I have a tremendous peeve about how the guest posting process goes.The focus is all wrong, upside down and turned around and it makes me NUTS.
The focus of the process is NOT the audience or the customer and any value they can get from your content — the focus is on YOU and your desire to get published on an authority site. You – and your desire to drive traffic to your site. YOU and your need for backlinks.
What sends me further into the deep end is that there is this “process” of getting posted which spins the message around to make it seem like you’re doing something for the blogger, the audience or the site — but the truth is — you are NOT. You are doing it for yourself and your site.
But wait — there’s nothing wrong with wanting traffic and links and authority
Let me just say that there is NOTHING wrong with wanting these things. What sends me isn’t the wanting of these things, but the way that these desires are communicated — and this comes from professionals who, I think, should know better.
If you’re curious, I’ve included some links to what I consider to be the most credible authorities on guest posting, ProBlogger and QuickSprout.
- How to Find the Best Blogs to Post On
- How to Get Posts Accepted Every Time
- Why You Have a Good Chance of Landing a Guest Post
- How to Get Your Guest Post Published
Each of these articles talks about “doing your homework” researching the blogs, writing great articles and NONE of them really addresses the ONE thing that makes all the difference in the world — Doing something for?the authority site and the author. Not a ONE! It’s all about what YOU want and how you’re going to get it.
This is certainly a process that many people practice successfully. But I wonder, how much more successful would they be if they ditched this process in exchange for something far more effective. Relationship.
Here’s what REAL authority bloggers think about your pitch — and won’t tell you
I get dozens of pitches in my inbox. I accept very few. Now I’m going to tell you EXACTLY what goes through MY mind when I get your pitch. If this upsets you, I’m sorry.
“Uugh, another pitch from someone I don’t know who is asking me for something and giving me nothing”
“What’s in it for me? I have to read, edit, curate and customize images…WHY? So they can have a link to their site?”
“This content is too general, it’s not even worth all the work”
Look, I’ll admit it, it’s all about ME. Just like it’s all about YOU. The difference here is that YOU are the one who wants me to publish (and promote) your stuff . And no, you’re content isn’t so amazing that it’s worth the effort. So, this time, it gets to be about ME. Here’s what I and every authority site want:
- More traffic — This means that YOU need to have either a decent social following or newsletter list or?something that’s going to help me drive more new traffic to my site. Maybe you don’t have a lot of folks, but you can promote the post I publish to the folks you do have.Publishing a guest post doesn’t absolve you from promoting it. I’m going to share it with my audience, but I don’t work for you, you don’t pay me and I have to invest time, money and effort to get your post up and promoted. So I’m doing YOU a huge favor. How will you drive traffic to the post. That’s what I want to know.
- More engagement – Traffic isn’t everything, what about engagement in the comments or on social media. Yup, again, this requires you to promote your post and ask folks to comment and engage with the post. Being published on an authority blog is an honor for you and your objective is to build your brand by showing everyone that you are awesome enough to be published on an authority site.
- Relationships with other experts -No authority blog experts wants a “one-night-stand” guest author. We want to be in relationship with you. You should want to be in relationship with us too — because a single post isn’t going to give you what you’re after.
Here’s THE ONE THINGno one tells you that will get your articles published – guaranteed
There are really only three questions I ask myself before I accept any guest posted content:
- Do I know you?
- Have you helped me?
- Do you have something my audience can learn from?
The first two points all have to do with RELATIONSHIP – being in a reciprocal relationship. And you can’t pitch your way into this. You have to earn it.
The 5 easy ways you can build a relationship with an authority site
- Sign up or register: This is so easy and simple that it’s stupid and ignored but will make all the difference. Sign up for their newsletter, download something. Join their list. Once you are on their list, you are part of the community. You’ll get emails and notifications for what’s going on and have an inside track to what matters to that site. RESPOND to those emails. Get into a conversation with them.
- Comment on their posts:Your next step is to land on their radar by leaving thoughtful comments. Remember, a comment to an article is almost like a micro-blog post. They will see your comments and respond to you. This will create a conversation that will most likely lead to a request for an article.
- Interact with them on social media:? Follow them on social media and promote their content, interact with them, ask questions, share some of your blog posts.
- Promote their content: ?Yes, do something for THEM before you ask for something for yourself. Promote their content to your community, ask your community to comment on your articles and other articles.
- Share your expertise with them:? This means, practice your craft and be a contribution to them. What is it that you are especially good at in your business? ?Use your gift to help the authority site in some way. If you’re an SEO expert, help them improve their ranking. If you’re a wiz at networking, make some introductions. Are you a marketing maven? Be a sounding board and give advice.
What NOT to do – The?3 Things Guaranteed to Get You Ignored or Banished
- Nag about when your article will be published. ?(Seriously!) You’re asking this busy person to receive your article, probably edit your mediocre content, curate and customize pictures, create tweets, Facebook posts, etc. And you want THEM to report to YOU? Not gonna happen.
- Ask for specific links:?The site editor and owner will decide what kinds of links go on the site and whether those links are do-follow or no-follow?. You will most likely get a link to your site in the “About the Author” section. Be happy with that.
- Expect the blogger to promote you: Your article will be promoted using the authority sites standard promotion procedure. I promote content via social as soon as the post is published, but anything else is at my discretion depending on how USEFUL it is to my audience. Guest posting doesn’t mean, free promotion. This is why your content has to stand alone.
?Yes, this will take time, but it’s totally worth it
Right now, you’re rolling your eyes. Maybe you’re reading this and feeling insulted — defensive. My mom used to say that if that’s how you’re feeling, then you know that you can improve.
I’m telling you this because being in relationship with authority sites, experts and bloggers will reap HUGE benefits. Maybe not for the project you’re doing NOW, but if you’re promoting people and companies who want to reach out to millions of small business owners and influence them. It’s worth it.