ContentWritingChat April 19 2016 Recap: Strategies for Successful Guest Blogging From an Editor

Did you miss this week’s #ContentWritingChat? Well, there’s no need to worry because you can catch up with our full recap of the chat. Tuesday’s chat was all about guest blogging. If you’re looking to introduce guest blogging into your growth strategy or want to take your guest posts to the next level, you’ll want to read through these amazing tweets!

#ContentWritingChat April 19 2016 Recap: Strategies for Successful Guest Blogging From an Editor

Our guest host for the week was Kathleen Garvin. Kathleen is the Editor over at The Penny Hoarder and previously worked at SEMrush. She’s experienced in SEO, blogging and digital marketing, as well as guest blogging. We enjoyed having her expertise over on our Twitter chat at #ContentWritingChat.

Q1: Why is guest blogging essential to brands and writers with a presence online?

Why is guest blogging a must and how can help build your online presence? Check out what some of the participants from Tuesday’s chat had to say:

As Kathleen said, guest blogging helps to give you a voice and also gets you more exposure for your brand. When you guest post on another site, your content gets featured in front of a whole new audience. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Tara mentioned that guest blogging could establish you as an authority figure within your niche. She and Sarah from Think SEM both agreed that you also gain credibility when other publications feature your work. That’s huge!

As Ryan said, guest blogging exposes your brand to a new audience who hasn’t heard of you before. Both he and Eliza agreed it’s also a great way to build relationships. When you guest post, you not only start forming a relationship with the website, but also their readers.

Our CEO, Julia, said guest blogging could gain you a ton of exposure for your brand without having to spend a dime.

As Brittany said, guest blogging gives you exposure, strengthens your voice, and can be an extension of your brand story.

Q2: How do you pinpoint great sites to pitch guest posts to?

Now that you know why guest blogging is beneficial, you need to think about which sites you should be pitching. Here’s what you need to know:

Kathleen said to look to the high-quality blogs in your field. Don’t forget to consider your goals. What are you trying to achieve with your guest post? Are you trying to grow your traffic, generate awareness for your brand, gain more sales? This could play a factor in choosing which sites to guest post on.

As Andrew said, make sure you’re choosing sites that are relevant to your brand. Also, does the site receive a lot of engagement from their audience? That’s key!

Varun said to make sure you can add value to the sites you’re pitching to. Your focus should always be on providing great content for their audience.

Ryan recommends looking to high-traffic and authoritative sources. This can help maximize your reach.

Julia likes to use BuzzSumo to find the top blogs in specific industries. Very helpful!

Like Kristen said, never be afraid to reach out. The worst you could hear is no. If there’s a site you want to post on, send over a pitch. You never know how it could work out!

Q3: How do pick topics guest bloggers can’t resist?

The next step in guest blogging is coming up with an amazing topic. No matter what site you’re writing for or what topic you’re writing on, providing value is always a must. Here are some more tips for choosing topics:

A great tip from Kathleen: do your homework! Don’t blindly pitch a website your ideas. Do some research first by reading their blog to see which topics they’re covering. You want to make sure you choose topics that fit.

Tara and Sarah both agree: be unique! You need to put your own spin on the topics you’re writing about. Don’t write the same thing everyone else is already writing.

Alberto and Village Print & Media know trending topics always make great blog posts. As Alberto said, evergreen topics are great as well!

Peter said to make sure your content is solving a problem people need the answers to. This is a great way to provide value to an audience. When you consistently provide quality content that helps your audience, they’ll want to keep coming back to your site for more.

Pratik said to steer clear of topics that aren’t your forte. It’s best to write what you know. When you have a full understanding of the topic you’re writing about, it shows through in your writing and you’ll be more confident in your work.

Q4: What should you include/not include in a pitch email? When should you follow-up?

When preparing your pitch email, there are a few things you should (and shouldn’t) include. And how do you know when to follow-up? These tips will help:

Kathleen recommends including a personalized greeting, a short intro, then pitching your idea and adding links to previous work. However, if you are linking to some of your past work and you were a ghostwriter, inform the person of that ahead of time!

If there are guidelines published on the website regarding pitches, Andrew suggest looking at them before you send your pitch over. Make sure you follow them if they do! If they don’t, it’s a good idea to pitch a couple topic options just in case your first idea gets rejected. It’s helpful to briefly mention why each piece would be beneficial to their audience.

Kyle says to ditch the templates! Personalize your pitch email instead. He said it helps to reference something specific about the site you’re pitching to or say how you found the site.

Ryan recommends pitching your idea with a brief synopsis and explanation of how it will add value. When they can see the value your post will bring, it could increase the likelihood it might be published.

As Kristen said, don’t write a novel! Keep your pitch email short and sweet.

As Laura said, make sure your pitch email shows off your writing skills. Double-check for any grammar or spelling mistakes.

You don’t even have to email them! You could do a more informal pitch through social media. It worked for Julia!

If you haven’t gotten a response and you feel like you should follow-up, remember this: Give them time to respond. Don’t wait one day and start sending follow-up emails. Editors are busy and need time to respond to your email. Following up one week later is a great idea. Remember to be polite, too!

Q5: What makes up a great guest post author bio? What links should you include?

What should you include when writing your author bio for your guest posts? Here are some tips from Tuesday’s chat:

You just might want to steal Kathleen’s format for author bios! She includes her current position and company, her past role, any related passion projects, and social media links.

Make sure your bio explains who you are to this new audience. What do you want them to know about you?

You should also show your personality in your bio. People like to hear a few personal tidbits. It makes you more relatable.

Consider linking to a landing page with an opt-in form for your email list to encourage people to sign-up and boost subscribers. Great tip, Michael!

Q6: Should guest posting be part of your growth strategy? If so, how often should you guest post?

We know the benefits of guest blogging, but should it be part of your growth strategy? And how often should you guest post? Take a look at these tips from the chat:

Kathleen recommends making guest posting a part of your growth strategy. It grows your brand and helps you connect with others. However, make sure you are more focused on quality posts, as opposed to a quantity of posts.

Tara said how often you guest post should depend upon your rate of growth, your niche, and your strategy. If you’re focused on growing your audience, step up your guest posts!

Andrew also agreed that guest posting is fantastic for building authority and gaining exposure, while also helping your build relationships. Much like Tara, he suggested the frequency of guest posting should depend on your goals. Every post should serve a purpose!

Julia is a big fan of guest posting, as shown by these numbers!

If you’re just starting out, Kyle recommends making guest posting more of a priority. It’s a great way to start building your audience when you’re still in the beginning phase.

Dagmar also suggests guest blogging regularly. She said it helps you connect with a new audience, gets you backlinks, and increases your domain authority and your online visibility.

Zala says guest blogging is good way to just put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to start pitching sites and contributing your content!

As Michael said, if you’re passionate about your niche, you’ll want to write every opportunity you get!

Q7: What are the top actions you should take after your guest post is published?

Now that your guest post is live, what should you do next? Keep these tips in mind:

Kathleen said to make sure you’re sharing and asking others in your network to help spread the word. Don’t forget to engage with the readers, too!

Kyle said to share the guest post on social media, your email newsletter, and even email it to friends. You want to make sure you get the word out about your content.

Scott also recommends sharing your guest posts with your email list. Your subscribers will surely want to check it out!

As Kavita said, make sure you respond to the comments people leave on the post. It shows you’re listening and that you’re interested in what they have to say. Starting a conversation with them makes a huge difference!

You may want to consider writing some related posts for further reading on your own website. It’ll be great for when people visit your site via the guest post. Great tip, Pratik!

Build excitement around your guest post, like Michael suggests. Make sure you’re promoting it!

Share, share, and share some more!

And of course, don’t forget to say thanks!

Q8: How can you track the results of your guest post?

You want to make sure you have a goal you’re trying to achieve with your guest posts, whether it’s growing your audience, makes sales, building relationships, etc. How can you measure that goal after the post goes live?

Kathleen says to keep an eye on referral traffic in Google Analytics, email newsletter sign-ups, and social media follows. If you didn’t get the results you wanted in relation to your goals, make changes and try again!

A great tip from Dagmar: set up Intelligence Events in Google Analytics for tracking.

Analytics are huge, but as Kavita mentioned, engagement is important as well. Is your post generating conversations?

Don’t forget that people may forget to tag you when sharing on social media. As Jeff said, a quick search of the URL on Twitter will show you who has been sharing your post.

Track how many pageviews you received as a result of the guest post. Did you gain more followers, more likes, etc.?

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM CDT for great chats centered around content writing and marketing.

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