Guest Posting 101: 7 Keys to Get Your Guest Post Published

DearBlogger Exclusive Hosting DealThis is a guest post by Frank McKinley. He is a published author who helps writers to engage readers, sell their ideas, and build tribes.

You are an engaging writer with a compelling message.

The problem is nobody is coming to your blog. Nobody but your friends even know you’re a writer.

Sure, you’re putting awesome content out there. But if you grow at the rate you currently are, your grandkids will have grandkids before you’re famous.

How can you get noticed by more people more often? How can you accelerate your path to making a living as a writer?

Get your work in front of a large, hungry audience – people who are eager to hear your ideas, your wisdom, and your insights.

How do you do that?

Guest posting.

“That’s great,” you say. “But I don’t know any big bloggers. Why should they publish anything I write?”

Because you’re about to learn 7 winning strategies that will make you an awesome guest poster.

First, let’s look at what’s holding you back.

3 Things You’re Missing


When you’re just starting out, it’s intimidating to approach a popular blogger.

What you’re really saying is, “He won’t pay any attention to me anyway. So I won’t make a pitch.”

How will you know unless you try? After you read this post, you won’t have any excuses.


There are effective ways to send a guest post proposal.

Much of the time we hold back because we don’t know what to say.

Will it be good enough?

Will it be interesting?

Will my email be opened?

Your worries are over.

I’ll teach you how to write a winning proposal in this post!

Market Research

Let’s solve this problem right now.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind? If not, create a profile of that person. Ask yourself:

  • What does she like to read?
  • What is she interested in?
  • What problem does she want to solve?

You can also add some biographical information so she becomes a living, breathing person.

  • How old is she?
  • Does she have a family?
  • Where does she live?
  • Where does she work?
  • What is her biggest dream?

Now let’s unpack 7 strategies to get your guest post published!

1) Find a blog that fits your message.

You want to get your message heard, don’t you?

Here’s a strategy that’s guaranteed to fail. Send your message to every website you can think of.

You may be saying, “Why wouldn’t I want to do that? Isn’t exposure important?”

You can kill a deer by loading your gun with buckshot. There’s so much ammo in one shell that some of it is bound to make a mark.

Unfortunately, that is a terrible way to market yourself.

You want your aim to be more like a sniper who is hired to hit his target from a hundred yards away – with one bullet.

You do that by finding a blog that shares your message. Then, when you send a guest post proposal, it’s a lot easier for the screener to say, “Yes, it’s perfect!”

2) Appeal to what the reader wants.

If you’re not already familiar with the blog you want to write for, read their posts.

Read 8 or 10. Sure, this will take time. But honestly, you can’t afford not to do this.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to write a post that fits. You’ll know more about what their readers like, want, and are looking for.

And you’ll greatly increase the chance your post will be accepted!

3) Write it fast.

Once you get the go-ahead, start writing. Don’t keep them waiting. They may want to run your post next week!

When you get your post in ahead of time, you:

  • Give the editor time to make adjustments.
  • Allow time to answer any questions the editor may have.
  • Take pressure off the editor to hunt you down for your post.

A guest post is a golden opportunity. Be prompt, courteous, and deliver more than they expect.

You never know when your relationship can pay off in other ways!

4) Always send your best work.

I interviewed an editor for my blog recently. I asked her what was the biggest frustration she experienced with writers who work with her.

“I wish they’d send their best work to me. When they don’t, it takes longer, it costs more, and it’s harder to make something good out of it.”

Here’s a magic formula to ensure you write an awesome guest post:

  1. Brainstorm the idea.
  2. Freewrite the draft.
  3. Take a break between each step.
  4. Edit it to perfection.
  5. Read it aloud.
  6. Do a final polish.
  7. Send it in.

The effort you put in here will pay off in big ways for you.

5) Follow the guidelines.

Guest posting is like visiting someone’s home.

  • You put on your best manners.
  • You don’t turn over the furniture or break a window.
  • You compliment the host.

When a blogger lets you write for him, follow the guidelines if you want to be invited back. It’s not all about you. It’s about those you’re serving with your message. They’re the ones that give you the attention you crave. Respect that.

6) Share, share, and share some more.

You’ve been published!

No doubt you’re excited. Do what your friends do when their kids get married, graduate from school, or get the job of their dreams. Share, share, and then share some more!

Just remember to frame it terms of the win for the reader. Otherwise, people will think you’re bragging.

7) Answer your comments.

When you share valuable information, it will resonate with people.

Some will take the time to comment. Honor their kindness by replying as promptly as you can.

The more engagement you offer, the more people will see you care.

And when they see you care about them, they’ll care about you.

How to Write a Winning Proposal

If there’s one thing you need to know about making a proposal, it’s this:

Keep it short and to the point.

Here’s what to include in your short email.

  1. A specific compliment about how the blog has helped you.
  2. A short summary of your proposal.
  3. How and why your proposal will benefit the reader.
  4. A simple thank you.
  5. Sign off.

At most, the whole message should be 5-6 sentences.


Because bloggers with a large audience are super busy. When you make your point quickly and offer a win for their audience, you do the blogger a favor.

Then your email is more likely to get opened, read, and answered.

Give it a week before you follow up.

Follow up once or twice. Then move on. You can always make another proposal later.

Now Do This

Find a blog in your niche that has lots of readers.

See if they are accepting guest posts.

Kindle a relationship by commenting on the blogger’s posts.

Send an initial email complimenting the blogger. Don’t ask for anything.

When you’re commenting, do you see anyone’s question left unanswered? Be a hero and respond. Who knows? The blogger may reach out to you!

I’d love to hear this works for you in the comments.

Have experience already? Share your insights in the comments. You may inspire someone else to make her mark!



Frank McKinley

Writing Coach. Published Author. Founder of the Tribe Builder’s Network.
Your Bestseller Starts Here!

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20 Responses to "Guest Posting 101: 7 Keys to Get Your Guest Post Published"

  1. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Seriously, I am not the guest post type of person. Even when I decided to write a guest post, I will finally post it on my blog.

    Tried my best to send out my guest post. It worked.

  2. Wow! Thanks for trimming this down to a manageable size. I’ve read various books and taken countless webinars on this very subject. Yet you offer more incite than all of them together. I printed this and have it posted on my wall for reference now. What a great, handy, step by step guide for all wannabe bloggers!

  3. Hey, Frank!

    Thanks for a good post that covers the vital parts of guest posting. I think number two is one of the most important things to do also, even if you just want to get cracking on a post to pitch. If you don’t know what their readers want, how should you know what to write about?

  4. Frank, great post. The sniper remark made it crystal clear. I think it is key to have a relationship going instead of just blindly asking if you can guest post. Then it is apparent that you know something about your host and what they are offering their readers. If people want their work read and there are not enough people in their home audience, guest blogging is a must. You never know who you might lead to your neighborhood.

  5. Thank you for the know-how packed post, Frank! 🙂 It is to benefit to anyone wondering how to guest post, or just how to improve their proposal and professional relationships with other bloggers.

    Great stuff!

      1. You did! This post is all you need to write a successful guest post that gets published Frank.

        Especially love the brevity, 5-6 sentences makes us publishers life easier! 🙂 though I know I’ve sent more haha.


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