One of the key things I learned from my job hunting days is that the more you know about the place you are applying for, the better your chances are of landing the job.
People like to see that you care enough to know who they are and what they are about when you show interest in working with them. Why?
[Y]ou have to do your research when you submit a guest post. Going this extra mile to do so is well worth the time and effort!.
Because they want to know that you can contribute in a way that is cohesive with the mission and brand of the business.
The same is true when you submit a guest post to a website.
Because guest posting involves creating content for another person’s blog, it is important that you are familiar with what the blog is about and its purpose.
To get to that point, you have to do your research when you submit a guest post. Going this extra mile to do so is well worth the time and effort!
Let’s look at the benefits of a guest post and the information you need to submit a guest post.
Tips to Submit a Guest Post
As a freelancer or freelance writer, learning how to write a guest post and how to submit a guest post can help you grow your brand, reach new prospects and land some amazing freelance jobs.
Benefits of Including Research in Your Guest Post Prep
- Allows you to generate content ideas that are relevant and valuable.
- Increases your confidence in your guest post topic during the pitching process.
- Provides a solid foundation while you plan your outline and key points.
- Shows an understanding of the purpose and mission of the blog.
All that being said, what information should you look for while you are preparing to write your guest post?
Key Information to Look for During Your Research
1. What Is This Guest Post Site About?
There is a blog for everything. If you can imagine it, there is a blog for it.
And they’re all centered around specific topics.
Above all else, you have to know what the blog is about. Not just a general idea, either.
If you were to search for “chicken blogs,” you could get results for blogs about recipes, farm animals, and birds all on the same page.
If you already know that the blog you would like to write for is about health, do some digging around and pinpoint what kind of health is being discussed.
Blog Niches That Fall Under “Health” Could Include:
- Alternative Health
- Homeopathic Health
- Prenatal Health
- Healthy Eating
- Mental Health
- Heath News
The more you narrow down a blog’s niche, the easier it will be to generate relevant and valuable content ideas!
2. Who Runs the Guest Post Site?
You may have noticed that places like farmers’ markets, small businesses, and locally owned restaurants have a different feel from their nationally recognized counterparts. This same difference can be observed in blogs that are run by solopreneurs and major brands.
Guest Post Sites Run by Major Brands and Large Businesses
- Appeal to a more general audience;
- Require content to be consistent with the established brand;
- May have more requirements for submission and acceptance of guest posts;
- May have more competition for guest posts.
Guest Post Sites Run by Small Businesses and Solopreneurs
- Appeal to a dedicated and specific audience;
- A closer and more personal interaction between blog owners and audience, resulting in more intimate content;
- May have less competition for guest posts.
Keeping these differences in mind will help you adjust your writing to match the scope of the target audience and the needs of the blog.
4. What Type of Content Does the Guest Post Site Use?
If you were looking for an ultimate guide for how to refurbish your couch, you would expect to find a detailed post that covered the process from start to finish.
Likewise, if you were looking for movie night ideas, you may hope to find a list-style post of several movies and short descriptions so you could make a quick and informed choice.
As you can see, the type of content a blog uses can have an important impact on how information is conveyed to an audience!
Examples of Blog Content Include:
- Long-Form Blog Posts
- How-to Posts
- Creative Writing
- Case Studies
- Success Stories
- Ultimate Guides
- and so much more!
Structuring your guest post will be a breeze once you are familiar with the blog’s content needs!
5. Who is the Audience of the Site to Submit a Guest Post?
Imagine writing a letter to someone.
Not a specific someone. Just a general someone out in the void.
Pretty tough, huh?
Now imagine trying to write a guest post for a general someone out in the void somewhere. Just thinking about it is daunting!
It is one thing to know what you will write about, but that is only part of the equation. You also have to know who you will be writing for in order to create effective and engaging content.
It is much, much easier to write a guest post about swimming when you know your audience is parents who want their toddlers to be safe around water and not just Simon Somebody.
6. What is the Tone?
Imagine how jarring it would be if you’re boss walked up to you speaking like a teenager or a grocery clerk spoke to you as if they were broadcasting the news. It would be weird, right?
Just like people, each blog has its own unique tone and style. It is important to keep this in mind when you are writing your guest post. Knowing the tone of the blog allows you to write content that is consistent with the brand and provides you with loose guidelines for how to structure your message.
Examples of Blog Tone Include:
Familiarizing yourself with a blog’s tone also gives you a good sense of what your boundaries will be for writing your guest post. If you know you will be writing for a family-centric blog, you will know to keep your word choice in line with that audience. Likewise, if a blog has an overall humorous tone, it is a safe bet that academic style writing will have to wait for another post!
7. Is This Guest Post Site Location Specific?
Location, location, location.
Important in real estate and…blogging?
While blogs are not technically tied to physical locations, there are blogs out there that target audiences and topics in particular places.
If you are looking to write a guest post for a blog about…
- a geographical location (ex: countries, states, or cities);
- a local or small business;
- a family-owned restaurant;
- or a tourist attraction;
…you will definitely benefit from knowing what physical locations are central to the blog.
After all, an Arizona wildlife blog will feature different content from an Australian wildlife blog!
8. What Are the Spelling Rules?
English is tricky in general. But did you know that there are different styles of English?
I’m not talking formal versus informal English. Or slang versus proper speech.
Depending on where you are located, you may be used to American English, British English, or another variation of English. And while they are pretty similar for the most part, they do have their differences.
American English Spellings
- words like”honor” end with -or
- words like “recognize” end in -ize
- “gray” is spelled with an “a”
British English Spellings
- words like “colour” end in -our
- words like “practise” end in -ise
- “grey” is spelled with an “e”
There are also differences in vocabulary as well!
For example, if you’re describing a warm overshirt, you may call it a “sweater” (American English) or a “jumper” (British English).
As if English wasn’t quirky enough! But fear not! Once you become familiar with a few of these differences, you’ll know which English is which!
9. What Are My Responsibilities When I Submit a Guest Post?
Have you ever been a part of a group project where everyone was on a different page?
You decide as a group who is responsible for each part of the project and proceed to do your share of the work. However, when the day comes to share the project, it turns out that something important fell through the cracks! Talk about stress!
You are responsible for writing the guest post itself, but that may not be all. It is important to know what other responsibilities you will be taking on as a part of the deal.
Which party (the guest poster or the post hoster) will be responsible for:
- Creating a headline?
- Optimizing the post for SEO purposes?
- Formatting the finished post?
- Creating feature images for the blog and social media?
- Editing and Proofreading?
If the specifics about who is responsible for what is not listed in the “Write for Us” section of the blog, don’t be shy about working out the details. It doesn’t hurt to ask questions, and it will give you peace of mind to know exactly what’s expected from you, while also making things easier on the blog owner!
By taking the time to really get to know the blog you plan to submit a guest post for, you are setting yourself up to write solid, relevant, and reliable content!
You will also have a stronger foundation to work from than if you tried to write a guest post based on the blog title or topic alone. As a result, you can be confident that your guest post will be a valuable contribution to the blog!
Now I’d like to hear from you!
Is there any key information that you look for when researching for how to submit a guest post that wasn’t mentioned here? Please let me know by leaving a comment!
Happy guest posting!
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