Blogging

How to write better guest posts

Guest posting has a ton of benefits, particularly in terms of getting a new, targeted audience to visit your blog. But getting a guest post written and approved can be challenge. Here are some tips to help you get good at guest posting from day one.

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1. Look at previous posts

Before starting to pitch or write a guest post, read a few of the previous posts to obtain a feel for the style and flavour of the blog you’re planning to write for. Though the guest post should be in line with the overall content of the blog, the reason a host editor invites a guest blogger to post an article is to offer the audience a fresh perspective and a variation in writing style. Select a topic that is in line with the overall content, but one that has not yet been covered. A lot of people take the lazy route of just pitching ideas without looking at what’s already been published, which is practically guaranteed to get the website owner’s back up.

2. Write your best

A guest post should be well-researched and well-written in the same way your own blog posts are. There’s no point doing a half-hearted attempt as chances are your post will be rejected or you’ll have to spend more time going back and forth on corrections anyway. Even if your post is approved by the website owner, that doesn’t mean that people will click through to your website unless you’re engaging and write in an interesting way. Spend time to write the best possible quality of post when guest blogging on a host site. Ensure there are no grammatical or typographical errors in the post, and make sure the post is helpful to the reader.

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3. Use clear formatting

Posts with headlines, sub-headers and bullet points make online content easier to read, and improves accessibility. Content that is organised in this way is easier for people to scan and take in without too much commitment, which is very typical of how people read on the internet. Subheadings and bullet points can also help you incorporate keywords for SEO, and ask questions that draw readers in.

4. Provide links to sources

Just like your English teachers required, references are important in guest posts. Always give credit where credit is due by linking to sources within the text of the post, and remember to ask permission in advance if you’re planning to use assets from other websites, such as images or extensive quotes. Be sure to appropriately credit images and multimedia elements, as well.

5. Stay true to the look and feel of the blog

When writing a guest post, respect and appreciate the brand. Avoid using fancy fonts or inline CSS, even for emphasis. Keep the format of the post in line with the original design of the host blog. A good guest post is interesting and useful even with minimal formatting. Remember that images add to the load time of the post, and keep them only to essentials.

6. Aim for friendly formatting

Your host doesn’t want to spend time cleaning code out of guest posts. Either send your post in plain text format, or write the post in the blog’s native editor. For example, if the host blog uses WordPress, write the post in WordPress. If you do not use WordPress, provide the post to the host editor in plain text format. Providing an easily formatted post will save the host blogger time when they publish the guest article by not having to clean extra code out of the piece, or adjust formatting to suit their blog. Be sure you’re a considerate guest poster and don’t cause the host editor extra work just to get the guest post in a format to be published.

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7. Don’t over-promote

One reason for guest posting is to attract more visitors to the author’s own blog. However, shameless over-promotion within the post of your own websites or services, or linking out to several of your own websites, can come across as very spammy.

8. Leave the audience wanting more

One reason authors write guest posts is to attract a similar audience to their own blogs. When authoring a guest post on a blog, the poster generally has an idea of the audience for which they are writing. The guest post should make readers hungry for more of the author’s content. Always leave the audience wanting to read more similar content.

Writing great guest posts will attract an audience to the guest author’s blog and keep readers coming back for more. Being a gracious guest poster, just as being a gracious guest in general, will keep the host editor happy and make them glad they invited the guest poster to participate.

About the Author
Chris Campbell is a guest blogger from GradeSaver, who really enjoys writing posts about reading, writing, and learning. His works of literature are Macbeth and The Scarlet Letter.

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