How to ask for a Guest Post

I talked about guest posting in the last post I wrote, it seems it’s still the fashionable term of the online marketing fish bowl I swim in.

However, it’s important to understand that what most people are talking about is something very specific. Even though asking people to host your content in exchange for a link back for seo purposes has existed for over a decade, the way the term is used now seems to be talking about something that is systemised and geared up to achieve the highest ROI possible.

This of course leads to a lessening of quality in the guest post requests that bloggers get as it becomes more about numbers and less about the quality of the writing or even the pitch.

In the past I have found guest posting a very useful way to connect to other bloggers and also to help with back links to clients. But I am finding it increasingly difficult, some bloggers now ask for cash to place a guest post, which would make it a sponsored post rather than a guest post. Not that I have that much against advertorials, as long as they are clearly stated as such.

But lets cut the bullshit.

Publications, both offline and online take money to publish paid for editorials. It’s the way of the world and naive not to expect otherwise. This is what you have to compete with.

However, lets look at this from the bloggers perspective. I have been talking to a few blogs who do guest posting, to ask them what they think about the hordes of mercenary seo types swarming around their blogs asking for a guest post with a link back.
Mitch from Top Finance Blog, said this.

The best way to ask for a guest posting opportunity is to actually visit the person’s blog first to see if they have a guest posting policy, and if so then following it. I get tons of requests to guest post and most of the letters are generic and immediately lying when they say “I have followed Top Finance Blog for a long time and enjoy its content”. If they liked it so much, they’d have commented at some point, and they’d already know what the guest posting policy was before I need to send them to read it. Help us decide you’re worthy; yes, we get a benefit from it as well but if you’re looking to place your content on someone else’s site, act like you want to without making it seem like you’re doing it for their benefit; that’s just insulting.

He went on to say he could easily write more about this subject.

I think the problem is when you dehumanise the process. Sure, still have tools to help you find a blog that will post your content, but you have to invest time, politeness and commonsense to connect with the blogger.

I confess I have on the occasion taken shortcuts in this regards and it has led to failed guest post campaigns. When you do a lot of link building it’s natural to try to make things as efficient as possible.

Trying too hard to squeeze links out of bloggers can lead you to take your eye off the ball.

I know I am not alone in this as I daily get guest post requests and press releases that seem to be geared to the short cut. I think only twice in the six years this blog has existed has there been requests that result in stuff happening.

Which is interesting.

Because, if you take the time, invest in the initial connection and develop relationships, rather than “guest posting” or that awful word “outreach”, you will probably have more success.

Most of us are uber busy and have hectic lives, my own has increased of late and I probably need to pay more attention to investing in real conversations than acting like a one legged, starving marmut with rabies out to get links whatever the cost.

Yes, this is part confessional, part do what I sway not what I do, but this is part of the process. You constantly have to relearn the basics. And it’s not the “20 ways to do guest posting”, type posts you really learn from. It’s the real experience of people out there in the trenches, working it.

In the meantime, if you want a guest post. You know where to find me and you should know by now how to ask me.