The Do's and Don'ts of Applying to Be a Guest Blogger
As a regular blogging contributor on several websites including Forbes and American Express, and the owner of a company that features weekly guest bloggers on our blog, I've learned a thing or two along the way about the initial email when you reach out to become a guest blogger or request a regular contributor spot on a blog that means a lot to you. Specifically, what to do and what not to do along with some of the antics that my social media manager, Heather, has seen on her end when sifting through the mass emails sent out from potential guest posters.
DO try to reach out to the appropriate contact. This should be fairly easy to find in the contacts section of the website where many companies have either generic contact emails to reach (i.e. [email protected] dot com) or forms available to fill out that you can make your inquiry at regarding guest blogging. In the same category, DON'T Google the email of the CEO and send your first post to them hoping to grab their attention first. Chances are it may or may not get passed along to a community manager or land in a spam folder that way.
DON'T ask for money. "I charge $___ per post!" For regular blogging contributors, payment is an agreement that will be reached privately between you and your editor. For one time guest posters, very seldom do you actually get paid for the singular post. For business partnerships, you might want to consider cross-blogging with another company - you have a post on their page, they place one on yours, you scratch their back and they'll scratch yours. Win win all around.
DON'T submit your first email with an attachment included. Regardless of the subject header, the chances that whoever finds this email will be eager to open it. For your first email, DO include a few pitches and ideas that you'd like to write about with some fleshed out ideas for where you plan on going with these ideas and how they tie in to the outlet you're submitting to.
DO respond in a timely manner. This plays out on both ends. As the manager handling the guest blogging requests, try to stay on top of the submissions and not let a month or more slip in between responding back. Same goes for the guest poster.
DO submit your first draft in a Word Document. Typically they're the easiest to open in both Mac and Windows so steer clear of Rich Text or Notepad formatting. And if you know how to do it, DO ask if you can submit your post in HTML formatting.
DO ask for specifications for the post. Length? Byline? Stock image? What do you need for the post? There should be guidelines of some sort available and usually they aren't too terribly intensive to work with.
DON'T expect your article to be published immediately. But DO ask for the date that the post may go live on and if the community manager in charge of the guest posting can send you a link to the post as well as tweet it out on their end.
And finally, DO have an email address that is as user friendly as possible. If the last time you changed your Yahoo email address was when you were 16, you're fairly overdue for an updated grown up edition.
Interested in submitting a guest post on my blog? Email my social media manager Heather at [email protected]!