The holy grail of guest blogging is not writing for a popular blog. It’s writing a popular post for a popular blog.
One that gets mentioned, shared, and retweeted.
One that sends you traffic and earns you subscribers.
The best part? It opens the door to a new relationship with the popular blogger, since hosting your viral post is also a win for them.
But let’s back up for a moment. How do you take your guest blogging game from so-so to superstar?
Here are six go-to strategies for writing a great guest post.
1. Read the guidelines
2. Do your research
Read as many of the posts on the blog as you can. Learn which posts are popular and why. What are the readers saying in their comments? Can you find a different perspective on the same topic as a popular post?
For example, the forum on Tiny Buddha is a gold mine for the kinds of things its readers fear, love, yearn for, and worry about. I noticed a theme of loneliness, thought about a time when I felt this way (this blog’s guidelines require personal experience) and started writing.
The result? My post, “Loneliness is a Choice: Proactively Choose to Connect with People” is one of Tiny Buddha’s most popular.
3. Write a concise email
If the blogger has guest post guidelines on their site, they won’t need a 200-word intro on the post you send them.
Simply state that you’ve been reading their blog for a while and think their audience would enjoy your post. Give the title of the post and some details of its content.
And that’s it. No need to grovel, beg, or offer your pet poodle as a bribe. If they like it, they will get in touch with you. If they don’t reply after a week, follow up.
4. Use your networks
Your post was accepted? Awesome! Make a note of its go-live date and get ready to promote it to your own community.
Once the post is live, be there for your baby. Share it using all of your social media prowess. Email your subscribers a link to the post.
5. Be responsive
Be active in the comments section: answer questions left by readers, and engage in discussions with the audience. Check back on the post often or sign up to be updated when new comments are posted.
6. Build connections
Guest posting gets easier with established relationships; I had already written several posts for Tiny Buddha before submitting this particular one, so I had a good idea of what the editor was looking for.
What if you want to submit a post, but you don’t have a relationship with the blogger? Start by building a rapport through commenting on existing posts, communicating on Twitter/Facebook/their preferred social media platform, and replying to the emails they send (you are subscribed to their list, aren’t you?).
Going from writing just another guest post to creating a destined-to-be-popular post takes time. Use yours wisely, and do everything you can to show you care about its future. (Click to tweet this idea).
And now, ladies and gents, you know the secrets to writing popular guest posts. So what are you waiting for? Get writing!
What other strategies have you used in order to write a popular guest post?
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This post originally ran in 2013. We’re sharing it again because it’s such a great resource!