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How To Write A Guest Post

Posted by on Nov 20, 2013
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What a last few days I’ve had! Social media is fun and interactive and, well, sometimes it can be good for your ego. Of course, you can’t take anything for granted, which means that I did end up putting a lot of work into the fun. This post is going to cover a number of things, but overall it’s going to contain some lessons in how to write a guest post.

Play hide and seek
Andrea Costa via Compfight

True, I’ve fussed a lot about guest post requests, but this is something different. I was asked by my buddy Adrienne Smith to write a guest post for her eponymously named blog and it went live on Monday. I actually wrote it 3 weeks ago, and I titled it 11 Essentials of Social Networking. It’s an epic post if I say so myself because it was more than 3,000 words on, well, social networking, things to do and not to do to make better connections online. And it seems to have been well received, with at least 130 or more comments so far; that’s after 2 days.

But that was only the last thing that happened. Things actually got started last Wednesday when I had the opportunity to interview a lady named Meloney Hall of Big Uptick Social Marketing, who actually interviewed me and had me give some blogging tips to her readers via a YouTube video. She gave many tips on how to set yourself up for success in social media marketing, including supporting one of my major views that if you’re any kind of business or professional that you should be on LinkedIn. You can view that interview below:
 


 

Now, for most people that would be a steal and a nice grab for getting some success tips to help you and your business. But that’s not how I roll. I wasn’t satisfied with that, so I had a second treat for people. That treat was Ileane Smith of Basic Blog Tips, one of the top blogging sites on the internet and she’s one of the fastest rising internet stars we have. I’ve known Ileane for years and even wrote a guest post for her back in 2011 titled 5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People. That post actually had around 150 comments on it at one time, but Ileane’s been getting tons of spam on her old posts and she’s shut off comments, and for some reason it also had hidden all the comments that post had. Still, it was another pretty good post, coming in around 1,800 words or so.

In the interview I did with her I got the lowdown on how she got into blogging, why it will always be her first love but her second job, and her ideas for how to grow your blog and get people to help promote your posts without you even having to ask anymore. We also touched upon a subject that’s been on my mind for years, but you’ll have to watch the video to pick up any of that knowledge and let me just say that it’s the fastest viewed video I’ve ever had:
 


 

At this point, if you know any of the folks above, you’re probably saying “wow, that’s pretty good.” You probably also think it’s over already; nope. On Sunday I led the discussion for my Hot Blog Tips crew as I had the opportunity to interview one of the most prolific bloggers and writers on the internet, Kristi Hines of Kikolani.com, Search Engine Land, Mashable… you name it, she’s probably written for it. Once again, she has one of the highest ranked blogs online, and I knew that having her as our Sunday guest would be amazing, and it was. If you want to learn how she pulls everything together, as well as learn more about her new course on how to market and network yourself online (are you sensing a pattern here?), check out the video below:
 


 

See there? I didn’t hit the trifecta, I hit the… well, since I don’t watch horse racing, I have no idea what it’s called if you win 4 times in a row, but with the finale, for now, being the guest post on Adrienne’s blog, I’m thinking that’s some pretty stellar work in one week’s time. It also means that it was time to come back to my blog and put out something strong as well because I’ve played in everyone else’s spaces (well, two of those videos are on my YouTube channel but you know what I mean) and it’s time to come back home for a bit.

Guest posting; I’ve mainly talked about it in terms of having people coming to me or going to others asking if they can write a guest post for their blogs, and how the process often fails miserably, even though some guest posts do make it through. I can honestly say that every guest post I’ve ever written I was asked to write, and in doing so I’ve always followed guest posting tips that I wrote back in 2010 to a large degree. I’m glad I went back to share this post because it reminded me that I had written another guest post I’d forgotten about for my buddy Connie Baum of The Healthy And Wealthy You titled Internet Marketing Scams. I can’t say that one was epic, mainly because her audience was different than some of the audiences I’ve written for lately, and yet I did follow the commandments I wrote about back then.

This is now though, so it’s time to make the list of how to write guest posts just a bit more thorough. This is both for when you’re asked to write a post or when you want to write something for some else:

Bla bla bla
Pablo Fernández via Compfight

1. Know the blog you’re going to write for. For the one blog I get a lot of requests for, people write and tell me how much they enjoyed a post on the blog, yet it’s almost always the most recent post on the blog. Man, can we spot a fake request a mile away or what? You can never know what a blog is truly about unless you take a look at 5 or more posts. If you’ve been a long time commenter on a blog then you probably have a good idea of what might work but if not, do your research. After all, it should really benefit the blog owner as much as you hope it’ll benefit you.

2. Know your subject well. I have to admit that many guest posts I get for my finance blog are fairly basic on their topics. Yet I allow them because I’m figuring that many of the readers might not know what all that stuff is, since there are a lot of financial items where I know the terms but don’t fully understand. However, it’s always easy to tell by the writing style whether the person actually knows what they’re talking about or whether they’ve done some research and have basically put together a mini term paper. If you want to stand out and be able to give your post a personal feel, know what you’re talking about.

3. Do an outline; do it! I just can’t believe how many people are scared of writing outlines for what they’re going to write about. I don’t do it for most of my own posts but if I’m putting together something for another person, it’s critical to do. You want to know what you’re going to address and have the opportunity to put it into the proper order; sometimes you want everything to flow in a specific pattern while other times you want to make sure you start strong and end strong.

Hand Writing
Dave King via Compfight

4. Unless it won’t fit with previous blog content, always try to write more than what you normally might. On my own blogs, I pretty much write like Mozart. That is to say that I write as many words as what my thoughts lead me to write and then I stop; no more, no less. But when I’m putting something together for someone else, I want to make sure I don’t leave anything out, and that every thought I have is thoroughly covered for each point; hence the outline. I did this on another guest post I wrote some time ago for Sonia Winland of Logallot.com titled 7 Certainties Of Blogging; her site is down for maintenance until next Monday but save the link & check it out. Anyway, you can write more and if it’s consistent the blog owner will probably love to print the entire thing. If you’re asked to trim it down some it’s always easier than it is to try to add more.

5. Always give examples for the points you’re trying to make. In the post I wrote for Adrienne, I talked about how some people on Twitter are always posting links to their blogs or sales pages and it’s almost like they’re online 24/7, which means you know they’re automating everything. Yet if it was a TV show would you want to watch 5 minutes of a show and be marketed to 55 minutes to complete the hour? Things like that help to make your points memorable and people can relate to them.

6. Don’t write anything you don’t believe in with your whole soul. If you’re writing something you think people want to hear so you can appease them, you’ve already failed. Don’t ever be fake because everyone will know. If you hate chocolate, say you hate chocolate (and be prepared for me to come to your house to protest lol). If you like puppies proclaim your love for them and tell people why you love them (I love them because they’re just so innocent and cute and want to play). If you’re going to teach someone something teach it all to them, every single step, and don’t leave anything out. Don’t assume what people know; as Ileane said in the interview, everyone’s level of knowledge is different and you never want to leave anyone out.

I’m going to stop there before I make this one too long. Here are 5 tips, there were 4 on my other post, so I’m thinking you now have 9 total points from me and still have Kristi’s video and Ileane’s video to get more, since both of them have written guest posts. I mean, what more could you want? Well, I want you to read this, watch the videos, share all of it wherever you are on social media, comment here and on every video you watch, and above all send me chocolate chip cookies… wait, how’d that get in here? Please, let me know what you think below or somewhere; don’t make me hold my breath! ;-)
 

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25 Comments »

Hello Mitch, Its been a long time, how are you?

I have faced several embarrassments because of this guest blogging thing. I’ll bookmark the post. Thanks

Reply

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I hope it works out well for you Emmanuel; enjoy the videos also. :-)

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November 20th, 2013 | 10:56 AM

Oh wow Mitch!

You told me you’d been busy this week and I also know you’re working full-time during this time too so I tell you my friend, you get the big guys award for this now. Bravo and very impressive.

I so appreciate the post you wrote for my blog and it’s been so very well received. I love it when people walk away from any of my posts having learned something and there were plenty of comments that thanked you for what you shared and a few eye opening moments as well. Gosh I love that.

I enjoy the interview you did with Ileane which you know I finally got to watch yesterday. I’ll be sure to take the time to watch these other two because you interviewed them and I’d love to hear what Meloney and Kristi had to share. I can only imagine more great tips I’ll pick up.

I agree about the guest posting and I’ve had some first timers at my place but those posts were very well researched and were big hits as well. Guest posting can be so beneficial when you do it right and for goodness sakes, if you want to write for someone the least you can do is build a relationship with them before you approach them. Form letters are not going to get you very far. I can’t believe people haven’t picked up on this yet. Guess they need to read your guest post over at my place too then! ;-)

Great share here Mitch and I’ll be back later to watch the other two interviews. Hope you’ve at least had one of your best weeks ever even if it was all for fun.

I appreciate you Mitch!

~Adrienne
Adrienne recently posted…11 Essentials of Social NetworkingMy Profile

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Adrienne; one of these days we’re going to figure out why you keep going into the spam filter first.

I had another thing regarding guest posts today. There was this post I approved that was supposed to go live next week, but the writer wrote me and said that someone else decided to publish it first and asked if I could remove it. I mean, what the hey? I knew that some people submitted posts to multiple blogs and I hate that as an idea but that’s a first for me after all these years believe it or not. Do you think I’d ever work with that person again? Not happening, and I think it’s bad practice.

Oh well, the longer we live the more things we’ll run into right? :-) What a week!

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November 20th, 2013 | 12:51 PM

Wow!!!!

This is epic goodness. I wish I had more time to watch all of the videos – I just spent an hour enjoying you and Ileane. I’m glad to know that you and I are “accounted” for. LOL

I learned so much from that hour and I hope that the momentum just continues to build for the blogging community. As Ileane pointed out, sites may come and go, but the connections we make are forever.

Cheers,

Mitch
Mitchell Allen recently posted…Cloud Backup InterviewMy Profile

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Mitch. Yeah, that one, and all the others, were lots of fun. I enjoy doing videos and all those interviews.

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November 22nd, 2013 | 9:53 AM
Jeevanjacobjohn:

Hey Mitch,

Seems like you had a busy (and productive week). Same here :) Everything went as planned (almost everything, but it is okay; life is interesting because things don’t go as planned :D).

I didn’t watch the videos; I will try and come back later to watch them.

Anyways, I do agree with your points on guest posting. I try to comment and know the blog, before I submit a guest post (this also helps me to make sure that I actively participate within that one blog. So, in the end, I get benefits from both commenting and guest posting).

I don’t usually do outlines (it depends upon the topic of the post and the mood at the time of writing the post). Sometimes, I like creating outlines, sometimes I don’t. Take for example, I have had instances in which I ended up rewriting and restructuring the whole post because I didn’t like what I had wrote using the outline.

I think the most important point is the last one. The problem is that people will most likely figure it out (and why lie anyway? Just be honest, people do accept like honesty, even if the truth is a bit harsh).

Anyways, thank you for the awesome posts (and the videos), Mitch :) Appreciate it! Hope you have an awesome weekend :D

Reply

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Jeevan. Just to say this, you couldn’t have rewritten your article without writing that first outline in my opinion. The thing about outlines is that you don’t have to stick to it; it’s just an initial guide that allows you to modify at will, but at least it makes you think about what you’re going to write.

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Jeevan Jacob John Reply:

Makes sense. I usually don’t do much rewriting and reediting (I think most of my reedits were for articles with outlines). In the end, those blog posts might have been better.

I need to experiment with this and see how it goes – I could do it with my upcoming blog :D

Sorry for the late reply, Mitch. I have been traveling (since it is Thanksgiving break). Hope you had a good Thanksgiving :)

Reply

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Jeevan, I don’t do tons of it either, but when I write a long post I definitely do. Reading it out loud usually takes care of almost everything.

Reply

November 22nd, 2013 | 3:54 PM

Hi Mitch Mitchell

First of thanks for sharing an descriptive post on how to write a guest post. it helped me a lot.
i have tried guest posting on movie reviews and specs of latest smartphones. but now i noticed the things that i was doing wrong.

Thanks again..! will share my success story once i get my guest post approved.
Maddy recently posted…TOOH full Video Song with Lyrics, Gori Tere Pyaar MeinMy Profile

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Good luck to you Maddy. I hope it brings you a lot of success, and do tell how it goes.

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November 23rd, 2013 | 5:12 AM

Hmmm i have to some buttering to the owner on guest blogging site hehehehe anyways thanks for such good and informative points all points and ideas has been taken or grabbed successfully :) i will wait for further updates.

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November 25th, 2013 | 2:21 AM

Hey Mitch,

I love listening to these folks and hearing about their blogs. Particularly Ileane. I was shocked that she also has a JOB! That’s amazing.

These folks are a great testimony to good time management.
They take every second of time in a day and use it wisely. And like Kristi said, she’s also willing to work odd hours of the day when not everyone wants to do that.

Who ever said blogging is easy :-)

Love your tips here for guest blogging. #3 is one I preach a lot. It sure helps with organization and flow.

Thanks so much.
Liz
Liz McGee recently posted…Tips For Engaging Your Audience Through Social Media That Work Like CrazyMy Profile

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Hi Liz; thanks for stopping by to comment. I figured most people had no idea about Ileane, and that’s why I wanted to bring it up. I’m not as good at time management as they are but I travel more. lol

Glad you like the point about doing an outline. That’s always been my saving grace on longer posts and presentations.

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November 27th, 2013 | 12:17 PM

Hi Mitch,
I’ve also frequently visited Kikolani. The owner is so great for marketing things. I wish I could become a top marketer like her :) And for guest posting, I prefer asking than picking requests from my emails due to spammers. Ask a gust post can be more personal you know, it’s same like when you’re asked for a guest post and the best writing that you’ll give, aren’t you…
meisha recently posted…Ideal Protein DietMy Profile

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Meisha, that’s definitely the way to go because you also then know the person writing the article and should be able to trust them. Wait until you see tomorrow’s blog post; it touches upon this in a way. :-)

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November 27th, 2013 | 7:56 PM

Your sharing always inspiring … I learned so much from that hour and I hope that the momentum just continues to build for the blogging community.

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

We’ll certainly see Michael. Glad you liked the interview.

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December 3rd, 2013 | 8:47 PM

I really hate the situation when I receive a guest post proposal and I witness that is spun or very short I really hate it
I do my best to provide quality content :D
Thanks for sharing !
samarth recently posted…SEO Tips To Improve Organic Traffic To A New WebsiteMy Profile

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

No problem Samarth. At this point it’s not anything I’ll have to worry about anymore. :-)

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December 13th, 2013 | 2:56 AM

Mitch,

What an epoch post! I jumped to Ileane’s interview first and will return to watch the others. Ileane is one smart cookie and has a personality that really shines through.

Guest posting is a pretty tricky thing. I do a lot of them for others. When I do, I keep my mindset on enhancing their blog. And of course, as you mentioned in #6, never write anything that you don’t believe with your whole heart and soul.

On the other hand I have had some guests on my blog, but only “trusted” people. I do receive loads of emails from people I never heard of wanting to guest post on my blog. But if I don’t know them at least a tiny bit, I cannot have it on my blog.

I’ll be back to watch the other two wonderful women you have interviewed.

-Donna
Donna Merrill recently posted…How To Make New Year Resolutions WorkMy Profile

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Good seeing you here Donna. I’m tough on allowing guest posts, and if things go well I’ll be allowing my first guest post in about 2 years relatively soon, and I asked this guy to write about it because frankly I don’t know all that much about the topic but want to, and I think it would be beneficial to everyone else. As for me… only when I’m asked. :-)

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January 5th, 2014 | 9:15 PM

Guest Posting is something I’ve always wanted to do but have yet not dived in and actually done it. Don’t get me wrong I can write for me however it’s finding the right blogs in my niche that accept guest posting opportunities.
Amanda recently posted…Laundry Rooms Wall CabinetsMy Profile

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Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Amanda, if you feel it’s what you want to do, you’ll find them.

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January 12th, 2014 | 6:25 AM
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