Getting traffic to your blog can be difficult for anyone. One of the oldest, and most effective, methods to increase traffic is to write a guest blog for a better-known blog. This can, however, be a fairly daunting task for any writer. If you’re a new blog author you might even find it to be too daunting to attempt. Luckily, there are 10 easy tips you can keep in mind when you’re looking to write a guest blog.
The first thing you’ll have to do is find a blog to write for. A good way to do this is to look for as many blogs related to your topic as possible. No matter how big or small the blogs you look at might be, they might have readers who have never heard of your own blog. Once you’ve compiled a list of likely blogs — those that frequently have guest authors should get top priority — you’ll need to send each of them an email or some other type of correspondence letting them know you’re interested in writing for them. However, when doing so, keep the 2nd tip in mind.
Don’t just send a form letter to everyone. If you take the time to personally write each blogger a personal email, it shows that you are actually interested in writing for them. The personal touch helps keep people from thinking you’re simply spamming everyone hoping to get your name out there. This isn’t a tip you can just drop afterwards, of course, you need to be polite to the authors you speak to for as long as you talk with them. If they have a pleasant experience with you, after all, they could pass your name along to other blog authors.
One problem you might run into is figuring out what to write for the blog. Before you do anything else, check the blog’s archive. The last thing you want to do is inadvertently end up rewriting a post they’ve already made. If you must write something similar to a post they’ve made, come at it from a new direction. To simplify that part of the tip, if they have an article on favorite colors saying that red is the best, you could write an article on reasons blue is the best color.
You don’t want to accidentally step on the blog author’s toes, however, so make sure you pass your topic — indeed, the whole article — by them first. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t want you writing about blue being the best color, though, it simply means you need to come up with a new topic. This tip can help save you valuable work that would be wasted if a full rewrite was needed. After checking that the topic is acceptable, however, keep tip 5 in mind as you write.
Your guest blog will be the first many potential readers ever see of your work. For that reason alone, you need to be constantly checking it for grammatical and spelling errors. A good way to do this is to proofread each paragraph separately as you write and then proofread the article as a whole twice. Your text editor’s spell checker and grammar checker will, of course, be helpful in this. Don’t rely on them, however, as they can easily miss grammar issues that would be obvious if you read the selection yourself.
Familiarize yourself with any format the blog author prefers to use. If they like to stick references in the text as they appear instead of all together at the end, for example, try to emulate that. There may be a reason that the author does things that certain way and following that format will save both of you valuable editing time. On a similar note, Tip 6 also deals with formatting.
Obviously, you want this guest blog to steer traffic towards your own blog. This is why guest blogs have a small paragraph at the end of the article with information about the guest author’s own blog. Some blogs, however, simply have a few lines that state the author’s name, credentials, and blog address. Whichever format the blogger prefers, it’s important that you gather the needed information, or write the paragraph, and insert it into the document wherever the blog’s format indicates it should go. Having this ready will save the blog’s author the trouble of having to ask you about these details and the trouble of writing up their own blurb. Be careful, however, that you don’t go too far, or you risk running afoul of tip 7.
While the goal of a guest blog is to get more traffic, you should remember not to make it into an advertisement for your own blog. Focus on writing a good blog and leave the link to your own blog for the “About The Author” section. Remember, the blog author’s readers are there to read interesting articles, not to have another blog shoved down their throats.
This may sound like it goes under proofreading, but there’s a reason it’s separated from that tip. You want to give yourself a couple of days, or a few hours minimum, between writing your blog and reading it again. You’re not necessarily looking for problems in grammar here, however, but simply checking to make sure the blog reads well. It’s easy for authors to get caught in the trap of making an article grammatically sound and completely forgetting to make it interesting. By giving yourself some time between writing and reading you are, essentially, forcing yourself to focus on other things so you can come back to your blog post with fresh eyes.
Once you’re satisfied with your work, send it to the blog’s author and ask what they think of it. Most authors tend to be too hard or too easy on themselves so asking for input from another author is always a good idea. Whether it’s simply them finding a mistake you made or them telling you it’s fine, having a second opinion can be a huge boon.
Once the article is up, the work’s only partially done. Check back in on it every day or two and check the comments. Ignore obvious jokes, pranks, or “trolling”, of course, but, if people have a legitimate question or complaint, you’ll want to be on hand to answer comments. This can help show the blog’s author and, arguably more importantly, their readers that you are able and willing to answer readers and that you follow up on your work. No need to check on it forever, of course, usually a few weeks is a good amount of time.
Just keep those simple tips in mind and you’ll be able to get the most out of trying to write guest blogs. Now there’s really only two things for you to do. First, start finding people who need or want guest blogs written. Second, get to writing! The only thing between you and a massive explosion in your reader base now is a bit of legwork.