January 14th, 2016
There’s no doubt that guest blogging can be extremely beneficial in building persona for your brand and establishing credibility and trust. However, to even start reaping the benefits of a guest post opportunity, you first need to figure out where and how to post.
I could sit here and pretend to be some wizard or expert knowing all the tricks to get you on big websites like Entrepreneur and Forbes, but the truth is: there’s no one-size-fits-all method. What I can do instead is tell you is the lessons I learned from outreaching for guest post opportunities and the techniques I used to eventually land us two articles on Entrepreneur.
Lesson number one I learned is that people expect you to know everything about their website. Sure you can craft a template to shape what you are going to say, but reaching out to get a guest post on a website means you need to know what type of content they like to post.
I’ve read this many times as advice and it does seem to be a no-brainer, but it is very easy to completely miss the mark on what someone is looking for.
I recommend trying to find an editorial calendar first and scoping out if they have a contributor or submissions page to already have the knowledge of what they want. It is very necessary to do your research because people will call you out or not respond if they feel you’re just sending them a form letter, or if you don’t understand the goals of their content.
The worst thing you can do is to stop trying. If you really want to get on Huffington Post, then it doesn’t hurt to be persistent. With my emails, I include a list of pitches to give the editor an idea of what topics we’d cover.
This allows you to not only prove you did your homework about what they like to post on their website, but it also showcases what areas of expertise you can offer that they may be needing. If you can fill in the gaps in their content calendar or offer a fresh, exciting perspective, they are bound to bring you onboard to contribute articles.
There is of course a point where the follow up should cease to avoid mimicking a nagging mom, but most editors appreciate the persistence as emails are easily buried.
Yes, this subheading may be alluding to a Disney song, but who cares, just keep pitching! Rejection is never easy, but there’s no harm in trying again.
Editors are pitched all day every day, and your topics may not interest them at first. If you’re persistent, you may find that perfect article topic that they really want and BAM! You’re in!
Quick Insight: Once you are set up as a contributor on a website, it is much easier for them to accept content. Think about it. You’re already in their system and that’s less steps for them. Your quality has been previously vetted. The initial setup is often the harder step.
Maybe you did your research, you followed up and stayed persistent and you kept sending new pitches with no success. You’re thinking, “Thanks a lot, Amber!!” I’ve been there.
Sometimes you need to take a look at who you reached out to and reevaluate if they were the best person. Editor-in-chiefs are a hard target and usually don’t oversee contributed content outside their internal team. This is where it is important to take a look at managing editors, section editors, assistant editors, and contributor network editors.
Usually websites will have a “contribute content” or “write for us page” that will truly give you the best person to contact, but most of the time it is directed toward an email@example.com email or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All in all, there is no perfect outreach mix or standard recipe for success in finding guest posting opportunities. Looking back on 2015, I’ve realized it’s all about trial and error and remaining positive. Eventually, an editor will appreciate the time you put into the research and you will have your glistening headshot and article on their homepage in no time!
Author Bio: Amber Whiteside is the Digital Communications Manager at Main Path Marketing. Amber grew up using Myspace and Xanga, which soon led to her passion for following social media trends and a love affair with writing. Amber went on to receive a BA in journalism with an emphasis in public relations from California State University, Chico. If she is not at home playing with her black cat Robb, she is typically out at a local music venue enjoying the sounds of one of her favorite indie bands.
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