Two Facts About Guest Posting
The fastest way to grow a blog in the entire world is with guest posting.
The hardest way to grow a blog in the entire world is with guest posting.
Guest posting is not easy and it requires quite a bit of work. In order to aid you in making guest posting a little bit easier, I have put together a tutorial on how to go about finding, securing and following through with excellent guest posts. I used this exact strategy to go from 2,000 to 10,000 subscribers on a gaming blog over the course of 6 months will well over 40 guest posts in that time period worldwidetopsite.com.
Find a Site
Thanks to goggle's blog search, it isn't hard to find a hundred blogs in your niche. However, the best sites to submit guest posts to are: A. accepting them and B. blogs you already read and enjoy. Go with the sites you already know before you start looking for new ones. Trust me, even if the site is huge, as long as they state that they accept guest posts then you should be able to get published there. If you can't write something good enough then you will need to work on it until you can.
Do Your Research
You obviously will need to check out the sites you choose to write for and double check the requirements they have for guest posting. The last thing you want to do is waste everyone's time involved by not following their instructions that are already posted. For creating the content itself, I want you to look at what the author already has on their site. See how they write, what html they like to use (bold, h tags, italics, block quotes, lists, etc) and try to incorporate it into your writing. I also want you to look into writing style as well as what ideas have already been published. Ask yourself if you are really bringing anything new to this audience, because if you aren't then you will need to go back to the drawing board. One final place to look for ideas is in the comments of the author's blog posts. There you will find people asking questions or maybe even for specific topics that you could post about.
Create an Initial Post
Once you have your ideas and are ready to write, you should take the time to outline and prepare the post properly. Get a main point and create various supportive bullets to go with the main point. Then write a paragraph or more for each part of the outline, as well as an opener and a concluding paragraph. Be concise, thorough, and make this post the best post you've ever written. It should be so easy to read that Grandma can understand the point of it, but be compelling and thought provoking at the same time. Really push yourself and go at it more than once to get it just right.
Email the Author
This does not take anywhere near as much finesse as most people believe. All you have to do is say "Hello there, my name is Chris and I have written a guest post for you about the following subject. Could you review it and let me know if you'd like to publish the guest post on your site? If not, could you give me ideas regarding what kinds of posts you would like published on your site? Thank you! Chris. [The guest post itself follows]." That's really all there is to it, and honestly, as a blogger, I'd rather guest posters contacted me in this way. I don't want flowery language or butt kissing, just give me some great content and I'll post it in the same week!
An alternative method to this direct approach of 'guest post in hand' is to come to the author and list a handful of post topics you'd be willing to write about. The blog owner can then pick and choose which one he or she wishes you to write about for their blog. I actually went this route with my first guest post here, at Traffic Generation Cafe.
Once a blogger accepts your guest post, you still need to follow up with emails as the date approaches that it is going to be published on. People forget things and they appreciate if you give them a friendly reminder before the date of publication. I can actually count on both hands the number of times my post was forgotten by the author and rescheduled, so now I like to remind them beforehand. This way I won't have to count on my toes as well.
Answer Questions and Have a Discussion in Comments
After the post goes live you will still have work to do as a dutiful guest poster! You need to fuel the fire of conversation that your guest post sparks at the target site. Be helpful, genuine and do your best to keep a healthy conversation going.
Guest posting is hard work but it will grow you faster than any other form of online social activity. You're basically being lent the credibility of the blog author and the time of a new audience, so if you do a good job a good 2-5% should follow you on the spot. What's more, you'll get a great back link to your site as well as hopefully a continued relationship with the author of the blog in question. Don't stop guest posting though, keep at it and do it for as many sites as many times as you can.