Whether you’re an old hand at guest posting or have yet to submit your very first guest post, there’s one issue you’re sure to face: getting your posts accepted.
If you’ve been guest posting for months, you may find that the majority of your posts get a “yes”. Even so, you’ll want to improve your success rate.
And if you’re working on your very first guest post, you want to give it the best possible chance.
Here are five simple things that you can do make it much more likely your guest post will be accepted. None of these are complicated or hard … but you’d be surprised how few bloggers actually do them.
#1: Read and Follow the Guidelines
If a blog has guest post guidelines, read them … and follow them. I find it’s often useful to print out the guidelines and check them off as I go through.
Once you’ve written a few guest posts, you’ll find that most guidelines are pretty standard (e.g. “100% original content”) — but it’s still important to carefully read each separate blog’s guidelines.
And while this isn’t usually stated in guidelines, it’s really important: address the person you’re writing to by name.
If I get guest post pitches that begin “Hi there” or “Dear DailyBlogTips”, I usually delete them straight away — because I’ve found that emails that don’t use my name normally come from SEO agencies who are mass-emailing lots of blogs.
#2: Ask a Friend to Review Your Guest Post
It’s always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes look over your guest post … and that’s especially true if it’s your first post for a particular blog. Your friend might easily spot something that you’ve missed (like a flat introduction, a confusing paragraph, or simply a daft typo).
If you know a blogger who’s already guest posted on your target blog, they’d be a great person to ask. They’ll have a clear idea of the blog’s requirements … and they clearly have what it takes to get a guest post accepted there!
#3: Edit Your Guest Post Thoroughly
Never, ever, send a guest post that’s a first draft. Even if you’re asked to send “a draft”, you should make it as good as you can. (Just be prepared for the blog to ask for changes.)
This is important even if the host blog doesn’t have brilliantly high standards. (Of course, it’s doubly important if they do!) A well-edited post is one that reads smoothly for both the person making the “yes” or “no” decision on it, and for the readers when it’s accepted.
Two problems I often see in guest posts are:
- Tangents. The poster introduces an idea in the introduction that never gets picked up in the rest of the post, or they have a long rambling section in the middle where they get off the point. It’s important to edit on a “big picture” level to catch this sort of problem.
- Typos. While I’ll forgive a few of these, they make my life hard as an editor … and they suggest the post has been dashed off in a hurry. Look out for missing words and the wrong form of a word (e.g. “there” when you need “their”).
#4: Link to Posts on the Host Blog
This is an incredibly easy thing to do, and I’m always surprised that most guest posters don’t. Of course, your guest post isn’t going to be automatically rejected if you don’t include links to the blog that (you hope) will host it … but having those links already in place definitely makes it more attractive.
Once you’ve written your post, look through for any phrases or sentences that would make good links — e.g. if you introduce a topic briefly but don’t go into detail. Search the host blog for a post on that topic, and link to it. You don’t need to go overboard: two links is usually plenty.
#5: Time Your Follow-Up Email Carefully
Big blogs get a lot of guest post submissions, and busy owners/editors may take a while to get back to you. There are a couple of mistakes would-be guest posters often make when checking up on a submitted post:
- Not emailing at all. It’s embarrassing for a blogger if they misplace your email, only to realise two months later that they never replied. Most bloggers will welcome a brief, polite follow-up message.
- Emailing too soon. While you may well be keen to find out whether your guest post has been accepted, emailing three days after submitting it just brands you as a nuisance. If you push a blogger for a response, the easiest one for them to give is “no”.
So what’s the right length of time? I’d say you should email between two and three weeks after sending your post, if you’ve not heard anything by then. Definitely don’t email before a week is up, and try not to leave it more than a month.
Do your guest posts (almost) always get accepted? Share your best tips in the comments below.
Wanna learn how to make more money with your website? Check the Online Profits training program!