The Ultimate Guide to Successful Guest Posting

Guest posting can be a bit of a taboo subject here in the wonderful world of blogging, with many people insisting that you really shouldn’t be doing it. But in my opinion, when done correctly, guest posting can be really beneficial for establishing your online presence and opening up your content to a whole new audience.

So for this weeks post I thought I’d share my top 14 tips on how to successfully guest post for another blog or website, leaving their readers wanting to see more and the guest posting site wanting you to write for them again. I hope you guys will find it useful.

The Ultimate Guide to Successful Guest Posting

01. CHECK THE SITE YOU’RE APPROACHING HAS THE SAME NICHE AS YOUR BLOG

When hunting for blogs or websites to guest post on, try to make sure that they have the same niche as your blog. That way, you will be targeting an audience who are already interested in the subject you’re writing about, and there will be a much higher chance of them clicking on any links back to your site that are included within the article.

02. CHECK THE SITE YOU’RE APPROACHING OFFERS GUEST POSTING OPPORTUNITIES

Before pitching your guest post idea to the owner of your chosen website, make sure you check that they do actually offer guest posting opportunities. Many sites these days won’t accept posts from external sources and you don’t want to waste their time (or your own) by e-mailing them if they’ve already stated on one of their pages that they don’t. I also recommend aiming high and trying to get published on a well established blog with a large following rather than one that is maybe only a few months old with a handful of readers.

03. BEFORE YOU START WRITING, CHECK HOW MANY LINKS TO YOUR SITE YOU CAN INCLUDE

Typically, when you’re guest posting for another blog or website, they will be happy for you to include links back to 1 or 2 relevant posts on your own blog. However, I would always urge you to ask just how many you can have before making a start on the post as there can then be no arguments over the amount you’ve included afterwards. I’d also recommend linking back to a couple of posts that the host blogger has written in the past that have something to do with the subject you’re writing about, as well as a similar article from an external site.

04. ENSURE YOUR POST IS 100% UNIQUE FROM START TO FINISH

When you’re writing your guest post it’s important that it’s completely unique from start to finish. Publishing duplicate content will not only give you a bad name, but can also be extremely damaging for the host site. 

05. WHEN WRITING YOUR POST, BE MINDFUL OF YOUR STYLE, TONE AND LANGUAGE

Although it’s super important to be yourself when guest posting on another blog, it’s a good idea to try and adjust the style of your writing and the tone of your voice slightly to fit in with how the host blogger would usually write. This will ensure that their readers stick around to read your article as it will be written in a way they are used to. Also avoid using any bad language when writing a guest post, as many bloggers steer clear of this on their blogs and you don’t want to end up offending anyone.

06. MAKE SURE YOU WRITE WITH A PURPOSE

When writing a guest post you want to make sure that you give the people who are going to be reading the post a reason to visit your blog. Maybe they’ll find great tutorials, tips, something to laugh at or a great new recipe. Make sure you link to one of these articles and not just your homepage. This will help establish your credibility and help new readers identify with you.

07. WHEN LINKING BACK TO YOUR OWN SITE, USE A DESCRIPTIVE ANCHOR TEXT

As I mentioned before, guest posting is a great way to help establish your online presence, but did you know that it can be a great tool for creating valuable SEO for your blog or brand as well? Including relevant links within your post and making sure you use descriptive anchor text rather than something vague is a great way to increase traffic to your blog.

For example, you may be tempted to link the words ‘this post,’ when talking about one of your articles, but it would be much better to use something more descriptive such as ‘20 Places to Promote Your Latest Blog Post‘ as it not only tells the reader exactly what the post is about, but it also helps with your Google ranking.

08. WHEN YOU’VE FINISHED, PROOF-READ YOUR ARTICLE MORE THAN ONCE

I was looking back through some of my old posts the other day and I noticed a lot of silly little mistakes in them, despite me proof-reading each one a couple of times before hitting the publish button. I guess this isn’t too bad when it’s on your own blog though as you can easily change any errors you spot as and when you see them. When you’re guest posting for someone else however, you need to try and get it right first time or it could be really off-putting for their readers and they won’t click through to your blog to find out more about you.

Proof-read your article over and over again to check that everything is correct before sending it over to the host blogger. You could even ask one of your blogging friends to give it the once over as well just to be on the safe side. They may spot something that needs correcting that you missed. And don’t forget that posts should be over 300 words long and include at least one high quality image.

09. SEND THE FINISHED ARTICLE OVER TO THE BLOGGER YOU’RE POSTING FOR IN HTML

Now, of all the things I’ve mentioned in this post this is probably the one that will earn you the most brownie points should you use it! Once you’ve written and proof-read your article several times, you’ll want to send it over to the blogger who is posting it on their site. Instead of copying and pasting the text into a Microsoft Word document, copy and paste the HTML section instead.

Not only does this prevent copying and pasting a word document from messing up the coding on the guest posting site, but it also ensures that your post is laid out exactly as you intended it to be, and that any specific types of text and <h> tags you used will will be the right ones when published. I can’t tell you how many times people have sent me things in Microsoft Word that have then taken me hours on end to transfer into a new blog post. It can be an absolute nightmare! Trust me when I say that giving the blogger who is publishing your post a helping hand by doing this will ensure they think of you for future guest posting opportunities.

10. PUBLISH AN INTERESTING POST ON YOUR OWN BLOG THE SAME DAY AS THE GUEST POST IS DUE TO GO LIVE

If you know what date your guest post is due to go live, then try to publish a shiny new post for your own blog on the same day. This ensures that any lovely new readers who click through to take a look are seeing up to date content instead of something which is a month or so old or isn’t as great as the guest post you wrote. First impressions count, so make it a good one!

11. SHARE THE GUEST POST ON YOUR SOCIAL PAGES

Be proud of what you’ve written and don’t be afraid to share it on your social pages! By tweeting, pinning and sharing the link on Facebook, you’re encouraging others to visit the site and check out your work. This gives you some real credibility on the guest posting site and you never know, it may lead to the blogger giving you some extra shout outs on their own pages. And that can’t be a bad thing, can it?

12. REPLY TO ANY COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS LEFT ON THE GUEST POST

Once the post has gone live, don’t forget about it! Check back throughout the next few days to see if anyone has left any comments or questions, and reply to as many as you can. This is a great way of connecting with your potential new audience and an indirect way of thanking the your host for publishing your post.

Which brings me nicely to my next point …

13. DON’T FORGET TO THANK THE GUEST POSTING SITE FOR LETTING YOU PUBLISH YOUR ARTICLE

Once your guest post has been published drop your host an e-mail to thank them. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t do this, which is a bit disappointing when the host blogger has done them such a massive favour by publishing their article. 

14. MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THE POST ONCE YOU’VE PROMISED TO WRITE IT

And last but certainly not least, if you’ve promised to write a guest post for someone then make sure you follow through with it! The blogger you’re writing for may have left a slot open on a specific day just for you, and if you let them down then they’ll have nothing to fill it with. If you feel you can’t get something written up by the deadline they’ve given you then tell them as soon as possible so you can work something out that is suitable for both of you.

I’d love to hear if you guys have any additional tips for writing a great guest post? And do you have any blogs you’d recommend guest posting on? As always I’d love to hear from you so make sure you let me know in the comments below.

And if you enjoyed this post then why not sign up to my newsletter to stay up to date with all my latest blogging and social media tips. You’ll be sent my ‘Ultimate HTML Cheat Sheet for Bloggers’ absolutely free of charge if you do.

© 2016, Louise Smith. All rights reserved.

23 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Successful Guest Posting

  1. proofreading is so important, I can’t believe the amount of times I have been caught out by overlooking this. Always worth a few minutes at the end to check over what you’ve written 🙂

  2. I’ve both written and accepted guest post for quite a while now and I love them. As a guest blogger you get seen by a new audience, and as a host you get to bring in a fresh voice with new ideas. I wrote a very similar post last year with advice for anyone wanting to write guest posts, and I was surprised by the feedback on how many bloggers have wanted to give it a go and didn’t know where to start.
    Debbie
    Random Musings recently posted…Blogging Bucket List 2016My Profile

  3. Thank you for the very useful advice. I have been thinking about looking for guest posting opportunities and then backing away because I’ve been unsure about best practise. Now I feel more confident.

  4. Great tips as always Louise, love your blog. I have guested posted on a well known site her in Ireland and it was great for views etc – was a lot of work though as you generally commit to a week of posts. Have never guest posted on another fellow bloggers site and not sure how I would handle it as for the moment I don’t think a guest post on my blog would work, so I wouldn’t approach to ask for one, without being able to offer the same back… Good idea on having a good post live on your blog, same day as the guest one goes live.
    Nicola Cassidy recently posted…Review: B Toys and a Vlog!My Profile

  5. Your advice certainly makes sense. It would never occur to me to send in html, because I paste in neutral formatting, and then format the way I want, but makes sense for someone guest posting to the formatting their way first.

  6. Some great tips here. Especially posting on your own blog the same day as the reason is you want those readers to check out your blog so you don’t want to appear like a “one trick pony” Great tips and thank you for sharing.

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