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When I tell my readers about the advantages of guest-posting on popular blogs, I often get a response along these lines: “A popular blog would never publish something I’ve written. I’m just not well-known enough.”

There are two things wrong with this response. Firstly, to say that a popular blog wouldn’t publish something you wrote is an assumption. You haven’t tried, so you don’t know.

The second flaw: “I’m just not well-known enough.” If you approach the blogger in the right way with a good idea, how well-known you are simply doesn’t matter. I wrote my first article for ProBlogger, a Technorati Top 100 blog, when I had less than 200 subscribers.

Bloggers aren’t interested in your profile. They’re interested in the content you can bring them.

In this post, I want to share the strategies I used to secure guest-posting spots at three Technorati Top 100 blogs (ProBlogger, Copyblogger and Zen Habits) without any prior contact with the owner. I don’t include that information to boast — I simply want to show you that these methods work. If they worked for me, they can work for you.

guest-posting-secrets.png
Photo by jurvetson

Why guest post on popular blogs?

Guest posting benefits you in two ways: it builds your niche profile and sends you traffic. The bigger the blog, the greater the benefits.

While you stand to gain much more when writing for a popular blog, you’ll also be faced with a few challenges:

  • Popular blogs have a high editorial standard.
  • They receive a lot of guest-post submissions, so you’ll be competing with many others.
  • Popular bloggers have little time to spend talking you through the process.

The following tips are designed to make these challenges as manageable as possible.

Choosing where to guest post

Make a short-list of popular sites likely to be visited by your target audience. Rather than aiming for the top of your niche straight away, you might want to try to be published on the second or third most popular site, just so you have somewhere to go once you succeed.

Each blog has its own style of content. It’s important to pick one with a content style you have the ability to emulate. If what you write is too different to the kind of ‘style’ the blog has established, it won’t be accepted.

Coming up with the perfect idea

Resist the temptation to come up with a low-involvement idea because you don’t like the thought of spending time on content for someone else’s blog. If your article is of a high quality, you get a number of benefits:

  • More people will want to click back to your blog.
  • If you want to guest post again in future, you’re likely to be instantly accepted.
  • People are more likely to remember who you are.

When thinking of an idea, make sure that it fits into one of the blog’s topic categories, that it’s of interest to the blog’s target audience, and most importantly, that it’s something the blogger hasn’t written about before. Do a keyword search to narrow the chances that you’re repeating what’s already been said.

For inspiration, try looking at the blog’s list of popular posts, if it has one. Can you explore one of those ideas further? Can you put a unique twist on one of those formulas?

Gulp: pitching your post!

Don’t write the article before it’s been accepted. Sending the pitch and the article all at once requires the blogger to make a decision too quickly. They’re likely to file away your email and never get back to it.

Also, if your article is for some reason rejected, it might be difficult to find another place to publish it.

The idea pitch approach works because it requires only a light commitment from the blogger. It’s the method I’ve used to secure all my guest posts. As you’re writing your email pitch, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be clear. Barring a short introduction, you should keep your email consistently on point.
  • Be brief. Popular bloggers get so much email that they’ll file away anything that looks too hard to tackle. You really can’t be too brief.
  • Sell your idea. Explain why it would work well for their blog.
  • Sell yourself. Throw down a link to the best blog post you’ve ever written. Sell yourself as well as your idea. Let the blogger know you’re capable of something remarkable.
  • Ask for minimum commitment. Don’t ask the blogger if they want to publish your post — that’s asking for too much commitment too early. Ask them if they’d be willing to simply look the post over if you write it. This might sound like a weak commitment, but I’ve never had a blogger who said ‘Yes’ to this refuse to publish the post after they’d seen it.

If you want some firmer guidance, here’s a simple template you can use:

Hi ____,

My name is ____ and I blog at ______. I would love the opportunity to guest post for your readers and I have an idea I think would go down really well.

The post would be about _______________. If that sounds good to you, I’d be happy to send along the finished post for your consideration.

Cheers,
______

Unless the idea is too similar to something the blogger has already written about before, or if it’s not well-suited to their target audience, the blogger will probably be happy to see what you come up with.

Once again, you haven’t asked for a final answer. All you’ve requested is that the blogger look over what you write. Once you reach this stage, your chances of being published are very high. At worst, the blogger might request that you edit the post.

Opportunities to look out for

There are certain situations which make a blogger more likely to accept a guest post.

1. If the blogger mentions they’re feeling sick. Offer to write a guest-post so they can get some rest. You will need to produce something quickly, though, as most people don’t stay sick for too long!

2. If the blogger mentions that they’re going on vacation. Usually this will be followed by a call for guest-posts, but once the call goes out, you’ll have heaps of competition. Get in early by making your pitch as soon as your targeted blogger starts to mention sandy beaches and palm trees.

3. If the blogger hasn’t been posting as much as they used to. Emphasize with their being busy and offer to take some of the load off. Most bloggers who haven’t been able to post consistently will feel that, to some extent, they’re neglecting their audience… making them all the more likely to publish a guest post.

And remember:

Those people who say that it’s impossible to write for a popular blog probably haven’t tried. Once you become confident enough to make your pitch, you’d be surprised at how easy it really is!

.

Thank you Skellie for Writing this amazing post on Blog Perfume

Readers Comments

Skellie – very nice post, with lots of GREAT information!!

I have covered the topic of guest posting a little bit on my site but not as in depth as your article above.

The readers of this post might also find the following article helpful, “Communicating With Top Bloggers – How To Get Your Email Read.” You can read it here:

http://www.mytropicalescape.com/2007/11/10/communicating-with-top-bloggers-how-to-get-your-email-read/

Thanks again for the insightful thoughts.
Mark

[...] Guest Posting Secrets: How to Get Published on an A-List Blog This one was written for BlogPerfume. It outlines and explains how you can use the same methods I’ve used to have guest-posts published on a number of top blogs. [...]

Although I’ve never pitched a guest post so far, I went through a similar process to pitch some of my stories to blogs much bigger than mine.

If you’re afraid of failing, then you’ll never make it. One handy tip I found useful was that if I was a regular reader of the blog I was trying to get a mention at, then I’d be familiar with the type of articles they normally publish. It’s useless trying to get something published at a place you have no idea about. If you fit their writing style and target audience, and the post is useful, then you’ll have much better chances of being accepted.

[...] Guest Posting Secrets – How to Get Published on an A-List Blog from BlogPerfume [...]

A very useful post. Thank you. Do you find that getting a guest article published on one blog helps getting articles published on other blogs? Would you mention (and link to) this in your pitch?

Awesome article Skellie. I dugg it.

I’ve got 2 blog posts published on other sites now, and have 4 more I’m currently pitching so this article helps a lot in how I pitch my idea. :)

Mike Smith

The truth is, you never know unless you try right?

I’m a regular contributor on a couple of blogs surrounding my industry. I never would have gotten the spot had I not reached out to them myself. So just try it!

In the meantime, these tips are very helpful…I can think of a couple of other blogs that I’d like to write a guest post for :)

@ Ben: Definitely! If you get published on one popular blog, you can include that in your pitch to another popular blog. It’s great social proof. It says: “This respectable blogger trusted me and it paid off — so why wouldn’t you?”

It was insightful of you to mention that. Thank you :-) .

@ Mike Smith: Thanks for the support :-) .

[...] Guest Posting Secrets – How to Get Published on an A-List Blog [...]

Hey,

My first visit here (clicked from Copyblogger) and I have to say thanks for a really great post.

I also like the way you formatted the post – nice headlines (in red too) and a great picture.

You kinda gave me a little tutorial in the process.

Best regards,

Mark

[...] Want to write articles for the A listed blogs? Read about “Guest Posting Secrets“. [...]

Dear Skellie -

You are right on. I got an article on Yaro’s Entrepreneurs Journey blog when I had only four relatives as readers. I was very naive and I had no idea that was an achievement at the time!

I had been an interviewer on national TV and I saw a need. Everyone was doing podcasts and they were great writers but did not do interviews well. So, I wrote an article on 17 tips on interviewing.

Yaro took it!

It was not my niche but it was his.

One tip. It has to be a new article. Don’t put it on your site first!

[...] Guest Posting Secrets – How to Get Published on an A-List Blog [...]

[...] Guest Posting Secrets – How to Get Published on an A-List Blog by Blog Perfume (tags: blogging tips posting guest) Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

Excellent post, Thumbs up!

Hello,

I’m really pumped after reading this post!

Thanks,
Kim

Great post..simply loving it!

Excellent post, I really enjoyed it and I now have another tool in my back pocket to bring traffic to my website. I’m definitely going to try your idea right away.

Cheers and thanks again

[...] Guest Posting Secrets – How to Get Published on an A-List Blog by Blog Perfume [...]

Good info there! Especially for “shy” people like me. I only came out of my lurking mode last year…after being online for 5 years!

Thanks good site!

A very useful post. Thank you!

I’ve been trying to find celebrity blogs to guest post on and hopefully these tips will help me begin to find some. I struggle with the part of a unique idea though as most of it has been done in this niche.

-Scott

Pretty nice site, wants to see much more on it! :) l

[...] Guest Posting Secrets – How to Get Published on an A-List Blog [...]

best of the best it is,

Guest Posting will help both. Get content and send visitors. Win-Win situation

[...] domains in a yet to be tapped Top Level Domain, recognize fad from trend and make the most of both, seek guest blogging gigs on high profile blogs, the opportunities are [...]

You’ve convinced me! I am going to start today. I think I will start with you.

Hello,

My name is Ben Moreno and I blog over at Revenue Reservoir I was looking at your blog and I think I may have a….just kidding!

Haha! I need some time to come up with an idea, but this is an excellent post here!

Very usefull post, i think i will use it.
Thanks.

[...] Guest Posting Secrets (How to Get Published on An A-List Blog), posted a little over a year ago, provides the information anyone considering adding such a marketing strategy to their business should take the time to read… first! “In this post, I want to share the strategies I used to secure guest-posting spots at three Technorati Top 100 blogs (ProBlogger, Copyblogger and Zen Habits) without any prior contact with the owner. I don’t include that information to boast – I simply want to show you that these methods work. If they worked for me, they can work for you.” [...]

[...] Blogperfume.com How to get published on a A-list blog [...]

Thanks so much for this! I just started having guest posters on my Creating a Better Life blog, and am also looking for opportunities to do a little writing for others… this post had all of the information I needed. It’s one of those posts that may be older, but it sure helped me out a year+ later! :)

Much appreciated!

[...] Guest posting secrets: how to get published on an A-list blog [...]

[...] a guest poster brings fresh content and new perspectives to your own site.  And in the end, guest posting is all about building new and diverse social networks, which is what blogging is ultimately all [...]

This article is fantastic, clear, concise and best of all useful! A rare combination. I’ve just started out really trying to ‘work’ this world of social media and I know this article is going to come in very handy.
Thanks for spreading your knowledge!

Excellent site http://www.blogperfume.com and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. It’s taken me literally 1 hours and 47 minutes of searching the web to find you (just kidding!) so I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor :)

Em…really good tips for me. I will have a try on it.

[...] Guest Posting Secrets – How to Get Published on an A-List Blog [...]

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Great tips for posting A-list blogs. I think guest posts are really useful for our site.

[...] Guest Posting Secrets – How to Get Published on an A-List Blog [...]

Guest posts are useful, i have just posted few guest posts in my website and foung that, it attracts more traffic. So i think guest post is not a bad option, the only thing we must keep in mind, the guest post should be a good one.

Just wanted to say hello all. This is my first post.

I expect to learn a lot here.

I wrote a guest post for another blog a few months back. My main priority was that the quality of the article was of the highest standard. I believe that if you are gonna write a post on someone elses blog then make sure it it’s the best you can do.

The same blog who I wrote the first guest post for, asked me to write another one. This goes to show that if you write good quality stuff, even if you are not that well know, you will catch peoples attention.

The benefits have been traffic from the blog and hopefully the links from the page will help my page rank.

Definitely worth doing

[...] Guest Posting Secrets – How to Get Published on an A-List Blog: [...]

This is very useful and great post. I really like this helpful information and going to write blogs for travel and vacation homes rental homes topics.

Thank you for sharing and keep it up!

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Aaron

I found this article six months ago. I had a blog in mind that I wanted to get a link on, but I needed a good idea for the post. 6 months later I got the idea, sent the email (I used your template above), and they loved it. I think having someone send them a blog idea like that out of the blue actually surprised them, so I don’t think many people are using this technique. That’s a big advantage, and getting the link was a lot easier than I ever expected. And it’s more than a link, it’s on their home page for a few days, and they tell their readers to come check out my blog. Could hardly be better. Thank you for the info here; my website just went to a whole new level of popularity because of your help.

Aaron

Just got another guest post accepted, using the exact same email template above – this post is gold! Thanks again.

Thank you so much for all the info. I have trouble making backlinks though :)

Thanks good information

nice post, thank you man.

And don’t forget getting on b and c list bloggers blogs. Depending on where your site falls in the spectrum, you may benefit from setting your sites a bit lower. Even if the blog you’re guest posting on has a similar traffic volume to yours, you’ll be reaching a whole new audience.

Very informative article, thanks for the tips. I heard that promoting your blog through guest posting is the best way. I’ve done my part in posting to article directories and didn’t grabbed much readers, guess I have to do some guest posting and make it a priority.

Blogging can create difference for attracting the people and audience. As I am student it will be helpful for me to get feedback about my writing style. If my blog attract the people then I can get lots of suggestion and ideas. So it is good post about blogging. Writer can fully utilize their writing power.

[...] Blog Perfume – Guest Posting Secrets – How to Get Published on an A-list Blog [...]

Great post. I am looking to do some guest posting to get my blog out there. This is the perfect step-by-step outline of what to do.

And you always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, right? If you try the worst case scenario is you get “no” as an answer and you move on.

You say that:

“1. If the blogger mentions they’re feeling sick; or

2. If the blogger mentions that they’re going on vacation”

- presumably you don’t mean immediately after reading your guest blog proposal.

This article is very useful for my blog, it helps for people to visit my blog more. thank you

If my blog attract the people then I can get lots of suggestion and ideas. So it is good post about blogging. Writer can fully utilize their writing power

very nice sharing. Thank you… Good information and good way your blog post. Good luck blogger man.

Skellie,

This is solid info. I was just spending 4 hours today applying for guest posting…thanks for this article..

Nice article on guest blogs,

May consider it.

presumably you don’t mean immediately after reading your guest blog proposal.

And don’t forget getting on b and c list bloggers blogs. Depending on where your site falls in the spectrum, you may benefit from setting your sites a bit lower. Even if the blog you’re guest posting on has a similar traffic volume to yours, you’ll be reaching a whole new audience.

I’ve been trying to find celebrity blogs to guest post on and hopefully these tips will help me begin to find some. I struggle with the part of a unique idea though as most of it has been done in this niche.

Nice tip. It’s more like being unique. Since guest posting trend is increasing, It’s always a good advice to Do something out of box and enjoy traffic via Guest posting.

Is it hard to get accepted as a guest poster or are most blogs open to it?


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