How to Score a Strategic Guest Blogging Opportunity
The amount of content being published online today is impressive. There are millions of writers typing away right now, hoping to make someone's day with a killer blog post. It's great for readers but it's difficult to get eyes on your content as a writer. There are so many choices every time someone is looking for reading material. Some writers are turning to guest blogging as a way to gain a foothold. The idea is to get the attention of influencers.
Influencers are people with lots of followers on social media, Youtube or their websites. Influencers who mention a brand or a person instantly give those brands or people exposure. If you have a great idea, write a blog article for a well-known site. Just being published on such a site means you're going to be read and shared by average readers. If your article is good enough, a big-time influencer might decide to share it. You could reach millions if, say, Barack Obama shares your article on Twitter!
Pitch Your Article to Popular Blogs
Pitch your article to popular blogs, journals and other sources. You want to be published on a site with a lot of traffic, ideally. Brand new sites with little readership will be happy to host your article but you'll get very little traffic to it, at least at first. Just keep pitching until someone at a more popular site decides it's worth sharing.
Many websites provide instructions for writers who want to pitch to them. We searched for "how to get featured in FastCo" and found an article explaining exactly how to do it, in the editors' own words. There are some useful guides to help you with the process if your chosen site doesn't offer advice.
Write an Impressive Author Bio
Most publishers give guest bloggers a chance to share a short bio near the page footer. The idea is to introduce yourself and share what you're about. What you're hoping for is that people read your article, see your bio and then decide to follow you or even purchase from you directly. Before you decide to let someone publish your stuff, make sure they will publish your bio underneath your guest article. If they won't, a by-line linking to a bio (or your website) will do. For an in-depth guide on writing a strong bio, see About the Author: How to Write a Quality Author Bio. If you don't have time to read the whole thing, at least have a look at the checklist near the beginning.
Put a CTA Into Your Author Bio
This is one of the items in the aforementioned checklist. "CTA" is an acronym for "call to action." Everything in your bio should help convince the reader to take an action, which you will specify. For example, "I'm on instagram! @yourinstaname" is a good CTA if you have a good social media strategy. Your CTA could be anything but try to choose one that helps you achieve your goals.
Sometimes it's appropriate to ask readers to buy from you in your bio. For example, if your article explains the basics of setting up an AdWords campaign, it would be fitting to ask your readers to check out your in-depth guidebook for new AdWords users, only $15 on Amazon! A CTA asking readers to "buy now" could be a turnoff if it doesn't seem to fit, however. Try not to make the wrong first impression.