5 Tips for Writing a Successful Guest Post

how to guest post

Guest posting is all the rage!

No seriously, if you’re a blogger and not guest posting, you’re missing out! Guest posting on other people’s blogs is a great way to reach a new (sometimes wider) audience, among other reasons.

But what if you haven’t guest posted before? It can seem a bit intimidating. You’ve probably seen me before on this very site, on Leaving Work Behind, Making Sense of Cents, Sprout Wealth, Careful Cents among other places.

I’m also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. I know a thing or two about guest posting. And I’m going to share with you my top five tips for writing a successful guest post. Are you ready?

1. Seek out Authentic Opportunities

Don’t come up with a list of 50+ blogs and send out a blanket (non personalized) email to seek out guest posting opportunities. Instead consider the blogs that you actively read and those in your niche to be a source of potential guest posting leads.

When you send a guest posting pitch email, it is immediately apparent to the blog owner if you’re an active reader of their work or if you’re just cold emailing them for the chance to guest post. Take the time to research their site and draft a complimentary (but not over-the-top) pitch email that is personalized to them and their content. If what you write about doesn’t fit what they write about, then you’re probably not a match!

2. Put Your Best Foot Forward

Like I mentioned above, make sure your content jives with their site. If you write about DIY and their blog is about travel, then they’re not likely to publish it. Provide a couple of ideas in your pitch that mirror (but not copy) the content that their site already features.

If someone’s give you the chance to write for their site, you need to make sure that you deliver an excellent piece and put your best foot forward. Take extra time and make sure this is some of your best work. You may or may not be getting paid for the guest posting opportunity, but regardless this post is putting coin in your reputation and branding bank.

3. Be Active in the Comments

If the blog you’re writing for has an active comments section, you should be prepared to respond to comments to your post on the day your contribution goes live, as well as the couple of days/week afterward. It doesn’t need to be a lengthy response, but it should be unique to each commenter and acknowledge that you read their comment or provide a response to the question asked.

Not all blogs have an active comment section or have one that’s published at all. That’s okay, they’re probably focused on sharing it via social media instead. Make sure you iron out the expectations with the blog owner as you talk about your contribution ahead of it going live.

4. Be Appreciative

Someone allowing you to post on their website or blog is a leap of faith. They’re doing you a solid. They’re putting their reputation on the line when allowing you to talk to their readers through a guest posting contribution.

Make sure you recognize this fact and that you’re appreciative. It’s in both of your benefits to spread the word once the post is up via social media, so make sure to do that and copy them (add the + sign and their name on Google+ or their Twitter handle via that platform for example).

Send them a follow-up thank you email expressing your gratitude for the opportunity. Don’t go over-the-top mind you, but do make sure that you communicate your appreciation for the opportunity!

5. Ask for Referrals

If you’ve successfully gotten the chance and executed on the opportunity to guest post on someone’s site, there’s no reason you can’t ask for referrals. Ask them if they know of anyone else that would find your content/writing useful.

This is a great thing to do in your thank you email or a few days/weeks later. Again, don’t come off pushy, just appreciative. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

In Conclusion

Guest posting opportunities are a great way to brand yourself, increase your readership and let the world at large know that you exist. There is a right and a wrong way to go about it though.

When asking for guest posting opportunities, make sure to be authentic, polite and put your best foot forward. After your post goes live, be active in the comments, on social media and appreciative of the opportunity. If it went well, don’t forget to ask for referrals to see if they know of anyone else that would enjoy your content.

Are You an Aspiring Writer?

Did you know I recently launched a 30 day email course from brand spanking new freelance writers? No, well you should check it out! It’s only $30 (a steal) and is called 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success. If you’ve been thinking about breaking into the world of freelance writing for the web, it’s a no-brainer and great way to get started!

Are you in the habit of guest posting regularly? Have any tips to add?

Gina Horkey

7 comments… add one
  • Allan Seabrook December 16, 2014, 12:28 pm

    Thank you, Gina, for sharing all this great advice! I am so enjoying your 30 day e-mail course!


    • Gina Horkey December 16, 2014, 3:02 pm

      Thanks Allan! I really love sharing what I’ve learned and am so glad you’re finding it helpful!

  • Linda Connelly December 16, 2014, 3:43 pm

    Great advice! Thank you for this encouragement!

  • Nicholas Godwin March 3, 2015, 7:53 pm

    What I love about this article the most is that fact that I can take action on it immediately. And I’ll do just that. But what hit me the most is the last point on asking for referrals, that’s something we often do in other business practices, but absolutely forget to do when it comes to guest blogging or our writing business.

    I’m really grateful for the insight here.

    • The Becomer March 13, 2015, 7:46 pm

      Awesome! I hope you’ll get results soon enough


Leave a Comment