You already know that blogging can help your business and hopefully you are building a good relationship with some committed readers. So why go and waste that by publishing your carefully thought out work on someone else’s blog?
Well, for the same reasons you might go to a party, you meet new people and can renew friendships with those you already know. Often old friends may find out something new about you or your status as ‘one of us’ will be reaffirmed.
In order to be invited to the guest blogging party you need to let your potential hosts know three things.
1. That you exist!
Honestly they can’t invite you if they don’t know you’re alive! So say something to them, the most obvious way of doing this is to comment on one or more of their blog posts. Say something a little more interesting than just ‘great post’ but don’t worry you don’t have to write an essay in the comment box. You could also connect with them on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, but again do say something to them, even if it is only ‘read your blog and really enjoyed it’
2. That you are guest material.
If a blogger knows you exist but doesn’t know that you also write then you’re not likely to receive an invitation from them. Next time you post you may want to send it directly to your desired host so they know you blog. You can do this via email or through social media, just attach a link with a short line or two explaining that you’ve just written a blog post and you’d love them to read it if they have time.
Of course it is also important that you write on topics similar to their niche but maybe not so close that you are direct competition. You don’t want to be invited to a posh soiree if you really want to be rocking out to Alice Cooper – and stealing the hosts girlfriend is never going to make you popular!
3. That you’d like to be invited!
Some bloggers welcome guest posts and even have a page for you to submit your posts without going through the steps suggested above, others might not have thought of hosting someone else’s writing yet but it doesn’t mean they’re not interested. If you’re not sure the best policy is just to ask politely. Even if they don’t accept your post it’s likely they’ll be flattered that you asked!
Just like a party there is etiquette to be observed if you are to get the best out of it.
If you are invited respond! Let your host know that you’d love to write for them and confirm the date and time. Some hosts are very spontaneous and will publish instantly, others may take a few weeks or more to post it, but you do need to know when they need the post by and make sure it is on time.
You think long and hard about every post you write, I know you do, but this time your writing reflects on someone else, so make sure every ‘i’ is dotted. And that you have really thought through what you want to say and how to say it. You’ll enjoy the event even more that way!
But don’t wear the same as the host!
Writing a post about their speciality or on an identical subject, making an identical point, to one of their previous posts will not add value to their blog! It also won’t encourage their readers to befriend you as your post will be boring to them.
Bring a gift … and a bottle of wine!
Make life easy for your host – attach a bio box with a little information about you and your blog, not too much, just a few sentences and a link. Also send them any images you think are suitable to brighten up your blog.
Bring some guests
Promote your post on their blog through your network, that way you may be introducing more subscribers for them, which every blogger wants!
Telling people more about you or the subject you are writing on is great, so do put some links in your blog. But do it thoughtfully, you are a guest in their ‘house’ and dragging everyone back to yours for an after party is rude!
It’s a good idea to send your post as a word document. Add comment boxes with the links you’d like inserting next to any anchor text you’d like. Make sure they know that it is up to them how many they include, and only send a maximum of three anyway. Also be deferential to your host by making sure that at least one link is to another post that they have written or to their website.
Host in return
This speaks for itself, give them the same opportunity to reach a different audience as they’ve given you, reciprocity goes a long way.
And, if you behave like the perfect guest blogger you may well be asked back again, giving you more opportunities to build your audience and have fun in the process! Cheers!