It’s the dream of any writer to have their guest blog post featured on a high authority blog.
It’s the perfect way to build credibility and to gain recognition. It’s the free ticket to getting published on any other blog you ever write to!
It sounds dreamy, but like everything else you dream about, it is not easy to get.
It takes adhering to guidelines, hours of research, effort and time to put together a blog post that has the potential to get featured on a high authority blog.
Stick to these steps, and you’ll get there the next time you try.
1. Those Guest Blog Post Guidelines that You Skip Over are there for a Very Important Reason
Read them. Once. Twice. As many times as you have to understand what exactly their requirements are.
Do they state not to send pitches? To send pitches first before sending the full draft? To send samples of your previous work? Not to add links in the body of the article? To use their form to reach out to them?
Adhering to these guest blog post guidelines is crucial to increasing your chances at getting accepted by a high authority blog.
While these blogs get a massive amount of quality blog posts per day, they won’t spend time on any of them if they fail to meet their guidelines.
2. Think You Can Get Away With that Email Example from the Web?
Your reach out email is the first writing sample a blogger uses to form an impression of you. What does it say about you if you can’t put two words of your own together to write an email?
While a busy blog owner gets plenty of emails a day, they know when they see something copied straight from the web.
If you get caught using one, your credibility as a writer will be damaged before any correspondence can actually begin. And you may not get a reply from them at all.
It’s okay to refer to these email templates, but do not copy and paste the entire thing! Form your own email template after a sample and customize it according to the blog you reach out to.
It always begins with the email you send and it can make or break your entire guest blogging campaign.
3. You Offer the Same Old Topic Everyone’s Tired of Hearing
How many ultimate guides and guaranteed tips and proven formulas have you come across? How many have you actually found useful or that offer something new and valuable?
Say you choose to relate the hackneyed tale. Then do approach it from a new angle.
Mention something that hasn’t been mentioned before; it could be your personal experience or a unique opinion that you may have recently come across.
Or a research/survey you’ve conducted. Do share it with the rest of your peers who are hungry to learn something new.
4. You Decide NOT to Give 2 Cents about What the Target Audience Wants
What’s the point in writing at all if nobody reads it? To get people to read it, you need to write about what they need to know. It’s just as simple as that.
The only way you are going to get people to read your guest blog post is if you give them something they really badly want to know about or are interested in.
Conduct thorough research on the target audience before you start writing.
List down information on what issues they are currently facing, what latest topics they are dying to know about and what kind of solutions they are looking for, etc.
It will give you an instant idea when picking a topic to write about.
5. A Headline So Boring, Even You Roll Your Eyes after Writing It
Fundamentally the headline should convey to the reader what your post is about and why they should read it.
A great headline – which grabs the attention of the reader and makes them literally feel guilty for not reading the rest of the blog post -has 2 things in common; benefit and curiosity.
A great headline should hint at a benefit or benefits readers can get from reading the post and only give just enough information to compel them to read further.
Or in other words, it should arouse their curiosity.
Remember that 80% of readers read the headline before deciding to read the rest of the post.
So you need to decide on a clever way to summarize what’s in your article and infuse into it a reason as to why your target audience should read the rest of the content accompanying it.
6. You Pretty Much Suggest the Same Topic They Have Already Covered
Unless you make the promise of something new and extraordinary, if they have already covered the topic or topics you pitch in, your chances of getting published will be limited.
Once you find the blog, read the guidelines and familiarize yourself with the needs and preferences of the target audience.
Search up and down the blog to see what- and what type of- topics they have already published about.
This may help you get an idea as to what kind of topics you should suggest.
7. An Introduction that Loses the Reader’s Interest Faster than It Takes to Say ‘Intro’
The headline and the opening paragraph actually are the most critical parts of a blog post.
If these two fail to hook the reader, hardly anything else will (except if there’s some attention-grabbing graphic; we’ll circle back to that later).
Like the post’s headline, the opening paragraph of your post should captivate the reader.
Then it should go beyond that and address the ‘thing’ the reader is there to learn about head on.
Promise them that by reading the rest of the article they can find the perfect answer to what’s been bothering them.
Or that they’ll learn about the perfect way to do what they’ve been failing to do over the past few weeks.
8. Spamming the Post with Links to Your own Landing Pages, Blogs etc
Be reasonable; if it’s your very own blog, would you publish a guest post with links (with rich anchor texts and in the body of the article! – you are really overplaying your hand here!)?
Unless they pay for it, you would rather not.
Most blogs explicitly mention their rules about linking; whether they allow self-serving links in the body of the article or in the author bio. Or whether they don’t allow linking at all.
You may choose wisely according to your guest blogging goal.
If you are out there to build a name for yourself, with or without a link, getting published on the authority blog in question should be your top priority.
On the other hand, if you are looking to increase traffic to and the rankings of your landing pages, you had better stick with those blogs that allow linking.
If not, you have the option to get it published as a sponsored post.
Tip: do remember to include a few internal links. This will alert the blog owner that you’ve properly done your research on their blog and the type of content they prefer.
9. Stealing Chunks of Content from Other Sources
Plagiarism will be tolerated neither by authority blog owners nor by search engines.
If you have to resort to plagiarizing content to complete your piece, then either you haven’t done your research properly, or you are just not destined to be published on your dream authority blog!
If you are not confident enough to write about the topic you have chosen, stop it immediately. Clear your head and start your research again.
If you still can’t stop yourself from stealing content, then friend, that topic is not for you!
10. Miles and Miles of Text but Not a Single Relevant Image or a Graphic
Research shows that articles with visuals in them get 94% more views.
While most online readers have a habit of skimming content they read, images or graphics are a great way to retain their attention.
When including images in your blog posts make sure,
- that they are of the proper dimensions required by the blog
- are relevant to the content they accompany
- are royalty-free and legal
Note: if the blog specifically mentions in its guidelines not to include images, then refrain from doing so
11. Grammatical and Spelling Errors and Wrong Usage of Punctuation, etc
Of all the guest blogging deal breakers, this is perhaps one of the most important. For with these errors in your content, you will hardly get published anywhere.
Before submitting your post for review, proofread it once, twice or as many times as you want to make sure that it contains not a hint of a mistake.
If you have to, get your colleague to go through the content too: sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can detect what you might have missed.
Are there any more guest blogging mistakes that you’d like to add to the list?
Go ahead and mention them in the comments below.
I, as a blog owner, have personally come across them all.
And I know for a fact that these mistakes are guest blog post deal-breakers!
About the Author
Amanda Athuraliya is the communications specialist/content writer at Cinergix, the team behind the development of the Creately Flowchart Software. She is an avid reader, a budding writer and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.
Image source: Author-owned