Congratulations! You’ve been accepted to write a guest blog on a major website!
This is a huge opportunity for you, because being a guest blogger will:
- Make you more visible, possibly to a very large audience.
- Show the world your awesome writing skills.
- Give your own website a plug and get a credible back link from the guest blogging site.
Unfortunately, a few mistakes some bloggers make put them in the “don’t call back” category. When you have the opportunity to write as a guest blogger, remember these very important things you need to avoid.
1. Writing a weak headline and lead
This is your one chance to grab your reader’s attention. As with all of your writing, your headline and lead must be compelling. The blog owner will be monitoring the statistics of your post, so make it your best work. They want results as much or more than you do.
Oh, and don’t forget to make both the headline and lead SEO-friendly.
2. Starting your post in the me/I voice rather than the you voice
If you have a personal blog, then your readers know you. But, unless you’re fabulously famous in the blogging world, guest blogging readers aren’t going to know you. So, it’s very important to write your guest posts in the “you” voice. Don’t start your blog with any type of personal “me” story.
Instead, write the first paragraph or two in the you voice, talking to the readers about how this blog is going to help them.
This doesn’t mean you can never write in the me voice. Quite often, first-person examples help prove the point you’re trying to make. If your story is told effectively, the reader will relate and continue to read on. After all, keeping their attention is important — just don’t make the entire post about you. You’re there to help the reader … and the blog owner.
3. Submitting a poorly written blog post
Don’t be in a hurry. Write an excellent post — your best work — something that makes you proud. Whatever you do, don’t forget to proofread (more than once) BEFORE you submit it to the blog master. Have someone else look at it, too, before you send it in. A fresh set of eyes may catch something you missed.
Whether or not your post is published, you always need to submit your best work. If you don’t, the blog master will take one look at your submission and reject it for being junk. You won’t get published and you may be put on a blocked list where you’ll never be asked to guest write for that blog again. Definitely not something you want to happen.
4. Placing keywords in unrelated text
Keep your blog post focused on the topic at hand. This is not a piece for you to blatantly plug your website — it’s not a sales pitch for your services. So don’t place unrelated or irrelevant keywords anywhere in your text. Keep the SEO “white hat” so your post is easily found in searches. Save the plug and links about yourself and your website for the Author Bio at the end of the post.
5. Not fully researching the theme or attitude of the blog
You research companies you want to write for. Blogging is no exception. You have to know who you’re writing for. You have to know who their audience is. You wouldn’t want to submit a post about horse racing for a dog racing blog. Also, you have to know things like, if the blog is about dog racing, is it for or against the sport?
Take the time to do the research.
6. Ignoring the guest post policies and guidelines
Each publication has its own policy about including links within the post, and its own guidelines you must follow. Many publications allow links as long as they’re relevant to the post and the readers. Some publishers require links. The only way to know this is by reading these policies and guidelines. If you can’t find them during your research, ask the editor ahead of time so you don’t break any rules.
Avoiding these mistakes will ensure you submit your post correctly the first time. You’ll have the appreciation of the editor or blog master, too! When you impress them that much, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to write for them again!