Guest Posting: 13 Tips for Becoming a Sought-After Blogger for High-Traffic Sites

Written by Karen Cioffi

The marketing winds have shifted people … if you’re a freelance writer and online marketer looking to broaden your reach and get more website traffic, a highly effective, free strategy to use is guest blogging.

How Guest Posting Got to Be So Popular

I used to do article marketing, but as with most marketing strategies, the inevitable happens and the wind shifts.  Article marketing has been replaced as an online marketing strategy in favor of guest posting. It’s all distributing content, but how you go about it is different.

The Difference Between Article Marketing and Guest Blogging

With article marketing, you submit your content to a directly (eg, EzineArticles.com), and blog publishers look for free content go to that directory. If they like your article, they publish it on their blog. Hence, one article could wind up on hundreds of blogs. Google’s Panda/Farmer update severely impacted the effectiveness of article marketing, and that’s why many moved on to guest posting, which continues to be very effective.

With guest posting, you approach one blog owner and offer unique content that can’t be published any place else (for the most part). It’s  organic inbound marketing in that it brings free traffic to your site through accepting optimized content from an outside writer.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Here’s the site’s affiliate disclosure policy for full details.

Guest Posting: 2 Reasons Many Blog Publishers Like It

Blog publishers (like me!) love high-quality content they don’t have to write. Trust me, we do enough of it that it’s nice not to be able to get a break once in awhile. Furthermore, most guest posters market their posts once you publish it, so  it introduces a new audience (the guest poster’s community of followers) to your blog.

Guest Posting Opportunities: 4 Reasons to Take Advantage of Them

First, guest blogging affords you a wider audience for your freelance writing and often this leads to clicks back to your site, meaning more targeted traffic. Think of it as visiting another neighborhood and getting to know those people. Hopefully, they’ll like you and stop on by.

Second, it allows you to further establish your expert status. Being accepted by quality websites is kind of like a seal of approval.

Third, it provides the host site with fresh content. Bloggers are always looking for valuable, actionable content.

And fourth,  since you’re looking to widen your marketing boundaries, it’s a win-win situation. The host site will get additional traffic from your promotion efforts and will be appreciative of those efforts.

Now that you know why online ‘marketing power’ is heading more toward guest blogging on high-traffic, heavy-hitting  sites, let’s outline some guest posting guidelines you should follow to increase your chance of having your post accepted.

Guest Posting: 12 Tips on How to Yours Get Accepted and Acted On

After you’ve found a blog that gets good traffic, accepts guest posts, and you’ve written yours to submit, be sure to observe the following guest posting rules. 

1. Check the site’s guest blogging guidelines

This is essential to effective guest blogging and is actually a pet peeve of mine. Just about every guest post I receive, I know the author didn’t read the guidelines. And, I go the extra step and send the guidelines page link when they query me!

If I do accept the post anyway, I certainly won’t accept a second guest post from that author. Ignoring guidelines is not the way to start a potentially productive and mutually beneficial relationship.

In addition, be receptive to editing suggestions from the site owner.

2. Request a guest blogging spot

If you can’t find submission guidelines, send a polite, professional email requesting permission to submit. Or, send a completed, well-written, in-depth post that is highly relevant to their blog. Many may accept on the spot if you do this.

FYI, from my experience as a blog publisher, many bloggers don’t know proper submission querying etiquette or don’t bother to use it. You might start your query with:

Hi, My name is Your Name and I’m a fan of your Name of Website blog. I’d love to submit  a post …

It’s important to mention the name of the website you want to guest post on. I have three sites I accept guest posts on and it’s annoying when I have to email the querying author back and ask which site he’s querying about.

3. Keep the hosting blog’s target market in mind

This is something that should not need to be mentioned, but it’s worth stating. You’re writing for the host’s target audience. Yes, you want the post to work for you. But as entrepreneur Zig Ziglar was fond of saying, “Help people get what they want,and you’ll get what you want.

Dig around their site and find relevant posts on their blog to link to in your post, or to pull quotes from.  This lets the publisher know that you’ve done your homework and care about their audience.

4. Provide a headshot

That is, if you want it posted with your article.

5. Provide relevant tags

I allow guest posts on three of my websites and in the guest posting guidelines it states to provide at least three relevant tags (aka keyword phrases). Tip: Use this keyword research tool to find high-traffic, relevant keywords for every piece of content you write.

6. Edit your content

As a freelance writer this shouldn’t need to be mentioned, but better safe than sorry. Here’s some insight on how to edit your own writing.

7. Provide images

Ask if the host would like you to send a relevant freelance writing image or the post. If you do send an image to be used with the post, BE SURE it’s copyright free.

To be honest, I don’t accept images from guest authors, it’s not worth the potential copyright infringement problems and cost. I quickly and easily create my own ‘unique to the content’ images. Learn how to make your own images.

8. Promote your post

Share it to Twitter, GooglePlus, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and any other sites you might post to. You should also promote it to the niche groups you belong to.

Guest Posting Guidelines Call to Action StatementThis is what will give your guest post marketing juice and is a strategy I use for all my articles and guest posts. The more traffic and conversation you bring to the table, the more valuable you’ll be to the hosting site, and the more likely you’ll be asked back.

9. Subscribe to post comments

This tip is a must to do. I click on the ‘follow’ or ‘subscribe’ to the comments to make sure I don’t miss any on my guest posts. This helps the traffic and conversation keep flowing.

1o. Check in

Piggybacking on the last tip, stop by periodically for the next week to see if there are any other comments you might have missed. If the site is popular, there will certainly be stragglers who stop by and comment.

11. Send the blog owner a ‘thank you’ email

You might also ask if you can submit another post at a later date.

12. Provide a brief, effective bio

Include a link to your site or landing page. The link may be lost in the posting process, so don’t embed it. Make the bio effective – it will be the copy that will help motivate the reader to click on the link you provide — which is your main reason for guest posting to begin with, remember?

13. This is the most important tip: be professional and courteous

These qualities go a long way in building relationships.

There you have it, 13 tips to enhance your freelance writing guest blogging experience and success.

Guest Posting Guidelines: 12 Responsibilities of a Blog Publisher

Have a blog? Accept guest posts, or are thinking about it? Learn what you should do as a blog publisher once you receive a guest post you want to publish.

How About You?

What guest posting strategies do you use? Are you interested in guest blogging?

Submit a Guest Post: Inkwell Editorial’s Guest Posting Guidelines

Check out our guest posting guidelines. Inkwell Editorial is one of the most recognized sites in the freelance, “make money writing” niches on the web. So if you have something to say to this audience, this site is a good place to submit a guest post.

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.

Note: This post was originally published on December 3, 2013, and was entitled, “12 Tips for Freelance Writers on How to Become a Sought-After Guest Blogger on Popular, High-Traffic Sites.” It was updated and retitled in July 2017.

P.S.: Ready to Start a High-Paying Freelance Writing Career?

$20,000 in one month writing online content? Yep! As this post illustrates, with the right knowledge, you can make really good money writing web content. And, you can start PT or FT. Get trained and get started!

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    1. Ernie Boxall says:

      Karen, always great content and the 12 tips are only the start I understand that..and the site is inspirational in terms of how it looks professionally.As someone new to writing it’s a little bit overwhelming to see the amount of content you have available.

    2. Great tips. Will share. Thanks!
      Donna J. Shepherd recently posted…Mom’s Retreat – Poem for MomsMy Profile

    3. Good points about the etiquette and making things as easy for the host as possible. Helen

    4. Karen, I’ve wondered about guest blogging and your’s is the first article I’ve read on the subject. Lots of good info here that I’m saving for future use.

      Kathleen Moulton recently posted…solace.My Profile

    5. Nice article, Karen. Thanks for sharing. Best wishes to you, Ev

    6. Heehee, I’m smiling! Thank you and it’s my pleasure!
      Karen Cioffi recently posted…A Freelance Writer’s Thanksgiving PrayerMy Profile

    7. I tweeted this to my peeps @frugalbookpromo, Karen. Great topic!
      Carolyn Howard-Johnson
      Loving helping writers get read with my HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers including the multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter (http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) .

    8. Great to be back, Yuwanda! Timing worked out great with CommnetLuv, I have a link on my site to your post about the freelance writer’s Thanksgiving prayer!
      Karen Cioffi recently posted…A Freelance Writer’s Thanksgiving PrayerMy Profile

      • Thanks Karen for the CommentLuv. Appreciate that (that “prayer” is very popular).

        And it’s always good to have you back. You pack sooooo USABLE much info in your posts. I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise with Inkwell Editorial’s readers so freely. 🙂


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