7 Rules of Guest Blogging
Now, we all know that one of the best ways to network and self-advertise at the same time is to guest blog. It builds relationships, gets your brand exposed to potential readers, and increases your audience. Guest blogging isn’t just about writing a blog post and submitting it. There are certain rules and proper etiquette to follow if you want to make a good impression on the other blogger and their audience. Here’s a bit of guidance on making that good impression:
Inquiring to Guest Blog:
Most guest bloggers will have a form for you to submit your post, like we do here. If you want to make a good impression, submit your post through the form, but go the extra mile! Send an email as well! Your email shouldn’t necessarily include your blog post again, (try not to give repetitive information), but you should officially introduce yourself, your blog, and just a formal introduction to the blogger to bring the post you submitted to their attention.
If you and the blogger’s audience and content are similar, you may want to add a little networking clause in there. Something like, “If all goes well, I would love to discuss possibly partnering on some great projects I have in mind.” Of course, you should actually have something in mind.. Be authentic.
Also, don’t be afraid to tell them WHY you would like to guest blog with them. (A little sweet talking never hurt) If they are one of your favorite bloggers, say so and why. If you just genuinely think their readers will be interested in your content, say so and why. Be honest, be flattering. Let the blogger know that you’ve done your research and they’re not just any other blogger to you.
The blogger has agreed to let you guest blog and all that’s left is to submit the actual post. Here are 7 rules you should check off your list before submitting your guest blog post:
1. Don’t Put Affiliate Links In Your Post
It’s sort of like having someone welcome you into their home and you immediately begin trying to sell perfumes and handbags to the other guests. Placing a bunch of affiliate links into your guest blog post makes the other blogger feel that you are possibly just trying to make money off of their following.
Now, some bloggers don’t mind this and if it turns out that they don’t (and they have personally told you that it won’t bother them), go for it. But if you have not built that trust relationship yet, remember this: In guest blogging, you are entering into another blogger’s home. Blog accordingly.
2. Submit Useful Content
When I say useful, I don’t mean what YOUR audience finds useful. To make the best impression on them and their readers, your post needs to be something THEY would find useful. Even if you and the blogger have a similar target audience, it is still nice to adhere to how things are done on their blog.
For example, if their posts are usually between 600-800 words, that’s obviously how their audience best responds to information. Therefore, it wouldn’t be good to submit a post 1,000 words long. Not only, will their audience probably not respond well to reading such a lengthy post, but the blogger won’t be too ecstatic about editing a much longer size post than they are used to. One of the fastest reasons that will make a blogger decline your guest blog request is if it doesn’t fit in with their overall brand or appeal of their readers.
3. Make Note Of The Blogger’s Writing Style
Knowing the blogger’s writing style helps your blog post fit right in and not seem so out of place to their readers. Are they funny? Are they witty? Are they serious? Do they usually give a back story? Do they get straight to the point?
4. Include A Pitch
Remember, you are not talking to your normal audience filled with people who already know what you’re all about. You are talking to an entirely new group of people and they are not quite familiar with you, yet. Briefly introduce yourself, explain what you will be discussing, how your information can help, and why you are qualified to offer a solution. This should be the first paragraph of your post and should be short and sweet. For example:
My name is (name) of (yourblog.com), where I (your blog’s call-to-action), and it’s time to talk (topic)! Yes, we all make the mistake of (problem), but how do you fix it? I’m here to show you how! (solution) In my experience, … (qualification)”
5. Clear Photos
Please don’t place blurry, low-quality photos into your guest post. It shows carelessness and makes you look unprofessional. You can get some pretty great high-quality stock photos from sites like Unsplash.com. If you love taking your own photos, you should definitely check out Melyssa of TheNectarCollective.com‘s blog posts on that here and here.
6. Proper Crediting
Also, you should always properly credit your photos. If you take your own photos, someone has given you permission (preferably documented) to use their photos without crediting them, or you use a stock photo website that allows you to do with the photos as you please and does not desire credit, crediting your source is not necessary.
Under any other condition, you should always be sure to credit the source. This is major for guest blogging because not giving proper credit on a post that gets posted on another blogger’s blog, now brings the other blogger right down the rabbit hole with you. That’s not fair to them and it’s just down right disrespectful.
7. Edit, Edit, Edit!
Never submit a guest blog post without editing! Don’t just read over it once or twice. Check for specifics! Like grammar, spelling, missing words, etc. There is nothing worse than a potentially awesome guest post with tons of errors. It’s actually one of the most unprofessional things you can do.
If the blogger doesn’t automatically throw your post in the trash bin, it makes things so much more difficult when trying to do you the favor of actually make it work. Often times, they will contact you showing the errors, they have to personally wait for you to turn in your re-write, and then re-schedule your post. Don’t be that hassle.
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