As I mentioned last week, I’ve been guest posting a LOT. In fact, I’m submitting to major blogs every day in hopes of expanding my network and increasing my SEO. And I have to admit, my acceptance rate is pretty high. ((Kisses her brain and pats her own back.)) 

Just this past week I was one of the featured writers on LifeHack for my article 10 Reasons Why People Who Like Sleeping Naked Are Healthier People, and Pick the Brain for my article 5 Reasons To Stop Pretending You’re Not Angry

As nice as it is to brag, that’s really not the purpose of this article. The reason I’m telling you this, is that I’m already learning so much about guest posting, and I wanted to share it with you here, should you be trying to do something similar on your blog. Because before I started, I was nervous about it, and wondered what the “secrets” were. Now I am seeing there are no secrets, just good practices.  

Here are 5 tips to help you guest post smarter and more effectively, so you can grow your readership:

1. Follow the rules

Each blog has their own set of rules and requirements, and it takes extra time and effort to read them carefully each time, ensuring all the information requested is included (or excluded) from your posts. Many of the publications will list that a major reason for rejection is simply because the author didn’t follow the guidelines. 

Also, make sure your content is relevant to their readership. If you write a post about the hippest hair styles for spring, a business development blog will not accept it, no matter how good that post is. Take the extra time to make sure it fits. 

2. Branch out and take risk

In order to reach a wider audience and get accepted on larger blogs, I’ve had to up my level of belief and write authoritatively on subjects outside of my comfort zone. LifeHack assigns pitches to new authors, instead of you pitching to them, so I’ve had to do research on topics I wouldn’t normally write about (like sleeping naked), and then figure out how to tie that into the message I focus on in my own blog.

My belief that I can learn anything, has been a HUGE help in this.

I’ve had to put a new twist on personal truth and self-development in genres like business, finance, health, and parenting. I wouldn’t usually go around speaking authoritatively in some of these areas, but once I dug into the subject, I was able to quote studies, and provide a fresh perspective.

3. Create a system

One of the reasons I am a huge believer in systems and routines, is that will power and belief take a LARGE amount of energy. So if you make a plan when your energy level is high, driven by a strong picture that convicts you to change, you won’t have to make a decision based on belief when it’s time to execute. All you’ll have to do is follow the rules. 

I made a spreadsheet in Google Sheets (so I can access it from my other devices as well) that has a separate tab for each blog I’m submitting to. On each of these pages, I have the link to the guest post guidelines, the focus of the blog itself, and any notes I want to remember about that blog. Then, going down the list each day, I see who I’m submitting to, write a post for that blog, and submit it. Then I log the title of the submission, the date submitted, and when that submission is due for a response. If the post is accepted, I log it, if it’s rejected (or I don’t get a response in the time allotted), I log the rejection date and submit that post to another blog on my list.

4. Don’t take rejection personally

Because I have a plan for rejected posts, I’m not upset when they’re rejected. I just recirculate them with the expectation that I will have a rejection percentage no matter how good I am.

Editors are people, not robots. That means they are subject to things like mood swings, personal experiences that affect their outlook on certain subjects, being brain fried, and not having enough time in the day. So if your post is rejected, look it over to see if it needs to be changed, and then resubmit it to another blog.  

Editors are people, not robots. Don't take rejection personally. Click To Tweet

In the end, after you’ve done everything right, it’s a numbers game. (I learned this from being in sales.) In fact, all of my rejected posts, have been accepted on other blogs with high compliments from the editors.  

5. Write high quality content 

Your guest posts are powerful advertisements to readerships outside of your own circle. Treat them as well as you would for your own blog. If you want to attract good readers, create good content. Go the extra mile when writing, pressing in to make your post worth reading. 

This means you need to proofread! We all miss an error now and then, but you can significantly reduce these errors by taking the time to read your post out loud to yourself or another person before submitting the final draft.

I know this takes more time, and can be tedious. But it is worth the effort. Readers only have so much time in their day, and they won’t read something that isn’t well done.

Hopefully these tips take away any fear you have of guest posting and help you to improve your acceptance rate. Let me know in the comments if you’ve found any additional tips that could be of use, as I am always looking to get better.

-Tara

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4 thoughts on “What I’m Learning From Guest Posting”

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Tara. It is very helpful. You are challenging me to learn more and completely step out of my comfort zone. From the outside looking in, it seems that everyone is already a “expert,” so this is encouraging!

    1. I hear ya on that. So many of us are trying to fake it til we make it. But I also think it seems more intimidating than it is. I was so nervous to stay guest posting. But now I am and is not nerve racking at all. I love when I’m published elsewhere, and it drives great traffic and SEO. Go for it!

  2. Great information! Thank you for sharing. Funny thing is that I had read the posts you mentioned above. Now I wish I had clicked through and discovered your blog earlier!

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