The idea of guest posting isn’t new. Publishing articles on authoritative websites has been an important element of online marketing strategies since 2011. And over the last few years, it has become even more popular.
Today, every blogger wants to get featured on popular niche websites. Why? Guest posting has many benefits. It helps you to:
- gain exposure as a writer
- build a writing portfolio
- expand your professional network
- prove your niche experience
- improve writing skills
- find freelance clients
- rank higher on Google
Doubtless, finding guest post opportunities is a must. But the question is simple: How do you get your post published on top-notch websites that are bombarded with hundreds of guest posting pitches daily?
No matter what your target website is, whether Problogger, Forbes, or Wordstream, you must remember that the editor behind every blog is a real human who wants to avoid time-wasting collaborations with mediocre writers. Simply put, you need to show editors how they can benefit from accepting your guest post.
Here’s a step-by-step guide that can help you get your guest post published on top-notch websites:
1. Read the Blogging Guidelines
First things first: With the growing number of mediocre guest post pitches, many authoritative websites have stopped accepting guest post contributors. Thus, reaching out to these blogs can be a waste of time and effort. There’s no better way to save your time than carefully checking the ‘Write for Us’ or ‘Contribute’ page.
This page will tell you whether guest posts are being considered, and if so, what the criteria are. After all, it’s impossible to get published on the site if submissions are closed or if your content isn’t a good fit for their audience. This is an example of what the page may look like:
Source: Crazy Egg
In 2019, most top-notch websites aim to publish long-read articles (more than 2,000 words) full of actionable tips and takeaways, so you must be prepared to put much time and effort into your piece. Knowing these requirements can help you understand whether you’re qualified to give it a try. It’s harsh but true: you won’t get published unless you meet the requirements, so start your research by looking through the blogging guidelines.
2. Submit Several Topic Ideas
Before coming up with your topic ideas, study the format of published blog posts. Some blogs love listings while others prefer step-by-step "how to" articles. Then, you need to think about several options that can be a good fit for the blog.
Each topic idea must be unique, interesting to the target audience of the blog, and timely. For example, if the holiday season is coming and you want to write for a marketing blog, suggest a topic that focuses on running holiday marketing campaigns. It’s optimal to submit 3-5 topic ideas so that the editor can choose the best one.
3. Send an Informative Pitch
The more popular your target website is, the more pitches its editors get on a daily basis. The question is simple: What makes you any different from hundreds of other bloggers who want to get published on top-notch websites?
To stand out from the crowd and save the editor’s time, you need to send an informative pitch that shows why you’re qualified to write for the blog. A good pitch must include the following elements:
- The greeting, including their name.
- A short introduction explaining who you are.
- Proof that you read the blog and why you’d be a good guest author.
- Your list of topic ideas.
- Writing samples, making sure to match their specifications.
- Polite and friendly sign-off.
Here’s an example of this strategy in action:
When writing your pitch, remember that behind every blog there’s a real human who craves respect. Thus, you need to put the editor first and do your best to save his or her time. Writing an informative pitch also maximizes your chances of getting a reply.
NB: Once your pitch is approved, it’s important to disclose affiliate links if you plan to include them in your article.
4. Write a Useful Article
Having your topic approved doesn’t automatically mean getting published on the site. It’s important to write a useful article that brings value and actionable tips for the target audience. Thus, you need to do the following:
- Explain why your topic matters and what readers will get from your article.
- Start with the theory (based on statistics).
- Tell readers about the practical "how-to"s.
- Include case studies and real examples.
- Write the summary.
It’s better to work on the outline before writing your article to increase your chances of being published. Why? It shows the editor what you’re planning to cover in your article, and therefore helps them understand whether it can be a good fit for the blog.
5. Add Eye-Catching Visuals
People are visual learners, so it’s easier for us to perceive images than texts. Thus, when writing a perfect guest post, you need to think about including eye-catching images that illustrate your claims. Not only does it help to make your article more powerful, but it also helps to break up the text, and therefore make it easy to scan and appealing.
You can make eye-catching blog headers with a design tool like Crello, find charts/graphs, take screenshots with a tool like PicPick, include videos/GIFs, etc. Most authoritative websites ask guest authors to add visuals every 200-300 words.
6. Redraft and Listen to Suggestions
No matter how good and experienced a writer you are, you need to work hard on your article to make it perfect. Once your first draft is ready, take a break and then come back to make edits. Always read your final draft carefully before submitting the article, and do your best to do the following:
- Break up the text to increase readability
- Proofread your article
- Use ProWritingAid to check grammar and style mistakes/typos
It’s nearly impossible to be a researcher, writer, editor, and proofreader. The more people read your article and offer suggestions, the better. If the blog’s editor shares feedback, listen to it and try to work on the comments.
7. Go the Extra Mile
So, you’ve written an insightful article that will be published on your target blog soon. Congratulations! Since being featured on a top-notch website takes much time and effort, it’s important to invest in long-term relationships with the editor, so you need to go the extra mile. Here’s how to do it:
- Promote your article: Every blog is aimed at generating website traffic, so you need to help the site promote your article. Whether you publish a link to it on social media or share it with your network, it’s important to do your best to promote your article.
- Reply to comments: Engagement matters. The more people read, like, and comment on your blog post, the better. To increase engagement, you need to show your readers that you’re open to conversation, so you need to reply to their comments.
- Build backlinks to your guest post: Linkbuilding isn’t a new concept and most websites want to rank higher on search engines. If you want to return the favor and help your favorite sites get more popular, consider linking back to your article when writing for other authoritative websites.
In a Word
For a variety of reasons, most writers and bloggers want to get published on top-notch websites. While contributing to authoritative blogs can be daunting, there are still proven ways to increase your chances of being featured. Remember that even aspiring bloggers can cut through the noise and get published on popular blogs if they put quality first.
So, what’s your target blog? Why not have a go and submit your pitch today?