How to write the perfect guest post | Guest Blogging series PART 4
This post is Part 4 of a 5-part series on Guest Blogging!
The perfect guest post.
No such thing, right?
Now, as a recovering perfectionist, I’ll grant you I’m not wild about ‘the P word’.
(Except when it comes to your bakes. Paul's absolutely right: No stodginess, claggyness, or over/under-prooved-ness will be tolerated.)
But, in my experience reading, writing, reviewing and editing plenty of articles over the years, I have found there are certain qualities that the very best ones have in common. So, let's focus on that today!
(Quick check-in: You’ve already gotten clear on your guest blogging goals + you've done your research + you've started pitching, right?)
Today we’re continuing our series on guest blogging with Part 4: How to write the perfect guest post:
1) Begin with the end in mind
Before you write a single word, you’ve gotta have an ultimate “so what?” in mind.
This is true of anything you write, but it’s especially important when writing a guest post.
Unlike your own blog, where each post you write has the benefit of being nestled within the context of the other posts around it, any guest post you write must be able to hold its own.
(It also needs to blend as seamlessly as possible with the posts of other guest contributors, but more on that in a minute…)
I like to think about this in terms of an "action step"; I consider what actual behavior I want my reader to be able to put into practice the moment they finish reading my post.
But no matter how you conceptualize your “so what?”, this has to be your first step. Otherwise, trust me, it’s gonna be a lot harder to write with clarity.
- ASK YOURSELF: What is the main point I want my reader to take away from this post?
2) Make it skimmable
You already know my love of white space on the (web)page.
It’s what creates a feeling of calm focus as our eyes and fingers scroll.
So, please, always, be sure you’re infusing plenty of line breaks into your copy.
But, then, go ahead and take it a step further. Make it as skimmable as possible.
Simply include boldface headings (and, depending on the length of the post, subheadings) that form a cohesive outline of your post.
Why do this? Well, for a couple of reasons:
- It keeps your reader’s eyes on the page. (<– Super-helpful if you mean for them to actually get what you’re saying.)
- It helps ensure your post is precisely, logically organized. (<– Super-helpful if you mean to actually help them with what you’re saying.)
For instance, if you were to pause, zoom way out from this sentence you’re reading right now, and take a high-level spin through this very post, your eyes would probably take in the following:
- title (5 tips to writing the perfect guest blog post)
- point 1 (begin with the end in mind)
- point 2 (make it skimmable)
- point 3 (be consistent)
- point 4 (invite engagement)
- point 5 (tailor the bio)
- action step (put these tips to work by writing your own guest blog post!)
In 5-10 seconds, you’d have absorbed the most important information within the post!
It’s not rocket science. But when we compare this structure to some of the dense, meandering articles floating around online, we start to see how crucial this skimmability factor is!
- ASK YOURSELF: Could a reader get a clear sense of this post’s message, simply by skimming the headings (+ subheadings)?
3) Be consistent
This one can feel a bit tricky.
After all, you’ve been invited to share your thoughts in your own (copywriting) voice. So, all creative decisions should end with you… right?
When you contribute a guest post, it’s a true partnership between you + the editor/owner of the host site that’s featuring your work.
To ensure you’re holding up your end of the partnership, it’s important to create content that complements + blends with the existing content on that site.
Not only will this help maintain the cohesiveness of the site, but it’ll also help establish your voice as an active part of a larger conversation (vs. a solitary monologue).
So, how do you make this happen?
- revisit the mission of the blog you’re guest posting on
- re-read a selection of recent + popular posts
- pay attention to format + tone
Then, simply adapt as needed to help your post join the party!
- ASK YOURSELF: How can I tweak this post to align more seamlessly with the mission (+ other guest posts) of this site?
4) Invite engagement
If you’ve done all of the above, then congrats, Katya: You’ve probably got yourself a pretty sweet post!
But, we’re not done yet!
Next, we need to make sure you’ve given your readers an invitation to engage with what they’ve just read.
AKA: a call to action.
This could be an action step, like the one in this post.
Or a question you want them to answer in the Comments.
It could be whatever you want!
Just spell it out for them clearly, and then? Be ready to engage with them!
One of the qualities that separates the truly stellar guest bloggers from the rest is an eagerness to interact with the host’s readers. So, don’t hold back!
Reply to their Comments beneath your guest post. Meet them over on the blog’s social media platforms + engage with them there.
If guest blogging is a party co-hosted by you + the blog’s owner, don’t expect them to provide the venue AND the engagement! Get in there and show their audience some hospitality.
Before long, they just might become your audience, too!
And the *final* step is to tailor your author bio to maximize traffic back to you + your online presence. That's coming next week as we wrap up this series.
Let's take action!
Ready to implement what you learned in this post? I like your style!
💡 Using the tips above, get to work writing your own perfect guest post!
- 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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