How can I make free guest posts

Thousands of websites, blogs and offers are flooding the internet today. One of the most important currencies at this time is, right: attention! A very efficient way to get your target audience's attention is to write guest posts for third-party websites. But how do you get these sites to let you work as a guest author and actually publish your content? We'll show you.

That's why guest posts are worthwhile

Guest posts have a number of advantages:

  1. As a guest author you will reach a new readership and thus increase your awareness.

  2. A guest post adds to your credibility as an expert.

  3. Guest posts generate valuable backlinks from other websites and can therefore be a real SEO booster. Because this improves your own Google rankings, your visibility also increases.

The prerequisite is, of course, that your guest post offers added value and is published on a platform that fits your topic. Appearing as a dog trainer on a marketing website, for example, would be less effective.

Who can you write a guest post for?

There are hardly any limits to the choice of websites and blogs for your guest posts - as long as they correspond thematically to your expertise. It makes sense to first create a list of various potential contact persons. You can find ideas as follows:

  1. First, brainstorm: Which websites and blogs on your topic spring to mind?
  2. Some sites actively offer a stage for guest authors. Search for them by entering a keyword related to your topic with additions such as “post a guest”, “write a guest article” or “submit a guest article” to Google.
  3. Search blogs you know from your niche for guest posts. Then search the names of the authors on Google. You may have published articles on other sites as well. And if these people did, so can you!
  4. WP Diener has compiled a list of blogs that are looking for guest authors. Have a look to see if there is a blog from your industry.
  5. Use social media: Find a keyword on Twitter in conjunction with the words "guest post" or "guest article". Often different results are displayed there than on Google.

Write to bloggers: These tips and tricks will help you get published

Well-known blogs with many readers regularly receive offers for guest articles and can choose which of them they want to accept. In order for you to be positively remembered instead of getting lost in the crowd, it is advisable to keep a few important points in mind:

1. Start building relationships early on.

A lot of blogs and websites are about relationships. Once you know someone personally, or know someone who knows someone, it becomes a lot easier to get your guest post successfully published.

So start getting to know other bloggers as early as possible. Comment on blog posts on their pages and on social media, share posts and take part in any discussions. You will see: Your name will soon be known to bloggers and you have a better chance of being considered as a guest author with a great article.

2. Put your application in context.

Many guest authors drop in when they apply and only present their topic. But bloggers often want more context. This is how you can stand out from the crowd with a few simple sentences:

  • Mention your name and briefly tell what area you are an expert in.

  • Link to your own blog or website.

  • Briefly describe what you do and why your blog is special in the competitive market.

  • Also, mention things that show your credibility: for example, recently guest posts on other blogs, links to quality content on your blog, LinkedIn, Medium, and so on, and recent awards or mentions in reputable sources.

3. Take a clear stand.

We mentioned it at the beginning: The internet is full of corporate blogs and websites of all stripes. It is therefore not so easy to go under in this mass unseen. After all, many publish tips and instructions.

What clearly sets you apart are your personal views. Use this to position yourself as an expert. Dare to represent clear opinions and show new perspectives!

What are the biggest problems in your industry right now? What do you think should change? And what would be possible solutions? Your very own point of view makes you interesting and unforgettable.

4. Write for the guest platform readers, not your own.

Warning, here comes a common mistake: Far too many guest authors pitch article ideas that might interest their own readers, but not the readers of the targeted blog. With a topic like this, you immediately catapult yourself out of control.

Therefore, before applying, research carefully which topics have already been covered on the blog. How can you deliver the appropriate added value? Which aspects have not yet been highlighted? Where can you go into more depth?

5. Write a catchy subject line.

A study by Fractl has shown that 85 percent of all authors surveyed open an email based on the subject line. And you probably also know this frequently quoted statistic: 8 out of 10 people read the headline, but only 2 in 10 people read the rest of the way.

So make sure that the subject line of your email invites you to click. How else is the blogger supposed to know that your pitch is worth reading?

The subject should be simple, meaningful and convincing and already suggest the topic of the post.

6. Address the blogger personally.

It sounds tempting: you make a real effort, formulate a general pitch e-mail and then send it to a whole list of contacts via BCC. However, this will not produce the desired results. Because bloggers want to be addressed individually.

Feel free to mention in your email how you came across the author or his blog. Include previous articles as a reason why you think your pitch would be relevant to readers as well. A little flattery hasn't hurt anyone.

7. Make your pitch short and clear.

Bloggers are busy people too. Respect your time and get to the heart of your pitch. Avoid e-mails with questions such as “Can I write for you?”, “Are you looking for authors?” Or “May I send you an article on the subject of XY?” And rather ask a specific topic directly related to the readership of the Blogs before.

The same rules apply when composing pitch emails as when writing for your online audience:

  • Work with bullet points.

  • Highlight important information.

  • Link to further information: videos, pictures, demos.

  • Keep paragraphs short.

  • Mention the most important information right at the beginning.

  • Avoid empty phrases like "sustainable", "innovative", "holistic" and so on.

You can send the finished guest post or at least a detailed outline as an attachment. If your pitch is interesting, the blogger can immediately get a better picture of you and your topic without much effort.

8. Follow up.

If you haven't heard from the blogger you have asked for for a few days, there are two options: The pitch generally does not fit the portfolio or it does not currently fit into the editorial plan. However, it may well be that another format fits better. So feel free to write a second email and offer to revise the guest post according to the blogger's wishes. However, avoid being intrusive.

Conclusion: see guest posts as a service

In the best case, both sides benefit from guest posts: You increase your reach, expand your expert status and strengthen your SEO through backlinks. The guest platform receives high-quality content that is relevant to the target group.

Make sure you keep this desired symbiosis in the back of your mind when you offer guest posts. Make it as easy as possible for bloggers to assess your topic and make it clear to what extent the respective target groups benefit from the article. If it is viewed as a service rather than an advertisement, it has a good chance of being published.

Cover picture: fizkes / Getty Images

Originally published November 23, 2020, updated November 23, 2020

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