Gini Dietrich

Guest Blogging: Seven Tips for Success

By: Gini Dietrich | March 20, 2013 | 

Seven Guest Blogging TipsWhen I began my career in communications (don’t ask how long ago; I’ll lie to you), the only thing we had to worry about was building really strong relationships with journalists to do the media relations part of our jobs.

Now we have to worry about that and relationships with bloggers and influencers and customers and prospects and competitors and detractors and cynics and trolls and ambassadors.

Add to that creating content that is valuable, educational, and fun to read (or listen to or watch) and using the social networks to distribute it without being self-serving, and understanding search engine optimization and you suddenly have a very full day.

As we do all of this, we tend to forget there is one extremely effective way to repurpose content and reach new audiences without extra work: Guest blogging.

There are two ways to think about guest blogging. Either you can have influential bloggers in your industry write for you or you can write for high authority sites that will help with your own search engine optimization, new audiences, and even sales.

Seven Guest Blogging Tips

I’m going to focus this on the latter. Therefore, I give you seven guest blogging tips.

  1. Go to Open Site Explorer and type in the URL for the blog for which you’d like to submit content. I’ll do it for Wood Street because that’s where you are right now. You’ll see the site authority is 48/100. If the authority is 40-70, it’s worth pursuing. If it’s higher than 70, you’ll have a tougher time getting your content on the site, so you’ll need to be extremely patient, but persistent. If it’s between 90 and 100, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get something placed there without the help of a communications professional.
  2. Think about your topic and carefully consider your keywords. Using the Google Keyword Tool, figure out how your content can compete for search rankings. For instance, my keyword for this blog post is “guest blogging.” When I use the keyword tool, I discover the phrase has only medium competition (good!) and it offers me some alternatives, such as “guest blogging guidelines,” “benefits of guest blogging,” and “guest blogging tips.” You know which one I chose.
  3. Write your content and include a bio that has your social networks and a link to your Google+ authorship. This tells Google to include your face in the search results.
  4. Now you’re ready to pitch your content. The very first thing you want to do is connect with the content director or blog author on the social networks. Bloggers receive many pitches throughout the day so it’s easy to delete the ones from the people we don’t know. If you build a relationship with them first, the likelihood of your content getting used increases astronomically.
  5. Once the content is accepted and you are given a publication date, make sure you have some open time on your calendar to not only share, but to engage with the blog’s community. We require guest bloggers respond to every commenter. If they don’t, we don’t invite them back.
  6. Run the content on your own site, but make sure you ask how long they like you to wait before you do that. We ask for a month so our readers have plenty of time to read and engage with the guest blogger, but also so the search engines get nice and comfortable with it on our site. When you publish on your own site, make sure you include a sentence – at the start or end – that says, “This blog post first ran on Wood Street” and link to the original piece. That helps the search engines understand it’s repurposed content and not duplicate content that is scraped from robots.
  7. If the blog’s author or content director doesn’t respond immediately, it’s okay to follow-up, but don’t be pushy or a jerk. Sometimes they are simply just busy and haven’t had a chance to get back to you and others the content doesn’t fit. If it’s the latter, many won’t respond so go ahead and ask if it’s just not a good fit before you offer it to another blog.

If I were to give you the most important tip, it’s number four. Without relationships (just like the early days of my career) it’s harder to get what you want. Be nice to them, offer help, and then pitch your idea.

A version of this first appeared on my crazy friend Jon-Mikel Bailey’s blog at Wood Street

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • belllindsay

    Thank you thank you thank you. 🙂

    • ElissaFreeman

      @belllindsay I think Lindsay likes tip #7 the best…. *giggle*…

      • belllindsay

        @ElissaFreeman BAHAHA! Maybe…….. 😉

    • @belllindsay Um, you’re welcome?

  • Good post, my Gini (as always)!

  • I am sneaking treats to @belllindsay ‘s new puppy when she’s not looking. Does that count as “building a relationship” with the Content Director?

    • belllindsay

      @Adam | Customer Experience LOL – just you wait Adam!! 😀

      • @belllindsay  @Adam | Customer Experience I’d say so. Make sure they give him gas too 😉

        • @yvettepistorio  @belllindsay Better yet, I will make sure to sneak him all of Lindsay’s favorite foods, so he learns to beg at the table. 🙂

        • belllindsay

          @Adam | Customer Experience  @yvettepistorio EAT ALL THE FOODS!

      • @belllindsay My puppy will be perfect and will stand strong in the face of temptation. </delusion>

        • belllindsay

          @Adam | Customer Experience HAHAHAHAHA! I mean “You are SO right!”

        • HowieG

          @belllindsay  @Adam | Customer Experience meanwhile Adam still has my call on hold….47 days later!

        • belllindsay

          @HowieG  @Adam | Customer Experience Wait until he gets the puppy. 😉

        • @HowieG@belllindsay
          But my auto-attendant told you that you were the 27,000th person in queue, so it’s okay.

        • @belllindsay  @HowieG Exactly! Don’t hang up Howie, you should hear this soon: “Your expected wait time is 63 days.”

    • @Adam | Customer Experience  That FOR SURE counts!

  • I’m not crazy, I’m eccentric. And fashionable. Mad fashionable.

    • I see you gave this version a better title. That’s it!

      • @jonmikelbailey Hahaha!!

        • belllindsay

          @yvettepistorio  @jonmikelbailey I nearly lost my coffee right there! LOL

        • @belllindsay  @jonmikelbailey I scared Lola!!

        • HowieG

          @yvettepistorio  @belllindsay  @jonmikelbailey only Fashionista’s and Farm Hands are allowed here at Spin Sucks I was told. I am obviously a Farm Hand.

    • @jonmikelbailey Oh you’re crazy.

  • elissapr

    SashaHalima Hey there! Thanks for the RT!

    • SashaHalima

      elissapr Always 🙂

  • SpinSucks

    Mark_Harai Thanks for sharing Mark!! Which tip do you think is most important? I’m going to agree w/ginidietrichh and say number 4.

  • SpinSucks

    RichardDeVita Thanks for sharing Richard!! Great tips per usual from ginidietrich

    • RichardDeVita

      SpinSucks My pleasure,they usually are,she ROCKS!

  • SpinSucks

    John_Trader1 Thank you!!! I’d have to agree number for is the most important. What say you?

    • John_Trader1

      SpinSucks I’d say #4 too – relationship building is pretty much the key that unlocks the access door.

      • SpinSucks

        John_Trader1 Agreed 🙂

  • SpinSucks

    elissapr Thanks for sharing Elissa!! Great tips per usual from Gini.

  • SpinSucks

    Neil_Revilla Thanks for sharing Neil!

  • I have to agree #4 is the most important too. If it wasn’t for some of my relationships I never would’ve been able to guest blog for shonali or dannybrown .

    • belllindsay

      @yvettepistorio  shonali  dannybrown Danny who?

      • @belllindsay  shonali  dannybrown Uh oh, I hear a fight a brewing!!! Ha!

        • @yvettepistorio  @belllindsay  shonali  dannybrown I’m with Lindsay

  • I am with you on No.4 – otherwise it is so unrealistic! Like simply dumping on another site.  Some of the guest blogging pitches I get totally suck. The worst thing is a “Hi” (no name) and doing-me-a-favor sort of curt email, like they can decide what’s best for me/my blog. 😀 I delight in being creative in replying to them!
    Great tips. I was curious when I saw the title in my mailbox. 😀 Always a pleasure to learn something new. Point 1. is my learning point today.

    • @Vidya Sury Yay!!! You came, you came 🙂

      • HowieG

        @yvettepistorio shhh! don’t scare her off!  @Vidya Sury

        • @HowieG  @Vidya Sury My lips are sealed…I’ll let you do the scaring off Howie 😉

        • @yvettepistorio  @HowieG The only thing I am petrified of is house lizards. Even tiny ones. Everything else is fun. 😀

    • @Vidya Sury I HATE those emails. We get them all the time, too. I would love to hear what your replies say.

      • @ginidietrich  Gini – it is a case of what i thought and what i said. My mind has a mind of its own. Mostly, i am polite – saying my editorial calendar is full, secretly laughing at what they must be thinking when they see i don’t post for four days sometimes. But I am under an illusion there thinking they’re watching. I’ve even replied in French once. And offered tips to one request to pitch for the next time around. All in a very nice way. 😀

  • shonali

    belllindsay eveypistorio on metro, will have to look later!

  • John_Trader1

    Guest blogging truly is a smart way to spread thought leadership and pump SEO value. My questions is, just as you should have an editorial calendar for your own blog, should you have a separate one for sites you target for guest blogging? I know that’s a hard calendar to maintain because of fluctuating permission, but does it make sense to say, map out for the next six months those sites you want to target, track your outreach efforts so you can maintain communication consistency, and when you do receive permission, add the due dates to the calendar? This may keep you on track not to miss a deadline, and on the flip side, keep tabs on due dates for those who are writing for your own site.

    • belllindsay

      @John_Trader1 John I think that’s a great idea – I know that I (try to) post Gini’s guest blogging dates/content idea, etc., on our general editorial calendar – that way we can either post a somewhat complimentary post on Spin Sucks (for example) or more importantly – not repeat exactly what she’s saying in the guest post on this blog. Important when you’re thinking about shares, etc..

      • @belllindsay  @John_Trader1 That’s way too organized for me. I write what people ask me to write.

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich  @John_Trader1 It’s not what YOU do. It’s what *I* do. That ‘behind the scenes’ magic that you’re not even aware I do! 😉

  • theternalscribe

    What’s site authority?  I went to the site and tested it out with my own site, which is growing but hardly big.  I got a domain authority of 98/100 and a page authority of 30/100, but there was nothing that said site authority.

    • @theternalscribe The page authority is what I’m talking about. Sorry – we use the word “site” here, but the number would be for page.

  • SpinSucks

    lindalecomte Thanks for sharing Linda!! Great tips in the post 🙂

    • lindalecomte

      SpinSucks It’s nice to share. Thanks for the very useful blog post Gini!

  • SpinSucks

    inspiredcat ginidietrich She’s a smart one that Gini! Thanks for sharing Caitlin 🙂

    • inspiredcat

      SpinSucks ginidietrich – Anytime! Always good stuff.

  • SpinSucks

    bloggerconnect Thanks for sharing!! Practical advice indeed. And easy to put into action.

  • SpinSucks

    rhogroupee Great tips and easy to put into action. Thanks for sharing Rosemary!

  • SpinSucks

    kapost Thanks for sharing!

  • So that’s why you include a link to your author’s Google+ pages. And here I thought nobody used that site.

    • @bradmarley LOL!! One of my most favorite things to do is test authorship. Ask @belllindsay . I’m super competitive about it.

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich  @bradmarley Erm….slightly. 😉

  • Jessiemcinnp
  • ChasPRGirl

    RT ginidietrich: Guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to do your own PR. Here are some tips for success

  • Nice tips, thanks. Never sure about 6 without a bit more significant re-purposing. And an option in 1 to give lots more metrics than just a site authority would be to chuck the blog(s) into Inkybee 🙂

    • @HughAnderson I was thinking the same thing. I’ve often wondered about using some of my guest material on my own blog, but I tend to lean towards re-purposing it too. Thinking about what Gini said, however, I think it might make sense to prioritize which messages get the “revamp” treatment and which just get published with the link to the original blog. I’m going to try it out!

    • @HughAnderson Dang. You’re right. I should have included Inky Bee. Sorry about that!

    • @HughAnderson I usually post a short summary on my blog with a pointer to the original where I guest blogged. It’s a link back for them and gives my readers a taste of the goodness too.

  • Pingback: Guest Blogging | K.A.M~ TaStic()

  • HowieG

    I am already pitching my post titled ‘Why you should never follow any person on twitter with more than 100,000 followers on twitter’ to Chris Brogan. Hold on…great being publish next week! Thanks Gini!
    1 and 2 are great resources.

    • rdopping

      @HowieG @ginidietrich Yeah, 1 + 2 are great. First I’ve heard of either. What a tool. Now maybe some of my exceptional writing will get some traction. There ya go Howie. Open season.

    • @HowieG You’re such a brat

  • SpinSucks

    AnneReuss Thanks Anne!

  • SpinSucks

    Tiffani_Allen Thanks for sharing Tiffani!! She is right on the money.

  • SpinSucks

    hughforth Thanks for sharing Hugh!

  • SpinSucks

    GuideStarUSA Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • SpinSucks

    jennimacdonald Thanks Jennifer!!!

  • SpinSucks

    rdopping Thanks for sharing Ralph 🙂

  • SpinSucks

    MegBiallas Thanks Meg!! Great tips in today’s post.

  • jennifergosse

    Grand tips, @ginidietrich! I love that you’re including SEO research tips in order to amplify your content marketing efforts. Without it, you can do a lot of work and just miss the mark by not gaining authority for your brand’s top terms (or long-tail if that’s part of your strategy). For #6, we’ve found that you can pretty safely repost a short excerpt on your site. I like the “first ran on” strategy too.

    • @jennifergosse Yeah – one of our guest bloggers included it in her weekly wrap-up, but she wrote a quick description and linked to it here. Super appreciated because she sent us traffic.

      • jennifergosse

        @ginidietrich Good form! Sharing the link love is a great relationship builder and adds value for both sites and their visitors.

  • PattiRoseKnight1

    Number 5 is critical and sounds so easy but in real life it is not so easy to do.  If someone comments on your blog content they would appreciate a response.  But finding that precious time is not always easy but in this case it is critical – I think.

    • @PattiRoseKnight1 I just had someone ask me if I can guest blog for them while I’m taking my writing vacation. I said I wouldn’t be around to engage and comment. They ended up saying that was okay, but we would push one of guest bloggers back so they are around.

  • Gini.
    Sigh. I didn’t KNOW I could (or should) do #6 for my own guest posts. I simply believed it was wrong… Even after a long while, I should ask who I wrote them for though, right?
    Thank you!

    • @AlaskaChickBlog I always ask how long they want me to wait before I run it on Spin Sucks. Some people don’t care. We ask for a month because we like our readers to all filter through it here first. But you can always rerun content on your own site, as long as you write a sentence similar to the one I wrote at the end of this one here.

  • JoelFortner

    Great tips RT ginidietrich: Some tips for guest blogging success

  • I never even thought about checking a blog’s rank before. The guest posts I have done have for the most part been for people I already knew. There was one guest post that I got specifically from a comment and it was on this blog!
    I never once thought about republishing my guest posts. I guess I should look into that.

    • @NancyD68 You definitely should. Just make sure you add a sentence that links back to the original article. That helps Google decide which to put first in search rankings and it helps out the other site’s rankings, too.
      Good to have you back!

  • vzagob


  • SpinSucks

    RyanHanley_Com Thanks for sharing Ryan!! How’s the Izz?

    • RyanHanley_Com

      SpinSucks She got her 2nd haircut and now she has a bright white face… Like a whole new pup! #WheatonLove

      • SpinSucks

        RyanHanley_Com Aw!! Pictures, pictures!!! We had to get Lola’s hair cut too…it’s so short right now, I miss my furball! #WheatenLove

        • RyanHanley_Com

          SpinSucks <- She’s become a little prince#WheatonLoveove

        • SpinSucks

          RyanHanley_Com OMG!! I LOVE her!!! Lola’s legs are shaved the exact same way! Spay surgery?

        • RyanHanley_Com

          SpinSucks yeah just got it two weeks ago… It’s the new doggy fashion trend. Like snap bracelets!

        • SpinSucks

          RyanHanley_Com Lol!! I always sing “Boots with the furrrrr” song to Lola now! Hope she’s doing good after the surgery!

        • RyanHanley_Com

          SpinSucks yeah all good… Lola too? I’m glad people can’t hear all the crazy things I say to that dog… #WheatonLove

        • SpinSucks

          RyanHanley_Com Yup, she was spayed 2 months ago and it’s still growing in. I know, me too! Even the dog things I’m crazy! Ha!!

  • FollowtheLawyer

    We’re having a blast building our guest blogger program, and you were the inspiration!

    • @FollowtheLawyer Do I get royalties? Maybe in the form of wine? Or ice cream? OR A MONKEY?!?

  • SpinSucks

    jennifergosse Agreed, thanks for sharing Jennifer!

  • SpinSucks

    crestodina Lol!! Or just don’t ignore 😉

  • Codyahjhw0v1uc


  • jennimacdonald

    suddenlyjamie love that article!

    • suddenlyjamie

      jennimacdonald Yep. It was a good one! I see SO many guest blogging faux pas. Painful.

      • jennimacdonald

        suddenlyjamie: Totally agree! Everything I know about blogging I learned from ginidietrich

        • ginidietrich

          jennimacdonald suddenlyjamie Everything?!

        • suddenlyjamie

          jennimacdonald I don’t doubt it. ginidietrich has serious street cred. I’ll bet you picked up a few tips from Jack Bauer, too. He the dog.

        • jennimacdonald

          suddenlyjamie: Absolutely, how did I leave him out!

        • jennimacdonald

          ginidietrich: A LOT, plus SM Marketing, geez the list never ends : )

        • suddenlyjamie

          jennimacdonald 🙂

        • ginidietrich

          jennimacdonald Clearly you’re buttering me up for something. If you worked for me, I’d think you’re gunning for a raise.

        • jennimacdonald

          ginidietrich: Nope I don’t play that game, just being honest!

  • How much do they pay?

  • JonMikelBailey

    merylkevans ginidietrich It was actually by Gini and originally on our site.

    • merylkevans

      My bad. Thanks JonMikelBailey Guest Blogging: 7 Tips for Success ginidietrichich Keeper for guest bloggers

  • businessvia

    ShellyKramer ginidietrich Very useful article.

  • Hi Gini… catching up on my blog reading after being out of town for a couple weeks.  Glad you wrote this post.  One of my goals this year is to do more guest blogging, so this was a terrific guideline.
    –Tony Gnau

  • SpinSucks

    Engage121 Agreed! Thanks for sharing!

  • AceConcierge

    dhatfield Thanks Danielle!! Happy Wednesday. So close to Friday – I can feel it.

  • I need to start using the Google Keyword Tool. I was just talking about how I tend to blog about what I care about…and what moves me AT THE TIME. I think I provide some decent social media, leadership, or life lessons, but they may never get “found” because I do not pay enough attention to the keywords.
    I have gotten better prepping for SEO using Yoast, but still – who would find “YMCA Your Competition like Andre Miller” when wanting to learn good business practices?
    I’ve added Google Authorship to my own blog, but I need to do the same for my guest blogging opportunities. If I submitted to SpinSucks, would my sports analogy theme have to be centered around Da Bears??

  • data_genesis

    Also try to find blogs accepting guest posts.  You can even search by site authority and pagerank.

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  • glassduffle

    Solid tips. When trying to do a guest blog campaign for a company that has several brands, do you think that the relationships should be built via each specific brand social media/outlet or through the singular account of the individual who is trying to create the network?

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