The Fastest Way to Get Flat-Out Rejected for a Guest Blogging Gig

Rubber Stamp that Says "Denied"Recently, a woman wrote to me and offered to do a guest post on my blog. She introduced herself and told me a little bit about what she was up to in the world. Her niche had nothing to do with blogging or social media, but that wasn’t necessarily a deal breaker for me, so I kept reading.

She told me she’d like to guest post on my site, and gave me a link to her website.  Then she asked, “Can you please send me some topics that you would like me to use for a guest post?”

Hmmmm.

A few days later, I got another request. This woman wrote a very similar short intro, then asked me if I would consider publishing her guest post on my blog. Then she gave me a great idea for a post topic, and even told me why she thought the post would be a good fit for my site. It was clear she had done her homework and really thought out the details of her request.

Which potential guest blogger do you think I said yes to?

That’s right – I said yes to the one who approached me with an idea.

If you want to do guest posts, don’t expect the host blogger do the work and give you topics to write about. Prepare a couple of great post ideas, and send those with your inquiry.  Make it clear that you know the blog really well, and that you know what will (and will NOT) be good material for the website.

The key to getting guest blogging gigs is having awesome ideas for blog posts.

Yes, I think it’s important to build relationships with the bloggers you’re trying to approach. I think it’s also incredibly important to practice writing as much as possible so that you become the best writer you can be.

But I also think that a popular blogger is going to be a lot more excited to consider your blog post if you have an awesome idea.

Here’s what I suggest:

  • Do your homework. Read the blog inside and out, so you have a really good grasp on the subject matter, the tone, and the kinds of posts that do well on the site (look for lots of retweets and comments for proof of popularity.)
  • Then make your pitch. Keep it really short.
  • Use your first paragraph to introduce yourself and tell them a LITTLE bit about you. Then say “I’d like to write a guest post for [your awesome, popular blog]. Here are some possible posts I could write…
  • Then list your possible topics. Give ‘em a maximum of five ideas – you don’t want to overwhelm the blogger.

Hopefully you’ll hear back from the host blogger quickly, and she’ll say “Yes! I’m totally interested in your post about Hamsters During the French Revolution. Please send me the post by X date, and if it’s a good fit for us, we’ll publish it.”

If not, well…then you need to go back to the drawing board. But if you keep reading that blog and keep sending in original, well-targeted post topics, sooner or later you are going to get a yes.

Need ideas for posts? Trying downloading the utterly awesome Copyblogger headline hacks report and pick through its foolproof headline formulas.  Start your list of post ideas, then keep adding to it.

Want to try it? Send a short guest post pitch to a blogger you’d love to write for. Make sure to keep your note short and sweet, and only pitch IDEAS. Don’t send a whole blog post. Make your ideas great, and make sure they fit the topic of the blog.

Then tell us about it in the comments, or share your story on the Blogging with Beth Facebook page.

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Get Online Marketing Help from Dave Navarro – for only $20

I’ve learned *so* much from Dave Navarro (the Launch Coach) over the past few years. He’s taught me how to write a sales letter, how to build my mailing list, and how to get more done every day.

I’ve purchased a number of his products and have never been anything but completely blown away by the quality of his stuff and the caliber of the information he’s teaching. I can honestly say that at least two-thirds of what I’ve learned about online marketing in the last few years has come directly from Dave.

As of Monday, Dave will be working exclusively with Naomi Dunford of IttyBiz.com. Although I am disappointed that Dave won’t be sending his incredibly useful Launch Coach emails any more, I’m excited to see what he and Naomi cook up together. I think the two of them will be a really powerful combination.

To get ready to shut down his Launch Coach website, Dave has put all of his training programs on sale at a truly incredible rate. If you move quickly (you’ve only got until midnight this Friday night) you can get all eight of his incredible training programs for $20. Twenty bucks, folks. But after this Friday, these programs will be never be available for sale again!

His programs are like a masters degree in online marketing. Here’s what you’ll get in this toolbox:

  • Creating Products that Sell
  • Building a Responsive List
  • High-Coversion Sales Page
  • Mastering Your Sales Funnel
  • Optimizing Your Blog for Sales
  • Becoming Incredibly Productive
  • Becoming a Big Player in Your Niche
  • Getting Affiliates to Sell for You

I put the suggestions from Dave’s  “Building a Responsive List” course into action, and those changes are the main reason I have thousands of people on my email mailing list today. Dave’s stuff is like rocket fuel for your business.

I urge you to invest in your online business and buy these training programs before they disappear.

Please note that I’m not an affiliate for the Launch Coach, so I don’t make a dime if you buy these programs. I would just love to see all of you succeed, and I think Dave’s work can help you do that if you put his suggestions into action with your business.

Again, here’s that link to buy. Make sure you make your purchase before Friday at midnight.

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Colorado Blogettes Meeting – Guest Posting!

The Colorado Blogettes, a women’s blogging group, will be meeting again this Thursday night, April 14th from 6:30 – 8:30 PM t Boulder Digital Arts.

At this month’s  meeting, we’ll be discussing Guest Posting – what is is, why it’s important, and how you can go about getting awesome guest posting gigs on other people’s blog so you can start driving lots of traffic back to your site! Bring your suggestions and stories – we’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Admission is $5 at the door. If you live a woman blogger in Colorado and you’d like to attend, please email me directly to RSVP.

Boulder Digital Arts is located at 1600 Range Street, on the corner of Arapahoe and Range Street in Boulder.

If you’d like to get announcements about Blogettes events in your inbox (as well as blogging tips from me) please sign up here.

Hope to see you there!

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A Smart Way to Get Blog Traffic Using Twitter

Many of you have probably heard that a wildfire ripped through the area outside Boulder, Colorado on Labor Day weekend, and that 160 homes were destroyed by the blaze. The damage to the surrounding landscape was devastating, and many old and majestic trees were also lost to the fire.

One of my clients, Boulder resident Priscilla Stuckey, wrote a beautiful, heartfelt blog post on her blog, This Lively Earth, about the loss of a particular Ponderosa Pine. Then something rather surprising happened.

Priscilla’s a smart blog marketer who uses her Twitter account to promote each new blog post, so she also tweeted about her new article. Here’s her original tweet:

Priscilla Stuckey Tweet

Did you notice the way she used a hashtag (#boulderfire) in her tweet? That ensures that people who are tracking the Twitter conversation about the fire and its aftermath will read her tweet and follow the link to her moving blog post.

People did indeed find her tweet (and read her post), and her update was retweeted by several people, each of whom also used the #boulderfire hashtag.

What happened next was even better – The Daily Camera, Boulder’s local newspaper, found Priscilla’s tweet and read her blog post. They called Priscilla for an interview about her moving story, and then they ran the interview online and in the print version of the Camera on October 14th. The Denver Post also picked up the story and ran it the following day (October 15th).

The result of this flurry of publicity for Priscilla and her story? An avalanche of traffic to her blog. She doubled her previous one-day record for visits to her site.

Since Priscilla has added an option for her new readers to subscribe to her blog via email, hopefully that flood of new traffic also converted to a bunch of new subscribers!

So what does Priscilla’s story teach us about blogging and Twitter? Here are the lessons we should take away from this story:

1. Write great content for your blog. Excellent blog posts will get attention and traffic, are more likely to be retweeted, and can translate into (FREE!) media coverage from traditional newspapers and magazines. Priscilla’s blog post is beautifully written and includes compelling images.

2. If you’re using Twitter, make sure to promote each of your blog posts by tweeting about it. Include the name of the post (or some other short description) and a shortened link back to the post.

3. Be open to interviews and publicity opportunity, both online and offline.  When the Daily Camera contacted Priscilla to do an interview, she said yes! The Camera actually did a video interview with her, which may have been somewhat daunting, and Priscilla agreed to do it. It paid off in spades! Have courage, bloggers!

Congrats again, Priscilla, on being a smart blogger, and for being willing to write such a personal blog post. Your readers clearly value your vulnerability and accessibility.  And while I’ve very sorry for the loss of your special tree, I’m extremely proud of how you put yourself out there in the online (and offline) worlds.

Keep up the good work!

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How to Install the New Facebook “Like” Button

If you read blogs, you’ve probably been seeing a special little button lately.  It’s called the Facebook “Like” button, and it looks like this:

Why do you need to pay attention to this little button if you’re a blogger? Because Facebook can be an incredible source of traffic to your blog, if you play your cards right and integrate Facebook tools into your site.

Let’s talk about the two ways you can use the Like button –

1.  You can make a Like button available so that your readers can like/subscribe to your entire blog. Normally this button would appear in the sidebar of your site, most likely as a widget of some sort.  When a reader Likes your blog using this type of button, they are essentially subscribing to future updates of your blog, and new posts written by you will appear in that person’s Facebook feed. That can mean more traffic from you, because your new posts will appear in front of that reader in Facebook, rather than them having to return to your site to look for new posts.

Here’s how that widget would look in the sidebar of your site (this screenshot is from author Cathie Beck’s site)

2.  You can also create a Like button that appears at the footer of each post on your blog, so that your readers can Like individual posts. This Like action will appear on their Facebook profile, so that your reader’s Facebook friends will see your post in THEIR Facebook feeds.

Confused? Need an example?

Let’s say that you run a website called Dooce.com (we should all be so lucky, no?) and one of your readers (Beth) reads this post.

When Beth is done reading, she finds the “Like” button at the end of the post, and clicks it.

Once she has “liked” the post, this is what would appear on Beth’s Facebook profile:

All of Beth’s friends are going to see that she Liked this post – it’s going to show up in all of her friend’s Facebook feeds – so any friends of Beth’s might look at the post and say “Hey, that’s sounds interesting! Let’s click on that and see what this is all about.” They click on the live link and read your fabulous blog post. Viola! More traffic!

Typepad has published a tutorial on how to install both versions of the Like button (see links, below), and in that tutorial they mention that Typepad has seen a huge rise in traffic since they installed this feature a few weeks ago. If you’re a blogger and you haven’t installed a Like button, take a few minutes and do so now – or email these instructions to your tech guru and have her do it for you. You will see an increase in your traffic.

Here’s how to install it on the three big blogging platforms:

WordPress.org (self-hosted WordPress) plugin (you will need to install and activate this plugin)

Typepad instructions

Blogger instructions

If you are looking to grow your number of visitors this is a simple way to do it. And the best part is that you can literally “set it and forget it”. You can install this plugin or widget and then just go on with your blogging – no fuss, no muss, and a great source of ongoing traffic to your site.

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