Article Marketing Writing/Content

Tips for Writing Guest Pieces

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When companies, entrepreneurs, or thought leaders wish to engage with their audience and uplevel their marketing game, writing guest pieces can be one of the best ways to accomplish a number of media and marketing goals. Guest pieces are a way to establish oneself as a subject-matter expert, deliver actionable and useful content to your customer base, and ultimately get paying clients or customers into your sales funnel.

So, how does one get started writing guest pieces? While there are a number of ways one can succeed at guest writing, here are some tips for mastering the art of the guest piece.

It All Starts with the Perfect Pitch

In order for journalists and publications to gain interest in your brand or company, you will have to pitch the idea of your guest piece to them first. To best find outlets that align with what your business provides, a simple Google search of  “subject matter or keyword + contributor” can help you find a wealth of resources. For example, if you run an organic skincare company, you may Google “organic skin care + contributor” to find outlets that have written about organic skin care or wellness in the past. 

Crafting and sending a well-written pitch specific to your subject matter expertise to your target outlet(s) can open the door for guest pieces that inform, entertain, or lead people to your site and services. You want your pitch to hold the reader’s interest and show off your writing skills. Even if you don’t consider yourself the best writer, you can still craft sound guest pieces that get the job done.

Your pitch’s tone should come off as professional and cordial. Research your target outlet first to find out what kind of pieces they typically publish, get a sense of their approach and tone, and discover their parameters for submissions. 

You don’t want to waste time submitting pitches to an outlet that does not publish content specific to your services or product. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for the outlet to say yes to your pitch.

Perfecting Your Content 

When pitching an outlet, you should already have an idea of what content you would like to present in your piece. The topic you choose should be relevant to your product offerings or services. 

Once your pitch is accepted, you will then have to write your article. The outlet should provide you with some parameters for structuring your piece, which should help you along the way, especially if you are new to article writing. They will typically let you know how long the article should be, how to break up paragraphs, and what information, keywords, or backlinks they would like included. Outlets should also let you know how promotional (or non-promotional) they want you to be.

Above all else, remember to focus on making your content compelling — you want to write something people will want to read and ultimately share. Your primary goal is engagement and getting your name out into the world, so serving up good content is a stepping stone in the right direction toward reaching that goal. 

Make sure that any claims that you make are given correct sources, and that quotes are properly cited. While it should go without saying, don’t ever plagiarize any of the content in your guest piece. Many outlets will want a guarantee that content is theirs and theirs alone to publish, so you won’t be able to simply send them a previously-published article and call it day.

Keywords and SEO

One of the main reasons outlets want guest pieces is to help with their own search engine optimization (SEO). Learning how to leverage the most appropriate and highest-ranked keywords and backlinks for SEO purposes can be challenging at first, but once you learn how to best use these tools they can be invaluable for marketing. Additionally, many outlets will provide you with direction on keywords and backlinks for SEO purposes. 

For outlets that have issues with overly promotional content, craftily using keywords and backlinks can still make these guest pieces beneficial for your company or role as a subject matter expert, even without specifically naming your brand. Having your name as a byline and a bio that tells who you are and where you are from are all great ways to direct traffic back to your business.

Actionable Content 

Most outlets want any content that they publish to be ultimately useful and actionable for their readers. They want an engaged readership that is going to share content and, hopefully, help that content go viral — depending on the subject matter. 

While there is no guarantee that every pitch you submit will be accepted, once one is, you will soon see the benefit of getting your voice heard in an industry-aligned outlet. If you can dedicate yourself to crafting compelling, actionable, and shareable content, you will reap the rewards of increased engagement and more profit for your business.

About the author


Amanda Reseburg

Amanda Reseburg is a writer with OtterPR and has had work featured in Scary Mommy, Home Business Magazine, California Business Journal, and Mentors Collective. She lives in Orlando, FL with her husband and three children.