Finding guest blogging opportunities is something that still scares off many writers. To show you that it’s not a boogieman here is a series of posts on everything you need to know about guest blogging but never dared to ask.
Last week, I wrote about why you should be guest blogging even if you are not a blogger. If you are a blogger, it should be a no-brainer. Whatever goal you chose for yourself, the time to get started is now. There is absolutely no reason why you should be delaying it.
Maybe you have concerns such as:
- What if they don’t like my content?
- What if I’m not good enough?
- What if they say no?
- What if I write a poor piece?
- What if I mess up?
And the list goes on and on…
The problem, however, is that these questions will not go away if you wait a week, a month or a year before pitching your first guest post. That’s how it goes for everything we do in life.
Imagine if you waited until your body was stronger before trying to walk so that you can handle the falls better? Probably, most of us would still be crawling around now! So why not implementing the same determination for guest blogging?
By now, you should know what your main goal for guest blogging is.
If I just caught you by surprise, no sweat. Please make sure you check my post about setting guest post goals first. Don’t worry. Just go there, do the exercise and come back here. I am not going anywhere without you. 😉
Now that you have determined your goal, it’s time to move to the next step of guest blogging: finding opportunities. This can be a tricky one and if you aren’t careful, your efforts will be in vain.
If you do a Google search on “how to find guest blogging opportunities”, you’ll get endless suggestions. If you take the time to go through them, you will notice that some pieces of advice are controversial. Even big and respectable bloggers have diverging opinions. But why is that?Learn everything you need to know about #guestblogging but never dared to ask. #BetterYou Click To Tweet
Different public, different approach
First of all, different bloggers, from different niches, have different expectations from guest posting. Some will suggest you use the good and old Google search to find opportunities. Others will recommend that you are as picky as many hosts are. Who is right? Both!
If you analyze their readers, you’ll realize their public is completely different. One knows that as their readers are just getting started, they may not hit the jackpot after their first attempt(s). Therefore, pushing them to be too selective might burn them down and demotivate them.
Tech bloggers, who write for a high-level niche, know their potential guest bloggers not only are qualified but also experienced. These writers know the drill by heart. They have reached a point in which anyone would love to host a post from them because of their reputation.
I’m not going to go in details about who suggests what. If you are curious, I’m sure you’ll figure it out in no time.
I’m here to help you by sharing what works for me, my concerns and tips. Please, get to know other methods before choosing the one that fits you best.Find guest #blogging opportunities that fit you goals. #coaching #BetterYou Click To Tweet
1. Focus on your niche
This one is easier for bloggers to understand since we constantly talk about and interact within our niche. If you are a professional who wants to use guest posting to reinforce your position as an expert, it may be a new concept for you.
What is a niche? According to Merriam-Webster, a niche is “a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted”.
Let’s say you are a teacher who wants to write about the benefits and concerns of using the Internet in class. Examples of niches that may be interested in what you have to say are teachers, educators, and parents. A fashion blogger may not be that interested in your content even if you follow their advice and are an active member of their tribe.
It’s a little bit of a stretch, but I hope you got the picture.
There’s no blogger who writes about only one single subject:
- Fitness bloggers also share recipes
- Food bloggers write about lifestyle
- Lifestyle bloggers give tips on saving money
Even though they are flexible, there is still that topic that connects them to their readers in a way nobody else does. That is their niche.
Can you image yours truly writing about parenting, for instance? I know nothing about the subject. I’d bring little value with my contribution if I managed to go as far as getting a pitch accepted.
Readers would read my guest post, come on over to my blog and think: “What?!? She doesn’t even have children. What does she know about parenting???”
However, I could write about how teaching small children a foreign language can help them in their personal development from an early age. This is so because:
- I have the experience: I was an English teacher for many years
- My niche: my blog is about personal improvement
Yet, I should never dare to teach people something I have no experience or knowledge of. And preferably, that isn’t in my niche either.
2. Allow yourself to grow
Before running, one has to learn how to walk. Yeah, I know, it’s frustrating, boring and not sexy, but it’s for your best.
In my broadcasts, I remind people that matching their physical activity to their fit level is crucial for developing a healthy lifestyle.
Men tend to go too heavy too early. They frequently perform exercises with incorrect form. This leads to (serious) injuries sooner or later. Women with the fixation of losing weight at any cost burn down their metabolism. They do excessive cardio and their intake is insufficient.
Instead, they should start by developing their proprioception first. This way, they’d get their body ready for action and they’d experience long-lasting and safe results.
Needless to say that the same goes for guest blogging. We all hear those fabulous stories of people landing guest posts on sites such The Huffington Post, Quicksprout and others of influence within their niche. What we rarely know is the journey that led them there.
One thing I can guarantee you: it was not with their very first guest blog ever. In many cases, it was not even with their first pitch to those sites either. It takes time to grow your brand, develop your writing skills and understand the needs and requirements of influencers. Give yourself this time.
Practice makes perfect, remember? Work in collaboration with other bloggers. Find someone who would like to work with you as much as you would like to work with them. Exchange ideas, work on a series, cooperate with each other. As a starter, you will realize that “smaller” bloggers are much more interested in supporting guest bloggers than bigger ones. Your success is theirs too.
When dealing with the well-known influencers, their success will not necessarily be yours if your content isn’t strong enough.
For non-bloggers, you can either work with a blogger in your niche or you can cooperate with a colleague or partner to have your article(s) published and promoted.
Think outside of the box and find the ideal rhythm for you.
3. Be aware of “traps”
While I’m all for not discriminating opportunities, you still want to protect yourself and your brand no matter what. Your guest post is your “baby”. You don’t want to give it away just like that.
You want to have your blog published on a site in which your efforts will be taken into consideration. You put hours into it and if someone is just going to copy and paste it to their site and wash their hands afterward, that may not be the right place for you.
That’s one of the main reasons I’m not so comfortable with simply using Google search to discover opportunities. I prefer to write for sites I:
- know well
- have a relationship with the host
- have seen how they treat guest bloggers before
- know and respect their brand/product/service
You don’t want to be associated with any schemes or superficial blogs if you want to establish yourself in your industry. Everything you post on the Internet stays forever. You don’t want to have your reputation stained because of a slip-up.
There is a reason why (big) sites have guidelines for guest blogging opportunities. They respect your efforts as much as they respect their audience. They want you to shine in the eyes of their tribe and they want their readers to know you are worth their time and engagement.
From the moment publishers allow backlink spams and other bad practices, it might be tempting for you to get your article out there the easy way. But unless you are 100% sure they do so because of their lack of experience and knowledge in hosting guest posts, you should think twice before sending them your pitch.
Non-bloggers should be careful for not having your ideas stolen. Since you don’t own a site you can use as a reference, you may see your “baby” be taken away from you forever. And nobody will get to know its “biological” parents if you know what I mean.Guest #blogging for success without wasting time. #coaching #BetterYou Click To Tweet
Now it’s up to you
Did I get you thinking? I hope I did. That’s the idea!
I want to show you different aspects of finding guest blogging opportunities. At the end of the day, you and only you can decide what fits your needs and what not. You know what risks you are willing to take and the path you feel more comfortable with.
Your homework for this week is to try different ways to find guest blogging opportunities online through:
- Google search
- friendly blogs with guidelines
- friendly blogs without guidelines but where you have already seen guest posts
Ask yourself why you would like to write for them and why they’d publish your post. What are the assets you bring to their table? How can you make a difference to their audience and bring added value to their content?
Make a list of blogs you think would be a good fit for you now and later with your goals in mind. From your list, select one you would like to send a pitch to first and start thinking about why it’s a perfect fit for both of you.
I truly hope you’ll find this series helpful. Guest blogging is an amazing opportunity to get visibility and build credibility, but it has to be done right.
Remember that we are now offering guest blogging opportunities on Debbie in Shape. If you want to get started or practice your skills with us, it’ll be a pleasure to publish your post(s). Guidelines and details are available here. I cannot wait to read your pitch!
Make sure you come back next week for more guest blogging tips. Or sign up to receive an email notification whenever a new post is published.
Where do you look for guest blogging opportunities?
Read all posts of this series:
- Everything You Need to Know About Guest Blogging: Setting Goals
- Everything You Need to Know About Guest Blogging: Finding Opportunities
- Everything You Need to Know About Guest Blogging: Writing A Pitch
- Everything You Need to Know About Guest Blogging: Writing The Post
- Everything You Need to Know About Guest Blogging: Promotion
- Everything You Need to Know About Guest Blogging But Never Dared To Ask
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Be Healthy and Live Fully.