From the Pipeline ROI Blog…
You’re looking to grow traffic to your blog by creating the best content around. However, sometimes it’s nice to get an outsider’s perspective on a topic. Sound advice from a professional in a related field can bring a new dynamic to your blog. And conversely, writing for someone else’s blog can bring you valuable backlinks and an expanded audience. But first, you have to find a way to convince them to write for you (or convince them that what you have to say is worth sharing).
So how should you go about asking someone to write for your blog? And how should you ask someone if you can write for them? We’ll give you some quick tips and guidelines, broken down into two parts: how to ask for a guest blogger, and how to ask to guest blog.
How to ask for a guest blogger
When asking someone to guest blog for your site, it’s important to establish 4 things: Why you want them to write for you, how it will benefit them, what you want them to write about, and how they can submit their content.
Why you want them to write for you
The start of any conversation about guest blogging should start the same way: interest, honesty, and flattery. Knowledge of your future guest blogger’s prior writing will show that you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say. If you reach out through an e-mail, start by referencing a past piece they’ve written, and explain what you learned from it and how it relates to your audience. If a blogger gets tons of guest blogging requests, this will help set you apart. Canned e-mails that haven’t been personalized for each person can be spotted from a mile away.
How it will benefit them
This is the part of the message where knowing your numbers is important. Take note of stats like subscriber count, social media follower count, and engagement rates, like comments and shares. Blogging on a new site can expand a writer’s audience, and the more relevant and engaged your audience is to their writing, the better. Writing good content takes time, so it’s important to let the blogger know that their time will pay off. Also mention that you will provide a backlink to their own website or blog, which is good for their SEO. If you will promote their post through any additional methods, such as a newsletter, be sure to mention that as well.
What you want them to write about
Asking someone to guest blog without giving them an idea for a topic is asking for them to say they don’t have the time. There’s times when coming up with a topic takes longer than writing the blog post (trust me, we’ve all been there.) An open-ended request can result in a piece that doesn’t fit in with your marketing mix. Give a few suggestions for topics that reflect their own expertise and your audience’s interests. This will give you the best quality piece and the most engagement. Phrasing this in a way that compliments their knowledge is the best strategy, such as “Your piece on the use of complementary colors in home decor last month reallt started some great conversations when I shared it through social media. I would love to hear your thoughts on ways to use the Pantone Color of the Year in decorating.”
How they can submit their content
The less questions you leave them to ask before they agree to write, the better. Assure them that the process for posting on your blog will be simple. The best way to go about this is to require them to only write the copy. Offer to add images and format the post yourself, then have them approve the page before posting.
The key points above set you up for a good chance at getting a guest blogger. However, remember that not every person will jump right in the first time you request them to write. If you get a “No thank you, I’m too busy at the moment,” ask if it would be alright to check back at a later date. Being pleasant and never pushy will help build relationships with others who can contribute to your blog.
How to ask to guest blog
Before you begin sending out requests to guest blog on someone’s site, be sure it’s an audience that fits your target customer or realm of knowledge. There are two major benefits to guest blogging on someone else’s site, expanding your local audience, and building inbound links. There are two main types of websites where you can accomplish these goals:
A real estate related blog in your local area, where you can discover potential clients, such as an interior design company or mortgage lending firm. Writing for sites like this has the potential for short-term payoff, like someone clicking on your website and filling out a form on your website.
A reputable website for real estate professionals, such as a real estate marketing, investing, or technology blog. Writing for these sites may not find you local clients, but it can help make real estate connections and build valuable backlinks to your site. Think of this as a long-term payoff, where you’re building up the credibility of yourself and your website.
Once you find a website that fits one of these two categories, you just have to find a polite and effective way to ask them to feature your post. Here are some helpful tips for guest blogging on another site:
Keep a list of websites that you could potentially write for
Create a note in Evernote or a spreadsheet where you keep a list of places you could potentially guest blog. Include the name of the blog, their URL, and a short summary of the content they provide. It’s also helpful to take note of what types of posts get the most engagement, such as online marketing tips or home improvement guides. Some blogs also have content guidelines, such as a certain number of words. If you see that, add it to your notes as well. Keeping this list updated will keep you from searching the web when you write a post you’re looking to guest blog. Here’s an example of some notes to keep:
Express your interest in their blog, and knowledge of their content
Referencing how a piece you have written reflects on a prior piece of content on the site shows that you actually pay attention to the website. This will help you get your foot in the door. Say something like, “After reading your post on simple strategies for home staging, I was inspired to do some research on how staging a home can affect the selling price. I’ve written up a piece that can provide a unique perspective on home staging and interior design for your readers.”
Give them a summary of what you’d like to post
The goal for your correspondence when asking to guest blog is to make it as easy as possible for the blog owner to say yes. Limit the amount of back and forth correspondence by including a summary of what you’d like to write about in your initial e-mail request. A good format is to include the title of your post in bold, followed by a few key statements and ideas in a bulleted list. This makes it easy for a blog owner to scan your idea and know quickly whether it fits into their content plan. Keep in mind that you’re essentially asking a blog owner for a favor when you ask to guest post, so keep your message polite and brief.
Be polite, professional, and personal
This applies whether you’re asking to for a guest blogger, or asking to guest blog. Not every request will result in an enthusiastic yes, and sometimes you won’t even get a response. By maintaining polite and personal interactions, you’re working to build professional relationships with other thought leaders in real estate and related industries. Over time, these requests with become second nature.
Guest blogging can help you bring a new perspective to your blog, and can help widen your potential audience when you write for other sites. By following these tips, you can start growing your blog and online presence in no time.