How to Not Suck at Guest Blogging

Joey Strawn has a clever “how to suck less” series on blogging, Facebook, Twitter; thought I’d steal it for myself.

OMG. I’ve been asked to write a guest post. WTH do I do now?

Step one. Breathe, recover from the shock.

Step two. Panic. Alcohol helps.**

Step three. Get over it and write the way I’ve always done. That’s why I was asked in the first place.

Guest posting is good for bloggers. It helps keep content coming in, helps the blog owner build community and the guest poster grow an audience. Wins all around.

I’ve done two guest posts. One for Kellye Crane’s Solo PR blog with a LinkedIn social media success story. Another for the Jayme Soulati’s SMB Collective, on time-management for small business owners.

Now I’ve hit the big leagues with Gini Dietrich’s Spin Sucks.

Here’s what to do.

  • Honor the host. Or in her case, hostess with the mostess. Keep my post in point, on target and respect her rules for guest bloggers.
  • Honor the blog. I know what Spin Sucks is about: PR, marketing, social media so it’s not the place for me to go off on a political flight of fancy or launch a career as a movie critic.
  • Honor the audience. Spin Sucks readers expect to learn something, a different perspective and engagement. Reading, responding and respecting the comments is part of the job. Plus it’s fun.

What NOT to do.

  • Pimp myself. Human, personal anecdotes are one thing, but 24 self-serving linkbacks to my own crap is shitty.
  • Pretend I’m a PhD. Just because I was honored with a bigger audience on a well-read blog, it’s not the time to try and impress anyone. Keep it simple, be myself.
  • Push the envelope. Yes I want to bring the goods, deliver something worth reading but a guest post is not where I want to make a name for myself by calling someone else on their bullshit, or hyping some fringe theories for the sake of stirring the pot. Save that nonsense for my own blog.

So that’s my take on guest blogging, how I try not to suck at it. Other advice?

BTW The post I wrote for Gini was about reactions to bad advice in networking, social situations.

social media public relations

Photo credit: Another of those not motivational posters. ** No livers were permanently damaged in the writing of this post.

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17 thoughts on “How to Not Suck at Guest Blogging

  1. Davina,

    Great title. It got my attention. I have had the most success when guest blogging by doing just what you said, being myself. I usually try to write in a style similar to the host so I will get a good response for their readers. I also try to make a point of having something free to give away for the readers of the blog like a free pdf report. The pdf report might just be the same post with a few additional pieces of info but people generally find a lot of value in them. I also do my best to make it memorable by adding a lot of personality and humor. It helps if you are funny. 🙂 I enjoyed this post Davina and it was a great introduction to your site. Thanks
    Frank recently posted..Nothing is Impossible

    1. It’s about the headline, isn’t it Frank?! I’m less big on the free stuff. I know others like it but IDK, I have mixed views on its value both to the giver and receiver. But if it’s working for you, then by all means.

      YES to being yourself while honoring the style of the host blog, how it should be done. Personality and humor go a long way, the funny can certainly liven up a blog post. Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to reading your post though.. sight unseen, I can think of many things impossible like my being able to teleport anywhere I want on a whim or hell, even wear white without getting it dirty, just cannot do that. 😉

  2. Davina

    Some good points in the post. Some more stuff to maybe consider – if you pick your blog well and it will help your reach, then make the Host’s job easy. Monitor the comments. Answer as many as possible. The host will thank you for it – and if they have a top commentator plugin in the side bar you’ll be way ahead on the leaderboard. Every little bit counts.

    Plus as we’ve spoken about – both at mine, and over at Marcus’s – in those comments you’ll find ideas for other posts, either on the Host blog or on your own blog. Those comments are truly golden.

    Another thing I’d consider doing – depending on your Twitter reach and your email list – is let your followers know about the post and ask them to go comment on it. That way you’re bringing something a little extra to the table – which they’ll hopefully remember so that if you write a good post that gets them a nice traffic spike and a bunch of comments then they’ll ask you back!

    Now see what we’ve done – there’s enough there between us to write another post! What we need to work out is how to make more time!

    Catch you in the blogosphere!

    paul wolfe recently posted..How To Create A Nested Outline For Your eBook

    1. Always be good with comments, very true Paul. I was going to be out of town when a guest post was to run, so I got with the blogger to see if we could adjust the date, make sure I was available to respond to all the comments. Yes to sharing the blog to your social circle, Twitter, LinkedIn. One thing I do on days of guest posts, use that blog URL for CommentLuv instead of my own, so the link would track to the guest post -win win. Thanks for the suggestions.

  3. Hi Davina! I hope you continue to do guest blogging! Back in my guest blogging hay-day, I was doing it about once per every two posts on my own blog. It definitely made a huge difference in my reach.

    I encourage everyone to do guest blogging as a way to develop blogger ambassadors. It doesn’t even matter what industry you are in; I have seen it work no matter what the client was selling/promoting.

    Followed you here from a comment on NittyGriddy. I don’t normally talk about where I found people, but, since everyone else was doing it, I thought I should, too!

    Tia Peterson recently posted..effective blogging demands strong branding

    1. Disregard typos and my probably incorrect spelling of hey-day (hay day, haay dey, hei dei, who knows)!

    2. That’s why I like the CommentLuv plugin so much, it ENCOURAGES people network and read other blogs. I’ve seen your Gravatar on a few posts, been meaning to check out your profile, see if you blog… will have to pay a visit soon.

      I’m a ‘less is more’ blogger, so I’d only commit to the number of guest blogs I know I could write while maintaining quality, meeting deadlines. I’d certainly like to write more guest blog posts someday, as you’re right.. great way to expand reach and develop a network. Thanks so much for stopping by Tia.

  4. Glad to see your killer comments on my blog are being rewarded with love and affection Davina 😉

    I’ll add a few more points to your guest post thoughts:

    1. Respond to every comment once the post is released
    2. Think about the blog’s audience base when writing the article (every audience is different and has different expectations)
    3. If you do a guest post, promote it to your community so they stop by.

    Just a few added thoughts. Well done lady Davina, as always 🙂

    Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion recently posted..The Curse of Tim Ferriss and Why Living Abroad Ain’t Always the Answer

  5. Hi Davina,

    I also saw you on Marcus’ blog, liked your writing style and decided to pay you a visit.
    I think guest blogging can be a stressful experience, but also very liberating.
    The points on your list are very valid and worth considering – thanks!
    In the words of Arnold S in Terminator: “I’ll be back!” 😀
    Anne Sales recently posted..GoDaddy Coupon Code

    1. Thanks Anne, nice to see folks connecting via the blogs. Guesting blogging could be liberating, depending on the blog and its format, if I was given carte blanche to do whatever I wanted. I’d still apply these rules, think representing the host blog well also reflects positively on myself. Looking forward to seeing you again.

  6. Davina, I love your list here…especially since you once asked me to guest blog!

    I was quite concerned with coming up with something that would fit what you had done before (which is why it took me so long to commit to doing it). Finally I stumbled on a post of yours where you said you wanted to provide relevant information to Atlanta small businesses, and I realized, I can provide an example of how a small business I know used Twitter to get 30% of its revenue!

    That’s a little me-centric, sorry. Just wanted to elaborate on your “honor the blog” and “honor the audiences” points. The way I tried to pull that off was by studying more than just the recent posts that had hooked me in. Find out the blogs raison d’etre before penning your post.
    Jenn Whinnem recently posted..jennwhinnem- How to Not Suck at Guest Blogging – http-bitly-g4i21o via @3HatsComm inspired by @joeystrawn

    1. I think that’s all anyone can ask of a guest blogger Jenn, do the best they can while respecting their host. And you did a great job, thanks again!

      I read all the time and yes, some posts dazzle me. Then others that I’m like – good but nothing more amazing than I’ve written, or maybe some strong points but in a disconnected ramble. IDK I’m trying to be less critical of myself but then am sure I’ll panic next time I ever blog for someone else. That whole “the work we do for others being better than what we do for ourselves” thing.

      Something else I probably should have stressed more is the “social” aspect. Be sure to post, tweet, comment, reply as best you can. I know that for a few of my comments elsewhere, I made sure the CommentLuv went back to the guest post. Little things to show appreciation.. like you do with yours, showing your most recent tweets. Love that. 🙂

  7. Hi Davina,

    First time commenting here! I’ve seen you on TheSalesLion all too often to not finally check out your work and formally introduce myself. Well, I can’t say formally, because that’s difficult in this setting…but you catch the drift, right? 🙂

    I like this post Davina. I find that guest posting offers a great way to get your name out there, and promote your expertise…but what I see pretty often (too often) is that it turns people away, causing the opposite of the planned strategy. You have outlined why that happens.

    Now let me be clear…I’m pretty new to the blogging game and have lots to learn. I’ve only done a few guest post myself and surely can’t say that I know it all. But I can back up your thoughts behind this post from my little experience!

    Thank you for sharing this info. I hope to NEVER fall under the bucket of a sucky guest poster!
    Jk Allen recently posted..What is a Hustler- and why it’s NOT for Everyone

    1. I do what I can to suck less JK. 😉 Been meaning to visit your blog as well, which is the best and hardest part of my stepped up networking commitment this year: I’ve “met” TOO many good bloggers and tweeters who are really social, have something to share. Making the time when I can.

      I was not very nervous on my first couple of guest posts, had a hunch the topics were fitting to their audiences. Plus it was sort of a mutual arrangement, I offered the posts as much as I was asked. It’s so flattering to be asked to write something, and then I was like WTH do I do now?! I got lucky in that I was able to fairly quickly draft something I thought would be fitting, seemed to work out OK. And it taught me a few things about guest blogging, giving me content for my own blog. Thanks for visiting.

        1. Being asked inspired me to blog about being asked to guest blog, you know how it goes. 😉 It will depend on the opportunity, I’d never want to disappoint someone but worse, I’d want to make sure I had a really good post to share. We’ll see… now to the DVR, have a good night.

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