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Gini Dietrich

Guest Blogging: Seven Tips for Success

By: Gini Dietrich | March 20, 2013 | 
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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, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

127 comments
eric_dwhite
eric_dwhite

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?

data_genesis
data_genesis

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

dbvickery
dbvickery

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??

T60Productions
T60Productions

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.

Thanks!

--Tony Gnau

 

NancyD68
NancyD68

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.

AlaskaChickBlog
AlaskaChickBlog

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?

Sheesh.

Thank you!

 

 

PattiRoseKnight1
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.

jennifergosse
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. 

RyanHanley_Com
RyanHanley_Com

%s She got her 2nd haircut and now she has a bright white face... Like a whole new pup! %s

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @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!

Latest blog post: WordPress Wizardry for Muggles

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @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.

Latest blog post: Site

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @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.

Latest blog post: Site

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

 @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.

Latest blog post: Site

SpinSucks
SpinSucks

%s Aw!! Pictures, pictures!!! We had to get Lola's hair cut too...it's so short right now, I miss my furball! %s

jennifergosse
jennifergosse

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

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

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

SpinSucks
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!!

RyanHanley_Com
RyanHanley_Com

%s yeah all good... Lola too? I'm glad people can't hear all the crazy things I say to that dog... %s

SpinSucks
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
RyanHanley_Com

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

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