It’s easy to think that anyone who is doing well online with their content and business must be a “pro” or have “natural talent” that somehow God neglected to bless you with.
The funny thing is that I have read Glen claim that he doesn’t think he’s that great of a writer, yet month after month, year after year, he releases some of the most useful content on the web.
But that’s not where it all started for him: he has also done plenty of guest posts, impressing new audiences and demanding their attention.
A measly Google search will show you the variety of guest posts he has released.
You also have someone like Onibalusi who went on a guest posting spree and caught the attention of a client.
The guy now makes around $3000-$4000 per month working for clients who wouldn’t have picked up on his writing skills, if Onibalusi wouldn’t have put himself out there.
Pat caught Yaro Starak’s attention and managed to get interviewed by one of the most well-known bloggers on the scene. Not quite a guest post, but the idea is the same: he positioned himself in front of a new and much bigger audience.
Not that I’d ever compare myself to these slick web entrepreneurs, but here I am: being featured on another guest post.
I have only begun my guest posting strategy and I’m already seeing my numbers grow: RSS, Twitter, e-mail subscribers and daily visitors have all increased.
This hasn’t happened on an epic scale yet, but results like these are encouraging to see after a good year of not getting anywhere:
Even though a lot of successful bloggers tout the benefits of guest blogging, most of us fail to actually go through with it.
Because we are lazy and we think that we will get “there” by quicker and faster means.
Hopefully, after these three hugely successful examples, you are catching on the fact that although guest posting requires major effort, it’s one of the best ways to grow the readership for your blog.
I’m about to share 12 steps to creating worthwhile, jaw-droppingly awesome posts that will help spread your flare all over the internet:
Step 1: Write Down Any & All Ideas You Have
Any guest post begins with a small idea.
In fact, this guest post came to me not on some creative whim, but solely because I wanted to share my journey of growing my audience.
Even though there are plenty of people around the web doing it, I know I can bring my own personal experience to this post.
More on that later.
However, there are days when I am absolutely stumped about guest post ideas.
Those days, I fire up my laptop and spend an hour writing down the slickest or dumbest post ideas I can whip up.
The quality doesn’t matter here. The fact that you are exercising your brain does!
But here’s why this is important: usually one of these ten crappy ideas later yields a solid guest post.
It’s funny that when you return to your ideas on another day, the same “lame idea” can be polished into a golden goose egg.
Don’t be hard on yourself and “just write”.
Step 2: Which Ideas Do You Have Experience With & Can Bring a Personal Angle To?
Would I love to do a guest post about earning $100k from one of my product launches? You bet!
But if I did that, it wouldn’t be true to my personal experiences!
Look over your guest post ideas and see which ones you can bring your personal experience and angle to.
Better yet, what is your expertise?
Stay cautious of what you are putting out there and be honest.
You can create killer content even if you aren’t where you would like to be!
I know this because I have been crafting guest posts for the last couple of months and have been receiving positive signals (e-mails with questions, increased downloads and visits) indicating that they are being appreciated by quite a number of people.
There’s no reason that can’t be you.
Step 3: Accept the Fact That 95% of Your Ideas Will Be Mediocre Duds
I cannot emphasize this enough: you need to accept that your initial ideas may be nothing more than polished crap.
Just to give you an idea, on one of my off days, this was one of my guest post ideas: “Copywriting Skills Are Necessary to Make it Online”.
If boring titles had a ‘Most Boring Title of the Year’ award, then this one would have taken it home for sure.
There isn’t one of you who wouldn’t agree with me that the idea behind the guest post seems pretty generic.
However, within the next few days, I was able to create a mighty guest post around this idea with a sweet title.
Step 4: Save Editing for the End & Just Write!
I have this nagging habit: I edit as I write.
Trying things the other way, I can tell you that it is far more effective to write in the moment and edit your work later than to critique yourself as you go.
Not only does the latter break your concentration, but it can also put you in a frustrating mood.
Focus on the immediate task: writing the first draft of your content.
Step 5: “Craft” Your Guest Post with Juicy, Specific Details
The best posts I have ever read online are the ones that are full of juicy details.
The bloggers that I mentioned earlier not only include their own experiences, but also make it easy for their readers to follow along by breaking things down.
You’re reading this because you want to know how I create my guest posts, right?
You want the details. Juicy. Luscious. Details.
Proof like statistics, charts and graphs can take your content from “boring” general content to a great, personal case study.
Step 6: Screw the “Process”, Go With The Flow
After a month and a half of crafting these guest posts, I can tell you that I don’t have a set process.
There are days when I “feel like” writing headline ideas first.
Then there are days when the body of the post flows out of me and the headline is secondary.
Then there are days when only stinkers are produced.
What I’m trying to drill into you is that only you know yourself best. Don’t get hung up on how it’s suppose to be done, but rather how your brain works.
And if this is your first time crafting a set of guest posts, then you’re about to learn what makes you tick and how you can refine your writing skills.
Not to sound like a nerd, but this self-discovery process has been the best part of going on a guest posting binge.
Step 7: Accept That It Could Take You Several Days to Come Up With a Worthy Post
When you look at how the pros do it, it is jaw dropping. Look at what Jon Morrow said on Twitter recently:
Jon Morrow has incredible writing skills.
In fact, he is so good with his writing that he inspired me to take what I’m doing and to do it 100 times better. Or at least die trying.
So here I am.
Let me ask you this: Is it better to write 2-3 mediocre guest posts that take you 4-5 hours to compose or is it better for you to craft a pretty fine guest post that has the potential to go viral (and increased chances of being accepted by the big bloggers)?
I’ll take my chances with the latter.
So should you.
Even if your content doesn’t go viral, you will receive a nice influx of subscribers to your e-mail list and you will position yourself as an authority in front of these new comers.
Step 8: If Post Doesn’t Feel Incredible, Scrap It & Start Over
About a month ago, I received a request for a guest post for a blog that wasn’t necessarily big, but has the sense of a tight knit community.
As excited as I was, I accepted the opportunity and a few days later, sent my guest post.
But the content of the guest post never felt “right”.
Lo and behold, I received a response back which critiqued quite a few parts of the post. I agreed with this blogger whole-heartedly.
Which is why when I came up with close to 500 words for another post that didn’t feel right, I decided to scrap it entirely.
No “salvaging”; I gutted it entirely.
I started fresh, with a much better flow and angle and I don’t regret getting rid of those initial 500 words.
Want to be the best?
Work like the best. Don’t be afraid to discard what’s not working.
Step 9: Spend Few Hours Editing the Heck Out of Your Post
If you take barely 15-30 minutes editing your content, you are doing it wrong.
Editing should be done a day or two later as it helps to look at your content with a set of fresh eyes.
Trying to focus on one task for hours leaves me with what I call the “cloud head” syndrome where everything starts melding together.
At that point, my brain is so tired I can’t decipher anything for the life of me.
Chances are, your brain goes through the same overwhelm and won’t produce the same quality of results as it would another day after a grand break.
Step 10: Go Over Your Checklist
Think you’re done? Think again.
A superb guest post will have a title that snags the reader right in.
People love case studies, numbers and personal content so make sure to capture their attention the best way possible: catchy headlines!
Next, please check your grammar and spelling.
As obvious as this is, nothing turns me off more than reading content on some of the seemingly better blogs only to see missing periods and broken sentences all over the place.
I’m sorry, but if you can’t get the basics right, I can’t see you as an authority figure.
I see you as someone who is sloppy and someone who I can definitely do better than.
[Note: there is a big difference between content that has a minor misspelling versus a whole post that is full of broken English. No thank you!]
Never forget to double check your guest post to make sure that you have included proper links back to your own content.
Also, make sure to include a witty author blurb (with a call-to-action) and to make sure that your content is well done.
Like a fine chili that has been marinating and cooking for days.
You want all the bits and pieces of your post to come together in a way that sets it apart from everyone else’s and entices people all over to read it.
Step 11: Let a Friend Read Over Your Post
I am lucky to have a small network of bloggers who I call my friends.
To make sure that my content is useful and not boring, I’ll have a friend or two read my content to give me any tips.
If they report back to me that my content is lame, it’s a no-go.
If they find it to be interesting, heck yeah, it’s on it’s way to a major blog.
Time to reap some goodness.
Step 12: Submit Guest Post to Suitable Blog
After submitting five guest posts last month, I’m now getting a better feel for which blogger might appreciate a certain guest post.
You definitely want to match a suitable guest post for the proper audience.
This is something that you will pick up in time.
I received at least two rejections for two different guest posts; I had two choices: feel bummed and watch my blog die a slow death or just keep going.
I chose to keep going.
It’s all about what the blogger feels their audience may be interested in, so don’t feel bad about any rejections.
Use rejections to improve your writing.
Ask what didn’t work about the post. You can always improve it and re-submit it or start from scratch.
An Extra Step for the Truly Ambitious
Want this to be a breakout year for you?
Want to gain 200-300 e-mail subscribers to get your list started?
For small bloggers, this may seem like a daunting task. So did it for me.
However, once you do it and experience the results firsthand, you’ll stay inspired to work your tushy off!
Now that you know how to create witty and useful guest posts, you have much more ahead of you.
What you need to plan isn’t just a random guest post here or there.
Rather, you need to aim for multiple guest posts in one week.
You need to bombard the internet with your ingenious guest posts so people see your name over and over all around the web.
“They” say that people need to see your brand/name around 7-8 times for them to remember it.
Also, when people see multiple guest posts by you on big blogs, it gives the impression that you are an authority.
How freakin’ cool is that?
The bad news is that most of you will read this, move on and do nothing.
The good news is by putting an effective strategy like this into play, you’re already ahead of 90% of bloggers and you’re taking your success into your own hands.
I know you need more good news so here: if you implement this strategy even halfway, you’ll still end up with good results.
Bottom line is that if you want to grow your e-mail list or your readership in general, then you should plan on taking the biggest and most effective strategies you can.
Guest posting happens to be one of them. I’m in the process of doing this myself.
Which one of you will join me? Who out of all of you will take your future into your own hands?