So, you want some awesome PR for your business. You want to establish yourself as an authority in your field. You want to drive backlinks to your website, improve your SEO, and some impressive content for social media wouldn't hurt either.
Oh, and the kicker: you don't want to spend a cent.
Well first of all – you're very demanding, aren't you! That's a tall order. But lucky for you, there's a completely FREE way to achieve all of the above.
All you will need is some time and a laptop (and potentially the Grammarly app).
We are talking about guest writing. Yet another savvy tool in the DIY Publicity toolkit.
Otherwise known as guest blogging or guest posting, this is the practice of submitting pieces of your own writing to reputable sites relevant to your industry.
You'd be surprised how many of your favorite websites accept guest blogger submissions, and equally surprised how much content on each of those sites comes from guest writers, rather than journalists.
Unfortunately, just because you submit something, doesn't mean it will be accepted. Enter into the world of guest writing blindly, and you could waste hours stewing over epic 500-word meanderings and sending them left and right with no joy. Hours that COULD be spent growing your business!
Don't gamble with your time - follow these top tips, and you'll be on your way to guest writing success.
10 Tips for Guest Writing Success
1. Do Your Research
You're looking for sites with a lot of traffic, domain authority, blog engagement, reposts on socials, and a trusted name. To find sites to begin with, try searching 'guest writing,' 'guest blogging,' 'guest post' 'guest post guidelines' or 'blogging opportunities' on Google.
Choose Relevant Sites
Submit to sites that center around your industry. Before you submit, as yourself: does my brand, business or story fit in here? If the answer is no, keep it moving.
2. Audit The Sites Content
See what kind of articles have been posted recently so you can see what type of content makes the cut, and also so you can ensure you're not doubling up on recent stories.
3. Read Submission Guidelines
Most sites have guest posting guidelines, which should be strictly adhered to, to increase your chances of getting a post across the line. You should also pay close attention to how the site wants to receive submissions. Is it through a 'Submit Guest Post' button, a 'Contact Us' field, or an email contact?
4. Pitch First (Where Possible)
If it's an email or 'contact us' situation, before you spend hours perfecting an opus, shoot a few concepts over to the contact to get a feel for what will work best. This will also help you develop media relationships and establish people you can reach back out to for future stories.
5. Favor Popular Blog Styles
If you're stuck on content ideas, the most requested and accepted guest blog styles are how-to's, lists, case studies, and top tips.
6. This Is Not An Ad
Think like a journalist. It can't be all about you and your brand, or it probably won't be accepted. Your brand needs to appear in the context of a broader story that's relevant to readers.
7. Headlines Matter
Just like a press release or news story – your headline is just as important as your story. Think about what is going to reel the content coordinator and the reader in?
8. Grammar Check
If spelling, grammar, or writing, in general, is not your greatest asset, use an app like Grammarly to enhance your work and make sure it's top-notch.
9.Always Include Links
Including your links and socials at the end of your piece should go without saying, but if you want to get really nifty, you also can cleverly and discreetly bury a link in your actual post, as close to the top as possible.
10. Leverage Your Coverage
Once your piece has been accepted (look at you!), use the content to your advantage. Add it to the press section of your website. Post it on social media, tagging the outlet. Send it in your e-newsletter to your customers and partners, and use it when pitching other guest writing opportunities or general media angles in the future!
Finally, as a bonus, here's a list of some of our favorite sites that accept guest blogger submissions to get you started!