As the world of marketing gets more technologically savvy, there’s no doubt that guest posting has become a valuable asset for any brand. But, what is guest posting?
For those who haven’t heard of this creative content marketing strategy, the idea is simple. Find an established online publication and pitch your content to be published on their platform. Though this may seem like thankless work, the aim is to get that audience interested in you and your brand. Guest posting is an excellent way to strengthen your brand and an easy method for online audience outreach. With some business wit and a little luck, you’ll send your new potential audience right to your brand via backlinks approved by the publication.
Earning a guest feature on a major publication is a great opportunity to captivate new audiences and boost your search engine optimization. Guest posting also builds trust between your brand and potential consumers. The fact that your guest post is on an established third-party’s publication gives the validation you need to ensure that your new audience is here to stay.
So, how can you properly implement this strategy to see results? Don’t start making cold calls just yet. Don’t waste your time reaching out to every website either, not all are worth the work. Focus your energy on finding substantial sites whose audience you know you’re able to connect with.
Here are some steps to help get you in front of publications that will move your brand forward. These same steps will ensure that publications take you seriously, too.
Do Your Research
Be as thorough as possible. Are their interests aligned with your own? How much of an influence do they have on their viewers? What kind of blog do you want to pitch to? Take some time to decide whether you want to collaborate with a major company, a smaller niche site, or a mainstream news publication. And, as part of your research, you can look into the pros and cons of working with each site.
Additionally, take some time to observe the publication’s audience. Does it consist of the type of people you want to reach out to? Do their interactions with the site and its contents assure you that your post will be perceived well? Take the time to check the comments section as well as social media to determine how engaged the site’s readers are. The more connected they are with the content, the better. A passive audience won’t help your post gain exposure.
Get to Know Who You’re Pitching to
It’s important to create a relationship with the writer or editor you’re pitching to. Building a connection – even a small, professional one – could make all the difference between your pitch and the hundreds of others that publishers receive every day.
Take some time to compile a list of writers you would want to work with. Keep up to date with their most recent works, and be sure to show that you’re an active, interested reader. Comment on their pieces, and try your best to start positive, inquisitive conversations about their work. The goal is to have the writers respond. Convince them that you’re someone worth working with. Take things one step further by connecting with the respondent writers on social media. A cold outreach may seem easier, but it’s also a surefire way to not receive a response.
If you’ve been able to show that you’re someone who asks thoughtful questions and has good ideas, you’ll be able to pitch. Suggest co-writing or ghostwriting a piece with topics that the writer would benefit from. The more mutually beneficial the arrangement feels, the more likely you’ll receive the go-ahead to guest write.
Make the Pitch
If you feel like you’ve gained a little rapport with your respective writer or editor, you can now make your pitch. If you’ve had interaction on social media, feel free to ask for further discussion via email. Remember that when you’re pitching your article, it’s important to keep your email professional. Keep things light, but make sure you frame the work and not yourself. Your interest in your topic should be what wows your contact into working with you. Your email should make them feel like you’re trying to help them, not yourself.
Here’s an example of an email that can be very effective:
Hope you’re well! My name is Thomas and I’m a marketing coordinator at X Company. I sincerely appreciated our wonderful discussion about your recent article, “Y”.
I’ve written an exclusive piece for your website on Z. In it, I talk about 1, and 2, while providing examples on how to do both. Your website would be the perfect place for this piece, as it would expand on what you and I discussed about “Y”.
I have my article attached. Feel free to make any changes you see fit. I know you have a busy schedule, so I’ll follow up with you next week if I don’t hear from you.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
This pitch works because it’s short and to the point; the sender is professional. She doesn’t use language like “I think,” which shows that she’s knowledgeable and confident in her idea. Lastly, and most importantly, this pitch was made specifically for one recipient. This is a sign of the sender’s genuine interest in the topic she’s pitching, as well as her heartfelt desire to create a genuine professional relationship with the recipient.
Following up is never easy. Reaching out after not hearing a response after your initial email can make you feel like a pain. But messages truly do get missed, so there’s no harm in emailing again. It’s completely acceptable to write a follow-up email a week after your initial message. Keep it short and polite, and simply remind your contact of the article you sent.