A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your First Guest Post

By Ali Luke

Your own blog might be packed with great content … but it won’t be doing you much good if you don’t have any readers.

One of the best ways to bring readers to your blog is to write guest posts on larger, related, blogs. This not only gets your name and writing in front of people, it also helps your Google rankings (because you’ll get a link to your site from a high-pagerank blog).

If you’ve never guest-posted before, you might not know where to start. Here’s your step-by-step guide:

Step #1: Choose Your Target Blog

Some bloggers come up with an idea and write their post, then look for a blog that’s a good fit. But it’s more efficient to select your target blog first — because this will influence everything from your initial idea to your writing style.

A good target blog is large, on-topic, and clearly accepts guest posts (e.g. you’ve seen other people’s guest posts on that blog).

Step #2: Write Your Guest Post

As you write your guest post, keep in mind any guidelines from your target blog. (Most larger blogs will have guest post guidelines — try using the search box to find these if they’re not immediately obvious.)

Make your guest post focused and useful. Give it a clear structure (introduction, main body, conclusion) and try to write it in a similar style to that used by your target blog.

Step #3: Edit Your Post Carefully

Allow plenty of time for editing your post. You might even want to print it out so you can read it through on paper. Make sure the post flows well — you may find that you need to rearrange sentences or paragraphs to make your progression of ideas clearer.

Watch out for any clumsy phrasings or unclear sentences, as well as spelling mistakes and typos. If you can, get a friend to look over the post for you, so they can give you some feedback.

Step #4: Add Your Bio

Finally, don’t forget to include a bio. This is a sentence or two of text about you, usually written in the third person (for an example, just glance down to the final few words of this post, which start Ali Luke…)

It’s a good idea to tell readers who you are (e.g. “John Smith is a keen gardener…”) as well as giving them a link to a specific resource on your blog. That might be a free ebook, a great post, or a special landing page designed for them. Don’t just link to your main URL, because that’s not enough of an incentive for many people to click on your link.

So there you have it — a completed guest post. It’s as simple as that! Why not do some research today and find a great target blog for your first guest post?

Ali Luke is a writer and writing coach. If you want to take your blogging further, join her weekly newsletter list to get two free ebooks on blogging (“Ten Powerful Ways to Make Your Blog Posts Stronger” plus “Ten Easy Ways to Attract Readers to Your Blog … And Keep Them There”) as well as lots more goodies.

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21 Responses to “A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your First Guest Post”

  • Kevin

    I find strong resonance in some of the points mentioned in this article, as I have recently submitted my first guest post. I wish I could’ve read these tips earlier. Luckily I didn’t deviate too much from your steps, Ali. I’m glad the other blogger was very specific about what he wanted from me – including the bio part. So I’d like to point out that communication is key. Thanks for these guidelines.

  • Dwayne@TWC

    Great post, Ali. I’ve been really working on guest posting and this is definitely going to help.

  • Dainius

    Nice and logical post. Except – you didn’t done #3 🙂 h2 tags not closed for #2&3.
    Sorry – it is so easy to spot errors of others. Maybe you should include one more # – have a proofreader, be it for money, or be it your boy/girlfriend for a cup of tea 🙂
    Good luck, nice post!

  • CypherHackz

    Ali, you didn’t close the tag properly.

  • Ehsan

    Hi Ali, I want to ask that where to start writing my post before sending it to any blog? To wordpad? And how to change my post to HTML so blogger can simply copy my post and paste it to wp html editor?
    And how to ad links to my guest post?
    Please answer my questions and make me able to write my first guest post ever?

  • Leif G.S. Notae

    These are good tips and something I keep overlooking. The basic rule in marketing is target your audience and find out what their problem is as well as how you can solve it. I need to get a few more out, I’ll certainly do some profiling first. Thanks for the article, always happy to see your stuff Ali!

  • Jamie Northrup

    Always make your email about the guest post targeted to the blog you’re trying to appear on, so many times I get requests that are cold and you can see they sent the same email to hundreds of blogs.

  • Dess

    I never tried this before because English is not my first language. However I think I can do it if I give it time. I almost do not miss grammar and usage and spellings. So I think I can try it.

  • Liz@internet home business

    Hey Ali,

    I think the hardest part of guest blogging is finding the right blogs. You need to guest post on blogs that fit your target market but also find blogs that have good rankings and offer you the highest potential for bringing you quality traffic. So your advice to find a blog that is large, on-topic, and accepts guest posts is spot on.

    Thanks,
    Liz

  • Rahul kuntala

    @ Ehsan: Hi, if you want to change your blog post to HTML, simply select the “HTML” tab right after “Visual” (if you are using WordPress).

    You can add tags to your blog posts by selecting that corresponding word and clicking “link” button which looks like a hyperlink mark in the WordPress tabular box.

    Ali, your post on first guest post is awesome like always with simple language 🙂 Thanks for the tips

  • Daniel

    Guest posting is definitely one of the main methods of getting yourself and your Blog some exposure.

    I have seen many fantastic guest posts, that have had a lot of thought(work) put into them.

    On the other side of the coin, there are also a number of guest posts that should NOT have been submitted. They were not only riddled with spelling and grammar issues, but seemed to be all over the place, making it hard to get the full gist of the article.

  • Charles Specht

    I’m still thinking about guest posting one day. Ugh!

  • Steve Fuller

    Great article. Quick question —

    If I’ve already posted articles on my site, is it appropriate to offer them to other sites as guest posts? Or is it assumed that guest posts will always be original content that I have not already posted?

    Thanks for the help.

  • Jakk Ogden

    Hi Ali,

    I agree entirely with everything you have said and you also have some great points but you missed something, and what you missed is this:

    If you are guest posting on a website and providing claims or statistics, you need to always provide sources back to your research if at all possible in order to add credibility to any numbers, figures or quotes within your guest post.

    The upsides to this are that it adds credibility to your writing and is also fair to any source which helped you write it.

    Now this does not require external links within the main body of your guest post, you can see an example of what I do at the bottom of this comment below a fictional BIO as if my comment was a guest post.

    Anyway, thanks for the write up :).

    Author Bio: Jakk Ogden is a technology blogger and professional marketer. In his spare time you’ll find him tormenting his cats with any soft toy.

    Source/s: Source 1, Source 2, Image Credit

  • Tim

    DBT is home to a very gracious crowd!

  • Tech84

    I agree with Ali. Very good topic, it helps website owners (especially new ones) expand and reach newer audiences if their writing is good enough.

    On a totally different note, I am doing the reverse of this. I am encouraging guest writers on my blog, but I only prefer sites and topics that is relevant to my website though.

  • Nick

    Very good beginner’s guide — I need to get on more guest posts myself. I think it’s definitely important to get a feel for that individual blog’s style and tailor your post accordingly.

    I’ve seen too many people get their post rejected because it didn’t fit with the other blog. Always check if the site has guest posting guidelines before you start typing away.

  • Ali Luke

    Thanks everyone for the comments (and for spotting the tags … Daniel’s fixing that!)

    @Jakk, great addition. And really, that advice goes for any blog post — but I agree with you that it’s especially crucial for guest posts.

  • HP van Duuren

    Thanks for your post Ali,

    I do think that for doing Guest Postings it’s also important to have some kind of clear Content Strategy that makes it possible to write Guest Posts and a Bio that is in alignment with such a Strategy. For example on my – Home Business Lifestyle – Blog I now already do have some kind of Strategy offering readers Tips & Tools for Blogging and doing Affiliate Marketing.

    So I might be ready for looking for Target Blogs now,
    Dailyblogtips? Mmmmm. need to think about that one…,
    You also need to make time for it….,

  • Slavko/ Lifestule Updated

    Great advice article!

    The thing is that many of us started writing guest posts and tried to figure out the approach on our own. But it is always better if you have a clear direction for where you are headed.

    Thanks for the article, it just makes sense.

  • Ozio Media

    Another important facet of joining the blogging world is to engage other bloggers by commenting on their posts. This is also a good way to get the invitation to make a guest post on someone’s blog. The blogosphere is all about networking and sharing, so asking others to make guest posts on your own blog is a great way to attract more readers to your site. The point about remembering to include a short bio and links to your own pages is one that is often overlooked, but is extremely important

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