Often bloggers give permission to straightaway send your guest article to their email rather than expecting you to make a pitch. In such instances, bloggers mostly click open the attached guest article than reading the whole pitch. Hang around the blog on which you would like to have your guest article published and see if there are any guidelines in this regard. If such freedom has been given to straight away mail the guest article, it is now your effort to make the host blogger open and read your guest article. If the blogger expects your article to be sent as an attached MS Word document, save the document with your article’s catchy title rather than something like “Guest Article One For MT Herald.” You may have mentioned your article’s title in the content of the pitch but chances are that it could go unnoticed among a bunch of guest post pitches, especially if your pitch got landed in the spam folder. The attached document’s title should be tempting to click open, something similar to your behavior on a SERP if you find an attractive title. The title should impart the first impression about you. For SEO purposes, make it a point to construct your title exactly 65 characters in length taking care to include long-tail keywords. Usually the words how to, ultimate, secrets, tips, ways, top, guide etc., provoke enthusiasm and response in anyone with an interest in the topic. Try to include any of these words in the title. Moreover, making the guest article’s title as the subject line of the email ensures 200% chance of your article being read by the blogger.
I have a friend who carefully picks up rarely used, difficult words from the dictionary whenever he writes something, to impress the reader with his pedantry. In blogging, don’t be of the view that you can impress a reader or a blogger with your erudition; you may not get accepted. You are bound to be accepted if you write on a complicated subject but in plain, simple language that even a non-native reader could easily understand what you have written. Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.
Copywriters can write on any given topic and these days most of the copywriters that I have come across have become copy + writers or purely scrapers or article spinners. They just scrape the content on any given subject, spin it rephrasing the sentences to pass through Copyscape, and send it as content of their own. In these days of Google, it is easy for a serious blogger to separate wheat from chaff and they don’t have to be a genius at that. It is for you to stand apart from copywriters. Write unique original content. Make your content speak. Try to know the general interests of the blogger, the blog’s subject, and the pulse of the readers. Write what you know the best within the interests of the readers and the host blogger. A poor original is better than a good imitation.
Let your article be an elaborative guide on the subject that you write and not one that is written just for the sake of filling 500 words and getting a self-serving link. Don’t beat around the bush. Let your post be useful and thought provocative and capable of inviting reader response as comments. Don’t look around the word count but let the post be a complete resource of the topic you have written, never mind even if it takes 2000 words or more. No blogger would dare to reject such a marvelous content. Note that with Google weighing in more on quality day by day with frequent algorithm updates, it will be worth the effort if your article gets a good PageRank in the next PageRank update and you have a self-serving link in it to your site!
Including images in an article makes it attractive as well as would help bring substantial amount of traffic from search engines that any blogger would not want to miss. Do take care to include at least one optimized image in your guest post. If the image is your own, name the image with the keywords included in the post. If you are unable to include your own image, include creative commons attributed images. Flickr is a great resource for you to find images that could be used for free with creative commons attribution. Do make it a point to use alt tag for images as this helps users to find your article on Google image search.
With Google’s whip on low-quality websites, it has made most bloggers fearful and wary of accepting guest posts. In this scenario, linking to your site from a well written byline should be the right approach than phrasing the sentences to keep your self-serving link inside the content. Hence write a unique, well written byline. Don’t make your byline boring, one line, repeated phrase that can be found everywhere on the Internet where you have guest blogged, something like “Mary Smith would like to cook, eat, and visit her site www.xxxxxxxxx.com.” It should be well phrased to portray the personality behind the guest post, a byline that is convincing, that will compel a reader to click the link and visit your blog. So, your byline not only fetches a link to you but also a sincere reader who reads until the end of your post. Do include your Google+ profile according to Google authorship markup guidelines. Encourage the host blogger if he is reluctant to do so explaining him that Google prioritizes authored content and is the safest approach in accepting guest posts and that the SEO benefits are many.
Guest posts typically with just one link in the byline makes it look suspicious to the eyes of a search engine, something like a sponsored post or a post with a paid link, although you may have done the guest post in the best interests of a reader. Hence within the limits of Google’s guidelines on linking out, take the effort to link to resources inside the article. See if the blogger has his own set of SEO guidelines and link-out strategies in this regard, as some bloggers would like to link only to blogs. If there aren’t any particular guidelines for writing a guest post or linking out, deliberately link to useful resources and authoritative domains inside the content and make look the content really useful and authoritative. If a guest article with the links in it looks natural to a reader, Google bot too should be okay with them. Articles with many links look more natural than articles with only one or two links in the byline linking to the author’s site. Furthermore, instead of linking twice to your own site in the byline, a second link to your Google+ profile or any other social media profile would make it less suspicious in Google bot’s eyes.
Instead of expecting the host blogger to do all the SEO work of your guest post, do all the SEO part of your guest post by yourself so that it becomes just a cakewalk for the host blogger. Write description meta tag of length 155 characters at the end of the guest article which would be easy for the host just to copy and paste. Do not forget to include title tag for links. To make the article visually appealing and easy for the eyes, it is best to break the content with subtitles, bulleted lists, and numbered lists. Format subheadings within h3 tags and not as bold.
Before submitting your article, proof read it at least thrice, looking for spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, punctuation errors etc., as they could easily seep through and make look awry. The article may be a good one, but we are usually blind to our own silly mistakes; reading it again and again ensures nothing goes wrong.
Bloggers would prefer to have guest post contents in HTML, so that it is easy for them to work around. Check the guidelines of the blogger that you are going to pitch of the requirements that he would like to receive the guest post, some prefer MS Word, some prefer HTML. If HTML is okay for them, go ahead and convert your post to complete HTML before sending them. There are umpteen sites over there to do that for you.
Follow up after your guest article is live. Once your guest article is live on the host blog, thank the blogger for the opportunity. Reply the comments and queries for at least one week that the readers may put up on your guest article. Promote your guest post on all your social media accounts to the fullest possible extent to bring in traffic and to impress the host blogger with the traffic your post got.
All these that I have said here are the things that you do when you write a post on your own blog which you will be reluctant to do when you are guest blogging. Stick to all these guest blogging best practices and you are ought to be in the good books of the host blogger. You may request references and recommendations from him for guest blogging elsewhere. Rest is assured. The blogger is going to fetch you more guest blog post opportunities from his friend and fellow bloggers by giving references and recommending you. Moreover, you have already made an investment for a second guest post on the same blog. That is what I said in the beginning “guest blogging best practices bring you more guest blog post opportunities!”
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