Guest Blogging-Tips on Getting Invited to the Party
Guest blogging is a great way to be seen by a wider audience. It’s like going to the neighborhood social…in the neighborhood down the street. You get to step out, strut a little and talk to new people. But, ya gotta do it the right way. You can’t just waltz right in, you have to earn that invitation.
Whether you’re thinking of using featured writers on your blog or looking for other blogs to showcase your own work, approach it carefully:
- Don’t go out and randomly approach blogs. Find one you like. Find one that talks about the same things you talk about. Read. Engage with relevant, scintillating comments. Let the blog owner get to know you.
- Do your research. Do your research. Do the research. Know the blog and its subject matter. Read old posts, look for the About page. See what readers are commenting about. Don’t show up at a pool party in your cocktail dress.
- Write a strong compelling letter about the value you could add to that particular blog. Give a summary of what you’d like to write, your credentials and why you think you can offer something of value to her readers. You gotta fit in with the crowd.
- Provide a link to your writing clips. Strut your stuff. It’s not a bad idea to name-drop here. This is the time to brag…just a little.
- Follow up with a thank you. Even if your proposal gets turned down, a quick thanks for your consideration is a good idea. You never know when things might change or the blogger may remember you or have a specific need for that topic.
For the blog owner–it’s worth considering a guest blogger as long as you’re clear on what you want and why. It’s like inviting the new guy down the street to the party… he’s funny and seems to have some appeal. He can liven up the party atmosphere. Just make sure he’s not a total bore before you send the invite.
If you’re going to start inviting guest writers set some ground rules. Give yourself authority over content, the right to refuse a post if it’s unacceptable and the right to edit mistakes. Look at some bigger blogs and see if they have with guidelines for guest bloggers to get ideas on how to set up yours.
I got a recent offer for my other blog, A Woman’s Page. The blog is geared to older women and focuses on sexual health, midlife and dating topics. Not exclusively, but my focus is women. And, that’s pretty evident. The blog is linked to Vibrant Health, a women’s network and my blog appears on Alltop under the topic of midlife. It is a blog for and about women. This individual did a little research and her letter was well written. She talked about her skills and listed a few topics she would write about for my blog. The first topic? Prostate health. It’s A Woman’s Page. I rarely talk about prostate health. Wait, I have never talked about prostate health. Yes, she mentioned two others, but I got stuck on prostate.
I said no. But, I thanked her and wished her well. I don’t use guest bloggers–I’m not a big enough blog to be of much help for a beginning writer. If I look for a guest writer I’ll be wooing someone with a larger following. And, a better understanding of how to bring their best stuff to my party.
As freelance writers we have to take some pretty bold steps to get that invite, to find the next new client, to increase our exposure. It’s all about self-promotion. Pimping. It can feel like that sometimes. We have to put ourselves out there and proclaim our authority. Stand at the center of the crowd and say, “Let me tell you a story about how great a writer I am. Here’s what I can do for you.”
Bring on the party dress!