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If you are looking for new ways to reach your audience as a writer, guest posting can be a great way to easily and inexpensively reach new readers.
By contributing free articles to other websites and blogs, not only does it help build credibility as a writer, it also connects you to a new audience who may not yet be familiar with your blog or other published works.
In this article, we’ll share some tips on the basics of guest posting, how to get started, and the many ways it can benefit you as a writer.
First Things First: What Is Guest Posting?
While guest posting isn’t a new concept, it is possible you may be unfamiliar with the term, especially if you are not a blogger.
In a nutshell, guest posting is when you submit an article to another website to be published.
Guest posts traditionally do not pay any monetary amount for your submission, but the rewards can easily outweigh the little bit of time it may take you to write a quick article.
I know as writers we tend to get angry about not being paid for our work, but in the blog-o-sphere, a single guest post could easily translate to new followers and book sales.
The best way to think of guest posting is to think of it like free author marketing. Popular websites can receive thousands of visitors or more per day, all potential readers for the article you submit.
Considering it might only take you 1-2 hours at the most to write an article, you can see how this can be a much more economical decision that paying for advertising or spending hours staring at Facebook hoping people will read your book.
Guest posting isn’t a new concept, but it’s hard to believe that many authors and writers don’t take advantage of a simple and easy way to build your audience. Now let’s talk about how to get started and how you can benefit the most through your guest posting efforts!
How to Start Guest Posting
Writing a guest post and finding bloggers who are open to publishing it is as easy as 1-2-3! In this section, we’ll go over step by step how to decide what type of article you should submit, choosing suitable blogs to contribute to, as well as how to reach out to potential bloggers who accept guest posts.
Step 1: Think About Your Why: What Are Your Goals as a Writer?
Before you start thinking about guest posting, you will want to think about what your overall goals are. This will help you decide what type of content you should write as guest posts, as well as which blogs would be suitable for submitting your guest post.
Let’s Consider These Two Examples:
- You have a blog, but haven’t published a book yet. In this instance, your goal will likely be to encourage new readers to start following your blog. This will help you build your author marketing platform for the time when you do get around to actually publishing that book.
- You already have a solid platform and a few books published. If so, great! In this example, your goal may to be to attract a wider audience interested in purchase your latest book.
In the first example, you may want to write an article that would encourage others to visit your website and hopefully subscribe to your newsletter and follow you on social media.
Your guest post might be something related to the types of things you currently blog about, or it might be something that provides a unique perspective on a topic from your point of view as a writer.
In the second example, you may want to focus around the central theme or topic of your latest book.
For example, if you just published a crime thriller, you might be interested in writing an article on a topic that would attract your audience base – such as interesting stories or facts about crimes, mysteries, and more.
By keeping your goals as a writer in mind, it can help you make sure that you set out guest posting with a solid plan that will help you see a return in your writing efforts.
Step 2: Finding Blogs that Accept Guest Post Submissions
To find a blog to submit your guest post, you simply need an internet browser. Type in the search words “blogs about [insert topic here]”. You’ll have a nice list of results within seconds!
Before you start submitting with wild abandon, however, there are some considerations you should take. Here’s what to look for in blogs you might want to contact:
Audience Size: In general, it is best to start with a blog that has a regular but medium-sized audience base – and as you build up credibility as a writer then start aiming high for larger blogs and websites. At a minimum, the blog you guest post at should average at least 300-500 visitors a day or around 10,000 monthly viewers.
Website Topic: It’s best to choose a website that shares a central interest or topic with your own work. For example, if you write romance novels, perhaps you could contribute to a blog that writes about love and relationship advice. If you published a memoir, you might want to seek out websites that would have articles on the types of life lessons you share in your book.
Open Submissions: Many blogs have a simple guest post submission form. These make it very easy for you as a writer to submit your article or idea. The blogger is actively open to submissions, so you do not have to worry about being turned down. Be sure you follow all of their requirements before submitting!
Contact Method: If there is not a submission form for your post, you’ll want to see if there is a way to reach the website owner, either through a contact form, email address or by sending a direct message on social media. A link for this can usually be found at the top menu or very bottom links of most sites.
Bloggers who are open to connecting with readers and provide a method of contact typically are also more open-minded about accepting guest posts. If you share a common connection, such as belonging to the same Facebook groups or networks this can help make it easier to build trust with the blogger.
Once you start finding blogs and websites that match your criteria, it’s helpful to make a list of which sites you find and the contact information.
You can do this in a document on your computer, but I usually use a spreadsheet to keep track of things like which websites I’ve contacted. If my guest posts are accepted, I can then keep track of which articles I published and when.
Step 3: Writing and Submitting the Guest Post
Once you have a good idea of your writing goals and what websites would make good potential candidates, you are ready to write and submit your guest post!
Generally, when I write guest posts, I usually will write the post before submitting it to the blog owner. I think about things such as what kind of content might appeal to that website’s audience and user base, and try to use a writing style that is complementary to the other posts the website offers.
Before submitting your guest post, be sure to follow these tips:
- Check the document for any spelling or grammar errors
- Give the article a strong title
- Write in short paragraphs – no more than 3-4 sentences per paragraph
- Keep the article friendly and upbeat in tone
- Avoid making the article overly promotional
- Include an author bio with photo
- Make sure your guest post and photographs do not infringe on anyone’s copyright
- Submit the article via the website owner’s preferred format – whether submission form or email
Once you have this, you can then contact the website owner to consider your article for publishing. Be sure you do not submit the same article to more than one website – most site owners are only interested in original content!
While you may sometimes encounter rejection when submitting your writing to other blogs, do not give up hope! Often times what one person may not be interested in is exactly what another blogger would love.
Guest Posts Make It Possible
Writing a guest post only takes a few hours at most of your time, and can help you easily reach a wider audience than you would normally be able to reach on your own. By sharing your expertise or unique perspective on a central topic or theme, you can connect with new readers, subscribers, and more!
I hope this article about how guest posting works is helpful for you – and of course, if you have any questions or other tips to share your comments are always welcome in the comment section below!