Guest posting can be a fantastic way to build your brand, increase traffic and get a backlink or two. Backlinks are simply links to your site from another site. They can be great for SEO and the more well-established & high-ranking the site that links to you, the better.
Given the size and level of traffic of MoneySavingMom.com, you can imagine the number of people eager to get a guest post published there.
I thought I'd share a few tips about how to increase your chances of getting your guest post submission accepted. (These are in no particular order but they work for me.)
1. Guest post on sites that are read by your potential readers.
One might think this goes without saying, but not all traffic is the best traffic. You want traffic that sticks. You want people to be so intrigued by your guest post that they click over to your blog (via your link in the bio) and find even more great info they love.
Writing a guest post takes time and energy, so don't waste it by submitting it to a site whose readers aren't your target audience. If you do, you might see a spike in traffic temporarily, but it won't be long-lasting.
2. Submit only original content.
In other words, your guest post submission should not be a post you have already published on your blog (or elsewhere).
I have rejected submissions for this reason alone — submissions that would otherwise have been good fits.
3. Write well. Really well.
Again, it's a no-brainer, but it's worth a mention. A guest post submission should be your best work. It's pretty easy to tell when someone has "thrown together a little something" and when someone has really taken the time and care to produce something high-quality.
Also, take extra care to use correct, grammar, spelling and punctuation. Edit, edit, edit. If you aren't particularly confident in your writing ability, have someone else proof your post for you.
The less the blog owner (or gatekeeper) has to edit and reformat your post, the more-likely it will be published.
4. Follow the guidelines.
If the blogger for whom you would like to guest post has guest posting guidelines, it's a really good idea to follow them. Those guidelines are there to make the submission process easier for all involved.
Conversely, a submission that ignores or breaks the guidelines screams three things:
- I'm only out for my own gain.
- I don't read your blog.
- I didn't even take a few moments to do some easy research to find out what you're looking for.
If the guest posting guidelines are not immediately obvious, do a little hunting before you shoot off an email asking for them. Blog owners (big & small) are busy people, so take it upon yourself to find what you need. The FAQ, contact page and about page are good places to start and often provide a link to guest posting guidelines. Or, use the search feature to search their site. Try several different keywords like "guest post," "guest posting," "guest," "guest post guidelines," etc. Also, check out other guest posts on that blog because blog owners often note guidelines there too.
If you truly can't find the guidelines, a short and friendly email asking about them is appropriate. For example,
I have an idea for a guest post that I think would benefit your readers. Would you mind forwarding your guest posting guidelines? Thanks!
5. Go easy on the links to your own blog and don't include your affiliate links.
We all understand that the idea behind guest posting is a way to get your site noticed. However, a post loaded with links to your own blog isn't cool.
You absolutely should include a link to your own blog in your bio, but include links to your own blog within the content of your post at your own risk.
Likewise, a submission with your own affiliate links is just bad form.
6. Strive to benefit their readers…not just to get your own.
A guest post submission is much more likely to be accepted if the blog owner feels it will truly benefit their readers. Before submitting a guest post, hang out a while so you get a really good feel for the style of writing, topics covered and response of readers.
Provide really meaty content, not just fluffy stuff obviously intended to get the reader to your bio where they can click through to your blog. Not only is a lame post unlikely to be accepted, it sends a bad message about your brand and/or your product.
Remember, this blog represents someone's hard work and they have their own reputation to maintain. The last thing they want is to publish a post that doesn't live up to the quality their readers are used to.
7. Be a blog reader first.
Random, out-of-the blue, "Your readers are gonna love this!" submissions that obviously came from someone just trying to get the word out about their site/product get automatically rejected 'round these parts.
Before you submit a guest post, comment and get involved in the community. Be genuinely helpful. Be an asset. That way, when your guest post submission comes through and has your name attached, it will have several points in its favor because you will have already proven yourself trustworthy and helpful.
8. Time your submission.
If you're a blogger, you know how hard it can be to keep a blog going. Life happens and it can be a challenge to keep up. When life throws you curve balls or when other obligations take your attention, I think all blog owners appreciate some well-written posts they can pull out of their queue in a pinch.
As you follow the blog for which you'd like to guest post, take note of any special events coming up for the blog owner. Are they speaking at a conference? Are they in the throes of writing a book? Are they about to go on maternity leave or take a vacation?
If you catch wind of a disruption to their normal schedule, that's often a good time to send a friendly email asking them if you might be able to help by submitting a guest post.
9. Don't be desperate. Don't be demanding.
Provide content that fits well — yes! — but use your own voice and be yourself.
"What do you want me to write about?" "How do you want me to say it?" "I can write whatever you want!" type of emails aren't impressive. The last thing a blog owner wants to do is hold your hand through the process.
Conversely, "You need to publish this!" or "Your readers need to hear this!" type of emails are also turn-offs. Trust me, the blog owner has a pretty good idea of what they're looking for and what they're not.
10. Make accepting your guest post easy.
- Be kind at all times, even especially if your post is rejected.
- Eliminate as many emails back and forth as possible. Try to answer your own questions. Be thorough and succinct Keep your emails short, sweet and to the point.
- Provide well-written, useful, on-topic content that the blog owner can use "out-of-the-box," their readers will truly find beneficial and you will feel proud to put out there.
What did I miss blog owners? What else should we remember?
Oh! While we're on the subject of guest posting, here's my other simple tip to boost your SEO right in your bio!