Guest blogging is the premier method for driving more traffic to your own site and/or blog, for establishing more Google-licious inbound links, for widening your audience, and for brand development. It’s one of the best ways to get the best kind of attention, from the best kind of people, for your brand.

So let’s get started with tips for pitching and writing guest blogs.

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Pitch Guest Blogging, for Brand Development

The first step in successful guest blogging for brand development is Research. Start with blogs you already know—those you’re familiar with. Read the articles that appear there. Get to know the audience by reading comments. The information you gather will help to shape your communications with the blog’s owner.

Speaking of the blog’s owner, it’s a good idea to connect with him or her on social media. Comment on posts, and offer help or advice where appropriate. Use these connections to build a relationship so that when your guest-blog pitch arrives, your name will be familiar.

And that brings us to the pitch. The pitch is the communication (email) that will introduce your guest blogging availability and idea(s). Here are some guidelines for a successful guest-blog pitch:

  • Look for information on the blog or website about guest blogging. Many bloggers who consider guest bloggers’ work will publish guidelines on how to submit. Be sure to closely follow the instructions provided—many bloggers make their decisions based, in part, on your willingness to read and follow instructions.
  • Choose a subject that is not only relevant to what is already contained in the blog, but something that will fill a gap in the blog’s current offerings and archives. You may mention that you would like to fill this need, but I would never suggest pointing out a gap in a critical manner.
  • Write a subject line that will grab the attention of the blog owner. By now, you should have a good idea for the preferences and ideals of the blog’s owner. Use what you know to write an email subject line that will appeal to him or her. Remember to make it interesting, whilst truthful.
  • Use the blog owner’s name. Never, never send a form letter or template. Customise your communication with the addressee’s name and make it evident that you’ve done your research (without saying “I’ve done my research” or showing off with irrelevant facts).
  • The first one or two sentences should introduce your blog idea and/or you (whichever you believe the blog owner would find more interesting). Grab his or her attention as soon as possible. There are a lot of pitches to wade through—yours must stand out without anyone’s wasting time.
  • Now you can use the next one to three paragraphs to offer supporting information and to present ideas with greater detail. Impart the most interesting/important points first.
  • Assure the blog owner that your post will not be a promotional tool for your brand, that it will not be heavy with links to your pages, that it will only be published on his or her site, that it will be publishing-ready, and that all images will be clear of any copyright infringements.
  • The language in the pitch should allude to the fact that it would be your privilege to write for his or her blog—never suggest that your guest blogging will improve their blog in any way.
  • Supply plenty of links to your past work (on your own blog as well as others, if applicable) so that the blog owner may determine if your work would be complementary to their own. Also include any credentials that are relevant to the subject matter.
  • Always express your appreciation for his or her consideration. A simple, but heartfelt, thank you will mean a lot.
  • Meticulously edit your pitch. It is an indicator of the quality of your blogging, and if it is sub-par, it will be passed over.

If your guest-blog pitch is accepted, remember to stick to your original proposal when writing the blog post (unless the blog owner recommends changes), to only include a short bio and/or call-to-action at the end with one or two links, and promote the post when it goes live. Do this well, and you may be asked to do it again.

For brand development and the building of brand awareness, there are few things as cost-effective or [just plain] effective as guest blogging. Start small and stay relevant. Choose blogs that complement your brand. Guest blog where you know your ideal clients (and friends of your ideal clients) are hanging out.

And always remember to contact How to Build a Brand with all of your brand development questions by calling +44 (0) 208 123 667 or emailing [email protected].

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