I’ve been receiving a few requests lately from people looking to guest post on Sweet C’s. I LOVE guest posts- I can’t get enough! They are such a fun way to make new friends, discover new blogs, and get your name out there.
When I started Sweet C’s, I did a bunch of guest posts. I wrote to any and everyone I could think of, and I asked if they would take me. To my surprise, just about everyone did! The only problem? I didn’t really know what I was doing… and I didn’t get a lot out of the posts (other than being totally thrilled to see my work across my favorite sites). This wasn’t their fault- it was mine. There are a few great, easy tips on how to write a good guest post, make the post super easy for your host, and ensure you see growth on your own site from the post.
Ok, so lets get to it!
First, when asking a blog to guest post, it is a good idea to reference guest posts you have done in the past. If you haven’t done any, don’t worry- just link up a couple of posts for the host so they can get a sense of your writing style, photography, etc. If you have a specific project idea in mind, pitch them that project, and reference posts you have done similar in style (so, if you want to show cake decorating, show other cakes you’ve made, or similar projects- don’t show how you repainted a salvaged piece of furniture). While this part isn’t exactly necessary, it will get you a faster response and make your host really excited and confident in you and your blog! It is just a good way to start off the exchange. Plus, if they are full, it gets you on their radar and more engaged with you.
Once you get accepted, it’s time to start writing your post! It might be tempting to toss something you don’t love to another blog- but completely resist that feeling. You want to give them your absolute best, most fantastic, juciest posts.
Often, you are going to pitch to blogs much bigger than yours, or with a completely different audience- so you want something that shows how amazingly talented you are- it will tell the blog’s readers that they just HAVE to follow you! Spend a little more time writing and photographing your project than you might for your own blog.
(If you are looking for some photo advice, please check out the following articles here on some EASY tips- that even work for a point and shoot camera: http://sweetcsdesigns.com/archives/3266, http://sweetcsdesigns.com/archives/2905— and if you have a DSLR: http://sweetcsdesigns.com/archives/2990, http://sweetcsdesigns.com/archives/3188).
You will also need to write a short introduction, which you normally wouldn’t write for your own blog. Include a picture of yourself or a small blog button and a line or two about yourself, as well as your blog.
For example, here is a brief introduction I used recently when I was featured on Mod Podge Rocks!:
Ok. So now your post is written, and you have rockin’ photos, you have links to your site, and an introduction. What is next? Well, to make it absolutely easy on your host, go ahead and write the post fully in wordpress or blogger (whichever you use is fine). Make it look exceptionally pretty, make sure everything is spelled correctly and is spaced evenly, and save it as a draft.
Switch over to HTML mode, and copy the entire code of the post. Send your host the HTML code- and then they can just paste it into their blog, without having to do anything. This makes hosts very happy and eager to work with you again in the future! Some hosts will ask for a different format, or that you attach your pictures to the email- so be sure to see what they ask for. If they don’t ask for anything, I like to send the code- it is just so much easier!
Lastly, ask your host about their guest post rules. Some sites will require you wait an amount of time before posting your post on your own blog. This is to ensure maximum exposure for the post on their blog. Most people say to wait a week, but some will ask for a month, or longer. Be respectful of this request!
While this might seem odd, it really is best for you. Since they will usually have a bigger following (why else would you be guest posting there??), you want their post to come up first in search engines. This brings you more followers and fans! Also, I find my own blog audience is more engaged when I wait a while to re-post. People may have seen the idea on your host site, but not clicked over to view it. If you wait about a month, the idea will seem brand new and fresh. In this crazy world of pinterest, where you are bombarded with ideas all the time, waiting a month makes your post fresh and new all over again!
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