Dec 16, 2010

By: Markco

Guest Post Breakdown - 4 Steps to Writing a Killer Guest Post


Guest Post Review

Today I will be reviewing a post I wrote almost a week ago for Rumbling Lankan, who often posts very useful information about making money online through blogging. Let's take a look at every aspect of securing, writing and delivering a guest post.

Step 1: Find a Site

The first thing you need to do is find someone to guest post for in the first place! Using various social media or google's blog search is a great way to find potential sites to write for (See 5 steps to dealing with writer's block). I found Rumbling Lankan while searching on Google's blog search for online marketers and making money online through blogging. I saw that he had a decent following but not so much that he would take quite a long time to get back to me. Trust me, all the big A-List bloggers read their emails (or have someone do it for them) but even if your guest post is amazing it won't get into their hands for quite some time. You're better off finding the sites that these A-List bloggers read and submitting to those, but that's another day another post all together. Once you have a blog to post to you then move on to the next step.

Step 2: Contact the Owner

Before contacting the owner of the blog or website in question, you should first check for any regulations written on the site for guest posts or contacting in general. Follow the guidelines maintained by the site owner or else your guest post may never be read in the first place! When contacting the owner, don't just send them your guest post right away, rather, send ideas for possible guest posts and ask for what he or she is looking for in a guest post at this very moment. I gave Lankan a short list of possible topics I could write about with example titles but also told him other areas I have enough experience in to write about. He selected one on article marketing and then I got to work, well sort of.

Step 3: Writing the Guest Post

If you just go off and write your article without any thought to the blog owner's audience then you will be wasting your time and the post may not even be accepted. Be sure to read through the blog (you should have done some of this earlier anyway before offering to post) and see what kinds of posts the author likes to write. Are there lots of lists? Are there lots of concise paragraphs or does the author like to write larger ones? Are there bolded headings? Are block quotes used? I searched through Lankan's blog and found quite a few trends which affected the way I wrote my guest post on article marketing for a sales funnel.

  • Bolded Headings
  • Some Lists
  • Concise paragraphs but of varying lengths
  • Audience was technically savvy and experience
Knowing my audience, I then sat down to write the post. First off, I created a quick outline which was nothing more than four paragraph headings. Then I started expanding on each heading and didn't necessarily do them in order, just however the ideas popped into my head. It's important when writing to just get into a flow and not try to restrict yourself too much by your outline. I made sure to keep it around the same length as Lankan's other posts and then proofread it three times before sending it back. I read it aloud to a friend once, which was more so for my hearing of how my own words sounded than anything else.

My guest post was sent and published within a week. My work didn't end there however.

Step 4: Follow Up

I followed up with Lankan on twitter to make sure that he had my post and would publish it. When the deadline passed I followed up again to make sure that he still wanted to publish the article. He said of course but he wanted to squeeze in another article before it. When the article was finally published I checked and noticed that the link to my own blog was not working so I mentioned this to Lankan and he promptly fixed it. Had I not taken the time to follow up my guest post may have sent far less traffic and it reflects bad on me, not the hosting site if there are any issues with the post. No matter how great the host is, people make mistakes and you only get one chance to make a first impression so be sure to double check their work.


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$100,000 My First Year Blogging

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4 comments:

James said...

This stuff is gold. I'm new to blogging (<3 months) and I can't thank you enough for posting quality stuff that matters. A lot of it is common sense but still it exactly what I need to hear.

Markco said...

You are very welcome James! Feel free to email me if you have questions you'd like answered about blogging!

Miller said...

Thanks Chris!

Do you have any advice on accepting guest posts?
-What would you do if an expert sends you a post, but the writing needs a lot of editing?

-What can you do to solicit high quality guest posts?

-When do you say no to a guest post request?

Thanks,
Miller

Markco said...

To get guest posts, your best bet is to give the person in question a reason to post on your blog. The most basic reason is traffic, but sometimes you can offer them additional incentives.

I say no to a guest post as politely as I can and then inform the writer of how they can improve if it's of poor quality or something my readers here wouldn't want to see.

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