Guest Blogging

 Day 7: 

Have you considered guest blogging but don’t know where to begin? The first step is to determine what you want to accomplish.

What is your goal?

  1. Do you have expertise in an area and want to share it?
  2. Do you want to create more traffic to your blog or increase followers?
  3. Want to see an increase in backlinks to your content?
  4. Or, establish yourself as an authority?

Where to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities:

Once you know your motivations, it’s time to find the opportunities, and there are many.

  1. Begin with a simple keyword search for “guest post” on Google, Twitter, or preferred search engine.
  2. Utilize the connections you’ve already established – favorite blogs or other social networking sites.
  3. Look for blogs that best match your area of interest or expertise, have engaged readers, and is active on social networks.
  4. Check out sites like Contently, Huffington Post, or Angie’s Diary.

Things to do before pitching a guest post:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the blog; it’s content and readership.
  2. Have guest posts been featured before?
  3. Who were the guest bloggers? Authors? Other bloggers? Freelancers? Read their bios and get to know them.
  4. How did the guest post do? Was there a lot of reader engagement?
  5. Become a familiar face in the blogging community.

When to pitch:

  1. When someone mentions your blog on, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google.
  2. When a blogger advertises, they are seeking guest posts.
  3. When a guest post is featured on another blog.

How to Pitch:

  1. Read the guidelines.
  2. Introduce yourself. Craft a guest post bio and include links back to your blog or author websites that show your work.
  3. As with any pitch, personalize your email.
  4. Explain what you can offer in a guest post.
  5. Provide links to your blog and other sites on which you have published.
  6. Format your guest post the same as the site in which you are submitting.
  7. Provide valuable and relatable information.
  8. Do not self-promote except within the author bio.
  9. Utilize internal links to some of the owner’s posts.
  10. Create a call to action for comments.

Want to know more about guest blogging? Check out these resources.

 Guest Blogging Opportunities:

Does guest blogging interest you? Have you been a featured guest blogger in the past?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilagood, and Contently.

 

The Value of Blog Comments

leavecommetgifWritten in response to the Writer’s Digest 2015 October Platform Challenge

Blogging is an excellent way to express ourselves, improve skills, impart knowledge and expertise, or share stories. But, what role do comments, both given and received, play? Are they important?

When I began blogging in 2008, I had no aspirations beyond using my blog as a way to express grief after the sudden loss of my best friend. But, then people began to respond. I made connections, my grief lessened, and my writing evolved. Without their encouragement, I’m not sure I would still be writing.

The Value of Blog Comments: 
  • They are the lifeblood of any blog – connecting us to others.
  • Tell us our words have resonated with someone.
  • Sometimes, they express gratitude.
  • Other times, they offer us a different opinion to consider.
  • An avenue to share resources, give recognition, or validate information.
  • Provide ideas for future topics.
  • Creates a network of bloggers, writers, classes, and groups.

Given these benefits, how can we create an atmosphere of interaction?

Ways to Invite Reader Participation:
  • Lead the way – Comment on your favorite blogs. Make sure what you have to say will add value to the conversation.
  • Keep it simple – spam is a valid concern. However, CAPTCHA’S can actually discourage readers from leaving comments. Trying to match blurred letters or numbers in little boxes is more annoying than trying to read the fine print on the back of a medicine bottle.
  • Do away with registrations. Requiring readers to fill out a form before leaving a comment is a sure-fire way not to get one.
  • Readers respond more often to a call-to-action or questions.
  • Be an active participant on your own blog – respond and interact with those who have taken the time to read and respond.

Not only is replying to comments, the polite thing to do, but doing so helps create a network of like-minded bloggers and writers, which adds value to all of us.

People blog for different reasons and the topics are as varied as the names. We want to believe our blogs provide valuable information or entertaining stories, but without reader participation, how will we know?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story. And as always, you can follow me on Facebook at SheilaMGood, PinterestBloglovin, Twitter @cofcmom, and Contently.