Do you do THESE things when you Guest Blog?

by Michelle Windmoeller at Blue Cypress Solutions

When first asked to be a guest blogger, you enter the stages of happiness but soon realize that someone has real faith in you and you want to prove your worth. Self-doubt starts to creep in. Do I write well enough? Is this what she wanted? Did I do it right?

Do THESE thing when you write your blog post and you are sure to be asked back for a another gig.

Know your Topic and your Audience     Do you choose what you write about or does the blog owner. If

It looks like this blog could use more articles about “bicycles and schools” or “bicycles and repair.”

it’s your call, learn who the audience is and what brings them back to the site. A blog called Bicycle Commuter Rumor probably isn’t interested in an article on embrocation techniques, but the latest in skirt guards will be a hit. You can also take a gander at the site’s tag cloud or mine the comment section for ideas. Is there a topic that’s not getting its due? What did people enjoy or what got them fired up?

With an assigned topic, look at what has already been written on the site. Again, check out the comments section. Was there a discussion thread that could be expanded on?

Word Count    Try to write between 400-750 words. “What? My last article that was 1200 words!”  Great! Now you get to edit it down. In my opinion, it is much easier to cut words than to add. Leave it ‘til the next day and a new perspective will help.

Include Links    This includes links that cite sources or links that give the reader information you are not including in your article. Work to include a few internal links as well. These links point a reader back into the site you are writing for. Bicycle Commuter Rumor may have a great video you can link to or a white paper about Complete Streets policies.

This looks like an interesting infographic!

Media   A page of text is sure to make the reader’s eyes glaze over. A page with captioned photos, a video, or a peek at an infographic you linked to are great additions. Just be sure to reference your sources.

Edit  Have someone else read your article for clarity and to pinpoint errors. Have someone else read every article you ever write before you make it public. I guarantee, if you don’t, you will find a typo three minutes AFTER you send the article in and then will have to send a mea culpa email to the blog owner.

Tags    At the end of your article, include a list of tags or keywords, that describe the topics of your article to help readers find it.  This helps the person posting your article put it in the correct category and get the metadata right.

Deadline  Meet the deadline you were given. Many blogs run on an editorial calendar that is set to

Avoid File 13

highlight topics tied to specific events. Turning in your blog piece about the next new bike thing two days after Interbike  may send your piece to file 13.

What’s Next?    Now you’ve turned it in and enjoyed a congratulatory beer. That’s great, but you’re not done yet. The experience made you realize that guest blogging is something you like so you want to thank your host and you want to do it again. Time for some follow up work

Kelsey Meyer said it well in Stop being a Lazy Guest Blogger in 3 Steps, so I’ll let her take it from here. But before I go, keep in mind that guest blogging is an honor, but it also comes with responsibility. If you follow up on your end of the deal, invitations will continue to come you way


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