Have you ever wanted to be a guest blogger but didn’t know how to ask?
After all, being a guest blogger is an excellent way to become known and acquire a following for your own blog.
If you’re determined to be a guest blogger, don’t be surprised (or disheartened) when you’re declined more than you’re accepted. The competition is stiff out there.
If you want a better chance of being accepted, follow these five rules and tips. After all, there are wrong ways and right ways to ask.
The Wrong Way and Right Way
1. Choose the Right Blog for the Right Reasons
WRONG: Don’t think you’ll promote your own name and website if you go after just any blog based on a high Page Rank or Alexa rank and not subject matter. The blog master is likely to say “No” if what you have to offer has nothing to do with the theme of their blog.
RIGHT: Stay with what you know. There’s no reason to stray outside your expertise. Keep your blog posts relevant to what the readers want. When you write about what you know, it shows. And when you speak their language, your post will resonate with readers and create the buzz the blog master wants.
2. Make a Good First Impression
WRONG: People send spam/template emails proposing a guest blog post all the time. Blog masters can smell these a mile away. When they receive one of these, they immediately delete them. They don’t even bother to read these submissions. Send enough and somebody out there might respond? Good luck with that.
RIGHT: Make each outreach effort unique. You’ll get a far higher response rate (and a better reputation) if you create a thoughtful, personalized, and distinctive guest blog request to every blog master you solicit. Don’t use form letters or emails that other people are using to solicit opportunities. It seldom works. Use your copywriting skills to make a good first impression — and show the blog master she’s hearing from a professional.
3. Pick the Right Submission Channel
WRONG: You found the “perfect” website and you want to submit a request to be a guest blogger. You go to the “comments” section of their blog or the “contact us” page and submit this request — because it’s fast and easy. You’re already on that page, so why not?
Um, no. This works just as well as sending spam or a template request (see #2).
RIGHT: Take the time and do the research. This cannot be emphasized enough. Impress them by sending a personalized and unique email to the correct person at the correct email address. No spam. No template. No comment or contact form. The one exception is if the submission guidelines expressly say to use the contact form.
On some sites, you may not be able to find any other means of getting in touch with the site owner than the contact form. If that happens, do some social media research. Chances are you’ll be able to make a more direct and personalized connection through Twitter or LinkedIn. Only use the contact for as a last resort.
4. Tap Into the WIIFM Factor
WRONG: “Being a tech-savvy blogger, I would be immensely delighted to work with your platform as a Guest Blogger, where I could unveil my core-knowledge and high-intellect to bestow resourceful-and-inspirational blogs for your end-readers. I’m sure that you would admire me, because of my proficient writing experience and ability for bringing the ingenuity in the write-ups about the latest web technologies & innovations going around in the Web Development & Design Realm, through my featured blogs that are as refreshing as morning dew! Being a veteran blogger, I possess all the technical ingredients that you may consider for your platform.”
Wow. That … was … amazing. Delete.
Sadly, this is a real example or how some writers go about approaching blog owners. Asking to be a guest blogger is NOT about you. It’s about the site and their readers. So when you start your email request, don’t tell them at any point how incredibly awesome you are. They don’t know you and really don’t care about your awesomeness. Once they get off the floor from laughing so hard, you’ll be deleted.
RIGHT: Convey WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). Always begin and continue with how you’re going to help them and their readers (and show them some of your work). Your communication has to make clear that you understand their target market and their needs. This is what will impress them enough to accept your request.
5. Always Be Professional
WRONG: “I’m expecting your reply as soon as possible (within three days), else the forwarded content will be sent for publishing on other sites. I think I’m crisp & clear. If you have any confusion for the aforementioned points, you can freely revert me. Looking for a positive response for the request proposal!”
Wait … what?
Never say anything even similar to this. It’s threatening and confusing. A comment like this will generate a head shake in disbelief and multiple eye rolls from the blog master … right before he pushes the “delete” button. And, you’ll probably end up on the site’s “black list.”
RIGHT: Put your best professional foot forward. “I’m interested in writing a guest post for your blog (theirblogsite.com). Please review the following sample links of my published guest posts:
(Insert 3 links to relevant content that you wrote, even if the site is your own. Make sure the links are relevant to the blog’s topics. If not, at least you’ll be showing them your excellent writing skills.)
Please feel free to ask any questions. Looking forward to your reply.”
Notice the difference? You:
- Took the time to list their website, showing them you at least know who they are.
- Provided active links to your similar and relevant work (the “show me don’t tell me” rule).
- Politely asked. There was no weird or forceful persuasion tactics — just you asking if you can guest post on their site.
- Were very specific. Don’t send generic or vague information.
More Success Tips
Here’s a few more tips you can use to help you be more successful when asking for guest blogging opportunities.
Research their site — Again, this cannot be stressed enough. Really look at what they’re doing, what the subject is, who their target market is, and the general tone of the writing they have posted on their site. See if you’re a good fit or if it’s even a site you’re really interested in.
Read their procedures/guidelines if they’re posted — Nothing will get you rejected faster than blatantly ignoring what they’re asking for. Many times, there’s a section on “how to ask” or “how to submit a request” in the guidelines.
Being too familiar with the blog owner — Whether you know the blog owner or not, keep it professional. A request to guest blog is not the time or place to bring up last night’s game. They’ll remember this and respect you for it.
Look for people who are looking for you — Google for topics like “Submit an article” or “Write for us,” or sign up on sites like MyBlogGuest. For better search results, check out this article on Google search tips.
Make an Impression
Just like everything else in business and in life, honesty will get you a long way. Don’t send out 5,000 form emails hoping for a lot of responses. To grab their attention, be personal, truthful, and unique. Show them who you are through your work. Remember, you’ll probably get more rejections than offers at first, but eventually you’ll get published, and you’ll get your name — and your website — out there.