If you’re starting up as an e-commerce vendor, a freelancer, or an online consultant, how do you put your product in front of your ideal customer?
As a startup, you don’t have a million dollars to run a PPC, SEM, or SEO advertising campaign. And with over a billion websites out there, getting your blog in Google search results is more difficult than advertising your brick-and-mortar shop on one of the billboards in Times Square.
Luckily for you, there’s a smart marketing solution: guest posting—publishing articles on popular blogs. You can launch an online business today and start getting traffic, exposure, and even some sales with a single guest post.
The hard part is how to write, pitch, and get your guest post accepted.
Here are some tips to guide you:
Conduct a thorough research on the blogger.
Before anything else, you must do your homework.
Those editors at top publications and A-list bloggers are very smart. They can tell if you’re just a get-rich-quick marketer who wants to get traffic and leads from their platform. You have to avoid that by digging deep into their website or blog.
As you go through their website, familiarize yourself with the topic they publish. If it is a marketing blog, for example, do they focus more on lead generation, growth hacking topics, or copywriting? Next, know what types of articles they love.
Are they list posts or how-to’s? In-depth articles (1,500–2,500 words) or short articles (500–700 words)?
Finally, never ever reach out to an A-list blogger on their contact form. Get their email address, roll up your sleeves, and craft an original, high-quality article that no one has ever written before.
Write a guest post that has never been written before.
I mean it. If you want to get a “yes” from an editor at Forbes, CNN, Entrepreneur, or Inc, you have to craft a post that has never been written before.
“But,” you say, “everything has been written.”
You’re right. Almost everything has been written, and writing engaging posts is a challenge bedeviling most bloggers today.
However, here’s a formula for picking a topic that has been written a million times and crafting it differently, making it look fresh, unique, and original.
- Write from a different perspective. Millions of bloggers have written on the topic of blogging, for example. To write an original article on the niche, approach your topic from a different angle—depending on the niche of the blog you’re pitching. For example, if it’s a business blog you’re pitching, you may tailor your topic this way: “How to Write Blog Content That Smartly Describes Your Product.”
- Make your points unique. You don’t want to write generic points. Take the time to come up with powerful, creative points that are new and exceptional.
- Don’t shy away from voicing your opinion. To write an original post, sometimes all you need is your gut and your viewpoint. If you believe in or have experienced something, don’t hesitate to package it into a blog post. People love reading novel ideas that originate from a passionate mind.
When you have finished writing your guest article, don’t post it yet. Set it aside for now, and commit to writing and sending a stellar email pitch.
Did you think I skipped that part?
Send a stellar pitch that reveals your professionalism.
An email pitch is your two-minute chance to reveal your credibility to an editor.
So, when writing your email pitch, ensure that:
- You have included your corporate email,
- Your message is short, and
- You have included links to your best published articles.
Here’s a sample of the email pitch that has gotten me accepted on sites like Fortune, Entrepreneur, and Inc:
Subject: Guest Post for [Insert name of the blog/publication]
Hi [FIRST NAME]:
My name is [YOUR FULL NAME]. I’m the founder and CEO of [YOUR COMPANY NAME].
I’ve been writing for [#] years, and I’m a regular contributor for […]. Here are some of my latest articles online:
- ARTICLE #1
- ARTICLE #2
- ARTICLE #3
For several days now, I’ve been digging through [BLOG NAME], getting familiar with your style and audience. If you’re open to it, I’d like to write some guest posts for you.
Here are some sample headlines:
- HEADLINE #1
- HEADLINE #2
- HEADLINE #3
Do any of these sound like a good fit?
[YOUR FIRST NAME]
See? It’s simple, short, and snappy. And it reveals your professionalism.
Guest posts can growth hack your business in ways you have never imagined. But… you need to do it right. Do your homework first. Know what your A-list blogger is publishing, and write a super article that they’ll be happy to publish. Send them a memorable pitch that reveals your personality and expertise. Do this, and your guest post will never be rejected by anyone, not even an editor at CNN.