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This lesson is continued from Lesson 9 Part 1: Combining Guest Posting With SEO, A Top Strategy.
Contacting People For Guest Post
So one you have a few places you could potentially guest post on, the next stage is to contact some of these sites. The first thing you should do is see if the site has a page which states their guest posting guidelines. You will find this information either within their current guest posts, on their contact page, or on a dedicated page somewhere else on the site. If you find one of these pages, then you should follow what the guidelines say when approaching this person.
If there are no guidelines, your best bet is to contact them via the contact page.
When messaging this site owner, there are a few things you should do. First of all, make sure your email is a personal one. Don’t use a set template which is clearly sent to everyone in the niche, include that person’s name and start the email by commenting on something about them. This could be letting them know you found their site via a certain article and you really enjoyed it, or by wishing them luck with something that they currently have going on. This just shows that you’ve taken the time to message them personally, and you’re not just another computer program mass messaging everyone. It’ll also make them more likely to finish off reading your email.
Next up, you have to remember to keep it reasonably brief. Give all the essential details (Your name, something personal, the reason why you’re messaging them, some samples of your work, your contact details) and leave out the waffle. Yes it’s easy to start listing all of your achievements to try and impress your way into a guest post slot, but if they’re really that interested, they’ll go to your website and see what you’re about. While you can briefly mention one achievement if you think it’ll help you land this guest post, don’t do more then that. Keep the email short and sweet so it doesn’t eat up this person’s time.
It is also important that you let the person know exactly what you’re expecting from the guest post if it’s not already made clear in the guidelines on their site. Let them know that you’ll write a guest post which will be exclusive to them, and you won’t use it on any other site now or in the future. Tell them that you’d want to put between 1 and three links back to your website within the article (You choose how many you want to suggest to them) and show them what pages you’ll be linking back to so they know it’s relevant to their site. Next, suggest a few topics you can write for their site. Let them know they can also suggest a topic area if none of the ideas are suitable, and work with them to get a topic you can both write and that will benefit their readers.
These are the main things your need to include in a guest post submission. An example of this is below:
Hi *Person’s Name*. My name is *Your Name*, and I’m writing from *Your Website Name With Link Inserted*.
I was looking around your site and liked what I saw. I particularly liked your post on *Post Subject*, as I experienced something similar last summer when I was *What You Were Doing*.
I was just wondering, do you accept guest posts on your site? I thought it would be beneficial to both you and your readers, and you will get free content of a high quality, and your readers will get more high quality information from a fellow *What It Is You Do*. You can check my style of writing on my site *Link To Your Site In ‘my site’*.
I was thinking I could do a post about *Post Idea 1*, or perhaps *Post Idea 2*. Alternatively you could suggest a post idea, and if I’m knowledgeable in that area I will give it a go.
All I will need back from this guest post is two links back to my site. I’ll be linking to the pages *Page 1* and *Page 2*.
If you are interested in this, please let me know. I will be able to get a good quality post back to you within *How Long It’ll Take You To Write*.
I look forward to your response.
*Your Contact Email*
You can of course change up the email if you require, but this is an idea of the type of email that has worked very well for me.
So now you know what to put in a guest post proposal, what is the best way to actually contact people for a guest post?
Emailing Website Owners For Potential Guest Post
Emailing is the most common way to contact someone for a guest post opportunity. Some sites will allow you to email them directly, while others will have a contact form on their website. It doesn’t matter which option you use, this should be the main way you use to contact guest post spots.
Other Ways To Contact An Owner
If you can’t get through to the person via email for whatever reason (Maybe they get a lot of emails and yours got lost, maybe the email address is no longer active, maybe they just need more convincing you really want this guest post etc), you may want to use another avenue to contact them. Some things you can do include:
- Messaging Them On A Social Networking Site.
If the site you want to guest post on has social networking accounts (E.G. Their Facebook or Twitter pages), one option it to message them on there. You should ideally message them privately at first, but if you can’t on Twitter due to them not following you back, you could always mention them in a tweet to get their attention. Don’t give out any private information in this tweet as other people will also be able to read it.
- Using Their Offline Contact Details.
If this person has their phone number or postal address on their website, then you should take full advantage of this. Making ‘real world’ contacts is something that a lot of internet marketers don’t do any more, but that could help a lot. So if this information is there, use it.
- Commenting On Their Site.
If the site you’re trying to guest post on has a comments system, you could also leave a comment somewhere they will see it. So if for example there is a post with another comment they replied to recently, leave a comment on that same post. If there’s no post like that, just leave it on their latest post. Don’t give out too much details as your message will be seen by the public, but just mention that you’ve been trying to contact them about a guest post and to contact you via the email address you’ve provided if they’re interested in talking more. Make sure you don’t put the email address in the comments, as you don’t want people to see it or for it to get picked up by spam bots. Instead, put your email address in the email section so only the site admin will see it.
Landing Those Tougher Guest Posts
While you’ll be able to get some guest posts simply by emailing the site owner and asking them for a guest post, some other places with big communities will be a bit harder to get a guest post on. There are things you can do to increase the likelihood that you get a guest post on places that don’t usually allow guest posts. It involves more work then getting a normal guest post, so you should only do these things if the place you’re trying to post on has a proven big community, and if you’d definitely benefit from getting a post on this site.
One of the reasons people often don’t accept guest posts is because they aren’t sure of the quality they’re going to get. Some site owners may also not know much about you, and therefore rather just provide their websites readers with posts they have created themselves. The best way around this? By making them become a fan of you!
In this case, this person has their community set up. They probably have people emailing them all the time asking them for guest posts, and they most likely have a template which they copy and paste to reject each and every one of these people. Because of this, you can’t approach them like this as it won’t benefit them in any real way.
What you’ll want to do instead, is get on their raider in a different way. You want to make them aware of your work, and show them you’re not just the same as every other person blogging on the subject. One way to do this is by initially getting involved in their community. Talk to them in their comments, and also help other people out in their comments section. Take part in their Facebook / Twitter etc communities, offering good advice and entertainment for their community. After doing this a few times over a couple of weeks or so, you will most likely be on their raider.
By this stage, they will probably have visited back to your website as well (You should leave a link to your site in your comments, as well as mentioning it here and there where relevant on their social pages). If you have a good quality website, they will most likely have noticed that. This however usually isn’t enough to get them to give you a guest post just yet.
The next stage is to email them something useful. One idea is to suggest something to them that will benefit their business. For example, if you see that they aren’t using an opt in form in the best places, maybe you could email them letting them know if they include one in that certain place they will increase their subscriber numbers. Or if you have any design skills and think you can improve on their logo, why not create one, send it their way and ask if they want to use it.
Things like this will definitely get you on their raider, and make them more open to things you suggest. Messaging them like this a couple of times can help soften them up for you. Once you know them better and you have more of a working relationship, you could suggest a guest post to them. Don’t just out and out ask for it thought, maybe instead email them telling them you’ve been experimenting with something and think it’d be something their readers would be interested in. Ask them to either link to something on your site (During general conversation of course, making it sound like it’ll benefit them) or better yet you could write an exclusive post for them that’ll share that information with their readers before anyone else.
This request can still go either way, but you’ll be a lot more likely to get the guest slot if you initially have a relationship with this person.
No matter how you’re approaching people for a guest slot, if you don’t hear back when you try a few methods, then chances are they aren’t interested in receiving a guest post from you. At this stage, just move on and focus on other places.
Some Advice On Creating The Guest Post
OK, so here are some tips for when you’re creating the actual guest post. My guess is you’ll be used to creating posts, and you’ll be doing pretty much what you’d do on your own site. Because of this, I won’t go into what you should be doing guest posts on. What I will say however, is you should at least do the following things:
- Ensure You Are Giving Quality.
Just because you aren’t writing for your site any more, that doesn’t mean you should do anything less in terms of quality. You are still writing content that other people are going to see, and essentially use to decide if they want to look into you any further. Because of this, you need to match the level of articles on your ow site if not exceed them. There is no room for filler content on these guest posts; if you wouldn’t put this article on your own main site, don’t put it anywhere else either.
- Do At Least 700 Words If Is A Text Based Article.
You should make any text guest posts you do a minimum of say 700 words, although you may sometimes want to aim for more. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, you will want to get the readers of the post hooked. It’s easier to draw people in if you give more detail, and giving more details often means writing more. Get them interested in what you’re saying, and they’ll be more likely to click that link back to your website. Another reason is because you’ll want your article to be able to rank in search engines for a variety of different keywords. As you write longer articles, you should naturally put more keywords in and a wider variety. This will increase the chances that your article will rank for something.
There is no set word limit you should use, but try and do more then what the other people in your industry are doing. This will help set your articles above theirs in terms of details given, and hopefully quality.
- Keep In Mind Who Their Audience Is.
Before you write a guest post, you should take into account who the audience of this site are. If they seem to be much the same type of people that read your site, you will know exactly how to do the article. If however they differ in some way (Maybe they like different things in the same niche or they’re interested in the niche from a different angle), you need to adapt to this and provide them with what they want. Catering to them like this will increase your conversions, providing you can also give them what they want on your site as well.
- Give A Text Version And A HTML Version.
When sending your finished guest post to the site owner, you should provide two versions. One a readable text version like you’re reading now, but also a HTML version. You want to provide the text version so they can read your guest post easily and decide if they want to use it, but you also want to provide the HTML version so they can simply copy and paste your article into their site. This will make things easier for them, and mean they’re more likely to want to work with you in future.
Linking Back To Your Site
I want to touch quickly on how you should link back to your site. While a lot of article submission sites only allow you to link back to your site in a author box below the article, when you guest post you aren’t always restricted to this method of linking. Whenever I submit a guest post, I always include one link to my site further up in the article. This is because I want to still encourage a click back to my site even if the person doesn’t read the full article. So for example, during the second or third paragraph of the guest post, I may put something like ‘I mentioned this in another post recently, and…’. I’d link ‘another post’ to an article I have on my site on a similar subject, meaning I will get click throughs to my article from very early on. I’d make sure this link opens in a new window though, so the site owner still gets people reading both articles and they stay happy.
I will also give one link to my site in a small ‘About The Author’ section at the bottom of the article. I will tell them my name, my site (Linking to the site), and in one line what my site is about. I’d then give a call to action, telling them to go on my site and sign up to my mailing list to receive a free gift. Or to check out a certain article on a similar subject. Simply by telling people what to do next, you will get a lot more people taking the action you want. This is why calls to actions are so important.
When linking back to your site, it’s important to vary your anchor text a lot. In fact, you should vary it nearly every time you guest post. Sometimes you may link using your website name, sometimes using varying keywords that relate to your article, and where relevant just include your website address as a clickable link. The key thing to remember is to just let it flow. Don’t go out of your way to include a keyworded anchor text, instead just write naturally and link it where suitable.
Replying To Any Comments You May Have
If you want to make the most out of the guest posts you do, you need to reply to any comments that people leave. Bare in mind you are trying to get other people’s readers into your community, so if you have peaked people’s interest enough to make them want to comment on your post, there is a good chance that some of them will do just that if you give them enough attention.
The comments section is the last place you can use to get more people onto your site after they have read your guest post. Some people may have questions on what you’re talking about, or may just want to know where to get more information. If you actively communicate in the comments and appear like you genuinely want to help, people will pick up on this and be more likely to look into you more.
Any questions and answers in the comments will also provide social proof to any future readers of the article. Further more, it will add more longtail keywords to your page, and mean that people may find the article for more search strings.
Keeping A Good Relationship With Places You’ve Guest Posted
While getting a guest post on a site will often do good for your business, often it will require more then just one great guest post on your behalf. If you post on a big website and it sends you a load of traffic, then most likely you will want to post on that site again in future. It’s because of this that you need to keep up a good relationship with the places you post on.
One of the best ways to create a good relationship in the first place is to provide them with quality. A combination of you providing a good quality guest post, you promoting the post on your site and social sites, and you interacting with their community will increase the likelihood that they’ll want you to contribute another guest post in future. It’s as simple as that. So make sure you fully proof read your posts twice before you send it, and ensure they don’t have to do any real work other then paste the article in and click ‘publish’.
Once they have published the post, send them an email letting them know you appreciate the opportunity, and that you look forward to working with them again in the future. In this email also let them know where you have shared this article (Any social networking sites you have etc) so they know that you guesting on their site also helps them get more traffic.
When it comes to you emailing them again for another potential guest post, a good idea is to reply to the last email they sent you. Some people have a lot of emails coming in all the time, so it can become easy to lose track of who’s who. So instead of sending a fresh email with no history and making them look into where they know you from, make it easy for them by including your previous conversations in your email.
You should also briefly remind them they’ve successfully dealt with you in the past at the beginning of your email. So for example you may start your email:
“Hey *Person’s Name* how are you? It’s *Your Name*, I sent you the article about *What The Article Was About* which you published on your site (Link ‘published on your site’ to the article).”
Starting off like this will help them remember who you are, and remember that they already have a workable relationship with you.
Another thing you can do to keep up good relationships with people, is communicate with them on social networking sites. You can do this by mentioning them in useful articles, by recommending their sites to your readers, and by re-tweeting and sharing some of their posts you like. Basically just staying on their raider and showing how helpful you are. Most humans naturally feel the need to help out people who previously help them, so sharing their articles and social sites first, this could lead to them doing the same and sharing you with their community.
You don’t have to keep in regular contact with all the people who sites you’ve guest posted on, but doing the above simple things can make all the difference in terms of how people see you and what future opportunities you gain.
Keeping A List Of Guest Post Spots And Tracking Results
If you want to keep on top of your guest posting efforts, it’s important you keep a record of things. Some things you will want to keep a record of include:
- Where you need to submit guest posts to.
- Where you have submitted guest posts to and what date.
- Results of your guest post submissions (Did they accept the post, is it ongoing, did they reject the idea, have they not replied etc).
- Links to any guest posts you have done that are published.
By taking note of these things, it becomes much easier to see where you’ve submitted your posts to, and easier to see where you need to chase up. If you have some guest posts that have already been published, you can also keep them in a separate folder so you know you don’t have to chase them up anymore and could potentially appear on these sites again in future.
You may want to create a guest posting folder on your computer. You can segment your folders into ‘working on’, ‘posts that are finished but not submitted’, ‘submitted posts’, and ‘published posts’. Move the article to the different folders as a change is made to their status.
Re-Using Unpublished Guest Posts
Sometimes, you will find that you submit a guest post to someone, but they don’t end up using it. This could be for a number of reasons. If you submitted it to them before they had agreed to post it up, you may find people don’t reply even if you do send them a post. If however the person says they want a post from you, they still may not submit it because the finished post hasn’t turned out to be suitable for their audience, or because they feel the post is not good enough.
You will find that some people will just be long to deal with, and not always live up to their word when they say they will publish the post you have submitted. So what do you do when you have written a post but it’s not posted where it’s supposed to be? Easy, you submit it somewhere else.
Don’t be too quick to do this however. If it’s a case of you not hearing back from a place you want a guest post on, remember that some people can get very busy. This is especially true if you are posting to a high traffic website, as they most likely get a load of emails every day. What you should do is wait a minimum of two weeks to see if they respond. If they still haven’t after that time, email them once more stating that you emailed them before but aren’t sure that they got it. You should also include the original message that you sent.
If you still haven’t heard from them two weeks after you send that second message, then it’s probably safe to assume you’re not going to hear back from this person. When this happens, offer the guest post to another person.
If you had personalized your post to the original place you submitted it, be sure to change this when you submit it to another site. It doesn’t look very professional if you submit a post to one site addressing it as something else, so look over your post to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Guest posting is one of the best ways to get a flood of new and targeted people back to your website. It’ll allow you to build credibility by working with a load of other figures in your industry, and help you build up partnerships that could lead to other beneficial opportunities.
If you implement the strategies in Guest Posting Extreme, you can also increase the likelihood that that the traffic you receive from guest posting will be more long-term.
No matter what niche you’re in, you should make sure that guest posting is part of your online marketing strategy.
What To Do Now
Here is what you should do between now and next lesson. If you don’t have the time, that’s fine. Do as much as you can, and do the rest when the time is there:
- Find Places To Potentially Guest Post.
Have a look around. Any places you can see that accept guest posts, make a note of them. You may also want to note down relevant websites even if you aren’t sure if they accept guest posts or not.
- Start Contacting Places You Can Guest Post.
Next up, you need to contact some of these places you can guest post at. Do a few at a time (Say 3-5) and make a note of when you contact them. Be sure that you are capable of supplying them all with guest posts within the week of contacting them if they all reply.
- Write Up Some Guest Posts.
You can either do this before you contact places, after you contact places, or a combination of both. I personally like to write the guest posts first, they suggest them to people as I email them. If they don’t like that idea, I’ll tell them I can write them another one and send the completed post to someone else. As long as it’s a good article, someone will want it.
- Submit Any Guest Posts You Have.
Once you have the green light from a website and have your post written, submit it to the site. Ask them when it’ll be published, so you have some idea of when you will do the next stage:
- Follow Up With The Community.
Once your post is published, be sure to do a few things. Firstly, share the article on your own social networking accounts. Secondly, interact with the community. If they leave any comments, be sure to reply to them with good quality information.
- Follow Up With The Site Owner.
Be sure to email the site owner once the guest post is up, and thank them for allowing you to guest post. Let them know how you have promoted the post, giving links where necessary. Leave things open for other collaborations by letting them know you look forward to working again in future.
What’s Happening In The Next Lesson
Next lesson we will begin looking at how to use Amazon Kindle books to not only drive you traffic to your website, but also how you can use them to make money in their own right. There is a lot of money to be made in Kindle books if you do it right, so check out the next lesson to see how you can get started with Amazon Kindle books.