Content marketing is huge. Creating great content achieves great results. However, getting published when you don’t already have a portfolio can be tricky.
Even if you operate a thriving blog or website, you know that getting your name (and links) out there is the key to long-term success. How do you do that? Unless you are a well-known writer, chances are people are not banging down your door with possibilities to publish on their site. However, if you are willing to pursue it, the opportunities DO exist. Guest blogging is an incredible chance for marketers, like you, to get published, contribute something to the community and GET NOTICED. It also happens to be the best inbound marketing strategy. So, what do you need to know to get started?
Benefits of Guest Posting
Your number one benefit of guest posting is getting noticed—getting your name out there. However, there are many other benefits too. You build your portfolio, show off your expertise and create connections that can serve you for years to come. Also, a well-written guest post could turn into a paid writing opportunity, if that's something that interests you.
Turn a Hazy Thought into a Well-Formed Post
You probably have great ideas, but how do you turn them into posts? Think back to the same tools you used in school. Brainstorm and free write your thoughts first. Then, compare your free written piece to a high-quality marketing blog. What’s different, what’s the same? How can you turn your ideas into this beautiful post? Start pulling apart your thoughts and transform it into an outline. Then, all you will need to do is fill in the blanks and REVISE, REVISE, REVISE.
4 Quick Tips for Pitching
Nearly as important as the post itself is the pitch you use to get your foot in the door. A good pitch gets you noticed and may land you the guest posting gig. An unprofessional pitch may mean your idea is never even read. While there are entire books about how to write a quality pitch, we’ve slimmed down the advice to four quick tips.
1. Show the Blog You Care – Don’t pitch as a marketer, pitch as a writer, a reader, an expert and someone who cares about the quality of the blog—not just getting your name out there.
2. Prove Your Worth – The people who approve pitches are not only looking for a good idea, they are looking for someone who can offer something unique, useful and that will improve the overall feel of the blog.
3. Follow the Guidelines – This may seem like a simple tip, but it is one thing that WILL assure you never make it. Read and reread the guidelines for submission. Following the rules that are put in place ensures you aren’t wasting anyone’s time.
4. Title (and Subject Line) Are Everything! – If you can write a compelling subject line, and follow it up with a potentially awesome title, you’ll get much further than if you just use “article pitch” as your subject line.
Ready to Pitch? While not every blog accepts guest submissions, there are quite a few that do. Stick with your area of expertise and knowledge for the best results. A few of the top marketing blogs that do accept guest pieces include:
Don’t be afraid to dig deep to find other blogs that fit your style a bit better. One “trick” to find blogs to write for is to google search for INDUSTRYNAME Blog, “write for us.” By including “write for us” in the quotes, you’ll find a huge number of blogs’ submission page.
It's important that you treat the opportunity to guest post something like that—as an opportunity. Remember to be grateful to a blog even if they don't accept your submission. There's always room for improvement and endless opportunities to get your work out there!
Create your best work and remember that it reflects on you as a marketer and industry expert. If you’re willing to work at it, guest blogging can have a huge, positive impact on your marketing efforts.
What's another way to build your portfolio other than guest posting in your area of expertise? To tackle other projects outside of your day-to-day marketing job. With the DCI apprenticeship program, you'll work on a variety of projects over 12 months and build out a killer portfolio of marketing samples. Sound like it could be the fit for you? Check out our job openings today or start your application!