Today I have a super special friend here. Alison from Mama Wants This is here to share her words of wisdom with us! I have been lucky enough to become close to Alison. She’s definitely a friend. Not just an online friend, but a real friend. She’s certainly close to my heart. Aside from being an amazing blogger, she’s supportive, helpful, friendly, and just all around awesomesauce. You can see her all over the blogosphere, though I have NO idea how she does it!
In addition to commenting and supporting all of us and our little blogs, she also writes her own. She has amazing fashion sense, which she showcased in her What I’m Not Wearing to BlogHer post. She is proud of who she is, as she should be, and isn’t afraid to tell us. She is also honest. She isn’t afraid to open up and let us know that we have our feelings hurt too.
Here she is, giving us some advice on guest posting!
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A Guest Post About Guest Posting
Hello! I’m so happy to be here to fill in for my dear friend Kim, while she takes a well deserved break.
I thought it’d be really clever of me to write a guest post about guest posting. At least it makes for a good subject header right?
I haven’t been blogging that long (5 months), but I have written 12 guest posts (this will be my 12th) and 3 articles for World Moms Blog, so I’ve learnt a few things along the way. If you’ve not guest posted before and you’re thinking about it, maybe reading this will help a little.
Just humor me.
Why guest post at all?
Writing a guest post for another blog opens up a whole new audience for you. It exposes you to people who previously did not know about your fabulousness. I’ve met many wonderful friends and readers by guest posting.
Guest posting also allows you to flex your writing muscles a little. Challenged to stick to a relevant topic and a deadline, you will find that you’ll be a better writer for it.
How do I find guest post opportunities?
There are a few ways. One is that you’re asked to. Many bloggers host regular columns on their sites featuring guests, and they usually invite bloggers they read and/ or know to contribute something. If you’re asked, before you say yes, think about the following first:
- Is this a blog you want to be featured in? Some bloggers prefer to stay in their niche. Or it could be that the blog is not a suitable association for your blog (e.g. if a blog is about controversial topics and you’d rather stay away).
- Do you have time to write a good guest post? Yes, you do need to put your best foot forward for guest posts. You’re writing for a new audience, you want to impress. By that, you need to invest a little time in writing a great piece.
If your answer is yes, then SAY YES!
The other way, is to ask to guest post. You might think this is a little ballsy or stalker-like, but it’s really not! Some bloggers do a call out for guest bloggers if they have to go away for an extended period of time, and don’t want to leave their blog unattended to. Many blogs have regular guest features and do ask for bloggers to email them should they wish to appear as a guest blogger.
If you see someone asking for guest bloggers, go have a look at the blog, see if it fits you in terms of blog niche, audience, and deadline. If all the boxes are checked, refer to the two points above before you write in to offer guesting.
A few other thoughts
Ask for a topic if it’s not been suggested to you. Most bloggers have a preferred pool of topics they feel are suitable and will appeal to their existing readers. Should the suggested topics be things that you’re uncomfortable with, say so. Create a dialogue and exchange ideas. You want this to work for both of you. Your host will be grateful to you for being so invested in writing a great post for her.
If you’re told you have a free hand in topics, head over to the blog in question and poke around a bit. See what the blogger normally writes about and check out the comments to see what topics resonate most.
Maintain your writing voice. Yes, you may need to adjust your style a little, in some cases, tone down your language and keep the bawdy references to a minimum or zero (or the opposite, if the blog you’re guesting for is all for that). But remain true to yourself. Write from the heart, write what you know.
Be mindful of the deadline set for you. Bloggers who need to be away have to schedule their posts in advance, so if they say they need your post and accompanying pictures a week before, do that. If you need an extension, ask for it well in advance.
On the day your guest post is published, try not to have another post published on your own blog. You can write something to the effect of, I’m guest posting at So and So’s place, so do visit me there.
Be sure to pimp your guest post out as much as possible (without annoying everyone). Facebook it, tweet it. Mention your host, always. Your host will probably do the same by scheduling tweets to promote your post.
Once your post is published, do head over to your host’s blog and comment, thanking your host for the opportunity. It’s not ass kissing, it’s only polite. Also? Remember to reply to comments on your guest post. Again, manners.
Lastly, and this is probably the most important: a guest is someone who’s been offered hospitality by another. Bear that in mind when writing a guest post. It’s not your ‘house’, so do put on your best writing ‘clothes’, mind your manners, be gracious and say thank you. It is a great opportunity to show people who don’t know you, who you are as a blogger and writer.
Happy guest posting!
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Thank you Alison, for sharing such awesomesauce information here!