Guest posts are accepted daily by hundreds of different websites across the internet. However, writing a guest post and having it pushed is two entire things all together. Guest post writing isn’t easy. It requires a lot of research and can be difficult to write to the audience of a prospective website. If you’re looking to start guest blogging on different websites, this expert guide will give you the killer guest blogging mistakes that can destroy your chances of getting published. Let’s take a look now...
1. Content Duplication
Those who are new to the world of blogging don’t realise that content duplication is one of the most damaging things you can do to your reputation. Duplicate content not only hurts your reputation but the prospective website’s ranking as well. This is why it’s essential to avoid duplicate content at all times. This includes copying and pasting 1 full sentence or paragraph from another blog. To make sure your content is free of plagiarism, you need to use online plagiarism checker tools such as Copyscape.com. If there’s a large amount of duplication in the content, it will be flagged.
2. Sending Poor Quality Final Drafts
Guest posting websites tend to have a set of quality stands that need to be met in order for you to become published. If the final draft isn’t up to that standard than your content will get knocked back. Sending in a poor quality final draft is another major mistake guest bloggers make. To improve the quality of your final draft, you should:
- Make sure the content is free from spelling errors and grammar mistakes.
- Has a good layout with a proper titles and subheadings in bold.
- Make sure large blocks of text are paragraphed well. Too larger blocks of text create eye fatigue and can cause the reader to lose their place which can be frustrating.
- Feature a good professional font. This is one key area that many people don’t even consider. The appeal of your post from first glance is based on the font that you choose. If you use an unprofessional font, it can reflect poorly on the rest of the piece. Font’s such as Times New Roman are often professional in appearance and help the piece to be more appealing to the website your pitching it to.
- Use high quality, royalty free, and relevant images that offer value to the piece. Also, use screenshots where possible to help give additional value to the piece.
Content drafts that are poor tend to be overlooked and rejected very quickly. Always keep these tips in mind if you want to be published.
3. Not Following The Guidelines
Generally, most guest posting sites have a ‘Write For Us’ page that features set rules and guidelines that should be followed when writing a content piece. The problem is that not everyone follows these rules. This can lead to trouble. The best possible way of getting published is to follow their rules. If they want a word count that’s over 1000, you need to do this. Writing a piece of content that is below their nominated word count will get you rejected immediately.
Another reason why it’s important to view guidelines before writing is because some sites allow links while others don’t. They may also have a certain genre that they want the article in as well. If you don’t follow the guidelines, the editor of the site will know instantly.
4. Not Getting Your Title Pitch Approved First
Great guest bloggers know that you need to have your title approved first before you write an article. The reason for this is that some websites may already have the content on their site and honestly, why would they want that topic written again? When you’ve found a website, you want to write a guest post for, it’s important to contact them first to see if they may be interested in a guest post. If you receive an answer from them, then you can move onto sending across an article title pitch.
The pitch should be the title of the article you’re hoping to write, and a brief description of what it’s going to be about. This will allow the website to determine whether it’s a good fit for them and their readers, and will also allow them to suggest a topic they might like as well. Once the topic is approved for writing, you’ll find that your odds of getting published are greater than those who don’t have a topic approved first.
5. Not Researching The Site First
Before pitching your title you need to research the site to see what type of content is already on there. You don’t want to look foolish by sending out a topic that isn’t relevant to the website’s readers or if you’re not targeting the right readership. Guest blogging site research is essential to help you improve your chances of getting published, especially on higher authority websites. When researching:
- Check the other types of blogs and the topics that are being published.
- Read a few of the blogs to know the voice and the quality that is expected of you.
- Take note of who the posts are targeted to and whether you can do this with your post.
- Take note of how long each post is and whether there’s any guidelines to follow.
Researching a possible site is crucial to your success overall so make sure you put some time aside to conduct proper research.
6. Writing Plain Old Generic Content
Anyone can write a guest post, but not everyone can make it good. Many people write small generic content pieces that don’t add value to the website they’re posting to. It’s important when writing content that it provides actionable tips, techniques or tricks that the audience can implement right away to help improve what it is you’re writing about. Your content should:
- Allow readers to improve their own life and goals by following your advice.
- Show screenshots and relevant images to help make the audience understand the content better, especially if it’s a step by step guide.
- Go into depth on a subject if their word limit allows it to help people better understand the subject better. For example, writing a piece about tabby cats such as: ‘Tabby cats have black and white markings and are a common type of cat’ isn’t as riveting as ‘The black and white markings of a tabby cat are created from genetic changes in the body. They are a very popular breed of cat that is found across most states’ As you can see from the second example you gain more information on the cat than the first example.
By adding more information to a piece to explain an area further, you help to give more value to the readers. This in turn will help you to get your guest post published on a website.
7. Not Creating An Interesting Title
When pitching your topics to websites, many also make the mistake of not being creative with their titles. Guest posting websites don’t want to read about the same thing everyone else has pitched to them before. You need to stand out. This can be done by implementing urgency and excitement. The use of power words can help to improve your title pitches greatly. Power words are words that bring an emotional response. For example; free, powerful, killer, secrets, deadly, hazardous, Amazing, Courage etc. Here’s some examples of before and after titles with the power words highlighted:
- Guest Blogging Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make
- Killer Guest Blogging Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Chance Of Getting Published
- Anti-Aging Serum New On The Market
- Secret Hidden Ingredient Brings New Anti-Aging Serum That Works To The Market!
As you can see the second example on each of these brings that interesting ‘wow factor’ to the mix and makes the title more engaging for the readers.
8. Pitching To Irrelevant Blogs
Last but not least, many make the mistake of pitching their articles to the wrong website. The wrong websites are classed as those that aren’t in your industry niche, aren’t relevant to your topic or your business, and who’s audience isn’t relevant or interested in your industry. While you may be able to swing your post around so it can connect with an irrelevant website, it’s not advisable. Most of the time you’re trying to guest post to get exposure, a link back to your website or to help build your reputation. Pitching to the wrong sites won’t help you to improve these three areas because, frankly, the readership of websites that aren’t relevant to your industry won’t care anyway. This is why it’s important to work on posting to more industry targeted websites instead.
Guest blogging isn’t for everyone, however if you’re determine to give it a go, don’t forget to avoid these killer mistakes that still today, many are making which can ruin your chance of getting published.