man focusing on computer writing a guest blogBelow, you will find an unedited excerpt from my new book about building Internet-based businesses, Online Business from Scratch. To receive updates about the book, visit

Writing guest posts for other people’s blogs is another effective way to leverage other people’s audiences. Just like a podcast tour, you have the direct opportunity to promote your brand to someone else’s audience. However, writing guests posts on other people’s websites is a far more scalable strategy than booking podcast interviews because there are for more blogs and websites than podcasts in most niches. Any guest post that you write will typically contain one or more links back to your website, which will allow their readers to click back to your website. The back links inside of your guest posts may also help improve your search rankings, since one of the primary factors that Google uses to rank websites is whether or not other high quality websites link to yours.

When making a list of websites that you might want to pitch a guest post on, be selective and only focus on websites that have some authority and an established audience in your niche. While it’s easier to get featured on smaller no-name blogs, it’s usually not worth the effort. You would be better served posting the guest post on your website than having it featured on a small website that very few people read. Focus on websites that have a similarly-sized or larger audience than yours. Also, make sure that the websites you plan on pitching actually feature guest posts somewhat regularly. By focusing only on larger websites that feature guest posts, you will reduce the amount of effort you have to put in to get results from pitching guest posts.

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Guest posting can be an incredibly effective marketing tool, but many people pitch guest posts very ineffectively. Some marketers will use a spray and pray strategy, sending large numbers of impersonal guest-post outreach emails to people that they don’t know hoping that someone will respond.  They use automated outreach tools to send out hundreds of inquiries at a time. This method is a great way to annoy other website owners at scale, but it probably won’t get you very many guest posts.

Effective guest posting is based on relationships. If there’s a website that you would like to submit a guest post to, take the time to get know the person running the website. Leave comments on their articles. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Sign-up for their email list. Engage them on social media. Find a way to provide them value before you ask for value from them. If they post about a problem or need that they have on social media or their website, find a way to solve their problem for them.  By building a relationship with people you plan on pitching and providing them value, you are much more likely to get a positive response from them if you send them a cold outreach email.

After you have been engaging with the person you want to pitch for several weeks, make your request using a carefully worded email. Focus on the value and the content that you can provide to their audience in your message. Don’t mention what being featured on their website can do for you. Give them specific ideas for the type of content you would like to create for their website and give them multiple options to choose from.

Here is an example of an outreach email that I might send:

Hi [Name] –

It was great to meet you at the Traffic and Conversion Summit in February. Since we first met, I’ve been following your content about writing through your Twitter account and your email list. Your content has inspired me to up my writing game and I will be publishing a second book this year because you showed me that it’s possible.

You do a great job of helping writers create content and publish their books, but I’ve noticed that there isn’t a lot about marketing your book or increasing e-book. Since you feature guest posts on your website somewhat regularly, would you be open to allowing me to submit a guest article on your website?

Here are some possibilities for articles that I could write:

  • How to sell e-books on Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iBooks with Smashwords
  • Ten book marketing mistakes made by every first time author
  • How to increase sales of your older books by creating a second edition
  • Five ways to make sure that your Kindle book launch is successful
  • How to increase book sales by creating an audiobook through ACX

Let me know if any of these topics might be useful and interesting to your audience. I would love to be able to submit an article and provide some value to your audience as my way of saying thanks for all of the great content that you create.

Thank you!

Matthew Paulson