Everything You Need To Know: Guest Blog Posts

While some argue guest blogging’s heyday is over, proponents insist it’s still an effective way to expand an enterprise’s reach. Whatever your opinion about guest pieces on blogs, I’d want to share what I’ve learned from publishing a few of them over the past year and a half.

You might not agree with everything, but you might learn something useful that could change your approach.

The Length of Guest Posts on Blogs Can Vary A lot

It is generally accepted wisdom that lengthier posts do better. The minimum required text length varies from one website to the next.

The word count for submissions to Going Concern is 500, whereas that of Business2Community is 300. Does that imply settling for a low rate of pay when writing? The opposite is true. The articles I wrote and published with them are between 600 and 700 words in length.

Depending on who you ask, that’s still not very long at all

Some websites, like Content Marketing Institute, place more importance on reader engagement than on word count.

The Reason Why

Writing for a long form vs a short form has significant differences. If you want your brand to reach the widest possible audience, being able to switch gears and write both styles successfully is crucial. This could involve learning to condense your writing or maintaining your readers’ attention over a longer piece.

No Two Sites Are Exactly Alike, So Pitch Accordingly

Knowing that no two sites are identical is perhaps the most significant consideration when deciding how to approach guest posting.

ReadWrite’s piece is more data- and evidence-driven in its examples and recommendations. Examples include Wistia-sent links to lead gen videos or LinkedIn-captured screenshots of sales chats.

The essay from Sales Hacker is more narrative, detailing the author’s personal experiences with rejection and offering advice on how to persevere.

If you look at their guest posting standards, you’ll see why the two are distinct.

Most of ReadWrite’s readers are AI and Internet of Things specialists. As the name might suggest, salespeople make up the bulk of Sales Hacker’s readership. Prospects want to feel an emotional connection to the tale you tell them since that’s what sales is all about.

The Reason Why

Neither Sales Hacker nor ReadWrite would benefit from your efforts to submit the content to the other. Since submitting the same pitch everywhere would get you nowhere, your best strategy is to write a unique one for each site.

You Can Trust Syndication

You can increase traffic to your site in two ways through content syndication. One is to have other blogs republish your blog posts with a link back to your site (a practise known as “syndication”).

The second is when your guest article is picked up and republished by the blog’s syndication partners. This pertains to the second option.

On the other hand, unless you’re guest writing for a site that has a huge network of web content syndication partners, your efforts will be wasted.

The Reason Why

To get more out of your backlink, consider guest posting on blogs that have syndication partners. Using this method, you can rapidly expand your link portfolio.

The time it takes to have your guest post published can vary widely, so you need to be patient

To avoid being let down, you need to set reasonable goals for yourself.

This Business2Community article, for example, was written, reviewed by an editor, and published in under a week. As this Localiq story shows, it may take even longer than that.

You’ll stay active if you send out a minimum of two pitches per week. That volume is important to maintain personalization while also allowing for regular publication (once a week, after a few months).

The Reason Why

You can keep your optimism and persevere during the wait if you know that lead times can vary. Maintaining success over time requires a positive frame of mind.

The Rejection of Your Guest Posts on Other Blogs Is a Golden Opportunity

Even if it hurts to be rejected, it’s preferable to being completely ignored. Take the time an editor takes to send you an email to politely decline your submission as an opportunity to start a professional dialogue.

Express your gratitude for their response and assure them you will develop a more compelling offer as a result. They may even be willing to suggest potential subjects for your paper.

Both of the aforementioned pieces in Sales Hacker and Localiq were written after the authors’ initial pitches were turned down. The blog editors were enthusiastic about the rewrite requests.

The Reason Why

It’s not what you know, but who you know, is a truism that will likely last for a long time. You can get the most out of your guest blogging efforts if you take advantage of every opportunity to network.

Keep your focus off of yourself and on what you can offer the audience

All of these guest blogs share two major characteristics: they are not promotional in nature, and they are not written by the guest author. I’ve used personal examples to illustrate points without resorting to sales pitches or other overt marketing techniques.

The Reason Why

The last thing people want to do is read an advertisement when they have their sights set on a relevant link. Giving someone something of genuine worth, especially if it solves a problem they’ve been having, will leave a lasting impression.

Concluding Remarks

Promotion through guest blogging is still very effective. While it may not improve your SEO as much as it did in 2010, it is a great way to get people talking about your business.

Keep in mind that the length and subject matter of blog posts might vary greatly from one website to the next, and adapt your pitches accordingly. Be patient as the process of pitching, editing, and publishing may take some time.