Guest posting continues to be one of the most popular off-page SEO tactics. Instead of waiting for reputable sites to link to your domain, you take a proactive role by approaching them first. It’s one of the fastest ways to get backlinks and improve your domain authority.
However, getting published in high-traffic and high-authority blogs isn’t that easy. Since they’ll be publishing your posts as content on their own website, all blogs that allow guest posts will screen every application and submission. They’ll want content that fits their blog, audience, and content strategy.
So, if you want to be a guest author, you’d need to prove your skills, experience, and credibility. One way to do so is to write an excellent manuscript.
It’s important to note that not all guest posting sites accept upfront manuscripts. High-ranking sites like to ensure they get high-quality content by prioritizing a guest author’s CV. Therefore, they usually won’t accept manuscripts until you’ve given them a list of previous guest posts, your experience, and your achievements.
Luckily, not every guest posting site does this. Many blogs welcome finished manuscripts and publish them based on the quality of the writing alone.
That said, although your experience and credibility are important factors, the real crux of getting a guest post published is the quality of the manuscript. Editors will always reject poorly-written manuscripts, even if they’re from a pre-approved guest poster.
Basic writing skill isn’t the only factor in getting a manuscript published. Most blogs and publications that welcome guest posts likely already have an impressive backlog of content. So, your manuscript needs to be high-quality and unique on all fronts.
Here are a few tips to help you brainstorm and write the perfect manuscript:
High-authority blogs know and follow basic content marketing and SEO guidelines. This means they’re not going to keep publishing similar content and repeat main keywords. Doing so might cause keyword cannibalization or affect their domain authority. Audiences also don’t appreciate repetitive content, so topics that have already been done before will likely be rejected.
So, while you brainstorm possible topic ideas, be sure to check if they’ve already been covered. As most blogs require anywhere from 500 to 2000 words per manuscript, avoiding topics that are sure to get rejected will save you a lot of time.
Most websites that accept guest posts will have a “Write For Us” or “Guest Blogging” page. This is where they’ll post information about guest post submissions and other requirements.
For blogs that welcome upfront manuscripts, they’re going to have an exhaustive list of what they want from aspiring guest writers. These guidelines could include:
- Accepted topics
- Minimum and maximum word requirements
- Desired writing tone and style
- Accepted document formats (i.e., Docx, Google docs, ODT, etc.)
- Required information (i.e., author’s experience, links to previous guest posts, company links, etc.)
- Required attachments (i.e., author’s headshot, images, etc.)
Some editors will even leave special conditions like “include the word “firetruck” somewhere in the email” and won’t entertain your pitch when you don’t follow it. Special requirements like these are to make sure you read the guidelines before submitting your manuscript.
The whole point of guest post guidelines is to make sure the editors are getting submissions that are fit for their blog. They’re looking for guest posts that match their content and SEO strategy. Since different companies have different strategies, you need to make sure you’re writing specifically for the blog you want to get published on.
For example, a tech blog isn’t going to publish a blog from a gardening business because it’s irrelevant to its content and keywords. Likewise, blogs that regularly post 4000-word articles won’t accept anything shorter than that.
Different blogs cater to different audiences. Some audiences appreciate a laid-back and digestible tone, while others prefer a more authoritative and knowledgeable style. Some audiences are more knowledgeable than others, so the desired wording, vocabulary, and topics will differ from blog to blog.
More importantly, editors will always cater to their audience, not yours.
For example, if you’re dealing with an audience of marketers, SEO experts, and industry authorities, your content needs to match their level of knowledge. In this case, “How To Do Keyword Research” or similar beginner-level topics will not fit the audience’s need.
Similarly, if you’re writing for a blog that caters to small business owners, SEO newbies, and fledgling marketers, submitting a manuscript with niche slang and expert-level marketing concepts will be too much for the audience’s level of expertise.
The secret to getting a guest post published quickly is to make sure the editors have as little work to do as possible. For popular guest posting sites, their editors might be getting hundreds of manuscripts a week, so they’ll immediately ignore anything irrelevant or poorly written.
Additionally, you also need to check for plagiarism. Even when you didn’t intend to use the exact same words as someone else, search engines will still take high-plagiarism ratings as an unfavorable SEO signal. Editors will check for this, too, so make sure you’ve run your manuscript through plagiarism checkers before submitting them.
That being said, don’t rush your writing process. You need to put in enough time to research, write, and look for spelling and grammatical errors. Remember, if the editors are already getting a lot of submissions, rejecting a few poorly-written manuscripts isn’t going to affect them.
Guest posting isn’t just about your knowledge or writing skill. You also need to consider the blog you want to get published on, their previous content, and their audience. The general theme is that guest post manuscripts should cater to the accepting blog; otherwise, they will get rejected.
So, before you even brainstorm topic ideas and do research, make sure you know who you’re writing for.