It can be hard to be a writer these days.
Sure, the web has democratized attention — but when everyone has a chance to make their voice heard — everybody tries and it can be tough to get anyone to notice.
But what if I told you that there were dozens and dozens of websites that are read by thousands and thousands of people looking for authors like you to write for them?
Would writing for an audience of tens of thousands make a difference to the sales of your book, perhaps?
Maybe it would help you get enough attention on your blog that you catch the eye of an agent or publisher?
Or maybe it will just help you share your story with more people?
Whatever your reasons are, the fact is you probably want and need to get your words and ideas in front of people who are really interested in what you’re doing.
Well, there’s a way to do all of that and more, without taking all of your time or any of your money.
It’s called guest posting, and it’s something that serious bloggers have been doing for years…
The Power of Guest Posting
You may already be familiar with guest posting, but in case you aren’t, I’ll run through a quick explanation of how it works.
You start the process by creating a list of blogs that your ideal reader is likely to frequent — preferably big, powerful authority blogs in your niche. Spend time commenting on different posts, making sure to leave interesting and valuable insights.
While you’re doing this, pay attention to what types of posts perform really well on each blog. How-tos? Exposés? List posts? Keep notes on the preferences of each blog as you comment and engage.
After you’ve left a good number of comments on a blog, reach out to the blog owner with a clear and concise email proposing a post, including your suggested headline, and a little information about what you’d like to write for them, who you are, and why their audience will appreciate it if they give you a chance.
If and when they accept, draft up the post, including a brief bio, and make sure to schedule some time on the day that the post goes live to answer your comments.
There are plenty more details, of course, but at the end of the day, that’s the guest blogging process — and if you want to learn more, feel free to check out the Write Like Freddy training program — almost a thousand bloggers have benefited from it so far.
Okay, enough about the theory. Where can an author or writer go to guest post?
Read on for seven of the best places to start your search.
1. Write to Done
Mary Jaksch is the chief editor of Write to Done, a space for new and experienced writers to share their experiences, knowledge and advice with each other. Write to Done is one of the industry leaders in this area, and so having a post appear there is a great shot in the arm for your credibility and exposure.
Some of the posts that have done exceptionally well on Write to Done are:
Write to Done accepts guest posts frequently, but they have to be top notch! We’re talking about incredibly, unbelievably useful content — so peruse the guidelines and send your very best. Make sure to pay attention to the details!
2. Make a Living Writing
Carol Tice started Make a Living Writing to share her experience making a living as a freelancer. Using her extensive knowledge and experience in the field, she helps writers graduate from content mills and other low-paying markets. Make a Living Writing was named one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers in both 2010 and 2012.
Some of the most popular posts on Make a Living Writing are:
- How I Make $5,000 a Month as a Paid Blogger
- Answers to 100 Freelance Writing Questions – Including Yours
- 113 Things You Can Do to Grow Your Freelance Writing Income – Now
To guest post on Make a Living Writing, brush up on writing strong headlines, and don’t send any finished articles — Carol only wants a proposed headline and an outline of the points that you want to cover. Keep in mind that her most successful guest posters are blog subscribers and regular readers, so sign up!
Oh, did we mention she pays $50 per guest post? Email Carol directly to submit your pitch. (Update: While Carol is no longer accepting guest posts from all writers, you may still be eligible if you’re a current or former member of the Freelance Writers Den or a student or graduate of Jon Morrow’s Guest Blogging course.)
3. Men With Pens
James Chartrand is the pen name of the founder/owner of Men with Pens; she’s a leading copywriter and professional blogger from Montreal, Canada. She has been featured in Forbes, Intuit, Newsweek, New York Times and the Huffington Post, and regularly contributes to top blogs, like Copyblogger.
Men with Pens focuses on the writing side of commercial marketing, customer perception, online businesses, problogging, and consumer psychology. It has been voted one of the Top Ten Blogs for Writers for four years running.
Here’s a sampling of the stuff that does particularly well on her site:
- How to Create a Workshop From Your Ebook
- 3 Simple Questions Your Website Should Answer
- How Not to Mess Up Guest Posting on Your Dream Blog
Your post should be geared toward seasoned writing professionals and should specifically address the subject of succeeding online with your writing, whether about copywriting, freelancing, entrepreneurship, or online marketing. The content should be useful — and although this should probably go without saying, it should be well-written. Affiliate links not permitted. You can read all of the guidelines right here.
4. Jeff Goins
Jeff Goins is the author of Wrecked and leader of a thriving blog community. Jeff explores why writers write, how they can improve, and how to get eyes on their work. Definitely not a blog you want to miss if you’re serious about writing.
Some of Jeff’s best posts are:
Jeff talks about the importance of guest posting himself — so why don’t you send him a well-thought out pitch! Remember to include not just a headline, but also a few solid points you intend to cover, and a good reason why he should pay attention to you!
5. The Creative Penn
On the Creative Penn, Joanna Penn integrates her experience as an author, speaker, and online entrepreneur into her posts, creating a vast resource for people interested in writing, publishing (online and in print), and internet marketing and promotion for their books. Her blog features regular blog posts and interviews with authors and people in the publishing or marketing sphere.
Check out some top posts:
- 5 Ways to Get Your First Draft Material Out of Your Head and Onto the Page
- How to Publish a Book 101
- Help! My Book Isn’t Selling. 10 Questions You Need to Answer Honestly if You Want to Sell More Books
Joanna welcomes guest posts about writing, publishing, marketing or creativity, and favors articles which are useful or thought provoking. She typically accepts posts that are 500-1500 words in length, and an appropriate image must be included with your post submission.
Plan this guest post in advance; the current waiting time for guest posting on Creative Penn is three months! They say that good things come to those who wait, so get your pitch in now! (Update: The Creative Penn is not currently accepting guest posts.)
6. The Write Practice
The Write Practice is composed by Joe Bunting and Liz Bureman, and they are all about improving your writing skills and getting you published!
How do they do that?
They’ll make you practice, and practice and practice — because nothing else will improve your skills! With tutorials on common necessary skills, and inspiration for everyday writing — the Write Practice is a wonderful place to “see and be seen.”
Here are some of the most interesting posts from the Write Practice. Use them as examples, and try them yourself!
The Write Practice likes guest posts about how to write various genres, from poetry to journalism. Make sure to follow all of the guidelines, and be patient if it takes a little time to get a response!
7. The Renegade Writer
Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell are the dynamic duo behind The Renegade Writer, and they practice what they preach: their philosophy is that to be a successful freelancer, you must do what works for you, rather than blindly following pre-established “rules” of the trade. Linda’s blog strives to encourage people to figure out their individual system of what works, and get them motivated to reach their writing dreams.
Some of their best performing posts are:
- How to Gain Control Over Your Freelancing Life
- 10 Productivity Hacks for Freelancers
- 3 Excuses That Are Keeping You From a Successful Freelance Writing Career
Guest posting on The Renegade Writer will also net you $50 in addition to access to their wonderful and engaged audience. If your post is published, you must be ready to promote it via social media and be actively engaged with readers in the comments. They prefer posts about productivity, motivation, query writing, tips on how to diversity your income, amongst others — and the higher the word count, the better! (Update: The Renegade Writer is not currently accepting guest posts.)
So there you have it — seven popular writing blogs that you should be writing for to gain exposure, credibility and excellent experience. Having relationships with these bloggers and their readers will have long term benefits for your writing career. So don’t hesitate!
Get out there and pitch!