With preparation and research done, now it’s time to learn how to craft the perfect pitch, brainstorm content ideas, and optimize the blog post content.
In Parts One and Two of our practical guide, we’ve covered the different stages of the guest blogging process, including preparation and research. However, in the words of Naveen Jain, “Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution.” This section will focus on helping you flawlessly execute a guest blogging strategy that gets results.
The execution process can be broken down into three key areas:
- Coming up with content ideas for your guest posts
- Pitching the blog you’d like to guest post on
- Writing and optimizing your guest post so that it aids your goals
We’ll be looking at these key areas so you’re ready to publish your first guest post by the time you’re done with this article.
Step 1: How to Come Up With Content Ideas for Your Guest Posts
Recently we shared some tips to quickly generate high impact content ideas; these same tips can be used when coming up with guest post ideas, but here are some additional tips that work especially well for guest blogging.
Write Content Similar to a Successful Guest Post or Article on the Blog You’d Like to Publish On
If you find that a particular guest post did really well on a blog you follow, model your guest post after that successful guest post. This could be their most popular article, a recently successful article, or a type of article that always does well on that blog.
Not only will you get an idea for a potentially successful article, but the chances of your guest post being accepted is high because the editors have seen that a similar article did really well.
Write a Guest Post to Address a Reader’s Comment on the Blog You Want to Publish On
If you show a blogger that you care about his readers, he will treat you royally. A good way to get content ideas for your guest posts is to pay special attention to comments on the blog you’re trying to get published on; if you notice a recurring theme in the questions asked, write an article that addresses this. Better still, let the blogger know that you got the idea by seeing the question repeatedly asked in his blog’s comments section.
Step 2: How to Craft Irresistible Pitches That Guarantee Acceptance
There are several factors that will determine how successful you will be at guest blogging, but the power of a pitch should never be underestimated. More often than not, a pitch will make or break your guest post. Here are some tips to help you craft irresistible pitches:
- Pay special attention to your headline. Most editors will decide whether your guest post idea is worth it or not based on your headline; the more irresistible your headline is, the higher the chance your blog post will be accepted.
- Include an article outline in your pitch. Don’t just send your pitch with the headline of your proposed guest post; that does little to let the editor know what you really want to write about. Instead, include a short but descriptive article outline. Include your key points, and highlight special case studies and research you plan to include in your guest post. This gives editors more insight into what you’ll be writing, thus making it easy for them to consider you and to be sure what you want to submit is relevant to them and their audience.
- Include multiple article ideas in your pitch. To boost your chances of being accepted, give the editor more options by including two or more article ideas in your pitch. This way, if the editor doesn’t like a particular idea he can easily move to the second or third one. Each idea you present has a chance, so three ideas have three chances; at the same time, you don’t want to include so many ideas that the editor starts to feel overwhelmed, so limit the number to three to five pitches at the most.
- Ensure your pitch has a personal touch. One of the sure-fire ways to guarantee rejection is to start your email with “Hi Admin” or “Hi Editor.” Instead, make sure your pitch has a personal touch by emailing the right person, and by addressing the person by name. If the editor publicly revealed something personal, maybe their location or health condition, you can reference it and inquire about it. This shows them that you know about them and their blog, and people are more likely to be receptive to someone they know than to someone they don’t know.
- Show the editor that you want to make things easy and are ready to cooperate. Offer to send the article in any format the editor wants; that will make it easy to use your guest post. Also let the editor know that you are willing to make necessary changes that will help your guest post look good on their blog.
Here’s an example of an effective guest post pitch:
Step 3: How to Optimize Your Guest Post for Maximum Results
Ultimately, your purpose for guest blogging is to achieve certain goals for your business, and it’s pointless to guest blog if your guest blogging efforts do not aid these goals; below are a few steps you can take to optimize you guest post for maximum results.
1. Try to get readers to act before they get to your bio. To get results from guest blogging, it’s important not to just rely on your bio. If possible, try to get readers to act right inside your guest post, especially before they reach the concluding part.
Gregory Ciotti reports getting better results by using an “article closing strategy” that basically puts a focus on the resource he is offering readers of his guest posts. According to him, readers of blogs that regularly accept guest posts have developed “byline blindness,” a condition where they pay little attention to who actually wrote the content.
Another tactic is to offer a content-specific upgrade in your guest post. Create a relevant bonus to accompany each of your guest posts and offer it as a bonus right inside the content of your guest post, either in the body or after the conclusion before you get to your bio, and watch your signups dramatically improve. Bryan Harris reports getting 500+ subscribers per guest post every time he does this, and Bamidele Onibalusi recently wrote an article on how to do this.
2. Put some effort into your bio. If your aim is to get people reading your content to pay attention to your bio, it’s important to put some effort into it. Here are some tips:
- Be concise and clear. While there’s generally no word restriction for author bios, the fewer words you can use, the better.
- Establish credibility. If you’ve been featured in a major publication or if you’ve received certain awards, be sure to include it in your bio. Not only does this establish your credibility but it helps people pay more attention to your guest post since they see you as an expert.
- Be descriptive, interesting, and relevant. Give enough details to arouse readers’ interest in you, while ensuring that your bio is relevant to the content they just read. A bio promoting a movie website on an article about farming will do you little good.
3. Don’t Link to Your Homepage: For most people, it’s standard practice to link to their homepage as the main page/resource in their guest posts; this can be very ineffective if your goal is to get maximal conversions from your guest posts.
Instead, try to link to a landing page that is relevant to the content you just read and that drives readers to take the action you want them to take. If possible, create a special landing page for every guest post you do. Groove reports getting better results by creating a dedicated landing page for their guest posts.
Hopefully, you’ve gotten some ideas after reading our three-part practical guide and now have a plan to kick start your guest blogging campaign. If you’d like to outsource your guest blogging to a team of qualified experts who are results-oriented, be sure to reach out to Digital Current.