At Level343 we get a lot of guest posts. Many of them are
denied. In fact, many of them are denied several times because the authors don’t
want to take no for an answer.
Now, our standards may not be your target website’s standards.
Keep that in mind, but the plain and simple truth is you can’t brow beat
someone to take an article. It’s not like when you were a kid and you could
(maybe) beg your parents enough they caved and bought you the My Little Pony or
Radio Flyer you desperately wanted. Quality counts and – at least with us –
sending in enough low-quality posts will get you automatically pushed to the trash
8 Tips for Your Sponsored or Guest Post Submissions
How do you make sure your article gets through? Here are a
1. Know Your Target
Never mind knowing the name of the website, the editor, or
even the CEO. Know what your target talks about. Don’t – as many have done –
just scan the site and make assumptions. We’ve received many a blog post that
made it clear the submitter had no idea what we really do here.
Marketing is a very broad spectrum. It has hundreds, if not
thousands, of areas that could be written about and have the topic be about
something we don’t cover.
Stop guessing. Take the time to read a few of the
articles already available on your target site. Read their service of product
offerings. Learn them.
2. Draft Your Unique Email
“Hey Sara, I really enjoyed your last post at [https://level343.com/blahblahblah].
I have an article that talks about something similar, I’ve pasted it into the
body of this email. Let me know when it’s up!”
We actual received an email like the above. There are so
many things wrong with this.
First, we have no Sara here. You may not know the name of
the editor of a place, but don’t guess – or worse, leave the name in from
another submission because you have a copy/paste email. Pro tip, here: we hate
copy/paste emails, and most other companies do as well.
Each site is unique; make your email unique.
3. Offer Choices, Ask Questions
Not every company enjoys getting an email like, “Can you pick
one of these 5 article titles and let me know which one you’d like,” but don’t
give up asking questions. There are many ways to ask what your target site is
looking for. A few suggestions:
- Do you have a specific topic you’d like to have
- Do you want a list of possible titles, or do you
prefer to just receive a document?
- I’ve had several ideas (list ideas). Do you have
a preference of article you’d like to see on your site?
4. Submit a Document
We’ve received several submissions “within the body of this
Why? Why on earth would you do this?
- It’s unprofessional.
- All styling is gone most of the time.
- Not all email platforms handle styling the same
way, so there’s no telling what it will look like when they receive it.
- You lose control of what your content will look
like once it’s posted.
- It’s unprofessional.
Not everybody has MS Word, but whatever document creator you
use can be converted to another. Please, please, put your content in a document
in the way you’d want it to be viewed online – with images, with bio, with your
For the most part, you have no idea how many people your
submission will go through before it gets to the editors. If you know what an
email forwarded five times looks like, you’ll understand why the document
format is so important.
5. Write Unto Others…
Almost everybody has heard the saying, “Do unto others as
you would have done unto you.” The same applies to guest posts. I can’t count how
many articles have been submitted that I wouldn’t try to push on my worst
enemy. If you wouldn’t put it on your own site, don’t try to put it on another.
Grammar matters. Subject matter… matters. Spelling matters.
Words mean things; you can’t just shove some words onto a page and expect a quality
article to spill out. If you don’t know the difference between they’re, their,
or there for example, you probably should either have an editor or don’t
try to guest post.
6. Check Your English
We also get a lot of articles from people who have English as a second language. I speak 13 languages, and we have several people in our wheelhouse with various languages as a first language. We understand some of the American slang words and idioms are hard to learn. No worries, but take the time to have a native English speaker read through your post before you send it in. -And if you don’t understand idioms, you can let Flula help you:
7. Brag About Your Author
How many times have you submitted an article without
including an author bio? How many times have you received an article submission
that didn’t have an author bio? This happens to us on a regular basis –
especially on someone wanting to submit a sponsored post.
Look, a sponsored post doesn’t mean you can ignore a bio
unless your specific target site will post without one. It also doesn’t mean
you can write some bio that is obviously a load of drivel and shows no
authority for the topic.
Whether you’re submitting a sponsored post or a regular
guest post, take the time to write a strong bio. Add an image. If a social link
is allowed and you have one, provide it. Not only does this give you more
exposure, but it also helps your target post site with legitimacy.
8. Include Relevant Images
What do mountains have to do with an article about data encryption?
I don’t know, but we had an article submission a year or so ago that included a
mountain as a featured image. Maybe there was some subtle marketing message
written in the mountain that we missed. Maybe. -But if you have to guess what
an image has to do with an article, it’s the wrong image.
First, be polite and include at least a featured image with
your article. Secondly, make sure that image (or those images) are relevant to
the topic at hand. Don’t snag some stray picture just to have an image and throw
it in the document. Respect your target’s readership enough to match image to
Don’t look at guest and sponsored posts as “one-offs”. How
much easier would it be to submit an article if you’ve created a professional
relationship with your target sites? By following the points above, you’re
ensuring your next opportunity for submission will go more smoothly. It’s good
for you, good for them, good for their readers, and good for whoever is benefiting
from your post.
There is so much that can be said about creating quality guest
posts, but so much should be common sense. Why are you submitting a guest post?
Is it just for a link?
Even if the link is the point, the quality of the content
should still make a difference. You don’t just want back links – you want back
links that people follow to see your post, page or client site. And why would
your target site want to accept your post if it’s low quality? With all of the
Google updates that point towards quality, don’t you think your submissions
should also meet those guidelines?
Ultimately, the key to acceptance is to respect your target
site and their readership. The next time you start looking for a place to drop
an article, pull this blog post up and treat it like a checklist. -And never
forget: you have to give quality to get quality.