Writing guest posts is usually a win-win-win for everyone involved. The site publisher wins by sharing a different perspective with their readers, the guest expert wins by gaining access to a different audience, and the readers win by (in theory) learning something new.
Where this wonderful eco-system goes horribly wrong is when the expert submits a thinly veiled pitch under the guise of a blog post. Instead of sharing helpful insights, the guest experts tells the readers what they don’t know, making them feel bad for not knowing it, and then closes with a big upsell on their latest ‘magic pill’ solution.
The trouble is that as a publisher, speaking for every publisher out there who receives these pitch posts, we have a duty to our readers. That duty is to continue delivering what they expect to get every time they make the effort to click through to our site: valuable information.
Information is exactly what is missing from your pitch posts. Instead of giving helpful advice that our readers can apply right now, you make them worried that they aren’t doing something right. Instead of demonstrating that you know what you are talking about, you go for the quick sale. Instead of honoring the relationship the publisher has with their audience, you treat them as a means to an end.
Not going to happen.
How to Write a Guest Post that Gets You Real Results
#1: Become a Fan of the Publication – Read the publication…A LOT. Pinpoint where your expertise fits in and how you can offer a unique perspective that currently isn’t being filled. Knowing the publication inside and out will help you be more successful when pitching (for more specifics read blunt advice on how to pitch a publication).
#2: Ask the Editor for Advice on Story Angles – Establish expectations with the editor about what your guest post will cover. This will both help you build a lasting relationship with that editor and write a post that will be more successful on their site.
#3: Give TONS of Amazing Information – Overload their readers with amazing information, tips, resource links and helpful advice. Think of it as you building a trust relationship with our readers. You don’t have to give away the farm, but you do need to share enough that they trust you. They need to know you are the real deal before they are going to take a risk on buying from you.
#4: Include Links to Your Site – Don’t forget to cleverly sprinkle in links back to your site. Invite our readers to download a resource list, check out a recipe, and yes, tell them about your super fantastic, only $9.99 e-Book.
#5: Be Open to Feedback – Ask the editor to give you their honest feedback when you finally do submit your post. Often editors will let a lame guest post sit in their inbox not knowing whether to ditch it or go to the trouble of asking the guest expert to rework it. If you ask, you shall receive (and that’s a good thing for everyone).