Ever since the head of Google’s web scam team, Matt Cutts, declared that guest blogging was done because it had gotten too spammy, many people have overlooked the power that guest blogging can have for their business and brands.
The truth is not all guest blogging is bad.
What Matt Cutts really meant is that spammy guest posts with the only intent of getting backlinks for SEO are what are really bad. Google does not like people who try different tricks in order to get their pages to rank higher in the search engines. They only want quality pages to rank at the top of their search because of the relevant value those pages bring to the searchers. Their search business model is based on ensuring that this happens.
Just think about what you would do if every time you used Google to search for a topic the first page was filled with low quality websites that had used tricks in order to rank that high. You probably would start using a different search engine. This is what Google wants to avoid and why they take their page ranking algorithm so seriously. It is also why it is so important that you remain up to date with Google’s changes, like the Google Penguin update.
The Power of Guest Blogging
Despite this confusion with Google, guest blog posts can still be a great tool for any business. Matt Cutts himself says that guest blogging is a great resource for exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc. Guest blog posts put your brand in front of an already established community of readers who may not be familiar with you or what you offer.
Just think about these statistics. There are 54.2 million new blog posts every month. These posts receive 19.6 billion views from 409 million people. This is a huge market to tap into.
With guest blogging, you do not need your own following or even your own website. You are able to borrow someone else’s audience while providing them content that helps to keep their blog relevant and unique. When guest blogging is done correctly, it is a win-win situation.
The Basics of Requesting a Guest Blog Post
So what are the basics of securing a guest blog post on a popular blog? You have to reach out to the blogger and pitch them your idea.
Make sure that you have read any instructions they provide for guest post submissions and follow those instructions. For example, if they only accept submissions through an online form, do not try to email them directly or call them. If they only want posts with a maximum of 800 words, do not offer a 2,000 word post. Make sure you show them that you are paying attention and you are willing to follow the instructions they have taken the time to put together. There is a reason they want guest posts handled a certain way and you should respect that.
The post you want to submit should also be relevant to their readers and be content they can be proud to have on their website. Put yourself in their shoes. They are worried about their website and not your promotion. If they have a blog that talks about politics, for example, they probably do not want a guest blog post on how to start a business.
However, if you use a little creativity, they may be interested in a post about how to start a political consulting business. This could be relevant content for their readers and a guest post they probably do not have the expertise to provide on their own. Make sure that you put some thought into your post topic and make it something that benefits your target blog and its readers.
Perfectly Pitching your Guest Blog Post
Those are the basics of pitching your guest post. However, there are also some tactics that can help you to perfectly pitch your guest post for a better chance of acceptance:
Make your pitch personal
It helps if you know something about the blogger and if you have already attempted to connect with them on their blog and social media by liking, commenting, and sharing. This gives you an opportunity to learn about them and for them to know who you are before you pitch them. When you make your pitch, you can refer to the different ways that you have personally interacted with them in your pitch.
Make your pitch specific
Tell the blogger exactly what you want to cover with your guest post. For example, “I want to teach your readers about how they can start their own political consulting business.” You do not want to be ambiguous or leave the blogger wondering what you really want to write about. Giving a title of the post is not enough; you need to be specific.
Explain the benefits
If your post has no benefit to their readers, why should they post it? You need to explain how the post is relevant; do not expect them to make the connection. For example, “Since your readers are very involved in politics, they have a lot of expertise in the political process that they may want to turn into a business. However, they lack the resources or business experience to understand the steps they need to take to start that business. This is where my expertise in starting businesses can help.”
Make your pitch brief
Popular bloggers receive a lot of pitches and they do not have a lot of time to read pitches that are the length of an essay. Show them that you have respect for their time. When you are brief, you also allow the blogger to think about some of their own ideas they can add to the pitch. This could help make getting your post placed more likely.
Things you should never do when pitching a guest blog post
Do not mass produce your pitch
Your pitch should be personal. You should never send one email to 100 blogs and “bcc” everyone.
Do not overly use buzzwords
Your idea should be specific and straightforward. When you use jargon and buzzwords, you detract from what you are really trying to accomplish.
Do not be overly persistent
If you are obnoxious about following up and contacting them, you are less likely to build a positive relationship. Give them time to respond and make sure you always follow the contact guidelines they outline in their instructions.
Guest blog posts can be a powerful tool to help grow your business. Just make sure that you stay on the good side of Google by using guest posts for reasons other than getting backlinks for SEO purposes. In order to successfully take advantage of guest blog posting opportunities, you need to be able to pitch your posts to bloggers and make them want to use your content.
Check out this infographic by Infobrandz & Outreachmama, which highlights how to perfectly pitch your guest blog post. Please feel free to post it on your own website, link to it, send it to everyone you know, and share it on your social media platforms. We want everyone to be able to successfully pitch their guest blog posts and grow their businesses and brands. This infographic can make that possible. Enjoy!
Featured photo credit: Bench Accounting via stocksnap.io