Hello from amazing New Zealand! Our family is here for the next the few weeks, soaking up the incredible scenery and wildlife. At the moment we’re in Te Anau, on the fringe of the Fiordland region and tomorrow we head to the Milford Sound area to walk some tracks and cruise the Sound.
Anyway, this week, while I was admiring beautiful Alpine vistas, Social Media Examiner published my first article (for them). If you missed it, you can catch it here: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-engagement-tips-games/. I’ve been guest blogging for the SME team for the past few months in their sister website mykidsadventures.com and was invited to submit an article for SME about a month or so ago. Ofcourse I said “yes” right away, because I really value the opportunity. It’s an honour to write an article on a topic I am passionate about, and that’s how guest blogging should be.
Another online publication I write for is startupsmart.com.au. I’ve been writing for them for about a year or so. When I first started writing for them, my partner looked at my quizzically and asked why I would go to all that trouble to write for free. The thing is, writing for Startup Smart has raised my profile as a small business marketing specialist, it has also lead to increased business down the line and has resulted in speaking engagements as well. Writing for free is definitely not a waste of your time if the publication is aimed at your target audience and of sufficient profile to boost your profile as well.
If you’ve been putting off approaching publications to guest blog, here are some tips for you
1. Be genuine, and interact with the publication for awhile before asking about guest blogging opportunities.
I’ve been a part of the SME community now for about 3 years. I am a customer and an active participant in their online communities on LinkedIn and Facebook. This interaction has given the staff at SME a chance to get to know me and I them. On the topic of being genuine, when I applied to guest blog for mykidsadventures.com, it wasn’t to get my foot in the door for SME, it was because the project resonated with me as a parent. I’ve really enjoyed my writing assignments as they have given me opportunities to connect with my kids and it feels great to be part of something that is in alignment with my parenting philosophy.
2. Follow guest blogging guidelines to the letter.
There have been many occasions where guest bloggers have read my guidelines and then submitted articles that try to bend the rules. This practice just doesn’t sit well with me. Be outwardly-focused and stop thinking about what’s in it for you. The value in guest blogging is in building longer term relationships and giving people an opportunity to get to know you as a writer and as an authority in your niche. If a blog has guidelines, show due respect and write pieces that fit with that blog. Otherwise, you’re wasting the editor’s time and it doesn’t reflect well on you.
3. Don’t badger or harass editors. If an editor is interested in your piece they’ll say so and respond.
Remember that larger publications receive many emails a day. Sending reminder emails after an initial non-response may seem prudent, but it can come across as pushy. Many larger publications have an application process. You would be wise to simply follow the application process and wait for a response. If you don’t get one, then keep interacting on the blog and approach them again down the track once you’ve developed a bit more of a relationship. Saying you love the blog and have been following it for awhile is not really enough. Everybody says that. Show you follow it by commenting on posts and interacting in the publication’s community. The proof is in the proverbial pudding.
Guest blogging can do wonders for your brand but only if your heart is in it. If it’s not, an editor will be able to tell. So, if you’re passionate about your area of expertise, go and look for the right blogging opportunities for you and start forging relationships. The benefits to your business can be incredible.
Have you tried guest blogging?