On this eighth day of marketing, we’re trading in those eight maids-a-milking for something far more useful for your website: some advice on how to get some great guests-a-posting for your blog. And who better to give guest blogging advice than MyBlogGuest’s own Ann Smarty?
Guest blogging is a win-win for both the host and the guest blogger. Your guest gets access to a brand new audience and platform to showcase their work. You get to offer your audience a fresh perspective and different voice– plus, you get a free day off from blogging (win!).
If you’re a beginning blogger, one of the best ways to join the ranks of the successful blogging elite is to start a guest blog campaign. You’re getting your name, your blog’s name, and your style out to a larger audience– and if that audience likes what they read, they may start coming to you for more information. It’s a fantastic way to build your brand and your readership at the same time.
Ann Smarty, the owner of MyGuestBlog.com, joins us today to give us the inside scoop on guest blogging. We’ll be discussing writer’s block, blogging motivation and tips for approaching a potential host blogger– plus, Ann shares how to just say no to those weak guest posts that just aren’t up to par.
Featured Blogger: Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is an independent blogging and guest blogging consultant. She is the owner of MyBlogGuest.com, the free community of guest bloggers which makes guest posting so easier! You can follow Ann on Twitter at @seosmarty.
1. What is the purpose of guest posting?
Many people would reply “links” here, but I have never cared about links. My friends won’t let me lie here: my very first guest posts I sent to my very first contacts didn’t even have my byline included (I let the blog owner introduce me).
It has always been about building my brand name and putting my work in front of a new audience and expanding my reach.
2. What is the best way to approach a blogger that you would like to share posts with?
The first and foremost thing to do is to make sure the blogger wants those guest posts. Otherwise, that’s an unsolicited email and, well, a fail.
Look for obvious footprints: a “Write for us” page or regular guest posts published there (you can recognize them by looking at the byline below the post).
Obviously, make your email pitch as personalized as you can: start with the blogger’s name, mention any personal details or news you know about him/her. Mention the exact post idea you are thinking of and link to a couple of your previously published guest posts.
I often would include the exact guest post right away (provided I have it ready) but be aware that emails with attachments from the sender who is not yet in the address book will be sent to the spam box by some email services or clients (like @hotmail for example).
3. What are the best methods of locating targets (besides being a member of myblogguest.com, of course?)
Our My Blog Guest is a great way to find those bloggers who are willing to accept guest contributors but I never recommend focusing on only one medium. Start with those blogs you have in your RSS reader, as you are most likely to fit the blog owner’s needs (you are aware of his/her style and focus). And here are a few tips on using Google to find those interested in guest authors.
4. When you sit down at your computer and become overwhelmed with a sudden case of writer’s block, how do you generate ideas?
Oh, I have lots of tricks. The first thing I always do is Google. Here’s my guide on searching Google when you don’t know what you want to find (all you know is that you need to get inspired).
Besides, that my main collection of various tips on getting inspired is here: Practical Guide to Finding Link Bait Inspiration. Random searching will get you out of any writer’s block in no time (even if you have to produce content too often).
5. How do you find motivation to keep blogging on a regular basis?
My only way to get motivated is to get organized. I am a control freak: I have each day of the week planned and scheduled, and I do lots of things far in advance.
Thus, I have one day of the week for creating content for my blog and I stick to it: I put all the client work away on Sunday because that’s a day off, so that means I can spend it for myself and blog for my own site!
6. What kind of rules/regulations should bloggers have that allow guest blog posts?
That’s very personal and objective. For many bloggers it’s just about a fairly interesting and relevant article which has never been published anywhere before. Others require more indepth research and original idea or style.
My only advice here: follow your gut feeling. If you do not *feel* that a a guest post would do well or fit your blog, feel free to reject it. Just because you are inviting guests, that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice on your blog quality. Don’t feel guilty: if an article is good (while still being not a good fit for your blog), your guest contributor will always be able to use it elsewhere.
More from the 12 Days of Marketing
Don’t forget to join us Monday for the gift of Real Writers Writing which will feature information from Lisa Barone, Co-Founder of Outspoken Media on the importance of bringing on professional bloggers to grow your content marketing strategies. If you have missed any day of our 12 Days of Marketing, you can use our advent calendar to keep track of our past (and future) posts. Speaking of calendars – mark yours for December 22 for the launch of the CopyPress video for the 12 Days of Marketing.