How to get in the blogging spotlight with guest posts
There is a level of irony to the post considering one of my objectives for 2008 was to have a guest post featured on John's site. However I sat thinking about this for a while; how do you tailor a post for another site? Moreover how do you write a post that fits their demographic yet showcases your skills?
Writing a post to showcase yourself
If you're writing a post that you are going to offer to a famous blogger then it's worth spending some time thinking about it. You're going to need to write something that fits the demographic (which should overlap yours quite comfortably, otherwise there's no point). You should also take more care and attention over writing it because you'll be reaching a bigger audience and the quality of your message will directly determine how many people come through to your site.
How do you approach the blogger?
There are two good ways of doing this and numerous bad ones. I believe in sending them an email that contains everything: explain who you are and that you'd like them to consider your guest post - and attach it. There's no back and forth (high profile bloggers are busy people you know). You could also send them a speculative email and a synopsis of the post - asking if they're interested. If they reply positively then you can send over the full copy.
How NOT to approach the blogger
Don't tell them that should they not use your material that you'll try and offer it to someone else. Don't just email them asking "can I write for you?" because as an unknown quantity you're not worth the time to email back and forth. Don't insist on anything; you need the guest spot more than they need a post.
Things you shouldn't do in your posts
If you reference your own website more than is deemed normal then it'll be flagged as shameless self promotion and discarded as such. Don't try and get clever by sneaking your own affiliate codes and stuff in the post either - that's another big no-no. You're posting on someone else's site, any income generated by your post should go directly to them.
Don't expect massive change!
I was very unfortunate in my guest post on John Chow's blog; he was so busy at CES that he messed up the address to my site, so readers that liked my content would be trying to get to seoper.com rather than seopher.com. That was a shame so I missed out on a bundle of traffic and stuff but whatever. That leads me onto this point - don't expect your world to change overnight. Sure you've shown a lot more people that you can write but don't expect them all to become readers straight away.
That's all the advice I have for now. I'd love to do a few more guest posts on John's site and maybe a few others too; just remember my advice and maybe you'll get a shot at blogging in the spotlight.
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