Blogging for other websites allows you to reach a whole new audience, gain exposure, build credibility, and potentially drive traffic back to your site.
Here’s how to become a guest blogger:
1. Locate sites you want to write for. The first step is to find appropriate sites, and that means sites that reach your target audience. For example, if you want to reach moms with young children at home, then you will want to target parenting sites. If you want to share money management advice, then you will want to pursue business sites.
2. Investigate site engagement. You could write for all kinds of websites and keep yourself very busy, but you’ll want to be sure that you write for sites that reach a significant audience, and sometimes it’s hard to tell. Start by looking at engagement. Do the posts on the site receive many comments? Note that this shouldn’t be your only indicator because comments are hard to come by. Do the posts have a high number of social media shares? This can be a big indicator of engagement. Finally, does the site generate much traffic?
One way to determine if a website receives significant traffic is to visit Alexa.com and type in the name of the domain. Alexa ranks websites based on traffic and generally a Global Ranking of under 500,000 indicates the site is receiving a fair amount of traffic. Keep in mind that sometimes a site may have a very loyal following in its niche, even if traffic numbers aren’t especially high, so look at the other engagement factors before deciding if a site is worth your time.
3. Look for submission guidelines. The vast majority of blog sites, including major media sites like Huffington Post and Forbes, welcome guest blog posts for consideration. Search each site for “submission guidelines” and follow the instructions. If you cannot locate guidelines, you will need to reach out to the site editor, website manager, or site owner. Head on over to the Contact page and see who you can reach. Even a basic email address to firstname.lastname@example.org can be enough as your inquiry should get re-routed to the right person.
4. Send out pitches. When reaching out to website managers, keep your correspondence short and sweet. Remember that these people are busy and they receive a lot of pitches. Address the contact by name if it’s available, and let them know you’d like to contribute guest content. Also include a very brief bio about you, along with some links to content you have written (whether on your own site or other sites). They will likely want to view samples.
Here’s a sample guest blogging pitch:
I am a life coach specializing in working with baby boomers in transition and since your site covers lifestyle topics for this audience, I would love to contribute. I write content-rich posts that provide value for the reader (not self-promotional!).
Here are some samples of posts I’ve written:
May I send over a post for your consideration?
<insert contact information including website link, social media links, address and phone number>
Note that if you already have a fairly large audience, it is totally appropriate to mention it within your pitch. Here’s an example:
Please note that I have a social media reach of over 20,000 and would promote any posts that I write for you to my audience.
The vast majority of blogs won’t pay you for content, but will instead allow you to include a brief bio and website link at the end of your post. This is where the value comes in, especially if the site reaches a significant audience. Interested readers will naturally want to learn more about you, which can lead them to your website and social media profiles.
Once you’ve established a relationship with a site editor, you may even be able to ask for your own regular column. Just make sure you deliver value by writing great content and sharing across your social networks. The more value you bring to the site, the quicker and easier it will be to build a lasting relationship.
If you like this blog post, you’ll love our Author Toolkit covering websites, blogging and social media for authors. Check it out!