This is a guest post by Frank McKinley. He is a published author who helps writers to engage readers, sell their ideas, and build tribes. In this post. Frank shares in this post how he became a regular guest blogger on his favorite blogs.
You’re a writer with a message the world needs to hear.
The experts told you to set up a self-hosted blog.
Next, they told you to post content every week.
So, why do you still hear crickets chirping?
Because while those things are good, they’re not enough to help you get known.
It’s Hard to Get Known
If you do any reading about building an audience, you’ve seen bloggers say you should write guest posts.
If you’re not familiar with guest posting, read this first. Guest Posting 101: 7 Keys to Get Your Guest Post Published
The idea is the more people who see your work, the more likely it is that you’ll start getting traffic to your blog, cash in your coffers, and opportunities galore.
There’s some truth to this. I’ve seen doors open for me that I never dreamed would be in my path.
Why should you listen to me?
- I’ve posted on this blog 4 times in the past several months.
- Twice I’ve posted on the Positive Writer, and a third post is scheduled.
- My work has appeared on 10 websites so far, and I’m continually adding more.
A guest post is a great opportunity. But I can’t tell you how many I’ve seen that are good but don’t thrill me beyond words. I feel happy for the writers who got the opportunity, but I wish I could grab them and say,
“Why didn’t you step up and share your absolute best stuff?”
After you read this, you won’t have that problem ever again.
Or at least you’ll know what you should do. It’s up to you to do it, though. And I’ll do my dead level best to equip you to make all your dreams of getting known come true.
Ready to dive in?
7 Ways to Get Known and Become a Regular Contributor
1) Always be pitching.
I’m an optimist. I expect to hear a “Yes” every time I ask someone for something – whether it be an interview, a guest post, or a phone call. If I didn’t, why would I bother?
The truth is I don’t always hear Yes.
Sales is a numbers game. The more calls you make, the more chances you have to hear Yes.
For writers, that means you need to make lots of pitches to get known.
My marketing mentor gave me some solid advice early on about how to connect with influencers.
Have multiple targets.
Don’t pour yourself into one person. If that person says no, you’re sunk. But if you have 10 in mind and 7 say yes, you’re so much better off. Even if 3 are willing to help, you’re in good shape.
Set a goal of sharing your work to 10 different blogs in your niche. This is important because you want your work to reach the people who will benefit from it the most.
Now let’s look at a strategy that will get bloggers to beg you to write for them!
2) Focus on the Blogger‘s audience, not yourself.
People are smart. They know when you’ve got an agenda.
If you’re constantly focusing on what you need, it can look like this:
- Buy my book
- Join my list
- Share my work
When it’s all about you, no one cares.
Here’s what happens when you shift your focus to your reader;
She’ll feel important because you seem to care and see that you understand. Maybe she will rave about you to her friends because
you changed her life!
You won’t have to come across as a sleazy used car salesman when you do that. People will buy your products, share your posts, and rave about you because they’ll see you as a friend.
And friends help friends, don’t they?
Now you’ll learn the key to any blogger‘s heart.
3) Develop a relationship by doing favors.
Maybe you’re wondering what you can do for someone who is already popular, known, and thriving.
Here are three things:
- Comment on her posts.
- Share her work with your network
- Answer questions in the comments that have been left unanswered
This is so easy to do. And here’s a hidden benefit – every time you enter your website into a form, you create a backlink to your site.
Speak up. Give compliments. Share your story. Whatever you can do to make a blogger look good is an investment in your future as a contributor.
4) Offer to help when they’re in a pinch.
One Sunday I got a message from Cori, the manager of this blog. She needed content in 3 days and asked if I had something.
“Of course,” I replied.
Then I went to work. I had the finished post in her inbox Tuesday night. It ran Wednesday and she avoided having a week with no new content.
Be willing to come up with something quick if someone asks. You can always be ready if you have a list of ideas to choose from. If you run dry, here’s a quick way to come up with 1000 ideas in 10 minutes – even if you’ve been blocked for months!
I recently got a request from another blogger I’ve written for. He had created a course and wanted me to write a post about the topic. Naturally, I said yes! The win for him was I could promote the topic and showcase him as an expert. The win for me was more exposure and credibility.
You’ll have the same opportunities when you move from random guest poster to regular contributor.
5) Always exceed expectations.
May websites have guidelines.
If you want to get invited back, it’s not enough to just follow them and submit your work. You need to use them as a starting point. Dig deep into your reservoir of talent. Pull out something no one has thought of before – and share it.
Find a way to make your points memorable. It can be an acrostic that’s easy to remember. Or maybe you tell a story that no one can ever forget. Call it a gimmick if you want – but trust me, it works.
Just don’t violate the guidelines when you do.
The key is when you deliver more than is expected, you get invited back. When you make the blogger look good, everybody wins. When you give a lot of value, people will follow you wherever you go!
6) Give premium content away for free.
When you write a guest post, you’re on stage. If you were a comedian, it would be like a shot on the Tonight Show. Give people something awesome, and you’ll be a hit!
There’s a lot of content on the web. But that doesn’t mean it’s all good. In fact, much of the same content gets repeated again and again on multiple websites.
You don’t want to do that.
Take what’s good and add to it. Improve what is subpar. For what doesn’t work show a better way.
In other words, make your free content so good people would pay for it.
Do that and you’ll get as much attention as the underdog team that wins the Super Bowl!
The next rule is so important that if you break it, it can ruin everything.
7) Never violate the trust you’ve earned.
The famous blogger loves your work.
He shares it everywhere because it’s so good.
He even agrees to be your mentor!
So don’t blow it.
Always deliver your posts when you say you will.
Don’t leave typos, misinformation, and bad formatting for his editor to fix.
Keep sending good ideas for him to consider, and don’t be upset when he wants to change them.
Relationships are gold in the writing business. You need partners to give you a platform. You need fans to share, comment, and rave. And you need customers to buy, review, and become affiliates.
Treat people better than you want to be treated. Remember this rule and you’ll never lose the ground you’ve worked so hard to gain.
Now Do This
Find 10 blogs that fit your message and pitch to them.
Comment on the blogs you want to write for.
If you’ve published already with someone, keep pitching value to them so you can write for them again.
Do these things and you’ll build a platform wider than any single blog can offer!
Frank McKinley is a Writing Coach, Promotion Strategist, and Entrepreneur. He designs non-sleazy promotion plans for writers, artists, and other creatives. When he’s not writing, he loves coffee and conversation. He lives in Georgia with his wife, two kids, and a Labrador named Jake.