If your content marketing strategy includes guest blogging, this will set you up for success if you (or your writer) understand how to be a good guest.
Following your host’s advice is the key to being a good guest in someone’s home, and the same goes for guest blogs. But there is only one golden rule for guest bloggers: read the guidelines. Review the guidelines. And when you think you’re done, use the directions as your final checklist.
Now read on to learn more, from the simplest to the most complex, on how to become a successful guest blogger in the eyes of your potential host.
Choose your objective
Guest blogging is an excellent opportunity for your content marketing strategy to extend beyond the four virtual walls of your brand. Get your content under new eyes, ensure quality backlinks from authorized domains, and increase your social sharing opportunities.
The first step, before focusing on the guests’ work, is to determine which sites reach the people you want to achieve and which areas provide more credibility to your content and brand.
Do your homework
Do not dive into choosing a topic to write on without researching the blogs you have selected. If the site has a blog, this is a real step. I know of brands that have received entirely written guest articles even if they have not blogged.)
Answer these questions on the blog:
Who is the target audience for the site? Always write with the audience in mind.
TIP: If your strategy requires guest blogs on multiple sites, prepare a spreadsheet to record your answers to these questions for each blog.
If your answers indicate that the blog is suitable for your purposes, go to the next step.
Consult the directives
If the site accepts submissions or submissions from potential guest bloggers, it is likely to offer submission guidelines or necessary details about the process. If you can’t find them, look for “blog guidelines” and the site name.
Do you remember the golden rule of guest blogging? Read the instructions. Then reread them from start to finish. If the site asks you to submit an expression of interest, fill it out as completely as possible. If the site guidelines request a full article, do not offer a version, and if you require a text, do not submit a complete report. If a biography is asked for the submission, please provide one. Believe it or not, following the instructions is half the battle for acceptance.
Create unique and relevant content
With your blog and brand knowledge, including its categories and tags, select a relevant topic. But keep these guidelines in mind.
Give a twist to the theme.
Present a rare angle, making sure that your content will provide a new vision of the subject for the site presentation reviewer and the audience.
TIP: A simple way to review what has been posted on a particular topic is to click on the category or other tags to see all of the posts on that topic.
Don’t think too far from the box.
Don’t submit too different topics or formats. While experimentation can be smart for your blog, it’s best to be a guest who wants to adapt to your host’s environment. For example, if your blog has never published an infographic, think twice before submitting a separate infographic as a guest blog post (or at least ask before doing so). And I would not recommend trying to convince the brand to extend its attention to its format or subject of interest.
Write for your audience.
Your article should be perfect for the reader, who may or may not know that you are a guest. In addition to the blog style, write from the perspective of a reporter (not the seller) – provide factual content to inform, educate, or entertain the audience.