As inbound marketers, we constantly preach the power of engaging content to our clients. Well-written and keyword-rich press releases, landing pages, downloads and especially blogs continuously attract visitors to a website, eventually producing more lead conversions and sales.
To help keep our content fresh and to provide varied perspectives on the latest in inbound marketing, Kuno Creative likes to publish guest posts to our Brand & Capture blog. And, as a writer, I love guest blogging as a personal branding strategy; it’s an excellent opportunity for talented industry writers to gain exposure, build backlinks for websites, garner new readers, improve thought leadership and more.
But just because guest blogging is a good personal branding strategy doesn’t mean you should start firing off half-baked, nonsensical scribbles of ideas. Guest blogs need to be nearly (if not entirely) flawless and compelling pieces of content. Otherwise, a blog editor will scrap them after mere seconds.
To help you get your guest blog posts read and published by companies like Kuno Creative, always complete the following steps before hitting “send.”
- Create a Strategy: Guest blogging, like any other marketing tactic, needs to be strategic. Before putting pen to paper, or, more appropriately, fingers to keyboard, always ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? What are my goals?” If your goal is to increase your organic search ranking for a keyword (say inbound marketing agency), your strategy should involve integrating that keyword in all of your posts.
- Do Your Research: Several Kuno employees in different roles contribute to the Brand & Capture blog, which gives a nice range of topics, including inbound marketing, content marketing, SEO, social media, HTML, lead nurturing and website design and development. We do not write about marketing techniques like direct mail because we find the tactic limited. Other marketing blogs are different. To increase your chances of being published as a guest blogger, always research target blogs before submitting material. Read popular and recent posts and subscribe to their RSS feeds (if you haven’t already).
- Read Submission Guidelines: If a blog accepts guest posts, it likely has guest post guidelines. (Even if it doesn’t, use published guest posts on the blog as a guide for length, structure, language, inbound links, etc.) Nothing is more annoying to blog editors than receiving posts that clearly disobey guidelines. Case in point, we receive a lot of guest posts via email when our guidelines clearly state to submit posts using the provided form. Thoroughly reading and following guidelines can increase your chances of getting published, while not adhering to guidelines increases the chances (if not guarantees) that your post will be tossed.
- Write What You Know: This should be obvious, but you should always write about what you know when submitting guest posts. I know approximately three HTML code snippets so, if I ever tried to submit an HTLM post to a coding blog, it’d be pretty apparent I was full of hot air. If you don’t know and understand the topics a blog covers, you’re not targeting the right blog.
- Provide High-Quality Post: It’s understandable that you want to keep your best ideas and topic for your website, but that doesn’t mean you can submit low quality work. As Pamela Vaughan said in a HubSpot blog post, “If anything, the articles you write for external blogs should be even higher in quality. You need to impress the blog manager enough to publish it, and capture the attention of the new audience you’re exposed to so they’ll want to check out your own website/blog.” Also, your post’s grammar, spelling and punctuation need to be on point.
- Submit New Material Every Time: Every guest blog post you submit needs to be original content and not repurposed content in its entirety from your website or another blog. Blog editors won’t be interested in running information readers can find somewhere else.
- Share Something New: We absolutely love when a guest blogger submits a case study blog with numerical results, but we understand that these types of posts are few and far between. That’s why we’re open to How-to and Top 10 posts, just as long as the blogger is sharing something new. We don’t want generic tips we can find from a million other sources by doing a simple Google search.
- Check Your Post After Publishing: If your guest post follows all of the above tips and a blog editor lets you know it’s going to run, remember to check it after publishing. Blog editors reserve the right to edit your post, and mistakes can be made in the editing process. Additionally, you’re going to want to share your post through your social media channels and directly respond to comments.
And most importantly, as a general rule, don’t make blog editors work too hard, especially if you’re submitting your post to a blog that gets a lot of traffic. Trust me, it’s too easy for blog editors to decide a guest post doesn’t meet standards rather than take time to edit and perfect it.
These are just a few tips to help you get your guest blog posts read and published. What tips would you add to the list?
Photo Credit: nicolemperle
Lisa Gulasy is a young public relations professional highly interested in social media brand management, copywriting and grammar. Lisa works as an Associate Consultant at Kuno Creative where she creates content and assists senior consultants. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.