Guest blogging research | Guest Blogging Series PART 2
This post is Part 2 of a 5-part series on Guest Blogging!
Q: What’s a surefire way to squash your guest blogging efforts before they have a chance to work for you?
A: Dive directly into *pitching mode* without doing your research.
(BTW: If you ever start to doubt your content is "clever" enough, just remember that America's Funniest Home Videos is currently in its THIRTY-THIRD season.)
You know how it is with me… sooner or later, it's gonna come back to research. 🤓
Today we’re continuing our series on guest blogging with Part 2: How to do your guest blogging research:
Step 1: Review your goal(s)
As we chatted about last time, most people use guest blogging to do at least one of the following:
🏅 build credibility
📢 reach new audiences
✍ get some (more) practice
Getting clear on your goal(s) is the first step in the guest blogging research process.
- A clear goal will help guide your guest blogging research strategy.
- A clear goal will ultimately help you measure how successful your guest blogging efforts have been.
Once you’ve decided WHY you want to be guest blogging, then it’s on to the good stuff…
(...and by "good stuff", of course, I mean 👩🔬RESEARCH🔬)
(FUN FACT: Ellie Kemper isn't just adorable. She's also a prolific guest contributor to platforms like The Onion and McSweeney's. She credits this *practice* with helping hone her comedy chops.)
Step 2: Research, research, research
Believe it or not, most guest bloggers skip this step entirely. And that’s a real shame, because it’s probably the most important step of all!
See, most folks simply aim for guest blogging platforms with the greatest name recognition and overall reach, thinking this will yield the greatest return on their efforts.
In reality? The payoff is often much greater when you take the time to narrow down the field of options to a curated list of platforms guaranteed to reach your dream audience.
What makes a good guest blogging platform
To get the maximum bang for your proverbial buck, you’ll want to identify blogging platforms with these characteristics:
- the content is focused on topics of interest to your dream client
- your dream client (or people like them) reads content on this platform
- the readership is engaged and active online
- the platform accepts guest blog submissions (<– you’d be surprised how many people disregard this one right here)
- the platform gives authorship credit, ideally with a link back to a URL of your choice
Where to find guest blogging platforms
(NOTE: I recommend dedicating a spreadsheet or Trello board (or Notion thing-a-ma-bob or whatever you prefer...) to help stay organized with your guest blogging efforts. As the volume of pitches you send out increases, you'll be especially glad you've got a system in place.)
The best research is comprehensive, right? So, don’t skimp on this step of the process. Approach your research from a few different angles to generate a solid list of options:
- Poll your audience: What blogs/articles do they read + subscribe to? Note these in your research + then use them to search for similar platforms.
- Consult your “niche neighbors“: Ask around (and/or do some searching online) to find out where others in your niche have been guest blogging. (Remember: your niche neighbors include the folks who are supporting your dream client via offerings that are complementary to yours (e.g., a lactation coach + an ObGyn + a therapist specializing in postpartum depression would all be niche neighbors. For more on this, check out this oldie-but-goodie post/video).
- Tap into guest blogging communities: There are plenty of Facebook groups for bloggers, where you can find open calls for guest blogging contributions + even whole threads dedicated to guest blogging. You might also try resources like this, which serve as hubs for blog authors seeking guest contributions.
- Ask the robots: Enter a keyword-rich prompt + search terms like 'guest blogging' or 'guest post' or 'submit a guest post' into Google or ChatGPT. This should pull a list of opportunities within your niche.
- When in doubt, check it out: If there’s a platform you’re interested in contributing to, but you’re not sure if they accept guest posts, try scrolling down to the bottom of the Home page. You’ll often see a link labeled Contribute or Write for Us or Submit a Post. And if not, you can almost always find a Contact page… if you’re feeling bold, why not channel your inner Greg Hirsch (any Succession fans in the house?) and come right out and audaciously ASK if they accept guest blogging contributions?
I mean, what's the worst that can happen...?
(I kid. This won't happen. 😉)
Next time, we’ll dive into your list of options + get to work crafting a winning guest blogging pitch!
In the meantime...
Let's take action!
Ready to implement what you learned in this post? I like your style!
💡 Block off an hour + do some uninterrupted guest blogging research. Remember to choose a dedicated place (e.g., Google spreadsheet, Trello board) to organize your work!
- Looking for help putting your message into words? You're a great fit for The Copy Bank Challenge! Come join us here
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