How to Guest Blog Like a Boss
Don’t just pitch a guest post - BE A CASE STUDY
I get a ton of questions about guest posting. I talk about guest posting as an incredibly powerful list-building and blog growth strategy, but lots of new bloggers want to know how to actually get started with these audience and list-building gigs.
Just this week, I received these questions from readers:
"How do you guest post effectively? I've tried it before but nothing really happened. What am I doing wrong?”
"I started guest posting a while back but it didn't really lead anywhere. But it's something I've always wanted to do, and know how beneficial it can be. Do you have any tips for starting and finding places to guest post on?"
"What if I already have a blog? Should a link back from a guest post go to a landing page? Or just the regular homepage of our site?"
"How do I start guest posting if I’m totally new?"
We all look up to the biggest blogs in our niche and think how awesome it would be to be featured by them. To get that juicy backlink. And not to mention all the popularity and email subscribers it would lead to!
But then the fantasy ends, because you start saying things like “how would I even approach them?” or “I’m a nobody, why would they ever let me guest post for them”.
You don’t need to be an expert or a “known” blogger to pull this off. That’s why it’s so effective.
This will help you...
get guest-post gigs without being a recognized “blogger” (even if you’re new)
build your email list
build relationships with other bloggers you want to collaborate with
grow your blog and audience
In Your First 1K® we cover 3+ ways to get guest posts and use them to grow your list. Today we’re looking at just one of those strategies - one of my faves.
This has worked wonders for me in terms of connecting with bloggers and influencers, getting features and backlinks, and growing my email list when combined with some of the other methods you’ll learn.
Why you’re guest posting efforts sucked before:
Your pitch sucked and sounded like a robot because you used a “script” someone gave you (yuck)
You failed to build the relationship properly and in a not-super-creepy way beforehand, so the person totally blew you off as a weirdo
You were thinking more about how that guest post was going to help you than how it was going to help THEM
You thought that YOU actually had to pitch and write the guest post, which isn’t always the case
Okay, so how do you avoid all those major gaffes and do it right?
The first thing you need to do is make a list of all of the blogs you might want to guest post on (we go into very specific techniques for doing this in Your First 1K®, but for now just make a list of 5 people that you can think of in your niche or industry).
WHY THIS WORKS
Experts and educators NEED success stories to make themselves look good. Your case studies and testimonials literally sell their product or “brand” for them. It’s a symbiotic relationship where they look good, you get some eyeballs on you and your business, and everybody wins.
Find a tutorial or ACTIONABLE ARTICLE on a blog that you read and are subscribed to. (If you’re not subscribed to this blogger’s email list already, do it now).
Find something that is relevant to what you need to be doing now. Need help marketing your blog? Find an actionable article or step by step tutorial for marketing your blog and start implementing.
Want to grow your Twitter following? Search for the best guide and get to work.
Want to grow your email list? Oh have I got the thing for you!
Seriously, pick something you know you need to improve on and work on and implement and take action.
I love this strategy in particular because even without the guest-posting / case study element, it gets you DOING and IMPROVING which is so important. It’s a double-whammy!
Document everything you do and MEASURE the results.
This is CRUCIAL. You absolutely must be able to quantifiably show how this other person’s blog post/article/guide/advice helped you.
Otherwise, Step 4 will not work at all.
So, once you start implementing this tutorial or actionable article, keep notes on what you do. Make sure you are measuring your results.
Are you growing your email subscribers? Take a before (and after!) screenshot of your list growth stats. And keep track of what works best for you.
Trying to gain muscle? Take photos, measurements, etc throughout the process.
Designing a website for the first time based on a tutorial or how-to? Document the process step by step. Before and After is always awesome!
Remember, you'll want to have:
This is a really important step because when you actually GET the guest post in Step 4, you’re going to need this stuff for the content. Don’t just implement without documenting it!
It's time to start building the relationship with the blogger or influencer.
The basic rule is GIVE, GIVE, GIVE -> ASK.
Also - keep in mind that some people just aren’t into you and your friendly self and that’s okay. It’s happened to me. It happens to everyone. Just move on to someone more engaging.
Email your influencer and tell them about how much they’ve helped you and about your amazing results with their blog post or product.
You need to be really specific! “Your blog post really helped me” is not as good as “I followed your advice to a T and now I am getting 400 uniques per day, up from 100, here are my stats! THANK YOU!”
Here’s an actual email I sent that got a really positive response (and a guest post and a bunch of other opportunities).
First I responded to a newsletter the blogger had sent out asking for a response. This was just to establish contact.
Then, about a month later I emailed again sharing the results I had by following their blog post instructions. I even wrote a detailed post about it so they could check it out.
BAM! Now the blogger is asking ME for an interview and subsequent guest post.
And here’s another:
Compliment the blog in an honest way
I mentioned them and linked to them in my own blog post - which shows goodwill
I casually mention a collaboration
BAM! They offer a guest blog post!
Remember, you’re not ASKING them to feature you.
Obviously not every single person you email is guaranteed to respond, but if your case study comes with a pretty great testimonial for their methods and what they do, you will definitely catch their attention.
And please, PLEASE just write like a real, normal person with a personality. I beg you, do NOT use a prepared script like this:
"Hello my name is __________ and I would like to write a guest blog on your site.
I have written many original, unique blog posts and I would like to write an original, relevant article to your site.
I can write on many topics including: X, Y and Z. I will write a guest blog 500 words in length with related images and links.
Looking forward to writing for you."
BARF. I get these on the daily and they go into my trash with an eye rolling.
You need to be a legitimate reader, fan or subscriber and know who you are talking to and why. (It’s totally okay to stalk! That’s what Twitter is for).
BONUS EXAMPLE: Here's a great guest post pitch email I received recently.
Notice how Alisha proposes a topic that is a good fit for my audience and content. It's clear that she's a reader herself. She also pitches a specific post title, so I know that it will be a perfect fit for the type of content I share with my readership. She frames the content upgrade (which will help her grow her own list) as a special bonus to help my readers - as a GIVE for my audience, instead of an ASK. Also, she sounds like a nice human and not a robot!
This strategy might not necessarily result in a traditional “guest post” where you write about it from your perspective. You might end up with a blog post written all ABOUT you, with your results and experiences, but written and prepared by the blogger.
I LOVE this guest posting strategy because:
a) it works
b) it gets you IMPLEMENTING new things (that you may or may not be putting off - you have to get the results before you can be a case study!)
c) you will have accomplished something cool even if you don’t land the guest post, so it is NOT a waste of time no matter what.
This is just one of the MANY ways you will learn how to effectively guest blog and build your email list when you join Your First 1K®, the course designed to get you 1000 email subscribers.
The course is FULL of step-by-step strategies, done-for-you resources, actionable guides ready to implement. I give you the tools and strategies, you get amazing results. It’s simple! I would love to see you in there.