Guest posts let website owners show their expertise, improve their search engine results, and boost their marketing. We’re building a growing list of places that accept guest posts below, so check them out. When you’re done, scroll down to read why and how you should be spreading your guest posts around the Web.
Top Guest Posting Sites
A List Apart is aimed at people who make websites. It’s also aimed at people who want to write for the website, with an open submission policy. Check out the details here.
Accounting Web is mostly about taxes and reporting and auditing. But it also runs posts about business life and company management. It even has blogging guidelines.
Addictive Tips is all about how-tos. You can learn how to transcribe audio with Office, enable low power mode on a Mac, and so on. It’s a place for specialist tips.
Adweek is an important source of information about advertising and brand marketing. It’s pre-digital and reaches more than 6 million professionals across platforms.
All Business provides information for small businesses, covering finance, staffing, ops, and more. It provides plenty of information for would-be contributors.
Basic Blog Tips is about blogging and article writing. It has an unusual pitch approach. You’ll need to call and leave a voice message.
Benzinga covers topics ranging from investing and stock markets to ideas and cannabis. It has guidelines for guest posts.
BizSugar covers sales, marketing, operations, finance and staffing, and they claim to make it fun. It’s also a sharing site, so anyone can contribute.
Blog Dash covers content creation and content marketing. It’s written by bloggers and accepts guests post… but unusually, Blog Dash demands payment for accepting posts.
Blog Engage is like a cross between a forum and what Huffington Post used to be. Open an account, and you can create your own post and benefit from the site’s audience.
Blogher describes itself as a community whose members support and celebrate each other. It’s aimed at women, and provides a place for women to share their expertise. You can join their content network here.
Born Digital covers a range of e-commerce topics with a focus on digital enhancements to online service.
Bplans helps entrepreneurs gets their businesses up and running. They’re looking for guest posts on topics from inspiration to pitching to funding. See their guidelines here.
Business Insider has always been about more than business. It has a range of verticals but don’t expect an easy ride to a guest post.
Business.com accepts guest posts about business and entrepreneurialism which it shares with its 190,000-plus members. Read the guidelines here.
Business2Community is mostly about marketing, both B2B and B2C. Here’s how to contribute.
Business opportunities come in a range of forms, from franchises to freelancing. This site covers them all, and accepts guest posts.
BuzzFeed is a strange mixture of clickbait headlines for young audiences and serious journalism for serious readers. The place to start is BuzzFeed Community.
Career Metis provides information for job-seekers and freelancers. It has more than 1,400 contributors who reach 30,000 visitors each month. There’s room for more contributors.
Clickfire covers entrepreneurial topics and online marketing. It also carries listicles and clickbait, and it accepts contributions.
Clickz provides content about digital marketing and advertising, with information about branding, video, data, and more. You can become a contributor or submit an article.
The Content Marketing Institute teaches content marketing. It also runs a blog that lets contributors pitch guest posts. Check out their guidelines.
Contently helps brands connect with people through great stories, while helping freelance creatives grow their careers. It talks about content and matches content writers with brands. It also has a couple of blogs: one for content strategists, and one for freelancers.
Convince & Convert’s blog is written by social media, content marketing, influencer marketing, and customer experience professionals.
Copyblogger provides expertise on content marketing and content production. It even has courses and certifications for content writers. It’s one way to spread your words.
The blog on Neil Patel’s Crazy Egg provides a range of business-oriented content from marketing and conversion to branding and copywriting.
Customer Think calls itself “the world’s largest online community dedicated to customer-centric business strategy.” That it’s a community means that it takes contributions.
Dazzling Point is a blog about fashion. Posts cover outfit ideas, advice to dress children, and ways to stay warm and look good in winter. It has an Indian outlook, with plenty of information about kurti and sarees, and it takes guest posts.
DragDropr is a tool that lets designers drag and drop elements to build their websites. It also provides tips and guides for website builders and is looking for 1,000-word guest posts.
John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing is a marketing consultancy and speaker service. But it also has a blog covering marketing topics from tools to strategy and SEO.
Dumb Little Man provides tips for life. They include money advice, lifehacks, and relationship help. They’re looking for contributors.
Entrepreneur magazine is all about business-building, and it has a “leadership network” that takes guest posts.
Famous Bloggers is all about guest posting. Right from its home page, it invites contributors to write for them to get noticed by others.
Fashion Insiders aims to help start ups and small brands to build fashion businesses. It explains the entire fashion process, from design to delivery. It’s looking for guest posts of at least 700 words.
Fast Company focuses on tech and is best known for its print magazine. Bring some expertise.
Feedster is a business-oriented site with topics that range from Accounting to YouTube. Guest posts have covered marketing, fitness, insurance, and more.
Forbes might be best known for its print magazine, but its website also has space for contributors and guest posts. You’ll need to meet their requirements and maintain their standards.
The Geek Estate Blog focuses on real estate technology and online marketing. Its audience consists of real estate agents and brokers, but also founders, vendors, and consultants. It has pitch guidelines.
Gigaom isn’t just about technology, it’s also pretty technical. Think cloud infrastructure, devops, and AI. If that’s your thing, it has a blog.
Grow Map’s blog offers proven ways to generate traffic. It also warns readers about methods that don’t work. Check the blog’s style then offer to contribute.
GSM Arena covers just about every kind of mobile phone. It’s packed with reviews but it’s also willing to take suggestions.
The Harvard Business Review usually publishes articles from business school teachers and researchers. Expect to pitch something academic or a case study.
Hellbound Bloggers provides information about blogging and online business-building. They have more than 600 guest authors and are looking for guest posts on blogging, social media, technology, and WordPress.
HR Zone runs posts about human resources, recruitment, and employment. It’s run by the same media company as Accounting Web and Training Zone. You can see the guest post submission guidelines here.
The Granddaddy of guest posting, Huffington Post isn’t as open as it used to be but you can still submit ideas on topics ranging from news to innovation and lifestyle.
Income Diary has published hundreds of articles in the decade-plus that it has been telling people how to make money online. It sometimes even pays for posts.
Intense Blog offers to give its readers “tools and resources to run a kickass blog.” It’s all about how to create content, publish posts, and improve online marketing. It wants contributors.
I Love Free Software doesn’t actually give away software. But it does tell you where you can find it and how you can make the most of it.
iamwire stands for Internet and Mobile Wire. It’s aimed at entrepreneurs, innovators, and researchers at early-stage technology businesses. It takes contributions with expertise and views.
iBlogZone discusses marketing, social media, SEO, marketing, money, and more. It has detailed guidelines that explain exactly what it’s looking for in a guest post.
Like Entrepreneur, Inc. is all about entrepreneurialism and business. It covers a broad range of topics, from start-ups to leadership.
Inc42 is aimed at the Indian start-up ecosystem, covering the stories of entrepreneurs, and writing about innovation and businesses. It’s looking for guest posts.
Inspirationfeed is a design magazine for creative entrepreneurs, designers, and freelancers who can enjoy its case studies, guidelines and tips. Some topics are a little clickbait-y and it occasionally closes its guest posts so check before you pitch.
Intense Blog provides information about blogging and content creation. It’s looking for tips about blogging, online moneymaking, and web design and tutorials.
Investing.com is a big site. It generates about 3 billion monthly pageviews from more than 46 million uniques interested in investment news and advice. It takes contributions.
Kikolani is all about online business, community-building, and writing. Categories include marketing, strategy, and reviews. Ask if you can help.
Killer Startups tells the stories of small businesses trying to become big businesses. They’re looking for your story.
Lifehacker offers quick cheats for a better life. Lifehack is about productivity and coaching. It’s a place for experts. It also welcomes guest posts.
Lifehacker is all about better, smarter living. They also have open submissions.
Live Write Thrive is all about the art of writing. So your posts are going to need to be well-written and about writing itself. It’s not for everyone but you can see the site’s requirements here.
Another site that’s all about showing your skills, this time in hacking and crafting. The way in is through the community hub.
Marketing Land discusses digital marketing, providing daily news coverage, trends, feature announcements and product changes. It also takes guests posts from experts.
Marketing Profs is filled with insights from marketing professionals. It provides information about B2B marketing, digital marketing, and so much more. You can ask to write a guest post but expect a 3-4 month wait!
Media Contribute covers the world of marketing and media. Some of its content is technical but it also accepts insider pieces and op-ed commentaries of 500-700 words.
Mirasee is all about online teaching and courses: turning your expertise into cash. It does run guest posts but only by invitation.
A site that targets the nexus between family, finance, and saving. It takes guest posts and has guidelines here.
My Customer covers marketing, sales, and customer experience. Be sure to check the submission guidelines before making your pitch.
New Atlas covers science, technology, transport and lifestyle. It’s been around for nearly twenty years and reaches four million unique visitors a month.
Noobpreneur caters to small business owners and business professionals, helping them to become better entrepreneurs. You can read their contributor guidelines here.
One Extra Pixel is an online magazine and for designers and web developers. It’s based in Singapore and shares tips, news, and tutorials. It takes contributions.
Opensource.com publishes daily stories about open source software and Linux. It comes from Red Hat. You can send in an article proposal.
Outbrain pushes content to publishers but it also has its own content: a blog filled with advice on topics from affiliate marketing to video marketing.
Pick the Brain focuses on self-improvement, which makes it a great place for coaches and experts. It also welcomes guest posts.
Psfk provides reports on strategy, retail and innovation. It supplies intelligence to brands, retailers, and agencies. Don’t expect pitching here to be easy!
Readwrite is all about the Internet of Things and the Connected world, and that’s all it’s looking for from contributors.
Search Engine Land is all about search engines and digital marketing. It takes guest post but pitches have to be made in person!
Search Engine People is aimed at an audience of search engine optimizers and search engine marketers. It also has a blog.
The Search Engine Roundtable is a forum for search engine optimization experts. Submitting posts here starts with creating a thread, generating a discussion, then alerting the site to bring it to the story board.
Search Engine Watch is a community for search marketers. It attracts more than 1.3 million readers, and invites guest posts.
Seeking Alpha covers investments and accepts guest posts from professional and individual investors.
Self Growth is all about self-improvement. Topics cover relationships, finances, spirituality, and much more. Each topic has a section for contributions.
SEMRush provides marketing tools for digital marketing professionals. It also has a blog covering various aspects of search engine marketing and optimization.
SiteProNews targets webmasters, and accepts guest posts on topics ranging from SEO and social media to site promotion and site ranking. They have a call for writers.
Small Business Trends is aimed at small business owners and entrepreneurs. It does more than offer trends though, and covers all advice for business-builders.
The Small Business Bonfire is a collaborative community for entrepreneurs who share small business content about startups, marketing, productivity, and more.
Smart Insights is a publisher and online learning platform teaching members how to make the most of their marketing. The company has its own team but it also has an Expert Commentator database made up of experts and specialists.
Small Business CEO includes how-tos, articles and resources for small businesses. It’s looking for original articles.
Sociable Blog covers social networking and social media. It reviews new social networks, community sites, and web tools. It’s also looking for guest posts of at least 750 words.
Social Media Examiner covers the latest trends and developments in social media marketing. It’s the main publication in the field, and it takes guest posts.
Social Media Explorer is filled with content about social media marketing, its trends and challenges. It’s looking for guest posts from bloggers and vloggers.
Specky Geek is about blogging, search engine optimization, social media, and online marketing. It takes articles from fellow bloggers.
StartupNation covers business growth and entrepreneurialism, and accepts guest posts who want to share their insights and advice.
StyleUp 365 provides advice and information about on fashion, styling and beauty. It takes contributions about fashion but wants them positive and upbeat.
Suave Women presents women’s stories from around the world. Its covers female empowerment stories, beauty, fashion trends and also relationship and career advice. It has contribution guidelines.
Tech Republic is aimed at technology professionals. Its content talks about DaaS providers, Python, and cybersecurity. It also has plenty of contributing writers.
Tech.co tries to help people make tech purchase decisions, whether hardware, software, or tech services.
Techniblogic offers a broad mixture of tech-related content. Articles have discussed drones, horoscope apps, and Hindi dubbing on Netflix. It takes guest posts and provides a list of recommended subjects.
Paul Salmon’s Technically Easy blog shares solutions for technical problems. He takes guest posts but they have to be at least 1,000 words.
TechnoBuffalo is consumer-oriented. There’s some tech content but also plenty of lifestyle and household goods advice.
Template Monster’s audience is made up of designers and developers. The company has been around for nearly twenty years, and while it’s focused on templates, it also has a blog about Web design.
The Blog Herald is a serious publication with guides, interviews, and features about content creation. It also has an open invitation for guest posts.
The Next Web is probably best known for its tech events but its website does also have a blog—and an invitation to share your story.
The Penny Hoarder is about more than saving pennies. It covers retail, savings, financial advice, and much more. It takes submissions.
Entrepreneurship doesn’t have too many secrets but this site promises to spill some beans. Anyone can help but it’s looking for long posts and has requirements.
The Verge covers the world of technology, science, creativity, and entertainment. It takes pitches.
Tidy Repo is a curated repository of WordPress plugins. It also provides short, reviews that are easy to understand and has a blog that’s all about WordPress.
Torque is all about marketing and Web development, and all in relation to WordPress. Categories include plugins, themes, and community. Torque is looking for articles of 500 to 1,300 words relevant to WordPress professionals.
Training Zone is all about education, learning, and training. It comes from the same media company as Accounting Web, and you can make your pitch here.
Tricky Enough produces articles on topics such as WordPress, technology, SEO, SMO, and making money online. It accepts guests posts and also shares revenue for posts that generate lots of views.
Tweak Your Biz offers advice on topics ranging from business and sales to finance and marketing, as well as growth and tech. You can pitch them a story.
VentureBeat publishes guest posts from experts who can talk about trends, emerging technologies, and tech innovation. Start with the guidelines.
We Blog Better is a site-building service with a blog that explains how to improve traffic flows and create better content. It publishes guest posts.
WikiHow uses a specific format but it’s still a great place to show off your expertise. Start here.
Wise Bread is all about the money: personal finance, credit cards, and budgeting. You can apply to become a blogger or be listed in the site’s personal finance blog directory.
Women on Business tells women when they need to be successful in the business world. It takes weekly contributions and individual content submissions.
Women Partner covers a broad range of topics of interest to women, and in particular, women in business. That includes fashion, electronics, and product reviews. It takes contributions.
Wonder How To opens with a page of technology but it actually has verticals that range from arts and crafts to travel and video games. There’s enough for everyone.
Write to Done is all about writing: fiction and non-fiction, as well as motivation and marketing. You can see their guest post contributor guidelines here.
YoungUpstarts publishes stories and thought leadership pieces for entrepreneurs, especially young people making a difference.
Your Escape from 9 to 5 is all about blogging, with an emphasis on infographics. It takes both, on topics ranging from content creation through SEO to entrepreneurship. It has clear word counts and also accepts infographics.
What Are Guest Posts?
Building an online business has never been easier. It’s now possible to build a functioning, sophisticated website, with the latest designs and optimized for screens of different sizes, without ever touching a line of code. The days when Internet entrepreneurs need to fiddle with tags and tables is long over.
You can pick a template, paste in your copy, add your shopping cart, and have your online business up and running in minutes.
It’s the next stage that’s tricky. Building a website isn’t like building a baseball field: people won’t come just because you’ve built it. You have to tell people it’s there, generate curiosity, and hustle them inside. You have to go out and find the people you want to visit your website, and invite them in.
There are a few ways to do that.
You Could Pay for an Audience…
One option is to pay. Run a campaign on social media and you’ll be able to target ads based on the demographics of your ideal audience. You can build a persona of your typical customer and fire messages at them until you find one that clicks. Through testing and experimentation, you’ll start to drive traffic to your site.
You could also use Google’s advertising network. Instead of aiming your ads at women aged between 20 and 30 who live in the northeast and own a cat, you can target by interest. Every time someone searches for “cat food” or “veterinary services,” there’s a chance that your ad will appear.
Both those methods can work, which is why Facebook and Google are still in business. They can also cost a great deal of money, which is why Facebook and Google are multi-billion dollar businesses. Although advertisers eventually figure out the messages and markets that produce the best returns, it takes time and a budget. Most of the ads you show won’t generate clicks. Few of those that generate clicks will generate conversions. You won’t know which ads work and which don’t until after you’ve paid for both of them.
…Or You Could Borrow Someone Else’s
There is an alternative strategy: to put your expertise in front of audiences that other sites have already built. Instead of fishing for users with banner ads, short posts, or videos, lay out your knowledge in an article and give it to someone who has the audience you want to attract.
Those sites get free, valuable content to reward people who visit their pages. You get to put your name in front of their audience. And the links that you place in the article will bring those users to your website, primed and ready to buy. But the rewards don’t end there. Guest posting delivers a number of valuable benefits that give your website the traffic it needs.
Why You Should Write Guest Posts
Writing guest posts mean creating something of value then giving it to someone else for free. You’re not going to get paid in cash for the article. So you need to make sure that you receive something else of value. Guest posting delivers a wide range of benefits:
Guest Posts Show Your Expertise
First, guest posts prove that you’re an expert in your field. You might not be the world’s leading expert. You might not have a doctorate in what you do and you might even be new to what you do. But you know more than most people about your topic, and that makes you an expert. It makes you someone that other people can trust when they need information related to your field.
The more expertise you can demonstrate in your guest post, the more valuable it will be to the host and the reader, and the more trust you will win in return.
Guests Posts Brand Your Business
It’s not just what you say in your guest post that matters. How you say it is also important. Guest posts give you a chance to demonstrate your style and your approachability. The guest posts that a law firm produces, for example, need to be detailed and precise; posts written to promote a hardware store can be more laid back and friendly. As the reader reads the post, they’ll feel that they’re already engaged with your business and are experiencing an interaction with it. That experience is similar to the one that people enjoy when they walk into an Apple store or browse the showrooms in Ikea.
Guest posts give people a chance to interact with your business before they’ve even visited your business. They show them what working with you will be like.
Guest Posts Build Your Connections
One often overlooked benefit of writing guest posts is that it puts you in touch with the owners of other websites in your field. Those sites might provide information or sell complementary services but if they appeal to your market too, you should know their owners. They’re vectors to your potential customers, and they’re also potential partners.
Writing a guest post is a great introduction. Instead of asking what someone is going to do for you, a guest post lets you start a relationship by offering something of value to their customers for free.
And the content has to be valuable. If you want to obtain something from your new relationship one day, then you need to begin with a gift. The better the gift, the more indebted your contact will feel. Writing guest posts gives you new connections and lays strong foundations for a valuable, ongoing relationship.
Guest Posts Deliver Targeted Traffic to Your Website
Expertise, branding, and relationship-building are all investments that you hope will pay off in the future. But a guest post should always contain a link back to your own website. That means that it can deliver targeted traffic to your site. It’s a direct benefit, a channel from a market to your business.
The closer the host site matches your market, the better your targeting will be.
Of course, it’s important to remember that that channel won’t always be prominent. You can expect a burst of visits after the site publishes your guest post but as more content buries that post, the flow of traffic will start to thin. Unless your guest post contains information that’s always important and up-to-date, you’ll need to keep offering more posts to keep the traffic flowing.
Guest Posts Improve Search Engine Optimization
The marketing, branding, networking, and direct traffic generation are all hugely important benefits of guest posting. But they’re not the reason that many people turn to guest posting.
They’re also looking for search engine benefits. They’re hoping that the backlinks and website mentions on sites with high authority will persuade Google that their site is important. The site will then receive extra love from the search engines, and turn up higher in search results.
We don’t know exactly how search engines rate sites and rank results. Google keeps its cards pretty close to its chest, and changes its algorithm on a regular basis. Each change can affect how sites rank, pushing them up and down search engine results pages. But the principle that governs Google hasn’t changed.
For Google, a site is important if lots of other sites mention it and link to it. The more important those sites, the more important the site they mention.
So writing a guest post for a site that’s important in your field, including the keywords relevant to your site, and linking back to your site, should all help to increase the chances that your site will turn up high in search results.
How to Write a Good Guest Post
A guest post always has two audiences. One audience will be the search engine robots. They’ll be scanning the page for links and keywords but they won’t care about the rest of the page. The robots will notice if you’ve just spammed the page to load up on Google juice but if you’re handing out poor advice or a weak analysis, the search engines will only know by looking at the visitor behavior. They won’t be able to read and understand the content itself.
Human readers will be able to do that—which is why they’re your most important audience. They’ll know whether your guest post is worth reading, worth sharing, and worth discussing. That reaction will affect your branding and it will also tell the search engines that the page—and the pages it links to—is worth promoting.
Write Good Content
That’s why the first rule of writing a good guest post is to write good content.
You can’t think of a guest post as a freebie, worth what the host is paying you for it. You’re asking readers to give you a few moments of their time. You have to pay for that time by giving them something of value in return. They have to leave that page feeling that they learned something and that their time was well spent.
That’s not as hard as it sounds.
You have expertise in your field that you take for granted. Share even a little of that knowledge, however basic, and you’ll be giving people something of value.
There are two approaches you can take here.
Introduce Your Topic
The easiest, and most common, is to give simple information that’s valuable to beginners. A guest post on a marketing website, for example, might talk about creating funnels or define an upsell. That sort of information is easy to create and it always has an audience. There are always far more beginners than there are experts who need niche information.
But basic information has a lot of competition. There are also more people who know the basics of funnels and up-selling than there are experts who can provide a detailed analysis of a particular kind of funnel.
Demonstrate Your Expertise
Create a guest post that provides expert analysis and you’ll reach a smaller audience. But you’ll demonstrate the depth of your knowledge and position yourself as a leading expert in your field.
There’s no right or wrong answer here. You choice of whether to offer basic knowledge or expert advice should depend on the nature of the audience you want to attract. If you’re selling to people moving into your niche for the first time, write basic guest posts. If you’re selling specialist services, pitch your knowledge at a higher level.
Whichever type of content you produce though, it should always be clear and well-written. Write it, then let it sit for at least a few hours before reading it through and submitting it. Give yourself time to forget it and when you read it through, you’ll be able to spot the sentences that are hard to read and the places you repeat yourself.
Make the Biography Count
You’ll have at least 500 words in the guest post to show off what you know but at the end of the post, you’ll also have a chance to show who you are. The bio is just a few lines, perhaps no more than two or three sentences. But it’s vital.
The biography of a guest post is your payoff. It’s your chance to tell readers what makes you an expert, why they should listen to you, and where they should go to benefit from your expertise.
So your bio should have three elements: why you’re worth reading; where readers can follow you; and a call to action:
John Smith is a real estate entrepreneur who has bought and sold more than twenty seven-figure properties. He provides real estate advice on Facebook and Twitter. Register for his email updates.
Include links in that bio, and you’ll have even more opportunities to land backlinks, drive traffic, and make Google love you.
Send Readers to a Solution Not a Site
It’s tempting when you place a link in a guest post to send readers to your website and let them find their own way around. After all, you’ve put a lot of effort into your site and you know it contains all the information that a lead needs to become a buyer.
But don’t rely on users looking through your site to find that information. Put it right in front of them by linking to a related service on your website. So a photographer who contributed a guest post to a wedding site that explained how to choose a wedding photography package could link to their own packages as examples. A landscaping company that wrote a blog post for a gardening website could link to a page on their own site listing plants suitable for places with little water. Readers won’t just get information on the blog post and they won’t just get information from a website. They’ll also get to see a solution to a problem that the blog post discusses.
You should also make sure that you have a way to hold onto users if they click away from your site. So the guest post’s landing page should have an invitation to people to subscribe to your newsletter. The biography could also link to a free ebook for which people have to leave their email address.
For a reader, a guest post should provide valuable information that can help to solve their problems. In return for that solution, you should make sure that the guest post gives you something of value: a lead or a conversion, or at the very least, an email address that will keep you in touch with that lead.
Drop Plenty of Names
One of the aims of a guest post is to show off your expertise. But experts only obtain their specialist knowledge by learning the lessons that other experts have taught. That’s why every academic article always includes a literature review that shows the current state of knowledge and explains how this article will move that knowledge forward.
That literature review does something else, though. It also tells readers that the writer is qualified to talk about this subject. They’ve done their homework. They’ve finished the reading. They’re up to date with the latest knowledge.
A guest post should make a similar statement. By referencing other leaders in the field, the writer doesn’t advertise a competitor. They put themselves in the same class as those other experts. An Agile consultant who refers to leading Agile thinkers tells a reader that they know these people and are in the same field as them. They benefit from the association.
But that mention can also cause that expert to interact with the post. If a guest post discusses an expert’s idea, that expert may want to respond. Whether they choose to take issue with your position, expand on it, or even just thank you for explaining it, that guest post will have sparked a conversation. You can even shoot them a message by email or tweet to make sure that they know.
Not only will your guest post win the attention of that expert’s audience, but you’ll also have given yourself a valuable new connection and put your own brand on the same level as theirs.
Anyone can write and publish a guest post but including names in those posts can make you a member of a very special club.
Engage with the Comments
Of course you want your guest post to deliver traffic to your website. You want it to improve your search engine rankings, and you’re hoping that it will also boost your brand.
But mostly, you want a guest post to have an impact. You want people to read it, think about it, and talk about it. Some of those discussions will take place on other blog posts. If you’ve written something really powerful, other bloggers will pick it up and respond to it. You can then write another guest post—or a post of your own—responding to their reaction. You’ll have started a discussion that everyone else in your field will follow.
Read the Social Media Posts and the Comments
Some of the comments will also take place on social media. Other experts will react to points you’ve made in your guest post and either share them or take issue with them. Whether their reaction is positive or negative, you should be joining that conversation too. Look for comments about your guest post on Twitter and Facebook. Add your own responses. Thank people when they share your post. Explain your thinking if someone argues against you. If people are taking the time to talk about what you’ve written, you can be sure that you’ve written something important.
And some comments will also take place underneath the post itself. This is where readers will react immediately to what you’ve written. Some of those comments will be simple notes of praise, which are always welcome. But other comments will move the discussion forward by linking to more information, asking questions, or adding more data.
When you react to those additions, you don’t just keep the conversation moving forward. You create a connection with your market. It’s like a speaker who takes questions at the end of a talk or hangs around the conference hall afterwards to chat with audience members. Readers get to feel that an expert is listening to them and accessible to them. That’s hugely valuable.
A guest post shouldn’t simply drop onto the Web and remain there unattended. It should provoke a reaction and a discussion. As the author of the guest post, you should be in there taking part in that discussion.
How to Choose a Site to Send a Guest Post
Where your guest post appears is going to be crucial. You want that post to give respect and standing to your name. You don’t want your brand associated with a small outlet that no one’s heard of, no one reads, and which is filled with low quality content. The more prestigious the publication that takes your guest post, the better you’ll look.
There are some publications that are always prestigious such as Inc. and Forbes. They do take guest posts but you’ll need to apply, and each post must meet their editorial standards. Those sites are also general so while they’ll give you prestige and an audience, they won’t give you a targeted audience. Being able to say that you contribute to one of those sites will help your branding. A post also has a better chance of going viral on a large site, but only a small portion of the post’s readers will be potential customers. At the same time, the large number of posts going up on those large sites means that older posts are quickly buried.
While you shouldn’t ignore the large sites that take large numbers of guest posts, you should also be looking for smaller sites. There are three ways you can find places to submit guest posts.
Browse the Lists
We’ve included here a long lost of places that take guest posts, and you can find plenty more around the Web. A list like this is a good place to start because you know all of these sites will take guest posts. You’ll just have to discover what exactly the sites are looking for and how to submit your contributions.
It’s also worth taking the time to see what kinds of posts do well on the site, and whether it’s looking for a particular style. Some publications prefer clickbait headlines and short posts, while others are looking for longer posts and a more sober, analytical style. You’ll need to match your post to the publication.
Approach Niche Blogs
Like large sites such as Forbes and Inc., the problem with picking guest post destinations from a list is that you might not know the site or its audience. You won’t know whether it will bring you to your market or whether a post on that site will improve your search result placements.
An alternative approach is to talk to sites that you already know. These will be sites that are in your field and that talk about your business. You know that the audience will be made up of people who are interested in your product or service, and you’ll also know what will interest them. When you make your approach to the site, you’ll be able to browse the content they’re already supplying and look for information they’re missing.
You’ll also be building a connection with the blog’s publisher, who may be someone you know—or have heard of.
A niche blog will give you a targeted audience. It should also be a relatively easy win, and there’s a good chance that you can already think of a few places you can try. But what a niche blog is unlikely to do is give you a big audience. You’re swapping size of audience for the quality of the audience.
Look for Places Other People Submit
You won’t be the only person submitting guest posts in your field. There are plenty of people who are already writing guest posts and looking for places to put them. Those people aren’t competition—at least not for a place to host your guest posts. They’re people who have done your research for you.
Any site that accepts guest posts from people in the same field as you should be willing to accept a guest post from you too.
So make a list of experts in your field. Include anyone whose articles you read or who you follow on social media. Look at the names of authors who have written books about your topic. When you’ve built yourself a good, long list, search for “guest posts by” those people.
That should give a good, long list of places that are looking for guests posts about your topic—and they can never have too many of them. If you’re giving away good content for free, those outlets will want as much of it as possible. They won’t mind too much if someone else is already covering the topic, as long as you can bring something new to the field.
You just have to make your approach.
Pitching Your Guest Post
That’s easier than it sounds. It’s true that you’re giving away something for free but that doesn’t mean that for the editor of the site, there isn’t a cost. If they publish something sub-standard, the post will weaken the strength of their brand. Users will wonder about the quality of the site. They might not come back. A guest post carries risks.
It’s your job when making that pitch to allay those risks. You want to reassure the editor that you can submit good ideas in a way that’s interesting to read.
Check the Guest Post Guidelines
The place to begin is with the contributor guidelines. Sites that accept guest posts will often explain exactly what they want to see, how to send it in, and how long it needs to be. Those guidelines are there for a reason. Editors know what they want to see on their sites. They know what their audiences expect and they know the style of the publication. They’ll expect anything they publish to meet those requirements.
If you don’t meet the guidelines, it’s unlikely that they’ll accept your post—and there are very few exceptions. You might believe that your topic is special or that your post needs more words or a different style but it’s unlikely to fly. It will be up to you to match the guest post to the host, not the other way round.
An editor of a major site will typically receive about ten guest post pitches every day. That means you will have competition for the site’s real estate. The better the site, the more pitches the editors will have to field.
The good news though is that most of those pitches are very poor. You can stand out just by being professional. That means including four key ingredients in your pitch. The aim of the pitch is: to persuade the editor that you have an interesting topic; explain what the post will contain; show that you’re the right person to write it; and make the editor understand that their outlet is the right place to publish it. Some sites even have a sponsored post section where you can pay to get it live.
Make Your Topic Interesting
First, you need to tell the editor what the guest post is about. Take the time to browse the site, and read what other people have posted. You should be able to gain an idea of the site’s market and match the post to their interests. If the site is aimed at people new to the topic, you might be able to settle for a simple guest post that introduces one aspect of the field and talks people through it. If the site aims at people with experience, you’ll need something more detailed and professional.
Clearly, what makes a guest post interesting will depend on the site and on the topic. Some sites and some editors will be looking for clickbait headlines and listicles. Others will want complex graphs and real data. You’ll need to check the site and come up with an idea that complements what’s already been published. You can offer a new perspective, add more detail, or replicate the approach of a successful post in a different part of your field.
But don’t copy what’s already on the site, or repeat an idea that’s already been published. There’s no reason to publish—or write—the same guest post twice.
Describe What You’re Going to Say in Detail
Website editors are in a difficult position. They’re responsible for everything that goes on their websites. But they don’t get to write everything that goes on their websites. They have to trust that the people they allow to contribute are going to produce something worth reading. That means that every time they agree to accept a submission from someone, they don’t know what they’re going to receive. They won’t know whether it’s going to do the job or leave out all of the important information the guest post needs.
The more information you can give the editor, the more you’ll be able to reassure them that you’re going to do the job. They’ll be more confident about inviting you to submit your post.
Don’t just tell the editor what the post will be about. Give them a summary. Lay out your arguments. Describe any examples or case studies you’re going to use, and explain the source of your data. That might sound like work but it’s no more than a paragraph, and it’s also true that the more work you do now, the less work you’ll have to do when the time comes to write the post itself.
A pitch for a guest post should have three elements. The first is what the post contains. You’ll have covered that when you explain in detail what the post is about. The next element is why you’re the write person to write it.
This is easy. You’ll just need to write a short bio: two or three sentences that lay out your expertise, with a link to your website. Focus on your experience rather than on your qualifications. If someone’s reading a guest blog post, there’s a good chance that they’ll have read other material on the same topic. You can assume that they’ll have some knowledge. The biggest value that you bring to the site is what you learned doing the things that the reader wants to do in the future. That’s why when photographers offer shooting advice, they don’t say where they studied photography or how long they studied it. They say they work for National Geographic, or they’ve shot more than a thousand weddings. Experience is much rarer—and more valuable—than knowledge alone.
Make Yourself at Home
The second element in a pitch explains why you’re special. The last element tells the editor that they’re special. This is where you explain to the editor why they’re the best place to publish your guest post.
Be specific here. Don’t just say that you think the topic of your post will match the interest of their readers. Point to a specific article on the website and explain how your guest post follows it. Or point out issues in your post that match specific topics discussed in other posts.
The editor of a website is looking for consistency. They know that readers reach the site because they’re interested in a particular subject delivered in a particular way. If you can show them that your guest post fits right in, they’ll find it hard to say no.
3 Mistakes That Can Kill Your Guest Post Pitch
So your guest post pitch should explain what the pitch is about. It should state why you’re the right person to write it, and it should explain why the host is the right site to publish it. If you get all that right, you’ll be in with a great chance of winning acceptance.
But there are some mistakes that you can make that can kill even a good pitch.
Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
This is simple—and unforgivable. Your pitch is a piece of professional writing explaining that you can deliver another piece of professional writing. It needs to show that you’re a professional. Sure, everyone makes typos and fast typers sometimes skip words. But when your pitch is inarticulate and filled with errors, when it’s hard to read, editors will assume that the guest post won’t be any better.
Write your pitch. Run spellcheck. Put it aside for a few hours, then read it through again before sending.
Sending a Mass Mail
Editors can tell when a pitch isn’t personalized. They know when you’ve sent the same email to every editor you can find. That’s a fast rejection. You might be able to cut and paste the bio part of the pitch but if you’re just changing the name of the recipient, you’re going to have to send a lot of pitches to get lucky with a single small site.
Make list of hosts and write each pitch individually.
Sending Editors to a Poor Website
Once an editor has read your pitch, they’ll want to know more about you. They’ll then look at your website and they’ll make judgments. They’ll decide whether you’re professional and reliable. Above all, they’ll make a judgment about whether you’re someone they want to introduce their audience to. If your website looks old, out of date, and unprofessional, you’re not going to make the impression want.
If your website is old, give it a revamp before you start sending your pitches.
Sending guest posts to websites is a valuable marketing and branding technique. It improves your search engine results. It lets you tap into someone else’s audience. And it shows off your expertise.
Creating and publishing those guest posts is also not difficult, although it does take a bit of effort. Start making lists of sites in your field that accept guest posts and write each one a pitch that will land you your post.