Like sock-hops, poodle skirts and hula-hoops, guest blogging is the all the rage right now. It brings new eyes to your blog – whether you’re the blogger who’s the guest or the blogger who’s the host – and it’s especially cool if you’re the Guest of Honor at a Big Name Blog. Here’s how to get top list bloggers to accept your guest post so you can become one of the Big Kahunas, too.
Understand the purpose: Before you even start writing that guest blog post you need to understand why you’re doing it. For you, the benefits are easy to see – you get a valuable link and the potential for more traffic back to your site. For the Top Blogger it also all boils down to traffic, but in a different way. He’s only going to accept guest posts if they add some value to his site. He’s not as concerned about the new traffic you’ll bring to his blog as he is about keeping the traffic he already has. And he’s not going to jeopardize that just to give you a little link love. You have to earn it.
Read their blog – Obviously, no Big Name Blogger is going to accept just any old blog post you want to submit. Whatever you write has to be relevant for his readers. And the only way to know what his readers are looking for is to read his blog.
Bring something different to the party – The reason that bloggers accept guest blog posts is to add some variety to their blog, to give their readers a fresh perspective. Even Big Name bloggers occasionally hit writer’s block or run out of ideas or just want a day off. Don’t rehash the same tips that everyone else is using. Come up with something new and fresh.
Put your best foot forward – Getting your post published on an A-List blog can open up a lot of doors and you know what they say – you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Make sure you check and double-check for spelling and grammar errors, punctuation mistakes, breaks in continuity, all that ‘good writing’ stuff.
Do the research – Just because it’s someone else’s blog that doesn’t mean you can slack off on SEO. Do the research to use keywords that will attract traffic to your post. That Big Name Blogger already knows you’re going to be sending a certain amount of traffic his way but imagine what he’ll think if your blog post is such a hit it turns into an Internet meme.
Learn how to write good titles – Remember, you’re here to help draw traffic. Cutesy titles, titles with puns, comical titles – those are all great for your own blog. But a good search engine optimized title will include a keyword along with a clear description of what the reader will learn when he reads the post. If the blog owner wants to change the title he will but you’ll be saving him a lot of time if you just put a good title on your post to start with.
Follow the rules – A lot of Top List Bloggers advertise the fact that they accept guest bloggers. If that’s the case, look around the site to see if he or she has posted any rules they want you to follow. And then make sure you follow those rules exactly so they don’t have a reason to ignore your submission.
Send it in your first email – If the blogger doesn’t have a list of rules posted, don’t bother sending an email to ask for permission to submit a guest post. A lot of those bloggers are too busy to answer and they don’t want to be bothered trying to help you pick a topic. Just write one and submit it. And then move on. If they want to use it they will and if they don’t they won’t. Don’t send a follow up email asking about it, either. And if you’re hell bent on getting something published on that blog, write something else and submit it again.
Link to his content – Internal links are high on the list of things you need to do for SEO. If you’re writing relevant content it should be easy to link to one of the blogger’s previous posts. He’s probably going to do it anyway so you’ll not only save him some time but you’ll impress him by doing something that most guest bloggers don’t even think about doing.
Include your byline – You’re not bragging, you earned that byline. A Top List Blogger has decided to accept your guest post. Now don’t make him have to hunt you down for your byline. Include it with your post. Two or three lines is sufficient. Make sure you include your real name, a link to your website, an anchor text link to one of your own key blog posts, and your USP.