Blogging with the stars: 3 tactics to get guest posts on top blogs
Before you read the three techniques below, let me give you what we might call a “meta-tip” about getting your words on the blogs you want to guest for. It’s really nothing new, but it needs to be stressed because its neglect is often at the root of failed guest blogging strategies. The quality of your content matters less than the quality of your relationships. If you don’t take the time to build meaningful ties with top bloggers, they won’t even look at your content. Comment on their blogs. Make an effort to meet them at events. Chat with them on Twitter.
The name in the “From” field matters more than the attachment.
If you’ve taken the time to earn their attention, they’ll read what you’ve sent them. If not, they won’t. With me? Rad. Let’s get our strategy on.
Tactic 1: Craft your content legacy
Think of every guest post as an opportunity to build your content portfolio. Even if you’re not yet writing on the rung of the blog ladder that you’d like to reach, you’re stringing together a solid blogging history that will help you hone your skill set, build name recognition and gain the trust of the guys who hold the keys to the blogs you really want to be on. Many of them will also come across your content on the blogs they themselves read. I was surprised to learn this year that a top blogger I was hoping to write for was already familiar with my stuff; he had read it elsewhere, and so he was that much more receptive to my proposed post.
Tactic 2: Leave them without a reason to say no
Writing is work, and it often feels that way. The fact that top bloggers have built an audience hungry for fresh posts is both a blessing and a curse for them. To keep up, they need to put out a lot of content in relatively rapid succession, and it can distract them from other things they need to focus on. They’re actually grateful for the right guest posts because they keep the engine running—traffic still flows to and through their site, their readers get more of what they want and they benefit as much as you do.
Never, ever ask someone to “allow” you to guest post as a “favor.” Guest blogging done properly is a mutually-beneficial arrangement in which a known blogger gets free, killer content while the guest blogger gets a chance to talk to a new audience, associate themselves with a thought leader and grab a few powerful links back to his or her site.
Make it effortless for them to say yes. Send them completed pieces that require very little copyediting and revision. Attach your headshot and include the byline you’d like to see on the post, complete with links.
Tactic 3: Help them expand on emerging themes
When top blogs start to post on topics they haven’t written much about, you should jump at the opportunity to contribute early on, especially if it’s something you’ve been writing about for a while. They’ll normally be more receptive because they’ll need to reach a critical mass of content on the subject before they start to get recognized for it. For example, if you notice a blogger that usually focuses on B2C marketing is venturing into B2B territory, they’ll likely be more receptive to posts about the latter. You’re helping them dig a foothold in what’s likely a competitive space, and they might even invite you back for more.