If you run your own blog or are thinking about starting one, you have probably begun to realize the importance of the guest post. For one thing, it is a great way for new writers to get their name out in the blogosphere and begin building up a portfolio of posted work that they can then direct prospective clients to.
It can also be very handy for those that are looking to bring more traffic to their own blog since most hosting sites will allow you to add your link at the bottom of the post (especially if you're supplying free content). In addition, you are providing an invaluable service to another blogger who may be overwhelmed by the demands of running a busy blog (or several). That said, as someone looking to guest post, you should be prepared to face the inevitable: rejection.
Heed this warning: You WILL be rejected, at least once, but probably frequently. If you're a beginning writer, chances are you have a lot to learn about the fine art of tailoring your text to the specifications of each site. Even seasoned writers may find it difficult to meet the demands of so many different bloggers.
It's not easy to be versatile, but it can be done, so don't let a few rejections stop you from trying. It's all part of the learning process. Of course, it couldn't hurt to start by selecting sites that cover topics that are interrelated to your area of expertise. There's a far better chance of acceptance, in some cases, if the blog owner you are soliciting feels that his or her readership will find your article interesting and relevant.
You should also be aware that some blogs, whether because they are very specialized (think tech, medicine, etc.) or very popular, may not even consider a guest post from someone unknown, regardless of your writing skills. They may prefer noted specialists or celebrities, so for a better acceptance rate, try to choose blogs that you may actually have a prayer of impressing. And don't forget that there are a lot of other people out there trying to do exactly the same thing as you.
Now is an excellent time to be a freelance writer, especially if you are resourceful and well-versed on a wide variety of topics, but don't forget that you have competition, and there's always someone who is better or works harder. The point is, you have to hustle if you're going to promote yourself. "Resting on your laurels" is reserved for those rare few who have won the Nobel Prize.
If you've been at it for awhile and still find that you are having a tough time gaining entry into the wide world of guest posting, take a long, hard look at what you are doing. Maybe you aren't really cut out for this type of writing, or maybe you just aren't ready.
Keep in mind that most people who are running a successful blog of their own have paid their dues in one way or another, just like you, and they are doubtless adept at spotting an effort that is substandard or sophomoric. So if you're going to continue to petition blogs for guest posts, be professional! In other words, don't get sloppy or neglect the small stuff. Use spell check. Get a proofreader. And most importantly, take the time to familiarize yourself with what a site offers and their standards for posting. This, more than anything, will help to ensure you don't waste your time (or theirs).
Guest post by: Sarah Harris of Zen College Life
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