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3 Guest Blogging Mistakes to Avoid

Posted By Melissa Fach On February 21, 2013 @ 2:00 pm In Marketing Tips | 15 Comments

guest blogging mistakesAs an editor for several blogs that accept guest posts I see a lot of the same mistakes made over and over.

If you are hoping to become a guest blogger for a particular site, I recommend you review the following mistakes and avoid them.

Failure to Research What the Blog is About

Blogs that are devoted to a specific industry often want guest bloggers that have experience with that industry so they can offer educational information to the readers.

Currently I am an editor for a large blog that is focused on the search industry and it is obvious what the focus is to anyone that spends 2-3 minutes looking at the site. However, I get many emails from guest writers that say things like:

“Your blog would really benefit from my writings about choosing the right dog.”

Well, no it would not. Emails like this are irritating because they are a waste of my time. If I receive 100 emails a day from potential guest bloggers to go through, I don’t want to be wasting time on someone that has not even paid attention to what the blog is about.

Suggestion: Before you contact a blog about guest blogging please research what the blog is about and make sure that the topic you suggest is relevant.

Not Having the Experience to Write for a Blog

I know there are some guest bloggers out there that believe they can write about anything. Many people can write about “anything,” but to write something that offers quality information that readers can learn from and/or put into action right away would require an author that has significant experience with the subject at hand.

Blogs that are devoted to a specific industry often want guest bloggers that have experience with that industry so they can offer the educational information I discussed above. They are not looking for someone that can look at an article and rehash it and call it their own. Here is another example of emails I receive:

“I have written about fashion, wine, fine dining and dogs. Now I want to move into writing about SEO.”

Well, obviously this person doesn’t really know SEO so why would I publish them? What quality can they offer? If they don’t know SEO, aren’t the ideas in their articles really going to belong to someone else? Typically, there are writer’s guidelines on blogs and they are often specific about what type of writer they want.

Suggestion: Do not contact a blog about guest writing until you do the following:

  • Take time to read the writers guidelines of each blog you are interested in writing for.
  • Take some time to read the last 5-10 articles published and really be honest with yourself about whether or not you can offer the same kind of quality with the knowledge that you have.

Being Demanding When Not an Approved Writer Yet

Below is an exact sentence that I see probably 10 times a week. I believe this is because somewhere guest bloggers have suggested using a template when reaching out for guest blogging opportunities. FYI, the sentence below comes across rude and demanding to editors:

“I will send you an article that will need to be published within 48 hours and I will require 3 links with the anchor text of my choosing back to my websites.”

So why is this offensive to editors?

There are a few reasons:

  • Editors often schedule weeks ahead of time and have promised spots to writers. They are not going to bump someone from their spot just so a new writer can be published within in 48 hours.
  • An active blog has many posts coming in and it can take weeks to read through them. What makes a writer so special that their article should be read, edited, uploaded and scheduled within 48 hours?
  • Editors don’t work for the new guest writer; they work for the blog and the blog’s owners. They have obligations and responsibilities; editors don’t just “edit.” Most of the time if an editor had to rush to get something published within 48 hours they would not be meeting the job’s obligations and responsibilities.
  • And lastly, big blogs are essentially doing a favor for the writer by publishing their work so approaching an editor with “demands” is rude.

Know Your Limitations

Guest blogging can be a really good thing for a writer. It can help you build a reputation, help you with link building and it can help with branding. However, you cannot just assume that you can send a template letter to every type of blog and make all the editors excited about what you have to offer.

You must do your research about each blog you want to write for. You have to be honest with yourself about your limitations and you have to create something wonderful. Great blogs want unique, quality content that educates and offers usable information the reader can use.

If you cannot offer this to a blog due to lack of experience than you should not approach the blog at all.

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