The Why and How of Guest Posts

Last week I created the Great Guest Post Exchange. I got some emails and I’ve already agreed to work with a couple people. You being writers and all, I don’t think there’s a lack of interest–I think it’s a lack of confidence. Or perhaps you don’t understand how guest posts can be beneficial to you. So I decided to discuss why and how to pitch a guest post.

So, why write a guest post?

  • Writing a guest post puts you in front of a new audience.
  • Guest posts also help you build relationships with awesome bloggers.
  • Being featured by these bloggers lends your name credibility.
  • Accepting guest posts brings fresh perspective to your blog–it also brings you a new audience and lightens your work load.

On a more personal level, many famous bloggers attribute their fame to guest posts, and the guest posts I’ve written have definitely increased my traffic. Every time I feature an author on my blog, whether it’s through an interview or through a guest post, I get some new visitors, and quite often those visitors stick around. I also make a friend and send a few of my readers their way. It’s a win win for everyone.

So, are you sold on the idea of guest posts but have no idea where to get started? An entire book could be written about how to pitch and write a guest post, but by keeping a few simple rules in mind you can greatly increase your chance of being featured on someone else’s blog.

How do you land a guest post?

  • Do your research— Before you email a blogger to pitch a guest post, first make sure that they accept guest posts. Check their guidelines and read a few pre-existing guest posts to figure out what they want. You also want to make sure the blog will have a similar audience to yours and is likely both to work with the topic you’d like to write about and to bring you loyal readers.
  • Create multiple ideas–Brainstorm ideas around the themes of the blog you’ve chosen to pitch a post to. The more ideas you have, the more likely it is that one of them will get selected by the blog.
  • Outline your ideas–Outline your three favourite ideas. This way you have three posts prepared in case they don’t like your first one.
  • Remember the guidelines–If they want a full post, by all means write and send them a full post. Many blogs would prefer you to pitch an idea. Pitching two or three ideas that you’ve fleshed out pretty well often gives you a better chance, unless the guidelines specify to only discuss one idea at a time.
  • Be polite–Start your email with “Dear ____”. Always know the person’s name. Say thank you to them for the time it takes them to read your email. Let them know why you want to blog for them and why their readers will like reading your post. Don’t be pushy. Thank them for their time.

Following these rules won’t guarantee that your guest post will be accepted, but it does mean that you’re giving it the best chance possible, which is all we can ever do as writers. Put your best foot forward and don’t be afraid: bloggers are nice people, and if you follow these rules, they won’t spit in your face. They might not be interested in the post, but as writers, we have to accept that other people won’t always be interested in our work. Bloggers, at least, are other writers and will generally make an effort to be nice about it when rejecting your post.

Personally, my goal is to help all of you become better writers and achieve your writing dreams, so if you’ve been thinking about pitching a guest post to me–whether or not you’d like to do a proper exchange–don’t be afraid. I will not only be friendly and professional, but if a post has potential I will also edit it with you and help you shape it into something awesome. And if you’re looking to send a guest post somewhere else, send me the pitch and I’ll give you some feedback to help you move forward with your writing career.

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About Dianna Gunn

I am a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. My first YA fantasy novella, Keeper of the Dawn, is available now through The Book Smugglers Publishing.

Posted on March 22, 2013, in Blog Stuff, Inspirational, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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