Guest-Blogging 101: Tips And Tricks That Will Get Your Content Selected

Lauren Pope
Lauren Pope  |  July 19, 2019

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 is guest-blogging?

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.

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.

benefits of guest-blogging
 

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.

Find the highest-rated Content Editing Services →

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!

Learn about G2's Guest Blog Program →

 

Lauren Pope
Author

Lauren Pope

Lauren is a Senior Content Specialist at G2 with five years of content marketing experience. You can find her work featured on CNBC, Yahoo Finance, and on the G2 Learning Hub. In her free time, Lauren enjoys listening to podcasts, watching true crime shows, and spending time in the Chicago karaoke scene.