted on a site? Cool, that means you’ve found a site that accepts guest posts. Yes, it’s that simple friends! Mark that site down on your list, and carry on with your search!

Option 3: Turn to Facebook blogging groups

I’m a huge fan of blogging groups for a ton of reasons. I have my own blogging group and I’m an active member of plenty others. Besides gaining value, learning, and helping the community, Facebook blogging groups can also help you pin down your next guest posting gig. Betcha didn’t think of this one, am I right?

Simply head over to your Fav Facebook blogging group and go to the search bar. Search “guest post”. If the group is big enough and has been around for at least a few months, you’ll probably be able to find sites that are looking for guest post contributors.

Here’s an example:

How To Guest Post - EdenFried.com

How to evaluate whether sites are worth guest posting on

All sites are not created equal. As a blogger, you need to be sure you're spending your time wisely and only guest posting on sites that will actually help you move forward.

Here is how to determine whether or not you should be guest posting on a website:

  1. The website should be within your niche. You'll get no value if you spend time guest posting to an audience that isn't within your target audience. 
  2. The website's social media following should be the same size as yours, or bigger than yours (if you're guest posting on a site that doesn't have much of a following on social media, you won't get as much value from the guest post).
  3. The website's domain authority should be around as good as yours, or better than yours. Install the MozBar chrome extension to quickly evaluate how a website's domain authority compares to yours. 

How to create the perfect guest post pitch

This is an important section, so please don’t skip it. If you don’t have time to read it and fully comprehend what I’m saying now, save this post for later when you do have time. Trust me, it’s important.

The tricky part of guest posting isn’t finding sites that accepts guest posts or even writing the guest post, it’s creating the perfect pitch. Sites are picky. If your pitch isn’t a good one, you’ll be rejected. Plain and simple!

Step One: Peruse the website you’re pitching

If the site owner gets the feel that you’re not very familiar with their site, they’ll probably say no to your pitch. No one wants to be used just for a guest post. So do your part by doing your homework.

Spend time on the site. Get to know their content. Read a handful of their blog posts. Take note of their style. Start identifying topics that have NOT been covered yet on their site.

Step Two: Craft the pitch

Lazy pitches or pitches that "scream" I have no experience, will probably get rejected. So let me help you get one step ahead and share my strategy for submitting the perfect pitch to a site for consideration.

You can feel free to copy and paste the template below and customize it for your unique pitch!​

Subject: I loved your post on xyz

Hey [first name],

My name is [your name] and I’m a big fan of yours. I loved your recent blog post on [insert topic here] and I just shared it to several of my social media channels!

I’m curious, do you accept guest posts? If yes, I’d love to submit something to you! I have a few ideas that I think your audience would really enjoy.

Template title for idea 1

Write a 2-3 sentence explanation of the blog post idea. Be sure to explain a high level overview of what you’re going to include in the post and what the main idea will be.

Template title for idea 2

Write a 2-3 sentence explanation of the blog post idea. Be sure to explain a high level overview of what you’re going to include in the post and what the main idea will be.

Template title for idea 3

Write a 2-3 sentence explanation of the blog post idea. Be sure to explain a high level overview of what you’re going to include in the post and what the main idea will be.

I’m happy to adjust any of these ideas to best fit your audience. Let me know what you think, [first name].

Can’t wait to hear back from you!

Thanks,

[sign your name]

Let’s break down the template so you can understand why every section is important.

Subject line: You can use any subject line of your choice, but I often use the one outlined above. Why? Because it’s more personal and less likely to be skipped over as spam.

First paragraph: Introduce yourself and be sure to make it clear that you’ve spent time on the person’s site. Compliment them on something, especially a recent blog post. Then show that you’ve engaged with their content in some way. Sharing their stuff works wonders!

Second paragraph: Cut to the chase and ask the question. Make it short and sweet.

Pitch ideas: Make this section easy to read. I bold the template title ideas then keep the pitch for each idea to a minimum. 2-3 sentences explaining your idea will do the trick.

Concluding paragraph: thank them for their time and assure them that you’d be happy to adjust the ideas if need be. I like to address them by first name in the final paragraph. It feels more personal and less like a form email.

WANNA SEE GUEST POST PITCHES THAT ACTUALLY WORKED?

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Step Three: Mark your calendars to follow up

The fortune is in the follow up.

There’s a high chance you won’t receive a response to your initial email. So, mark your calendars to send you a reminder exactly two weeks after you sent the original pitch. When two weeks passes, send a follow up note if you still haven’t heard back.

Hey [first name],

I know you’re super busy so I just wanted to drop into your inbox quickly to ask if you had a chance to read my last email. I’d love to write a stellar guest post for you if you’re interested!

Anyway, I look forward to your reply.

Thanks,

[sign your name]

I almost always get a reply to the follow up messages so my hunch is you will, too.

What to do when your guest post pitch has been accepted

Congrats! Your pitch has been accepted. That’s something to celebrate. Now it’s time for the fun stuff… Writing the guest post!

Step one: Set a deadline

Even if the site owner doesn’t have a deadline for you, it’s in your best interest to set a deadline for yourself and share it with them. This will hold you accountable and make sure you don’t put off the opportunity. I’ve blown off a few opportunities to guest post before purely because I never set a deadline and other things came up… shame on me!

Step two: Set expectations

Ask the site owner how they’d like the final product delivered.

  • Do they want it in a Word document? Do they want it in Google Docs
  • Should you create the images or will they? More often than not, they will create the images for you.

Also, make sure to read the contributor guidelines if they have any. Certain sites will stipulate what the word count minimum or maximum is. And some sites will even have specific rules about format and external links. Familiarize yourself with those guidelines and be sure to abide by them while you’re writing.

Step three: start writing

You won’t want to be late delivering a guest post, so get to it right away. And make sure it’s exceptional content.

The general rule of thumb for guest posts is this: your guest posts should be even higher quality than the posts you publish on your site.

Why? Because this is your reputation on the line. You need to make sure you uphold your reputation by providing the absolute best.

Guest posts should have people thinking, SH*T that was a GOOD article. Readers should walk away from the blog feeling like they learned something. Guest posts are not the place for you to put fluffy stuff. Guest posts should be actionable, info-rich posts.

Also, don’t forget to proof read the crap out of your guest post. And then, when you’re done proof reading, proof read it again.

Step four: your author bio

Your author bio is one of the most important components of a guest post, so be sure not to forget about it!

1. Speak in third person

2. Tell the readers who you are and where you spend your time online (your site)

3. Share a few fun, interesting facts about you (this will help them relate to you some more)

4. Include a call to action (if allowed) that directs people back to a lead magnet on your site (this will help grow your email list)

My author bio changes a lot depending on what site I’m posting on and who the audience for that site is. Here’s an example of one of my author bios from the time that I guest posted on BlogBeautifully.com:

How To Guest Post - EdenFried.com

Most sites will want a picture of you for the author bio, so be sure to include a profile shot of you when you submit the finished guest post.

How to Guest Post Well - Best Practices

When you guest post, you’ll want to be sure that you follow best practices to be sure you don’t burn any bridges unknowingly.

1. Always reply to comments

As the author of the guest post, it’s your responsibility to be sure you tune into the post after it goes live and answer any questions and comments that come through. That’s just what you do! So, mark your calendar for the date the post goes live and block out some time to be available.

2. Share the guest post widely

Do you know what I detest? When someone submits a guest post and then they “go dark” after the post goes live.

That’s just poor form.

When you submit a guest post to a site, you need to be sure that you spread the love on that post. Like a lot of love. Share the post wide and far, because that’s just the right thing to do!

Plus, the more you share, the more chances you have at people reading the post, loving your stuff, and becoming a lifelong follower of your work. So share! Share the heck out of that post!

3. Build a relationship with the site owner

Guest posing is an incredible way for you to virtually mingle with people in your niche and create lasting relationships. Most of my best blogging buddies are people that I met through guest posting on their sites.

So after you guest post, don’t lose touch. Send them an email once in a while, share their stuff, and keep in touch! Invite them to guest post on your site, and share new opportunities with them. Build that relationship, because why not?!

Several months ago, I guest posted on someone's site. At the time, we didn't know each other, but I pitched him an idea and he accepted.  

Since then, he's guest posted on my site and we've stayed in contact. He recently shared opportunities to participate in two round-up posts on well established websites with stellar domain authorities. That means, just from one guest post, I was able to get several other backlink opportunities (see an example here and here).

See how powerful guest posting can be for your blog? ​

WANNA SEE GUEST POST PITCHES THAT ACTUALLY WORKED?

Download this swipe file: 

Now that you know how to guest post, what do you think?​

After reading this guide to guest posting, I'm curious to hear what your thoughts are. Have you tested out guest posting before? How has it benefited your blog? Leave your responses in the comments. 

Learn how to guest post like a complete pro with this comprehensive guide!

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