Most bloggers are well aware of the benefits of guest posting on other blogs. In terms of SEO, exposure and traffic, there are few things that can match a great guest post on a great blog. Unfortunately however, experiencing such benefits requires that you actually get accepted to guest post on a great blog.
While, in theory, this sounds rather straight forward, there’s one small problem. The better the blog, the more competition there is for guest post spots. And when you consider the fact that some of the best blogs receive hundreds of guest post proposals per week, one important question springs to mind. How the hell do you stand out?
Read the Rules and Guidelines
Before contacting a blog owner, check if he/she has published any rules or guidelines regarding guest posts. Because most bloggers send out a few guest post requests at a time, many don’t bother to do this. This is a serious mistake. If you don’t read the rules, it’s very easy for you to accidentally break them. Not only does this lead to your guest post being rejected, it’s also a great way to irritate the blog owner.
Avoid Recently Covered Topics
It doesn’t matter how good your guest post is if a similar post was published the week before. Blog owners are rarely willing to post anything that does not offer their blogs readers real value. A guest post on an already covered topic offers little to no value and will therefore almost certainly be rejected. It also demonstrates that any claims made about genuinely liking the target blog were false.
Offer Top Notch Content
If you want to experience the benefits of guest posting on a great blog, you need to be willing to offer the blog owner your best work. Many bloggers keep their best work exclusively for their own blogs and while there are obviously benefits to doing this, the benefits of an excellent guest post usually outweigh them. If all you are prepared to offer blog owners is content that you don’t consider worthy of your own blog, don’t expect to land a guest post on any high quality blogs.
Make it Easy
Being a blogger, chances are you know how much work goes into publishing a post. And while most of that work is related to the actual words, not all of it is. There’s also keyword density to worry about, photos to be chosen and if you’re clever, internal links to add. You can greatly increase the chances of your guest post being accepted by submitting your post with that work already completed.
Formatting is Your Friend
When it comes to potential guest posts, few things are as unattractive as large blocks of text. Such text has no place on a blog and if you think that it does, don’t expect to get one of your guest posts published any time soon. You should use subheadings wherever possible and bullet points wherever appropriate. You should also keep an eye on the length of your paragraphs.
Write for their Audience not Your Own
If you own a blog that is marketed towards experts on a particular topic but you are looking to guest post on a blog that is marketed towards beginners, it’s the beginners that you should be writing for. Blog owners are looking for guest posts that are going to add real value to their blogs. This means that you need to write with the readers of the target blog in mind.
Proof Read, Twice
If you don’t take the time to proof read your work, why should any blog owner even take the time to read it? Many bloggers place more importance on entertainment value than grammatical perfection when writing for their own blogs and there is nothing wrong with doing so. But when it comes to guest posts, grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and typos make you look like an amateur. And while some blog owners might put up with it, the owners of the best blogs certainly won’t.
Don’t Take it Personally
Finally, if you target high quality, high traffic blogs, get ready for a lot of rejection. The competition for the best guest post spots is fierce and if you are going to take every rejection personally, your confidence in your blogging abilities is going to take a major hit.
Don’t limit yourself to blogs that are easy to guest post on. Such blogs are generally easy targets for a reason. And when you get rejected by high quality blogs, don’t give up. Keep applying to other blogs and keep applying to the blog that rejected you. Like many things in life, guest post acceptance is, in part, a numbers game.