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by Ann Smarty on 14th November 2012
Ann Smarty, leader of the excellent My Blog Guest community, explains how guest blogging can work effectively and become an asset rather than a nuisance.
If you have recently started guest blogging, it is likely that you have quickly run into a problem: how do you scale it? Worse, how do you organize it if you can’t properly scale it.
The truth is, it is difficult (and probably impossible) to accurately scale your guest blogging. Not only because no one pays for you to do it, but because it is an optional task used for the sake of visibility.
But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you can’t get organized. Here are a few tips I am using:
Before sending a guest blogging pitch:
1. Get Motivated
First of all, don’t count links for their own sake. This is the fastest way to feel discouraged. What you should be monitoring through your link building and tracking is the influence of those links.
How much are your posts being shared on social media sites? What are people saying in comments? Has it led to any contact from other bloggers, or repeated work from the blog you originally posted on? These are all good questions to ask yourself when looking at how well your post has done.
2. Set up Email Alerts
Whenever there’s a relevant guest posting opportunity, you want to be one of the first to know! Creating web alerts for that is a great way to go. Thus, you will be able to get alerts on useful content when it hits the web. This also works as inspiration: This might give you ideas for good posts in the future.
I use my email inbox as a TO-DO list. For example, if I get a great opportunity in my Google Alert email, I won’t delete it or mark it as read until I pitch. This works as great get-things-done motivation: If you want to see your inbox empty, send those guest blogging pitches!
There are plenty of programs that do this. But the obvious is Google Alerts. One of the best posts I have found on this subject came from Search Engine Journal. They give a complete rundown on how you can automate and scale your guest blogging work using Google Alerts as a reminder system.
3. Set up Twitter Alerts
If you are looking for more opportunities and if you want to be even faster to pitch, set up Twitter alerts as well. Tweetdeck will work well for that. Simply create a new column tracking the guest posting opportunities in your niche:
Then set up that column to send guest posting alerts:
Once you hear back:
4. Give Promises
Hey, guess what? If you treat guest blogging as an optional thing, you won’t do it in a timely manner. It will constantly be pushed down, and then you will either forget it or go into panic mode when you realize months have passed and you never fulfilled the now ruined agreement with a great blogger.
What you should do is a make a commitment.
Set a deadline you will have it by and email the blog owner sharing that deadline, and then follow it in the same way you would your paid work. This is an easy way to keep organized on your guest posts, simply by making it a real priority.
5. Come up with a simple progress tracking utility
Here’s the one I am using: browser bookmarks! This is the easiest tool I always have handy. Pages are easy to add there and you see the whole status picture on hover-over:
A few tricks:
Use Bookmarks -> Show all bookmarks panel (Firefox) to edit your bookmarks and update statuses:
6. Get reminders
Giving yourself reminders is a good way to go, as well. You can get an alert whenever something is about to go live, or a contest or submission period opens up. Or if you have a regular guest posting gig, have a reminder set to let you know when you have a deadline coming. Anyone who has ever guest posted for multiple sources know how helpful that one can be.
For reminders, I use MyBlogGuest Follow-up reminder: it will send you a PM and email when you set it to:
7. Set up a Collaboration System
Do you have a team of bloggers you work with on a regular basis? Or maybe you just know one or two you are friendly with? Or you want your team to discuss guest posting ideas? Or would you like to bring your team’s guest blogging efforts together? Then it is a very beneficial idea to get together for a bit of a collaboration.
This brings together the creative efforts of several talented people, combining your knowledge and ideas. Even if you are just brainstorming some ideas, it is always nice to get a bit of outside influence.
To do this more easily no matter where everyone is, try Google Spreadsheet and Google Calendar.
8. Organize Your Contacts
Don’t lose track of your most useful contacts. Create a simple database using a spreadsheet with contact information and details about bloggers you have worked for in the past, and those you might work with in the future.
This provides endless help, because you will always have a ready list of potential blogs and people you have worked with in the past.
Use Twitter lists! Add all the bloggers you are contributing to (or have contributed to at least once) to a single Twitter list and create a separate column for that list in Tweetdeck. You will then be easily tweet to them and retweet their updates to create closer contacts!
Trying to scale your guest blogging is a difficult task, and largely subjective. But organizing your time and work doesn’t have to be. Use these five steps to make it as easy as pie.
The views expressed in this post are those of the guest author so may not represent those of the Koozai team.