November 24, 2015
If you visit your favorite blog or website, you can often spot a page inviting individuals to submit guest posts. Clearly, website managers want to curate guest content, but the truth is, many posts that are submitted are rejected. Unfortunately, this is because many business owners do not understand how to tailor their content to meet the needs of a specific editor. Here are 5 tips to help you overcome these issues and get your posts published.
1. Read and Adhere to Submission Guidelines
If an online publisher is accepting guest posts, they often have a set of guidelines about the exact types of posts they will accept, and how they want to receive those. Surprisingly, a lot of people tend to ignore the set rules and try to push it their way.
Do everyone a favor and read these rules. Make sure you understand them, and then follow them. Sure, some people are pretty flexible, but why risk irritating somebody because you insisted upon double spacing, or submitted a 1500 word post when guidelines limit you to 800 words?
2. Submit an Idea First But Have an Outline Ready as Well
Tackle guest posting like journalism. When you pitch a new editor – you always provide an idea brief.
Compose a paragraph describing that idea. Include your target audience, and the value of your post idea to that audience. Then, before you submit your idea, create a brief outline of the points you will cover and how you will summarize those ideas. Only then, submit just your idea. Then, if the website manager wishes to go ahead with your idea, you will have the outline ready for approval. If your idea is rejected – you didn’t waste a lot of time either as you can re-pitch it someone else.
3. Engage with Editors and Potential Readers on Social Media
If you would like to write for a specific website, take the time to find the editors and other key players on social media. Follow them, comment on their content, and even direct message them. The more engagement you show, the more likely you will be to create name recognition.
According to Robert Carter, Content Director at Your Company Formations, “It’s pretty exciting, to see someone you have been interacting with on social media take the leap to website contributor. Even when the idea is pretty raw or a bit irrelevant, I give those people another chance as a “thanks” for all their prior efforts”
You will also foster the belief that you are somebody who is interested in and knowledgeable about the topics they are. If the website that interests you has a community page directly on their website, participate there as well.
4. Don’t Take Things Personally
You may receive feedback that is negative. Depending on the ability of the editor to give out criticism, it may come off quite harshly. Don’t take it personally. Don’t feel the need to match wits, or reply with a point-by-point rebuttal. By all means, don’t lash out or insult. Thank the person for their feedback, ask follow up questions if you have them, and either modify your post or move on to another website.
5. Follow-Up But Be Patient
Be aware that it can take months to hear back from a busy editor or website owner. During that time, it is perfectly fine to send a few follow up emails. Just be careful not to err on the side of becoming a pest or a spammer. When you do follow up, write an original email. Don’t resend the same email repeatedly, and avoid using an email template.
Happy pitching and guest posting!
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