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Guest Blogging Checklist

Guest Blogging Checklist

Taking the leap to become a guest blogger can seem like venturing into uncharted waters. It’s an exciting yet intimidating journey. There are many tasks to consider, guidelines to follow, and content to generate. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

If you’ve ever wondered, “Where do I start with guest blogging?” this definitive checklist is here to guide your way. We’ve compiled a thorough checklist covering every aspect of guest blogging. From identifying the right platforms to developing compelling content, from understanding your audience to mastering SEO, this guest blogging guide will hold your hand through the entire process.

Guest Blogging Checklist

Creating an impeccable guest blog post requires meticulous planning, thoughtful execution, and attention to detail. With that in mind, let’s dive in!

In a rush? Download our guest blogging infographic.

Find Your Purpose.

First and foremost, you need to figure out why you’re opting for guest blogging. Is it for brand awareness? Link-building? Or to establish yourself as an authority in your industry? Once you’ve recognized the reason, everything else falls into place.

Make A List.

Guest Posting

Before you can start guest posting, creating a list of potential blogs or websites that align with your niche and readership is crucial. You can’t just submit a blog post to any website because the reality is that not all will be relevant to your area of expertise or your target audience.

Conduct thorough online research to identify niche-specific blogs, industry-related websites, or platforms where potential readers might hang out. You could use Google search, explore business directories, analyze competitors, or leverage professional networking sites like LinkedIn.

Once you’ve identified potential sites, create a comprehensive list where you document their site name, the blog editor’s contact details, submission guidelines, topics they usually cover, and notes on why they are a good fit for your guest post. This will be your go-to guide when you are ready to start the guest posting process.

Remember, the quality of your list is as important as its length. It’s better to have a shorter list of highly relevant blogs than a long one filled with irrelevant or low-quality ones. This way, you can ensure every guest post you create reaches the right audience, maximizing your efforts and ensuring your time is well spent.

Read The Guidelines.

Guest blog posting comes with a critical understanding of the rules and regulations the blog owner sets. Don’t simply glaze over this crucial step; invest time in it.

Start by extracting the guidelines document or navigation link. Contact is private if they aren’t publicly visible. An open dialogue is always preferable.

After acquiring the guidelines, scrutinize them. They may cover various aspects, such as the preferred length of the post, topic restrictions, formatting instructions, reference style, and more. 

Skipping over these details could affect your chances of a successful submission.

Finally, remember to strike a balance while staying true to the guidelines. Your unique style doesn’t have to be overshadowed by the rules. You can adhere to the owner’s requirements while still expressing your individuality.

Attention to the guidelines increases your chances of winning that guest post spot. You’ll soon realize it’s about following instructions and learning how to present your valuable content.

Research The Current Content.

Identify

 

Start by acquainting yourself with the current content hosted on the website. This will give you an understanding of the content that performs well on their website. Browse through their previous blog posts, popular articles, and engagement to gain insight into the specifications and trends of their audience.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the trending topics?
  • What style, tone, and length of posts are more prevalent?
  • What sections or categories do they use?
  • What type of comment sections are most active?

This exploration process helps you analyze the tone, voice, theme, and format of the content that works best on the website. It can also help you hone how to cater your writing to appeal to their reader base.

Gaining a deep understanding of the current content increases your chances of publishing a guest post that will resonate with the audience and perform successfully.

Write The Content.

Embrace the creative process and start penning down your ideas. Take into consideration everything you’ve learned in your research. Ensure your style aligns with the blog you’re guest posting for, but be careful to maintain your unique voice.

Is the blog known for its witty humor? Or it’s more formal and academic. It’s crucial to blend your voice within their style without losing yourself.

After all, the whole point of guest blogging is to lend your unique perspective. Your article’s foundation should be well-structured, setting up a clear introduction, middle section, and conclusion.

  • The introduction should grab the reader’s attention and state the intention of your post.
  • The middle section, or body, should dive deeper into your topic, providing valuable content.
  • The conclusion should summarize your points while driving the critical message home.

Remember to include a call to action towards the end. This tells the readers what you’d like them to do next – maybe comment, share, or visit a link. It’s essential to engage with the audience and allow them to interact.

Craft Your Pitch.

When it comes to guest blog posting, crafting your pitch is a critical step.

So, what’s a pitch? Essentially, it’s an email or a message you send to the blog owner, offering your blog post content. It’s your first point of contact and may determine whether you get a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’ Now, let’s break down the steps to crafting your pitch effectively.

Consider a Personal Touch

Personalizing the pitch can make a huge difference. Start with a friendly greeting mentioning their name, and express your admiration for their blog. This indirectly hints that you know their content and appreciate it. Create a sense of connection, and take your time talking directly about your blog post.

Get Straight to the Point

Once you’ve established a connection, get straight to the point. Remember, blog owners are busy people, so being concise is crucial. Mention your intent, the blog post idea, and the value it could bring their readers. A well-delivered pitch should make the blog owner eager to view your content.

Highlight Credentials

Highlighting your credentials is a fantastic way to build credibility. If you’ve written before, share a link to your previous posts, mainly if they performed well or brought good results. This might intrigue the blog owner to look into your content proposal further.

Sign Off Positively

A positive sign-off is always an excellent end to your pitch. Thank them for their time, express your hope to hear from them soon, and sign off with your full name. Remember, every little detail goes a long way when crafting your pitch.

Showcase The Value.

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You effectively position yourself as an authority by showcasing the value in your guest post.  Start by establishing your credibility and demonstrating the depth of your knowledge on the subject matter.  This includes using supporting data, evidence, case studies, or personal anecdotes to make your points.  It’s a method that not only underscores your assertions but assists in building a bond with your reader.

Value doesn’t just reside in the content. 

How you present the information is also crucial. Use subheadings, bullet points, and numbered lists to break up the text and improve readability. Incorporate relevant internal and external links to guide your reader’s learning journey—link to valuable and trustworthy resources that endorse your claims and provide further information.

Always ensure that you provide practical, actionable tips or strategies that your reader can implement. Include clear calls to action and encourage reader’s engagement. This can be soliciting comments, encouraging shares on social media, or prompting the reader to check out further reading.

Ultimately, the value of your guest post is determined by the amount of knowledge and practical insight your reader derives from it. Ensure that by the time they finish reading the post, they feel educated, inspired, and empowered to take action based on your expert advice.

Follow-up Timely.

Understandably, everyone’s schedule is busy, and you may be dealing with different time zones, so ensuring a timely follow-up can often take time and effort. However, waiting too long can result in the blog owner forgetting about your pitch or losing interest.

How quickly should you follow up? 

We suggest waiting at least a week or up to ten days before contacting again. There are exceptions to this, of course. If your pitch is time-sensitive, such as dealing with holiday content, follow up sooner than the guideline.

The follow-up email should be polite and brief. Remind them about your guest post pitch, express your excitement about the opportunity, and ask kindly if they received and had any chance to review your proposal. Also, it’s a good idea to mention that you’re open to any suggestions or modifications they might have. Remember, professionalism is critical, even in follow-ups. Avoid appearing desperate or pushy, which could harm your chances.

Last but not least, make sure to keep track of your follow-ups. You want to avoid double following up or not following up at all.

Make It Easy.

Outreach On Easy-modeMake it easier for the host blog editor to say “yes” to your guest post.

How do you do this, you ask?

It starts with providing all necessary information in an understandable and structured format.

First, ensure your content has a short, catchy title and an informative meta description. Include a list of any sources or references used to bolster your piece’s credibility, and be sure to credit any guest quotes or insights appropriately.

Next, if your post includes images or figures, provide captions and alt-text attributions. This makes it easier for the blog editor to understand the context of the images and their relevance to your post.

Also, it’s known that alt-texts are an essential part of improving website accessibility for visually impaired users, aligning with best SEO practices.

Finally, make it easy for the editor to contact you. Send your submission from the email you often use and provide other ways to contact you, like your LinkedIn or Twitter handles.

Be available to answer any potential questions, revise parts of your blog post, or confirm receipt of your submission.

Deliver The Guest Post.

Finally, it’s time to submit your masterpiece. But how you deliver this guest post is critical in whether it’s accepted. Here are some key aspects to consider:

Format Your Submission

Ensure your submission is in a format the blog owner can work with efficiently. Convert your Word documents into a Google Doc or HTML, depending on what they are comfortable with. The website owner can make any formatting tweaks in this editable format without altering your content.

Include a ReadMe

An accompanying “ReadMe” can do wonders. Include a brief about your post, specific instructions for embedded links or images, and your contact details. Make the blog owner’s job more accessible, and they’ll appreciate your efforts.

Proofread, Then Proofread Again

Remember to double-check or even triple-check your work. A blogger is far more likely to reject a post with spelling and grammatical errors. Think of this task as your final quality control before the post goes live.

Patience Is Paramount

Remember that blog hosts are often bombarded with numerous posts. After submitting your guest post, remember that receiving feedback may take some time. While waiting, resist the urge to send multiple follow-up emails.

Be Ready For Edits

Finally, open yourself up for potential edits. Even if you’ve put considerable effort into your post, the blog owner might suggest tweaks to suit their audience better. Don’t take it personally; work together to develop the best possible version of your guest post.

Promote the Guest Post.

When it comes to promoting your guest post, the efforts should continue beyond sharing via your social media channels. Let’s aim for broader exposure. Make sure you use all your resources to their maximum potential.

Send An Email to ‘Blast’

Use your email list to notify your subscribers about this new content. Include a captivating preview of the guest post content and a link directing them to it, emphasizing why they need to read it. This could give your post more traffic, plus you show appreciation towards your host blog.

Leverage Your Network

Consider using your professional and personal network. If you are a part of any forums or communities associated with your industry, dropping subtle hints about your recently published guest post can work in your favor.

Optimize for SEO

Even though the post might not be on your blog, SEO is still important for its success. 

Use relevant keywords within your post, keep the content original, and anchor any links to your site. This could help your post gain more organic reach.

Repurpose The Content

To achieve maximum viewership, consider repurposing your guest content into various formats – podcasts, infographics, or short video clips. People consume content differently, so providing multiple formats can reach wider audiences.

Track The Guest Post.

Your job doesn’t end at clicking the ‘Send’ button. Once your guest post has been published, it’s time to gear up and track your content.  This may not sound glamorous, but it’s as crucial as any other step in your guest blogging journey.

Monitor The Traffic

Consider it essential to check how your guest post is performing in terms of attracting traffic.  Use tools such as Google Analytics to gain insights into how many people have visited your post, what sources drove them there, and how long they stayed on the page.  Understanding these stats will allow you to assess the effectiveness of your post and adapt your strategy, if needed, for future posts.

Engage With the Audience

Engaging with your audience is one of the most effective ways to increase the post’s visibility. Respond to comments on your blog post, answer questions, and continue the conversation on social media. Active engagement builds a relationship with your audience, leading to more shares and greater organic reach.

A significant reason for guest blogging is to secure high-quality backlinks. 

It’s essential to keep a check on your link health. Utilize backlink-checking tools to ensure the blog site hasn’t removed or altered your backlink and that it is directing users to the correct page on your website.

Measure Impact On SEO Ranking

Over time, you’ll want to observe whether your guest post has improved your SEO ranking. Monitor your targeted keyword rankings before and after the guest post is published. 

If you see an uptick, you’re doing something right!

Continue to Optimize the Guest Post.

Optimizing your guest post continues beyond SEO or content format. We’re discussing ongoing adjustments and improvements even after the post is live. This is what keeps your content updated, accurate, and valuable.

If the blog post owners allow it, regularly revisit your guest post to ensure all the information is current and relevant. Check for outdated content, incorrect details, broken links, or disused references.  Every detail counts. It’s not only about delivering good content; it’s about keeping it reliable.

Version Updates For the Content

Consider adding ‘version updates’ to your blog post, just as you would with software. Have you learned something new since you wrote the post? 

Did you come across additional insights which you believe would benefit your readers? Then, go ahead – update.

Stay Alert to Comment Sections

Bear in mind that the comment section of your guest post can often provide you with insights into what your readers are looking for. 

If readers express any questions or points of confusion, consider addressing them directly in the comments or updating your blog post to provide clarity.

Check SEO Performance

Continue to check the SEO performance of your posts as search algorithms change, and continually update your posts to align them with these changes. 

Google’s algorithm, for instance, undergoes updates frequently – be at the top of industry SEO trends to ensure your post still has the potential to outperform others on SERP and drive traffic.

Optimize Your Author Bio

Lastly, remember your author bio. If necessary and permissible by the blog host, update it to reflect your current roles, accomplishments, projects, or even personal pursuits. 

Your author bio is an avenue to showcase your credibility – optimize it to build trust among readers.

Nurture The Relationship.

You’ve done it! Your blog post is live and reaching audiences globally. However, the trick to successful guest blogging doesn’t end here; it’s time to nurture the relationship you’ve built.

Engage and Reply

Engagement is critical to the success of any blog post. Take time to respond to comments and engage with those who took the time to read your content.  This strengthens your relationships with readers and further promotes active interaction on your post.

Give Gratitude

Remember to express gratitude. A simple thank-you message to the host blog can go a long way in maintaining a positive and lasting relationship. Show them that you appreciate the opportunity.

Stay Connected

Being proactive and keeping channels of communication open is essential. Even after your post is live, continue to stay connected. 

Keep Sharing

Remember, you can resurface your guest blog on your social channels after some time. Content promotion is not a one-time practice. This fosters a positive impression and puts you in good standing for future collaborations.

In conclusion, guest blogging is a journey, not a simple task you can tick off your to-do list. It involves preparing diligently, optimizing consistently, learning continuously, and nurturing relationships deliberately. Keep this checklist close, and make sure to consider all these details every time you plan to write a guest blog post.

Remember, every blog post represents your brand or business; make it count. 

Need help with Blogger Outreach or guest blog postingRegister today to learn more about our outreach services!

Guest Blogging Checklist

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