How to Score a Guest Blogger Gig while Building Your Brand
A guest blogger is someone whose articles are published on someone else’s blog. You might consider this is your search for a job. Many bloggers struggle with creating enough content to fit their editorial calendars, so when a guest blogger reaches out with quality content, a lot of bloggers are happy to publish the guest’s article.
Guest posting on a high-traffic blog can jump-start your public image, drive traffic to your own blog, and launch your personal brand. After you’ve established your own blog, your topic is clear, and you’re comfortable with your unique voice, follow these steps to get your article posted on a top blog:
Find top-ranking blogs that closely match your area of expertise or topic.
Narrow down your list to three or five blogs and thoroughly research them to make sure you can write on topic and to their audience.
Send an inquiry to your list of target bloggers.
Write an original blog post for each blogger that gets back to you.
Don’t write a guest blog post until you get an agreement from a blogger to publish it first. Otherwise, you may waste a lot of time. Also, be aware that some bloggers want to reserve the right to review and edit your post before publishing it, so always talk to them in terms of sending a draft rather than a finished work.
Guest-blog on high-authority blogs
Unless you’re running around to all the nerdy blogger events and networking with high-profile authors, you may need to research and cold-approach your own guest-posting opportunities. Following are some cool sites where you can find top-ranking blogs as well as guest-posting matchmaking:
Alltop: Alltop is a directory of top-ranking blogs on hundreds of different topics.
BloggerLinkUp: This site matches bloggers looking for guest posters with article writers. You can subscribe to the e-mail list to see what blogs are requesting content.
BlogSynergy: BlogSynergy is a directory of blogs looking for guest bloggers.
MyBlogGuest: This community of bloggers share content with one another, so the quality of writing is fairly good.
Jobs.ProBlogger: This site is actually a job board for bloggers. Companies and content producers post their jobs here, often looking for writers on particular topics. Most are willing to pay you a little bit of cash, too.
Craft the perfect inquiry e-mail
Your inquiry e-mail needs to be authentic and sound like you, so make sure you don’t copy and paste a template when you reach out. Also, top bloggers receive a lot of spam e-mails, so the less spam-like your message appears, the better your chances are that the person you’re contacting will read it.
Follow these guidelines to boost the odds of having your inquiry e-mail read and seriously considered:
Get to the point in the subject line. You can use “Guest post inquiry for Blog Name” or simply “Guest blog post.” If the blogger needs a new post, he’ll gravitate toward your e-mail.
Prove that you did your research. If you’ve read a person’s blog for a while or if you heard about her (or her blog) through someone or some promotion she did, mention it. A generic “I love your blog” doesn’t cut it. Make sure you can prove that you do indeed know who this person is and what she blogs about.
Many bloggers publish guidelines on how they want to be approached by guest bloggers. Search their blog to find these guidelines and then follow their instructions. If they have guidelines that you ignore, you just showed them that you really don’t know much about their blog.
Build your credibility. Mention any other writing experience you have, your own blog, or any other credentials to show why you’re qualified to write on the topic.
Offer a title for your guest post. Don’t just say, “Do you accept blog posts?” Instead, offer a title that’s both compelling and on topic for the other blog. Although you don’t need to write the post until after the blogger agrees, you should offer a title for the post.
State what you want to get out of the guest post. All you really want in return is a link back to your blog. You’re not selling anything or using her blog as a platform for promoting yourself. Typically, guest bloggers link to their blog a couple times during the article or at the very end in the author’s tag line.
Close with a call to action. End with telling the blogger what you want her to do. Usually, the call to action is “Please let me know whether you’d be open to seeing a draft of my original post.”
The following sample inquiry e-mail puts all these pieces together.
Subject line: Guest blog post inquiry
Hi Ms. Blogger,
I saw your blog mentioned on the latest Techcrunch article and really enjoy your writing.
I’ve been writing for my own blog on a similar subject at www.wandaright.com and want to know whether you’d consider an original guest post from me. One title I had in mind was “Three deadly mistakes people make when writing copy.”
All I ask for is a link back to my blog in the author’s section.
If you want to see a draft of this article to review, please let me know, and I’ll send it on.
Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.