Unless you’ve been lost in the Amazon rainforest for the last several years, you’ve probably heard about guest blogging and guest “experting” on podcasts and the benefits they have provided those who use them as a marketing tool. In fact, I encourage my clients to guest blog as much as possible while replacing a lot of lesser marketing tactics with it.
The first thing everyone needs to know about guest blogging is that, no matter how calm, cool, and collected a big content site looks on the outside, the people behind it are always scrambling for great content. Always.
So, if you’re dreaming about blogging on a site that you’d love to show up on, but are worried about whether you will get accepted as a guest blogger, don’t. This is the number one reason most people never apply for a guest blogging gig on sites they need to get into. And it’s a shame, because the people running these sites would like to hear from anyone willing and able to produce great, original content for them.
You can increase your chances of catching an editor’s eye with a strong portfolio
But if you haven’t written for an equal sized site or larger before, how are you going to impress the one you are targeting? You do it by building a strong portfolio of other places where you’ve already been published. The sum total of your work will add up to someone who is worthy of consideration on bigger, higher-traffic sites.
Start with guest posting on sites that are more accepting of outside content like Medium.com. Then search for “community blogs” or “guest post -your main keyword-” on Google to find blogs that are largely driven by guest blogger content in or related to your industry.
If the sites you find don’t necessarily focus 100% on your particular industry, find out if they at least have a category you’d fit into. The main point here is that you don’t want to fit a square peg into a round hole. There should be readers on each of the sites where you guest blog that would be ideal readers of your site. Otherwise, the only thing you get out of posting there is a link. (Not bad, but you want direct traffic along with SEO benefits from your guest posts.)
Building Your Guest Blogging Portfolio Page
Each time you get something published, go back to your site and link to your new post from a page specifically labeled something like “Portfolio” or “Publications.” This will be the page you send editors so they can check out who has already vetted and accepted you as a guest blogger. Here’s my latest version of my “Portfolio of Authority.” Notice it includes all kinds of stuff I’ve done, be it podcasts, guest posts, and famous people I interview myself on podcasts.
Often, a few posts on respected sites, even if they are smaller than the sites you’re going after, will be enough to get accepted as a guest blogger on the bigger ones. People just want to see you’re dedicated and for real. They get a lot of junk submitted everyday and are very happy to come across a serious guest blogger application.
So, don’t fret about your preconcieved notions of how hard it is to become a guest blogger on healthy, high-traffic sites in, or related to, your market. Start your guest bogger portfolio page on your site by picking the low hanging fruit and leverage that to move onto sites that will be glad to have another serious contributor of content that they so desperately need.