Guest Blogging: 11 Ways to Make a Solid First Impression When Reaching Out
Guest blogging on industry sites is a good way to raise visibility. You have a chance to show off your expertise, position yourself as a subject-matter expert and potentially raise page hits for your own site or business. This is something I’ve personally been doing for years now and I even wrote my own expert guest blogging tips for others to follow as well.
However, guest blogging might not be right for everyone — especially if you have no idea on how to get started, or what you are supposed to say when reaching out to other bloggers and industry sites. To help with this process, I wanted to make it easier for other content creators to better understand the process of guest blogging, the benefits of using it and also how to best approach new opportunities when they come to rise.
There are also many questions you might have about guest blogging as well, such as how to break into popular industry blogs? And what should you do — or avoid — to improve the first impression you make when approaching the people who run the site?
We asked 11 entrepreneurs from YEC to offer their best advice on how to earn a guest spot, ranging from keeping the email the right length to researching the blog’s audience to showcasing clips from previous work.
1. Utilize Social Media
Most popular industry blogs get tons of inquiries for guest posts. The best way to make a great impression is to reach out to the editors on social media or through an existing contributor via an introduction. This will significantly increase your chances of getting a response and actually getting published.
2. Explain All the Benefits You Offer
You know you’d be a good fit because you’re an expert in your field — but so are a lot of other people. When you reach out, balance explaining why you’re the right voice for the post with how your company can help. What are some example headlines for articles you could write? Will you share the post on your social media? Will you include it in a newsletter? Stand out with these added perks.
3. Be Genuine
Say “hello” and introduce yourself. If you’re going to say anything about the blog owner’s content, make it genuine. Don’t just say, “Hey, I was doing this search and found your page.” The blog owner knows immediately you have no interest in them whatsoever, and that you’re just looking to get your piece published.
4. Offer Initial Topics
Your first email should be short and include two aspects. First, show previous examples that were successful on parallel blogs. Second, show you’ve done some research by offering a couple of initial topics the editor might enjoy. Anything more than that, or super-long emails, are a surefire way of being ignored.
5. Get Straight to the Point
Make sure you get straight to the point. Spare the long introductions and compliments. An ideal outreach should be structured something like this: Who you are, how you know about the blog and one recent post that you loved and why, as well as what you’d like to contribute and how it would add value to their audience. Give nothing less and nothing more.
6. Read, Then Provide a Fresh Voice
Read through every post on the popular industry blog so you know specifically what they’re looking for in a guest post. Use in-depth analysis to formulate a guest post that brings something new to the table. You want to provide a fresh voice and insight into what their target audience is most interested in. Then write a great query and show the editor you have something of value to provide.
7. Give Away Solid Tips and Strategy
So many business owners want to hide their “secret sauce;” instead, be as open as possible. If you give away real tips that actually work and can be implemented, people will always be interested. Hit them with a strategy and be transparent with the data that proves it is working. The blog wants to provide quality content so that its readers keep coming back for more.
8. Share a Portfolio
When you reach out, share samples to show your ability and depth of expertise so the industry blog understands why you want to work with it and why you should write for it. Volunteering this portfolio shows you are proud of your work and excited to add to the blogs you have written for. It may also provide a way to create connections between others you have written for and this industry blog.
- Andrew O’Connor, American Addiction Centers
9. Don’t Rely on Automation
With all of the automated outreach tools, it can be very easy to get lazy with your outreach. But for any owner of a popular blog, an automated outreach email is easy to spot and usually ends up being discarded without much thought. Take the time to research the target blog and what its readers might want to see.
10. Tell a Story
So many people want to write and have no idea why. Instead of writing to be seen, write to tell a story. If the content is well-written and relevant, an editor will want it. You can find the submission and editorial guidelines on all publisher websites. Read them, follow the instructions, create great content and wait for a response.
- Renato Libric, Bouxtie Inc
11. Practice Proactive Empathy
There is only one question you need to ask yourself: What does the blogger care about? Your communication should be 100% tailored toward helping them accomplish their goals. Do they care about their audience? Focus on how the piece will benefit readers. Do they care about page views? Explain how you plan to drive traffic. Do they care about supporting meaningful causes? Tell them why you do what you do.
Get Out There and Start Guest Blogging!
Now that you’ve read through some of our expert tips and have a better idea on how to get started with the outreach process, it’s time to find some sites you can start publishing content to. To get started, check out this list of sites accepting guest posts. Remember to always submit only the highest quality of content, as these sites are getting hundreds of emails and guest post submissions monthly. Only the best will be responded to and posted to their sites.
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