The Best Guest Blogging Tips and Benefits for Freelance Writers in 2014

Written by Karen Cioffi

First, let me say . . . Merry Christmas Eve! I hope you’ve been enjoying the holiday season. Now, to today’s topic.

Freelance Writers: Want to Add Guest Blogging to Your Marketing Arsenal This Year?

Here’s some insight into how to do it right.

As a freelance writer, a good way to broaden your reach and readership, and increase your authority and income is to guest blog on relevant and high quality sites. I’ve written other articles about the benefits of guest blogging as a way to increase your authority and it’s nice to know that Search Engine Journal says the same thing:

Because many online users visit the same social networks and related blogs in their industry on a regular basis (even daily), seeing the same author in multiple places reinforces the idea that this person is an expert in their field.

Guest blogging is now the article marketing heavy hitter. Article directories are great also, but guest blogging on relevant and quality sites (influential sites) offers a more targeted audience. A relevant site is one that is within your niche – a related site through subject matter.

How to Find Influential Sites to Guest Blog For

If you’re wondering how to determine if a site is ‘good’ or high quality, you can check Alex.com. “Alexa is the leading provider of free, global web metrics.” You can search by URL, keyword, category, and more.

To find out the ranking / status of the site you want to query about a guest post, simply put the URL in the search box at Alexa and it will bring up the results. This will help you determine if the site is worth your efforts. The lower the numbers, the better.

FGuest Blogging Tips for Freelance Writers in 2014or example, the Alexa rating of one of my blogsites, Writers on the Move, is: Global 273,696 / U.S. 64,468.

These numbers are from December 14, 2013. Alexa ratings change on a daily basis and are calculated from well over 10,000,000 websites. The Writers on the Move’s ranking is pretty good. Google’s ranking is: Global 1 / U.S. 1.

Other factors Alexa looks at are daily page views per visitor and daily time on site. For these numbers, the higher, the better.

Writers on the Move does well in this category also:

Daily Pageviews per Visitor: 4.00

Daily Time on Site: 5:23

Using Alexa gives you lots and lots of information to base your guest blogging host site decision on.

Check the Guest Posting Guidelines (you should already know this as a freelance writer)

Once you find a site you’d like to write for, check their guest blogging guidelines. Most sites that accept guest posts have a page dedicated to their guidelines. Read the guidelines carefully and follow them.

Keep in mind that the site took the time and effort to create a guideline page and most site owners or content managers get annoyed when they aren’t followed. I know I do.

On my sites, I allow reprints, but I do have specific guidelines as to the formatting and content. If someone wants to query me for a guest post, I expect they at least check the guidelines first.

A Guest Posting Dilemma: Should You Write a Complete Article, or Only Submit a Query?

Okay, it’s not really a dilemma; it’s just part of the territory. You can approach the site owner with a query about an article you’ve already written, or you can ask if the site would prefer to suggest a topic.

If you have an article in hand, be sure it’s relevant to the site you’re querying.

For my queries, thus far, I’ve had the articles already written. But, I knew those articles were what the site would be looking for. And, if that particular site didn’t want it, I could always shop it around. I could even use it on my own site, if it’ wasn’t accepted. And, yes, rejection happens, but it’s okay. Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Original Content

When writing guest posts, your content will usually need to be original. As mentioned above, sites that accept guest posts will have a page explaining what they want and what you need to do. And, in addition to being original, on some sites the content will be exclusive to the hosting site.

How to Get More Juice Out of Your Original and Exclusive Guest Blogging Content

Being a freelance writer, you will most likely want to get more juice out of the content you write, especially after investing time and effort into guest blogging. I know I do.

One way I do this is to create a blog post on my own site leading the reader back to the published guest post. Simply create a brief lead-in to the article then quote a paragraph or two (make sure not to give away any important information). Follow this with a “To read more, visit,” or other wording that will lead the reader to the original guest post. Be sure to include a clickable link.

Another way to get more juice is to use quotes from the guest post or relevant keywords and anchor text them to the original guest post.

The Benefits of Guest Blogging for Freelance Writers

The obvious benefits were mentioned above: increased visibility, readership, and authority. But, there are additional benefits, like ‘strutting your stuff.’

Guest blogging on sites in your writing niche allows you to demonstrate your writing skills and knowledge of the industry you’d like to write for. If the hosting site has authority, chances are those in the industry will be reading it. This gives you visibility to the right people and may help give your freelance writing business a boost and increase your subscriber list.

I use this strategy and I’ve gotten gigs from it. It does work. Just be sure to include contact information in your tag.

Summing It Up

Guest blogging may seem like a daunting undertaking, but it’s really not. It does though take some time and effort. You need to:

  • Do a bit of research
  • Find out what the site owner or content manager is looking for
  • Write and submit an effective query
  • Write quality content

Being a freelance writer this should be ‘old school’ to you.

And, while you usually won’t get any monetary payment for your time and effort, you will, as mentioned above, increase your visibility, readership, and authority, which in my opinion is well worth it.

How About You?

Do you guest blog? What strategies do you use? If you haven’t yet, do you think you’ll give it a shot? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

About the Author: Karen Cioffi is a freelance writer and online platform marketing instructor with WOW Women on Writing! She helps authors and freelance writers create and optimize their online platform, including their website. Need help with your platform? Take Ms. Cioffi’s six week in-depth ecourse, Create and Build Your Author/Writer Online Platform.

coverP.S.: Want to blog/write for a living?

Get the ebook that pushed my freelance writing career to the next level – allowing me to travel and live abroad, get out of debt and really “live the freelance life.” One freelancer wrote:

First let me say thanks for answering my question(s) in your previous blog posts. I am writing to let you know, that I had my first $200 day after following the steps you outline in your e-book. I sent . . . emails pitching myself as a niche writer . . . A few days later, an SEO company called me, explained the scope of the project and sent me the funds through paypal without hesitation. . . . they are a local company. They said if they like my work, they will have much more in store, and are willing to pay higher fees.

For some reason, I thought your advice would only work for you. I know, call me naive, but I guess it seemed too good to be true. Luckily, I discovered you and liked what you had to say. If it wasn’t for you, I think I would still be trying to break into magazine writing.

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    1. Yuwanda, it’s great to be back!
      Karen Cioffi recently posted…Book Marketing – Yesterday and Today (strategies to use in 2014)My Profile