How to Write a Guest Blog That Gets Accepted By Editors
Whether your pitch for a guest blog has already been accepted or you’re writing on spec (meaning you have to write the blog post before an editor will tell you whether they will accept your piece), there are some simple rules you should follow when you write any guest blog. Not only will your piece get accepted, but the editor will be excited to work with you again.
These are the EXACT steps I’ve followed to land blogs with outlets like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Levo, Men’s Health, Woman’s Day, Parents, Bustle, Golf Digest, Bleacher Report, SB Nation, and more.
Read at least ten blogs in the section where your piece will be placed. Trust me, in this respect you stand out by fitting in. Each outlet has its own voice, and you can get a good feel for the audience by reading what’s already been published on the site.
Use the search feature to look for any blogs even remotely related to what you want to write. Search every term you can think of around your idea. If you find something similar but are still adamant about your topic, find a unique angle. And if you haven’t pitched your piece to the editor yet, acknowledge the other piece in your pitch and explain how/why yours will be different. Pretending you didn’t notice the other article will do more harm than good.
Mimic a headline style you see used frequently on the blog. For example, lists are popular on most sites.
Note whether the majority of the blogs are written in first person or third person. Stick with the majority.
If you haven’t been given an assignment yet with a set word count, take a look at the average length of blogs on the site and stick within that range. Cut and paste the blog into a program like Word if you have to in order to determine the length.
If there are other blogs on topics that are related to yours, find ways to work those links into your copy. The editor will LOVE this. Not only does it show you’re familiar with their publication, but it has huge value for the site because it keeps people reading and clicking around the site. You can even point it out when you pitch your piece or send in your draft – “Also, I included links to several other pieces on Entrepreneur.com that went more into more depth on issues I mentioned.”
If you’re going to link to a piece on a third-party website, first make sure there isn’t something on the site where you’re writing you can link to (see #6). Editors do not like to link to other sites when they can link to their own writers. Be a team player. And never link to a competitor’s site.
It’s a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it if you know how to leverage the guest blog once it’s published!