I've talked about goal-setting a few times on the blog. But, if you haven't seen those posts, here's the gist. I'm a big fan of goal-setting and think every small business owners should set yearly, quarterly and monthly goals.
In July, I decided my goal would be dedicated to guest blogging. I specifically wanted to start getting more referrals to my website. I decided I would strive to get my face and website onto 3 websites by August 1st.
On August 7th, I'd officially been featured on: Side Hustle, Creative Lady Directory and Jenna Tracy Creative.
I call that a win.
Today, I want to share with you how to get your first guest blogging opportunity. I'm sharing what worked for me and what I learned along the way.
Let's get started!
Create a Personal Connection
Before you begin applying to every guest blogging opportunity, don't.
Don't get me wrong, I did the same thing. I thought I could and should just got to someone's application page and send them my blog post ideas. I did this countless times and I didn't get an email back once.
If you want to start guest blogging, you need to make a personal connection. Extra points if you do this organically.
When I set this goal, I quickly realized that applying for guest blogging opportunities wasn't getting me anywhere. So, I looked through my contacts. Who did I know, who had a similar audience to me, who could I reach out to without feeling sleazy?
I came across Jenna Tracy. I met her through a Facebook group and we had emailed a few times about referrals. Jenna Tracy is a copywriter specializing in helping small business owners hone in on their brand voice. I knew her blog would be the perfect fit for my business.
So, I started drafting my email.
Reach Out Directly
I sat in front of my email for a few minutes racking my brain on what to say.
I'm the type of person who gets really uncomfortable asking for favors, pitching my services and just generally putting people out. I had to silence that inner voice and remember that I was offering to take a to-do list item off of her plate.
This pitch was mutually beneficial and that makes it valuable.
So, I started typing. I kept it short and sweet. No need to write five paragraphs when five sentences will suffice.
I recommend writing something like this:
Subject: Let's reconnect
I hope you're having a great summer. It's been a while since we've connected and I thought today was the perfect time to check-in.
I've recently set a goal to start guest blogging more for my business. I would love to write a blog post for [business name]. If you're interested, feel free to take a look at a few work example.
[links to blog posts]
Otherwise, have a great rest of your summer and I hope we can chat soon!
Write High-Quality Content
Now that you've opened the door, you need to follow-through with high-quality content.
Writing high-quality content for a guest blog is important for a few reasons.
First, just because someone accepted your pitch, doesn't mean they'll bring your content live. If you don't write valuable content for their audience, they won't post or promote it.
Secondly, if your blog post isn't well-written or it's not valuable, you're not giving the reader a reason to read more of your content.
Finally, once you've written a guest blog post you can share that with future companies when requesting guest blogging opportunities.
How do you write high-quality content? This can be hard, but if you can answer these questions positively, you're on the right track:
- Is it relevant to your target audience?
- Are you answering their common questions?
- Does it help them take action?
If it's not hitting at least one of those points, consider reworking your content.
Read my guest blog post: Why Having a Brand Voice Leads to More Effective Content
Have you ever written a guest blog post before? What techniques did you use to get your first guest blogging opportunity? Let me know in the comments!