April 19, 2021
Top Tips for Guest Bloggers
We are regularly approached by guest bloggers who offer their writing services to us for free. So much so that we thought we would write a little guide to help those looking to build their writing portfolio in this emerging creative discipline.
Our tips may also help those looking to utilise the services of a guest blogger because we are sure that we are not the only company being approached on a daily basis with offers of free content creation.
Why is guest blogging so popular?
Guest blogging is a fast-growing market and the reasons for this are easy to understand.
Simply put, there are many writers out there looking for work and many companies that need content creating but do not have the time to do it themselves.
Companies have an increasing requirement for regular content because they need to improve their SEO and guest bloggers can help create this content.
Targeting keywords through well-written blog posts is probably still the most effective way to drive traffic to your website. The trick is finding the time to do it.
And so it seems like a no-brainer for a company to accept the offer of free content when approached by a guest blogger.
However, the key to success for both parties is in making sure that the content is of good enough quality and achieves the goals set by the writer and the client.
Guest blogging tips
The aim is to help young writers understand the clients’ needs and hopefully help content creators produce better articles that their clients will find truly valuable. Resulting in the request for more paying work.
So, without further ado, let’s get started…
1 – Check your clients’ blog for similar content
You may have a great idea for a blog piece, but if that piece is too similar to another article that already exists on the clients’ site, you’ll need to come up with another idea.
All companies love the idea of having free content created for them, but that content will need to be substantially different to what they already have on their site to be considered worthy of publication.
The content should target niche audiences, adding real value for both the client and the reader.
2 – Make sure your article flows
Many articles we receive from guest bloggers are full of great ideas and interesting facts, but the flow can be poor.
Your article should be easy to read, with each point leading to the next in a logical manner.
If your article flows badly, expect your client to suggest changes or even make changes themselves.
3 – Don’t forget your conclusion!
Once you have mastered the subject and the flow of your article, please make sure to include a conclusion that summarises what you have written.
We see too many articles, especially those in the ‘Top Ten’ style, that end abruptly on the final point, with no summary or sign-off.
Keep the summary short and to the point, reminding the reader of the most important points.
4 – Check your grammar and spelling
Once you have written your article, it’s a great idea to check your grammar and spelling using a tool such as Grammarly.
This is especially true if you are writing a piece that is not in your native language.
Writing content in a language that is not native can be a challenge and we applaud those that do so but be aware that doing so may result in a higher number of client edits if your language skills are not of the highest standard.
5 – Be accepting of client edits
Being accepting of client edits is probably the most challenging part of the process for any writer.
Just like design, writing is a creative process, so we fully understand the desire to keep the original vision intact. But just as we have to accept changes to our work from our clients, so should a writer understand that their clients will also require input into the articles that appear on their website.
These edits may change the flow of the article (as mentioned above), add new content (this is a good thing because it means your piece has sparked inspiration) or even remove some content completely if it is felt inappropriate.
The key here is to try and not be too protective over your original draft. Allow for edits and engage the client to understand why these changes are being requested.
Understanding this process will help you grow as a writer and will likely gain you more work if you can prove to be adaptable to change.
6 – Avoid competitive outbound links
Having quality outbound links that add context to your article is a good thing, but please avoid linking to potential competitors.
This is where we feel the need to be very blunt with our advice and reasoning…
A big part of blogging and SEO work is securing quality inbound links (also called backlinks) from other websites. One way of a writer securing these links is to offer a free article to another website that links to one of their paying clients. The new client gets a free article and the paying client gets an inbound link that you promised for a fee.
Seems innocent enough. But if the client that you are linking to operates in the same sector as the new client that you are writing for, expect to have that link removed.
No company – especially a web development and design agency – will purposely link to another that offers the same or similar services. Doing so would risk losing business to a potential competitor.
7 – Make sure you get credited with your own link
Even if a client edits quite a lot of your original article, they should still be happy to credit you for your role in creating the content in the first place. We certainly are.
To credit you effectively, it would be great to link to a website or even a LinkedIn profile that features more information about yourself and the work you do.
If you are truly serious about building a career as a writer or you just want to supplement your income with some freelance content creation, make sure you have an online profile that people can link to.
And if you are really serious, secure your own domain and branded email address so that you look as professional as you possibly can, just like The Word Bird.
Everyone loves a freebie, especially if it makes our lives easier, so the offer of free content will rarely be turned down. You just have to make sure it’s good content.
To be effective at guest blogging, try to remember our top tips for guest bloggers:
- Don’t create content that duplicates what the client is already saying. Create something new & fresh!
- Make sure your article flows naturally with a well-considered structure.
- Don’t forget to conclude your article with a handy summary of your insights.
- Check your grammar and spelling
- Accept that there will be edits to your article. It’s just part of the creative process.
- Do NOT link to competitors within your article.
- Provide a nicely written sign-off that includes a link to an online profile.
If you would like to talk to us about creating an article for our blog and building your creative writing portfolio in the process, get in touch with us here and we’ll do our best to help.