Guest posting is a great way to generate traffic and quality backlinks at the same time. However, it can be easy to mess things up (and get rejected!) if you are doing things “on the fly”, or without proper planning.
Whether you are new to this guest posting thing, or an intermediate poster, this article will help you better stay organized and increase your chances of getting a positive response from prospective bloggers.
Writing a good email
Just writing a generic email and sending it to everyone won’t work with the quality blogs. They receive a lot of requests on a daily basis, and if you want them to even consider having your post on their blog, you will have to stand out. These few tips below might help with that.
First, you need to make it a bit more “personal”. Blogs do not become successful on their own. It certainly won’t hurt if you let the bloggers know which one of their posts is your favorite one. Also mention how you first came across their blog (Search? Facebook?), and how you keep visiting because of all the cool posts. After all, bloggers are human beings too.
Next, you need to let them know that they can choose a topic of their liking. You can also suggest 2 – 3 ideas, but it’s always good to let them know that you are flexible if they would like you to write about something else.
Give them links to your other guest posts, or if you do not have any, send them samples of your writing (within the niche!).
Oh, and one thing that can destroy all your chances of appearing on their blog is an email full of mistakes (or even an email that just doesn’t sound right). Make sure you check, and cross-check that your email is short, to-the-point, readable, and mistake-free.
Let them know that you are listening, in case they have any question or request. Give them a couple of ways to contact you (whichever is easier for them).
Make it easy for them to publish your article. If you don’t know how to display lines of codes on a page under your domain, at least send them a text file with everything necessary (include all HTML tags; especially <a href>). They are more likely to publish your article (and they will do it faster) if all they have to do is to copy and paste.
If you are contacting multiple blog owners (if you are not, you should!), you need to list them in order of importance.
This is because you will likely need to come up with slightly different blog ideas for each blog, even if you are in the same niche. Prioritization allows you to know where to devote more time to research topics appropriate for their audience.
So if you have a list of 20 blogs, you can spend one day to contact the 5 most important ones with alluring proposals, and then you can spend less time for the other blogs (10 the next day, and 5 the following).
There are several tools that can help you with that. If you work alone, Excel might work for you. Or if you are a team working from different locations, you may want to turn to Google Docs.
Tracking Responses & Follow-Ups
Within the spreadsheet, make sure to keep a log of who actually replied (positive or negative), who did not respond, who you followed up with, and who you did not.
It would be a shame to send a 2nd request to a blog owner if he has already agreed to your 1st, just because you “forgot”, right?
Tracking allows you to send the appropriate follow-ups to both bloggers who have replied to your email, and to those who haven’t. It also makes sure you deliver the requested topic if someone agreed to the posting.
This is especially true if you are working as a team. If you contacted a blogger several times for example, putting it out there on the spreadsheet might be useful just in case someone else on the team decided to contact him again (he will know that it’s not the first or second time, and will not send an email as if it is!).
It’s about relationships
Guest blogging is about relationships. Many of them will be long-lasting, which is why investing additional time into it, and using the proper tools is always worth it; it can be profitable for you for years.