Writing a guest posts and submitting them on high-PR blogs can be an extremely beneficial exercise for a multiple number of reasons: it is a great link-building method (think of all the traffic that you’ll be able to generate off a single backlink, especially if it’s a high-PR blog that gets a lot of traffic!), it is great for exposure and it is an excellent way to build some authority and make your mark in your niche.
However the process of submitting guest posts can be tricky, to say the least! Authority blogs usually get a ton of guest-post requests each day, and only a small percentage of those posts are actually up to the mark and hence actually end up getting approved.
Do your research
Make sure that you do your research before sending in your proposal – knowing what range of topics are covered by the blog you’re planning to write for, what their visitors would like to read, and knowing what exactly it is that you would write on. A popular topic that gets a lot of views and shares for instance would be a great idea for starters.
Start on the right foot
It is essential to start correctly from the top when submitting guest posts. This gives you a much bigger chance of getting approved.
Doing so involves getting in touch with the blog owner in a proper manner, and sending in a formal request where you express your interest in writing a guest post for the blog. Be polite when doing this.
I recommend drafting a proposal of sorts, and keeping it brief: should include a proper headline, a few sentences introducing yourself and what you do, your desire to write a guest post on the blog, listing down the reasons you think why this would be a mutually-beneficial exercise for all parties that are involved (for both the writer and the blog owner), what topic(s) you can write on, and finally pitch your post idea – what the post will be about and how you’re qualified to write on this topics.
Guidelines to follow
Once your proposal has been approved, ask the blog owner if there are any specific guidelines that you’re required to follow.
Most authority blogs, particularly in certain niches, are very particular and strict about this, and will have you follow a stringent set of rules when writing a post. Other blogs might not be so stringent, apart from maybe a word-limit and a linking policy (such as the number of times you can include a backlink to your own blog).
Make sure that you’re well-aware of these rules before proceeding any further.
Write for the readers
Always write with the reader in mind. Give the readers something that they would actually want to read. And write it the way they would want to read – short paragraphs that can be skimmed over easily, language that is easy-to-understand, and attractive headings/titles.
Write on popular topics, or topics such as trending topics (which are relevant to the blog). Popular topics usually generate a lot of interest and buzz, with minimal marketing effort.
Write the article like a blog – you’re not writing for Wikipedia or any other encyclopedia, blog posts should be ‘bloggy’ – which means they need to be fun, humorous and appealing to the readers.
Make sure your article makes a point. Use plenty of examples, wherever required. Important points should be in bold. Accredit and cite any and all sources where the information has been taken – either at the end of the post, or by hyperlinking to the source. And most importantly, proof-read your piece before sending it in, if an article with errors gets published, it would be very embarrassing, to say the least!
Above all, make sure you add hyperlinks to your own blog as well!
Always send the final version
This one’s important: ALWAYS send the blog-owner a complete/final draft of the article, instead of sending in a rough draft and asking for advice, critique or tips.
Many guest bloggers think it is a waste of time to send in the full article if it won’t be approved and hence would want to run by a semi-finished version of the article. Not a good idea. Write the full-post and always send the final version of the article to the owner. Also send in a request along with your article, stating that you would like for him or her to acknowledge the receipt of the article and whether it will accepted for publication on the blog or not; if not, make sure that you reserve the right to have it submitted on another blog. Here’s how you can deal with guest post rejection.
In short: never send in a semi-finished or low-quality version of the article in the fear of getting rejected; you won’t be doing yourself any favors. As a blog owner, I would reject such an article as soon as reading it.
Include a bio
Include a short bio about yourself – a simple ‘About Me’ that includes your name, what you do for a living (or where you work), a few words about your interests, and a backlink to your own blog or website (if the blog allows this).
Blogs using Wordpress usually use plugins for displaying author information (such as this one), and these blogs will also let you edit your personal information, add the link to your blog, give an email address, and links to your social media profiles via the Users page in the Wordpress Dashboard.
Respond to Comments
Once your guest post goes up, make sure that you check back in regularly to approve and respond to any and all comments. Responding to any and all comments is essential, and depending on the amount of traffic the blog gets, you could get anywhere between a few comments, to hundreds of them.
For instance if the blog (a) gets a lot of visitors, (b) has been able to successfully engage a large number of its readers, and (c) if your post is interesting and appeals to a lot of its visitors, you might end up getting hundreds of comments. Acknowledging this feedback is essential. And be prompt about it. Check back at least once-a-day for a week after the post gets published, and reply to and acknowledge comments, even if it’s a simple ‘thank you for your feedback’.