Since guest blogging is becoming such a popular way to promote your blog, I thought I’d give you my list of 10 steps to an effective guest post. You can also use these steps to write killer content for your own blog.
Read The Other Blog
You can usually tell by the blog’s theme and graphics what type of blog you’ve landed on but you won’t really know anything about the blog until you read the content. After all, there are millions of blogs out there with a Jack Russel puppy in the header but they don’t all talk about Jack Russel Terriers. Some of them talk about German Shepherds or adult dogs in general and they just have that picture because it’s cute.
Read the blog before you even start thinking about a guest post. Look for the popular posts to see what gets the best reaction from the readers. Look to see if the blogger has recently been talking about something new in that niche or a controversial idea. More important, look to see what type of information the readers are looking for. No matter how great your guest post is if it’s not what they need they’re not going to love it.
Read The Comments
Read the comments, too, and you’ll find questions and opinions that might help you come up with an idea for your own article. You’ll also learn what types of content the readers enjoy most.
Follow The Blogger
I like to follow the blogger on Twitter or Facebook and see what links he’s promoting to his followers. If he finds something interesting enough to share with his readers it might make a good topic for a guest ppost.
Follow The Guidelines
Before you start writing, search the blog to see if he’s posted guidelines for guest bloggers. If he wants you to submit your idea first then you’ll just be wasting your time if you write out the whole article. And you’ll be kicking yourself if the only reason it isn’t accepted is because you didn’t do the formatting the way he requested in the guidelines. Not all bloggers have a page up and if they don’t you might want to contact them first to find out if they accept guest posts and if they have any rules.
Don’t try to emulate that other blogger, just be yourself. Of course, you want to be on your best behavior so don’t use vulgarity or slang or anything else that makes you look like a thug. But you want people to like you and your content and the person they see in that guest blog post is the person they’re going to expect to see when they come visit your blog. So don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Just be yourself.
Edit Your Post
This goes without saying … so I won’t. OK, maybe I will. Edit your post. And then edit it again. And then do it one more time before you submit. If you’re still unsure, have someone else edit it for you.
Blog owners don’t just use guest bloggers to fill in the gaps. They want to give their readers something different, something new and exciting, something to break up the monotony. So don’t rehash the same old Top 10 Twitter Tips that everyone else is talking about all over the blogosphere. Give them three – and make them unique.
As you’re reading that other blog and the comments, and those other blogs he’s linking to, jot down ideas for your own post. Make a list and don’t worry about how long it gets, you can narrow it down later. If you’re like me you’ll probably go back to the very first idea you wrote down, but who knows – it might be the very last idea that lights that lightbulb over your head.
Take Your Time
Chances are that blogger isn’t going anywhere so there’s no need to rush. There’s no question that this has to be some of your best work ever so take your time. When you’re done, read it, read it, and read it again. And then go back and start editing.
Be Extraordinarily Fascinating
I love the word “Fascinating.” When someone says, “Wow! That was fascinating!” that means that not only did they love it, but it was thought provoking, intriguing, and it maybe even changed their whole outlook on the situation. And “Extraordinary?” Well, that means it’s better than what they typically see. If you can write something that’s “Extraordinarily Fascinating” you’ll be in like Flinn and those readers will follow you to the ends of the Earth!