Guest Blogging is A Lot Like Dating: You Make Your Own Luck
Kimberly Erskine, March 3, 2016
Let’s be honest: in 2016 guest blogging is difficult, and at times, it feels like an impossible task. If you market your website online, chances are you spend hours upon hours looking for new opportunities and pitching topic after topic only to be met with a response of “sorry, not interested.” After so many rejections it can begin to sound like the clichéd “It’s not me, it’s you” response that so many individuals give while ending a relationship. And that is exactly what this is --- the end of a relationship that never even had a chance to begin. And just like with dating, there’s probably a good reason it just isn’t working out. Let’s examine further:
- Don’t Narrow Your Focus to Just One Person. In a perfect world, we’d fall hopelessly in love and marry the first person we see. However, in reality, it rarely works that way. Instead, people will play the field a bit and find out who or what they like. Your guest blogging strategy should work in a similar fashion. Don’t feel like you have to pitch to the first blogger you see. The first blogger may not accept guest contributions or they may not post content that is in line with the topic you are pitching. Instead, take some time to meet a number of people and find multiple enticing opportunities to pursue. Don’t be afraid to pitch to more than one blogger, either. Sometimes it takes multiple tries with different blogs to find the one that is the perfect fit.
- Don’t Waste Time On People Who Aren’t Ready to Commit. Consider the guest blogging phase of your life to be the commitment phase of your life. A common mistake that many marketers make is they don’t spend time on building a relationship that benefits them for years to come. They want to pitch a topic to a blogger, have it accepted, write the article, have it published, and never hear another word from the blogger ever again. But this method isn’t going to do anyone any favors. Sure, it may get you the guest post and the link you want at the moment, but what about your future? This leads us to our next point…
- Take your time to build the relationship. You’re probably not going to marry someone after just one date. Instead, you’re going to take your time to get to know the person and build a relationship to work your way up to an engagement. Think of your guest post as a marriage. Your ultimate goal here is to get your content published on another blog. However, you shouldn’t expect to simply email a blogger and have them automatically accept your pitch. Instead, take your time to build the relationship. Read the blogger’s past posts and leave genuine, well-thought out comments. Share their content and engage in conversation with the blogger. Give them time to really get to know you and to see you as a friend before pitching any content to them. All of this will help to lead you up to the point where you ask for that first date, which in this case will be your pitch. You’re more likely to have your pitch accepted if the blogger knows you and is familiar with your work ahead of time. Then, once they accept your pitch and publish one of your guest posts, you’ll have the foundation in place for a deeper, long-term relationship that will open the door to future guest posts. It doesn’t all happen overnight; it takes time, but in the end the results will be well worth it.
- Give them a reason to choose you. In your dating life, you’ll have to show your partner the value of being in a relationship with you. Your partner isn’t going to want to be with you if you don’t treat them well. The same is true for guest blogging relationships. Make sure you offer value to the blogger that you are pitching to. What’s in it for them? Why should they accept your pitch? Don’t be afraid to brag a bit about your experiences. Were you previously published on a well-known blog that got tons of hits? Let them know! Can you offer a free sample of a product or some form of a giveaway along with your post to their readers? Will you promote their content to the fullest extent? Relationships, whether in your dating life or your marketing life, take two. Don’t be selfish; make sure you demonstrate the mutual benefits with your guest post so that the blogger will want to publish it.
If your guest blogging days have screeched to a halt, it’s time to get your content back out there. Follow my four tips and enjoy a happy relationship that will attract new users to your website!