Be our guest! Be our guest! Put your content to the test!
Looking for a break from hosting content on your own website? Or maybe you’re a freelancer looking to build your portfolio? Whatever the case may be, you’ve probably learned how guest-blogging can help you reach your goals. This article is your ultimate guide to guest-blogging the right way.
If you're looking for specific information about guest-blogging, use the links below to jump ahead:
What makes guest-blogging so popular is the win-win scenario it presents for everyone involved. But what exactly is guest-blogging? Simply put, guest-blogging is the process of creating written content for websites other than your own.
How to find guest-blogging opportunities
Use Google to search for industry specific blogs
Reach out to other content marketing teams
Search for opportunities on social media
Use SEO tools to find where your competitors are guest-blogging
Reach out and ask blogs you admire to guest post
Google search "guest-blogging opportunities"
Use existing relationships to gain opportunities
Companies with guest-blogging programs use this method to increase content, tap into thought-leaders in the industry, and build connections. The benefits for the person writing a guest-blog include increased brand authority, exposure to new audiences, and back-links to their content.
If you’ve never written a guest-blog before, it can be tricky to know where to start. There’s a lot of content out there and finding the right blogs to target can be time-consuming. Here are a few tips to help you cut through the noise and find the best guest-blogging opportunities.
Of course, it’s not enough to just find guest-blogging opportunities. Competition for content is fierce and you’ll need to equip yourself to stand out from the crowd. We’ve put together 10 tips that you can utilize to help your pitch stand out from the crowd. Check it out!
How to perfect your guest-blogging pitch
The hardest part of securing a guest-blogging opportunity is getting your content chosen. A popular guest-posting website can receive hundreds of emails a day about posting on their website. You’ll want to learn the best way to stand out from the crowd and get your emails read.
You should start by checking out our ultimate guide for cold email outreach. It will teach you how to craft the perfect pitch email and what common mistakes you can avoid. Once you’ve mastered the art of the cold email, you can implement these other tips to increase your chances of being seen.
Here’s what you should include in your guest-blogging pitch email:
A personalized introduction that shows you’ve done your research
An introduction about you, your title, your company, and why you’re an expert
3-5 different article ideas that align with their company brand
Optional: If your company has a guest-blogging program, offer a guest-blogging swap!
These tips may seem simple and straightforward, but they will make your pitch better. Taking the time to craft individual pitches shows that you’re doing this because you think you can add value to their blog and that you’re not being opportunistic.
10 actionable guest-blogging tips
Once your pitch has been approved, it’s time to get writing! If you’re guest-blogging for other people, chances are your writing skills are already up to snuff. However, guest-blogging is a unique form of content and requires special care.
1. Understand your audience first
Every form of content you write should be created with the audience in mind. While this might be a no-brainer when you write for your own website, you should pay special attention to this when guest-blogging. Take the time to look through the type of content published on the website you’re writing for and discover who their target audience is.
2. Adapt your content
Once you have a feel for the target audience, it’s time to tailor your content. Read a few posts written by the team you’re writing for and match their tone and writing style within your own piece.
Here are a few tips for perfecting the tone of your writing:
Use tools like Grammarly to improve the style and formatting of your writing
Eliminate off-topic tangents and focus on the theme
Don't be afraid to write in your unique voice
Use descriptive storytelling to show the reader what you're trying to convey
Identify and eliminate your over-used phrases and words
If the blog you’re pitching has a serious tone, create your content to match. If they prefer a more flavorful, conversational style, let loose! This will help ensure your piece fits into the brand identity of the website you’re writing for.
3. Don’t overdo the links
One of the big benefits of guest-blogging is back-linking to your own content. And although it can be tempting to stuff as many links as possible into your content, you should avoid it at all costs. When you force links or “link-stuff” their content, it drives down the SEO value of the piece. Not only that, but it will likely annoy the team you’re writing for.
Here are three key best-practices when it comes to interlinking your own content in a guest-blog:
Double-check the link policy in the guest-posting guidelines
Don’t include more than two or three self-promotional links
Don’t try and link to sales or product pages
4. Use branded images to your advantage
Everyone knows that linking to your own content drives traffic for your content: but there are other ways you can inject your brand into a guest-post while still adding value.
Branded images provide a way to break-up the text and create white space in your post while promoting your brand. It also saves the team you’re writing for time and energy while creating a unique asset for them.
Not only that, but branded images often rank on Google under the image search feature separately from how your article ranks in SERP. If you have branded images ranking in image search, it's just another way to drive traffic.
Tip: Curious how branded images can liven up a guest-blog? Check out this piece I wrote for ReferralRock about NPS scores.
5. Pitch your topic as a series
If you’re looking to build a relationship with a certain company, guest-blogging can be a great place to start. A great way to deepen that relationship is to pitch your posts as a series exclusively for their website.
Here’s an example of a blog-series pitch:
Article 1: What is x?
Article 2: Why is x important?
Article 3: How to use x successfully?
This guarantees several pieces of content for the company you’re pitching and provides you with multiple articles. It’s also a great way to position yourself as a thought-leader and build out your personal brand.
6. Don’t forget the fundamentals
Nothing kills the mood faster than submitting a guest-blog, only to spot a slew of spelling and grammar mistakes. Not focusing enough on your editing can take your content from thought-leadership gold to amateur hour. If you’re really serious about doing guest-blogging the right way, you can use tools like Grammarly to keep your content clean.
If you really struggle with editing your own content, there are plenty of services you can employ for help. Check out the best content editing services as rated by real-user reviews on G2.
7. Don’t pitch recycled content
The cardinal sin of guest-blogging is pitching the same piece of content to multiple websites. If you’re caught doing this, it can ruin your credibility, lose you opportunities, and get you in serious hot water. Believe it or not, repurposing your own content is considered plagiarism.
Yeah, it’s true! It’s called self-plagiarism and it’s a big deal. The same way you can’t reuse a college paper for multiple assignments, you can’t repost your own content to multiple websites. Each guest-blog should be a unique piece written for that website.
8. Use data to drive your point home
An easy way to align yourself as an expert is to include quotes and data from other experts. Your content should be a mix of your own thoughts interwoven with industry studies, stats, and more. It can also make your content seem less self-promotional while providing the reader with added resources.
This is also great for social media outreach once the post is live! You can share your guest-post and tag the other industry experts you quoted in your piece. This will increase the chances they share your content. You can leverage these interactions into new relationships and possibly even new guest-posts.
9. Focus on the formatting
You can make yourself a lot of friends in the guest-posting world by following this one simple tip.
Before you write your article, browse the website you’re writing for and pay attention to how they format their articles. What structure do they use? Do they utilize featured snippets? How do they structure their headers? Mirror that in your content to help make their job easier and expedite the time between editing and publishing.
Tip: Don’t forget to include the meta-description with your guest-blog!
10. Find the value-add
The final tip you can utilize in your guest-blogging strategy is finding the value-add for your content partner. Guest-blogging is a two-way street and you need to ensure you’re showing the value. You can do this in a couple of ways.
How to add value to your guest-blog
Interlink content from the host website within your piece
Consider creating a downloadable asset or extra content piece
Use original or unique data for the piece
Leave the final CTA for them to decide
You scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours. This eliminates a lot of the work their team will have to do on their end and make you look like a true professional.
Noticing the theme yet?
It’s all about making the job easy. The goal of these tips is to reduce the number of edits your article will need and speed up the time between your pitch and publishing. Do the work upfront and save yourself the headache of having to fix things after the fact.
G2 is looking for thought-leaders and content rockstars to contribute to our guest-posting program. Check out our guest-posting guidelines and get involved today!
Lauren is a Content Marketing Manager at G2. You can find her work featured on CNBC, Yahoo Finance, and on the G2 Learning Hub. In her free time, Lauren enjoys watching true crime shows and spending time in the Chicago karaoke scene. (she/her/hers)