The following is a guest post from L&R sponsor and real-life friend Kam of Campfire Chic. This girl knows her stuff, so be sure to bookmark this post!
Amy has written about the importance of good copy before, but how does that tie in to writing a guest blog post?
A guest blog post is…
- Your opportunity to give readers a reason to subscribe to your blog/buy from your shop
- Your opportunity to show the blog host that you read his/her blog
- Connect with new readers
- Mutually beneficial when done well
A guest blog post is not…
- To be taken lightly
- To be re-posted anywhere else on the internet
- A way to shamelessly promote an item/service of yours without some sort of tie-in
Today I am going to share some tips for crafting a guest blog post that not only entertains readers but also benefits both you, as the guest blog post writer, and the blog host.
Make a list of the themes of your blog, consider the types of posts you already published that new readers may find particularly interesting. For each idea, list how you can incorporate links to your previous posts on similar topics to get readers to click over to your blog.
Example: If you are sharing a post about scrapbooking while traveling, you can probably link to posts you published about your essential tools, how you plan ahead for a scrapbook page, and to a post about how you plan for a long trip. If you recently created travel scrapbook kits you are selling online, this would be the perfect time to promote them!
Narrow down your ideas to 2 you really think are winners.
*Amy’s note: Having trouble coming up with ideas? Here are 365 blog post topics to start with.
2. Do your Research
First, do your topics match what is being shared on the host blog? If I am going to share a guest blog post about scrapbooking, I need to make sure that the host either blogs about scrapbooking or find a way to tie in this idea with the themes she does talk about…maybe memory keeping, traveling, or general crafts.
Here’s a question…has the blog host already posted about this topic? If you are a long-time reader with an excellent memory, you may be able to answer this question easily, but if you’re anything like me and apt to second-guessing…do some research. Search the his/her blog using a search bar or tags/labels, if available. Search the different dedicated pages to the overarching topic.
Be sure to bookmark or make note of blog posts on the host site that may support your post. Linking to Amy’s books for her cruise in Alaska or how she prepared for December Daily would show that I read her blog and will really streamline the guest post in with her work.
Using my example above about a scrapbook-themed guest blog post, I would search Amy’s site for keywords like ‘scrapbook’, ‘travel’, ‘kit’, road trip’, ‘mini-album’, and ‘scrapbooking’.
3. Write Your Pitch
You came up with your idea, you made sure there wasn’t a similar post already, you found additional posts to link to from the host site, and you’re ready to start writing…but wait! Let’s get it cleared first!
Amy recently posted a great set of guidelines for guest posting on L&R and she does a fantastic job of being specific with her request for a pitch. Why write a pitch? Because the blog host should know what you are planning on sending in before you start to write. It’s only fair and it gives you and the blog host time to work out any kinks and decide if the post is going to be mutually beneficial. Also…s/he may be writing up the same post! (In that case, pitch the idea of swapping posts on the same day to drive traffic back and forth…you host his/her post on the topic and s/he hosts your post!). Another idea is to start the guest blog post on one blog and finish the post on the other. Amy shared some reasons why a self-hosted WordPress may be a better choice than Blogger on Campfire Chic and continued the discussion in more detail on Lemon & Raspberry.
Be sure to include: Why you think the post is worthwhile, dates you would prefer (for example, I prefer a Monday or Tuesday publish date over Saturday or Sunday), and an example photo if you have one available.
4. Write the Post
Once your pitch is accepted, start writing! Even with a deadline, it does not hurt to get the post drafted early. I suggest giving yourself a deadline of two days prior to the agreed upon deadline to build in time for adjustment or modification requests from the blog host.
Make sure your post has:
- A title with strong keywords (How to Plan Ahead for Scrapbooking While Traveling). Some blog hosts may simply put “Guest post with Kam from Campfire Chic” as the title. Seeing that in a reader will make very few people click over (sad, but true!)
- Some sort of ‘takeaway’ – What will readers learn from this post?
- The links you found earlier with quality anchor text (instead of click here use the links within a sentence “I am planning for our annual trip to Mammoth and hope to make a mini album similar to my December Daily album to document our trip on the go”)
- A call to action that will prompt readers to visit your site, subscribe to your newsletter, follow you on Twitter, or purchase from your shop.
5. Before Submitting
- Double-check to make sure you included anything requested of you by the blog host (a third person bio at the end, your photos are the proper width, etc.)
- Double-check your spelling and grammar. It is difficult to catch everything as you write, so take a break and come back to it or ask somebody to check it for you
- Know how the blog host would like you to submit the post (via email with images attached, host your own images, through some sort of eform, in a WordDoc, etc.)
Don’t forget: Make sure you know what day your post is going up so you can help promote it as well! Don’t leave it to the blog host to promote your post, help out!
Kam shares other blogging tips, handmade inspiration, and tales of adventure on her blog, Campfire Chic. She lives in Southern California where she is able to spend plenty of time outdoors, blogging, creating, and working on Project Life. Kam to learn more about Kam you can follow her on Twitter and subscribe to the Campfire Chic newsletter.
Final note: L&R will be releasing a super efficient guest post template next week!