Guest posting remains the best way to get backlinks from reputed and well-regarded sites.
It is also the easiest way to build an online reputation and drive organic traffic to your website.
But how to write a guest post that doesn’t need editing and would get published straight away?
We share the secrets.
8 essential tips for guest posting
- Know the audience
You are not writing in a vacuum. You are doing so that others read and like your content.
Few guest writers understand this fairly basic guideline.
They mistake a guest post as a forum where they can undertake their deliberations and provide a weighty opinion for or against something they love to argue to death.
True, you can share your opinion, but even then it has to be framed in a way that appeals to an audience.
A high quality guest post is not akin to Reddit where you write under a pseudonym and if you have regrets, then a week later delete your reply and no one is wiser.
Unless the audience loves you, it does not matter how intelligent and well-informed your opinion and content are. Most probably, you won’t get a second chance for guest blogging services for their audience.
- Understand the brand
Here we are talking about the voice of the blog you are writing for.
It is nuanced, but true nevertheless. We will try to explain with a broad example.
Let’s say you are an expert on photography and cameras.
You can either make a four-page comic strip to instruct high school kids about how to use a DSLR camera or you can make a brief 10-minute video.
How you tell would be radically different since a comic is poles apart from a video.
The voice that the New York Times has is very dissimilar to the one that Fox News has (and we don’t mean political leanings).
Now apply the same principle to different blogs. Some are informative while others are entertaining.
When you write an article for LinkedIn, it has to be a radically different approach than you would use with Entrepreneur.com
Study at least a dozen blog posts from a particular site before you put a word on paper (or on a doc file).
- Read the formatting guidelines
Editors are amazed at how often guest post writers forget this simple and essential step. A high schooler would not make the mistake that hundreds of “experts” routinely make.
Most editors provide a clear-cut set of instructions:
- Blog article between 1200—1500 words
- Provide a clear title tag
- Offer a fresh perspective
- Do not promote your brand
- Do not create clickbait
- Provide three internal links and no more than five external links
- Provide an image whose copyright you possess (or copyright-free with source)
Yet writers just pound out a thousand or two thousand words and hit the send button on Gmail.
It is extremely frustrating and shows that you are not serious and do not have the minimum patience required to produce content that would help the blog you are writing for.
- Write content that matters
It does not help to take a bird’s eye view of the topic.
If someone wanted a serious piece of academic writing, they would most likely peruse The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
One reads a blog to know something that can be applied to a real-world problem the next minute.
Such as you are reading this article so that you know how to write your next blog article better.
The content has to present the problem, analyze it, and offer actionable solutions.
It’s all about translating wisdom into small nuggets of useful advice.
The greater the ease with which you can perform the task, the more readers would love your work.
Goes without saying that editors would also have to work less to transform your arcane words into something mere mortals understand.
- Good grammar is essential
“One of my daughters likes to go ballet dancing. Your welcome to watch her in the stage.”
- Subject-verb mismatch—she likes to go ballet dancing.
- You’re (not) welcome.
- On the stage, not in it. She is a human, not a nail!
It is surprising and downright sad how bloggers maul grammar and don’t think twice.
This is not about being strict. We think it essential that one learns basic grammar before offering to write professionally.
If you are unable to, then get a ghostwriter to pen down your thoughts.
If you stick to DIY, refresh your memory. Remember how MS Word checks for grammar?
- A red squiggly under a word means a spelling error.
- If there is a grammatical mistake, a green line appears.
Most word editors work similarly. Use all the tech aid you can.
Use Grammarly to check your content.
- Use emotions to bond
You are human. The readers are humans too.
Bring in emotions and connect with them.
Text that is as dry as the sand grains of the Sahara is not going to connect much with the audience.
Whether we accept it or not, most humans are looking for a very small dose of excitement all the time. Nothing as dramatic as going rock climbing, but enough to keep them hooked for the next 30 seconds.
News channels have mastered the art of maintaining perpetual suspense. Every three minutes, there is a reminder of what is coming up in the next thirty minutes.
Many YouTubers have learned the trick as well.
Stir your audience with your words. Persuade them to agree with you. Make them feel excited about the idea.
Keep it real but dig deep down as if having an honest conversation with an old friend.
- Insert keywords and anchor text naturally
Sometimes the editor would send you a few keywords to try and include.
Not an ideal situation and often it is downright difficult to include 3-4 long-tailed keywords and an anchor text without breaking the rhythm.
First of all, don’t use grammatically wrong keywords. There are millions of them floating around.
“Best loans for college study” must be changed to “best loans for studying in college”.
Google understands semantic search for the past several years.
If the editor does not agree, then reevaluate your commitment. Any editor who wants wrong grammar must have very different priorities.
When you are starting out in the world of guest posting and writing for not very reputed blogs, you might have to submit to the whims of editors.
But by no means carry it on when you have half a dozen publications under your belt.
Badly placed keywords with wrong grammar look and read awful.
- Be natural
This is probably our biggest piece of advice.
Never assume a persona.
Be natural and yourself. Express your opinion in as simple a word as possible. Provide a lot of information, but with a light touch and a bit of humor.
Explain to the audience as if they are a five-year-olds but do not write anything that insults their intelligence.
A faux personality comes across as a pretender and a fake—the very thing a guest blogger would want to avoid at all costs.
Last but not least
Create several drafts. Unless you have been writing for many years, never send the first and unpolished draft.
It’s best to let the draft sit overnight and go to sleep. Read it again the next day, make adjustments and rearrange sentences.
We promise that any editor would love to publish your content if you keep these simple guidelines in mind.