The amount of time and effort you put into writing your guest posts will directly affect how well they are received by your audience. Here are seven tips to help you write guest posts that will be enthusiastically received by readers.
Do your research
If you’re serious about writing great guest posts, do your research. Read as many other pieces on that topic as possible and figure out who else is writing about it. What’s missing from their analysis? How does your experience differ from what others have said? If you can’t find answers to these questions, ask someone who writes on a similar topic or is an expert in that field—this could be a great opportunity to network and build up contacts. You might even be able to get their input on your piece before you submit it. That way they know you have their interests at heart and won’t take offense if there are any discrepancies between what they’ve written and what you plan to say.
Come up with a catchy, short headline
Creating a catchy, short headline is tough! When writing my headline, I try to come up with something that will catch people’s attention. The key is to think about what makes you want to click on a post from a random stranger online. Chances are, it’s some interesting tidbit of information or a bit of research that caught your eye. Your job as an author is to provide that information in clear terms. It’s helpful if you can include numbers because they’re easy to quantify and usually grab more attention than just giving facts or descriptions without any context. For example, Four Things You Need To Know About Starting An Online Business will attract more clicks than Starting An Online Business – Here’s What You Need To Know.
Get to the point
Brevity is your friend when it comes to writing great guest posts. Keep in mind that you’re not writing an entire essay: You want to make sure that every sentence counts and has a specific purpose. Think about how you can get your point across without seeming too wordy or belaboring certain ideas; aim for three main points, four if you must, but don’t force any more than that into one post. Also, use an appropriate balance of text and white space; less really is more when it comes to online reading!
Yes, I know you’re a creative, high-energy writer who’s got plenty of experience with SEO, and that you’re also an expert in your topic area. But if you want to write great guest posts, then all that talent needs to be focused on doing what you’re told. Start by following instructions—the guidelines will be there for a reason (and may not be fully explained), so ask if you have questions. Then start crafting your post according to those instructions. Your editor won’t mind; we just want your writing to hit its best possible target. Whether it’s 1,000 words or 3,000 words—or somewhere in between—following instructions is usually key to success!
It can be tempting to put together your draft and call it a day. But don’t make that mistake! An opportunity to share your knowledge with other people is a huge deal, so take advantage of it. Revise your piece several times and ask others to check over it as well before you hit Publish. If you put in extra time crafting an amazing post, you won’t have to worry about getting paid for great content or being penalized by readers who don’t like ads on their sites, or reading poor content.
Don’t be afraid to say no
Most people that approach you will be thrilled to have their content published on your site and will not complain if you say no. If a guest post is good, but doesn’t fit into your editorial calendar or isn’t right for your audience, saying no won’t kill your reputation. In fact, in some cases, it may enhance it. You can always do a quick turnaround request with alternative dates/guest posts if you can’t take one at first glance. The important thing is to be upfront about what works and what doesn’t from an editorial perspective. No one can read minds, but we all know when something just doesn’t feel right.
If you can, put it in writing
The best way to do a great guest post is to put it in writing. You may think you’ll remember what you need to include, but after a few back-and-forth conversations, you may forget one of your points or even write something different than what was originally promised. Once everything is written down, discuss it with your host and then have a professional writer proofread it before sending it off—you’ll thank yourself later!