All your questions about guest posting and guest blogging, answered.
Today in Kyiv, it’s the 19th of January. It might seem like a cold, ordinary mid-January day to others, but here it’s slightly different. Tradition dictates that Kyivians take part in a ceremony called ‘Epiphany’, whereby one strips down to their swimming trunks and does three mortifying head dunks into the icy-cold Dnipro River. Right now, I feel like I did when I entered the World of Guest Post.
I feel anxious, I don’t really know what I’m doing, and I’m worried that this could actually be the end. I just keep asking myself over and over again… have I got what it takes? Guest blogging is the next level in your writing and marketing journey... and it’s flippin’ terrifying.
But never fear. Like a mug of hot chocolate and a thermal blanket, NetHunt are here to warm you up. We’ve put together this tidy little guide all about guest blogging. Cannonball!
What is Guest Posting?
In marketing, guest posting is a strategy that involves contributing your own content towards another person’s, brand’s, or media’s blog site. A guest poster generally contributes towards a publisher’s website to support their own marketing, PR, and SEO targeting. Still, the relationship is symbiotic. The publisher stands to gain a lot from a good, targeted guest post by a respected blogger.
So… what is Guest Blogging then?
Guest Blogging and Guest Posting are synonymous, they mean the same thing.
What are the benefits of Guest Posting?
Guest Posting results can all be measured in the same contexts as marketing, PR, and SEO.
- Guest Posting increases brand awareness through permitted brand name-dropping within a guest posted article. It helps introduce and market a brand’s products or services, by platforming them outside their own internal media bubble. Visibility on social media improves with tags, likes, and shares flying all over the place.
- Guest Posting develops brand trust by placing a brand’s employees on a pedestal, showing off how big their brains are in their particular sector and niche. A recent trend has seen Customer Support Managers guest posting. They are on the front line of customer interaction, and seeing a recognisable name on their favourite media might just make them think… ‘ooh’.
- Guest Posting bumps up your SEO rating. This is the big one. Search Engine Optimisation, love it or loathe it, is king of the business world. Backlinks (aka links back to your own website) are boss and the end goal of any good Guest Blogging strategy. If you want to hear that strategy… stay tuned.
Revenue. That’s what it all boils down to. Marketers hook the readers, turn them into prospects and hand over to the sales team to become leads and eventually… conversions. Kiss kiss, bang bang.
“Guest posting opens many opportunities for brands. First off, it increases brand awareness if the author leverages the opportunity to let the readers know what their company does and the pain points it helps to overcome. Secondly, it boosts the author's personal brand and helps to establish authority in the industry or niche. Here, the author needs to make a little effort to distribute content and share their pieces on personal social media profiles. Finally, guest posting improves SEO metrics as it enriches your backlinks profile and increases search rankings.”
- Anna Pozniak NetHunt PR and Communications Manager
How do I Guest Post?
As a writer, it’s easier said than done. You’re entitled to feel daunted by the process. Writing for a new outlet is stressful, and there’s no escaping that anxiety asking whether they’re gonna like your stuff. Just do you, don’t try to be fancy, don’t make any major stylistic changes to your writing. Short sentences and cold-hard facts… oh, and don’t forget to proofread it.
As a marketer, it’s easier done than said. Luckily I’ve said it for you, and laid it out in a nice little how-to guide.
How to Guest Post in 5 steps.
#1 How do I find guest blogging opportunities?
I was going to answer this question myself, but Anna answered it better than I ever could.
“There are tons of ways to find a relevant media or brand blog to submit a guest post. Obviously, the main criteria for choosing the right media is that your target audience needs to be there. If you work in the industry for a while, you probably know the most popular and valuable media.
If you don't, I'd recommend you take some time to zoom out and research this. There are loads of tools you can use, too. In my case, I use Ahrefs for finding 'competing domains' of the media I already know. I'd also recommend finding a list of brands with a similar target audience, but only as long as they are not competing with you. For example, if you're an email outreach tool targeting salespeople, you may guest post on a live chat software blog because they probably share an audience.”
Of course, I do have a little somethin’ somethin' to share with you as well. How to find guest post opportunities on Google...
write for us
post written by
#2 Do your homework on the site, find out what they want
Never approach a blog for a guest post submission until you’ve done your research. You might think you’re clever firing out pre-made email templates to different platforms and changing the names, but you’re wasting your time. Obviously you need to do your homework, find out a few different things about those who you want to write for first. Personalisation is king, remember?
- Find out if they accept guest posts. Kind of obvious. Have a browse on the website or do a little Google search using the table above. Editors don’t have time to read unsolicited articles, only 20% read everything that comes their way.
- Read the guidelines. The guidelines are going to tell you if you’re a good fit for a blog, giving you all the information you need both informationally and stylistically. Have a look at NetHunt’s and see what you think.
- Read the blog. Don’t skim them, read them. What kind of niche do they cover in your industry? Are they formal or funny? Storytelling or cold-hard facts? What kinds of titles do they use? Do they write a lead in? Do they embed images and infographics? Do they use stats at all? All these questions fall under the same umbrella… what do I need to do?
- Read the comments. Have a nosey at what’s going on in the comments. Which kinds of topics are readers more vocal about? Find out which questions they need answering. These are the people you’ll be writing to.
🔥Hot Tip You know that guy on LinkedIn who is always saying "great post, bookmarked!"? Be that guy. It’s probably better to say something more resonating than that guy though. Connect with your targeted media platforms, like their stuff, and share it. Tweet, Instagram, Facebook them; whichever your poison, get your name wedged into their brains.
#3 How do I pitch to guest post media?
Your pitch is key. It’s the first opportunity to show the publisher your writing skills, and it’s basically your only shot. You’ve done your homework, so refer to the editor by name. Maybe you can mention a post of theirs that you enjoyed and tell them why you liked it. Make a point that you’re on the same wavelength and share some common interests. Keep it between 150 - 200 words.
Something like this guest blog post pitch template.👇
I’ve been looking at the fabulous articles on [Platform Name], and I’m sure I’ve got some ideas that I believe both yourself and your readership will enjoy and find valuable.
One title I have in mind is [Title].
Here, you’ll talk about your specific niche...
Customer behaviour and engagement preferences have changed; they are more demanding and selective about the tools to use. Businesses had to change the way they communicate with clients to adapt to the changing situation. Companies embraced CX strategies, and now those strategies need to be carried over to the post-pandemic world.
- Shifting from customer support to customer success.
- Implementation of conversational experience.
- Uniform customer experience across multiple channels.
- Embrace empathy and flexibility.
After reading this piece, your audience will have gained [lesson learnt], [lesson learnt], and [lesson learnt].
The story will be written by [myself/ Writer’s Name], [job title].
[Name], would you be interested in taking a look at the piece?
How do I write a guest post pitch subject line?
Your subject line is, and always will be, essential. It needs to be informative and well-written. But you’re competing against other guest posters, and at the end of the day the guest post submission subject line is just another opportunity to stand out from that competition. Make an impression with a guest post pitch subject line template. 👇
- Guest post submission for [Media] from [Name].
- [Editor Name], we need each other.
- A great opportunity to collaborate with [Your Business Name].
#4 Should I follow up a guest post pitch?
Bear in mind that around 50% of editors expect one follow-up up to a week after a guest post submission has been sent. If you haven’t received a response and think the door is still open, forward your original message to the editor 5-7 days later with a little note attached. Nothing long, just a sentence to say…“
- “Hi, I’m just checking you received my last message. I’m keen not to miss this opportunity for us to collaborate!”
#5 The Next Steps.
After you’ve had a pitch accepted, it can go two ways. Either you need to start writing your guest post having had your outline accepted, or you’ll send them a ready-made post to be published. Any respectable media edits a piece to how they see fit, so they might send you your work back with corrections. Don’t worry; breathe. Don’t take it to heart, even if you know they’re wrong. They’re representing their best interests, so every correction they make is for their readers to enjoy it more.
Make sure to share your post across social media. The more readers who read, the more likely you are to be invited back; the more likely you are to be considered an industry wizz. Share your posts to the high heavens, across your professional social networks to get eyes on pages. You’ve nothing to lose, and a lot to gain.
What better way to sign off that with a few words from the guest post goddess herself...
“The main component of a successful guest posting strategy is the content that you contribute. Make it actionable and helpful for others. If the audience gains a plan of action after reading your piece, or if your piece troubleshoots a lot of common problems, it’ll collect lots of views and establish you as the expert. You’ll start a name for your””
Bish-bash-bosh, congratulations guest blogger. I’m off to jump into an icy-cold river. Why?