Content marketing seems to be all the rage in 2013.
Forget about Google rankings and start churning out content.
The more, the better.
The longer, the better.
Even more so because of Google's quest for better search results, which so far meant:
- tanked rankings for many solid content-based websites;
- overall “SEO sky is a-falling” panic;
- plethora of “how to rank in the post-Panda and Penguin world” guides;
- plenty of scrapers still dominating the first page.
Google certainly knows how to stir the water, doesn't it?
With all this content frenzy, guest blogging is taking more of a spotlight than ever.
Of course, the sky would definitely fall if we actually agreed on whether to give it thumbs up or down.
As a result, guest blogging has been taken to all kinds of extremes.
Some blogs want even more guest posts, hoping to increase their rankings by publishing fresh content often with not so much focus on the quality.
Some, on the other hand, decided to close their doors to accepting guest posts altogether.
Darren Rowse of Problogger.net called it an “evolution”.
Daniel Scocco of DailyBlogTips.com gives his reasons to stop accepting guest posts:
“On top of that I will also focus on the quality of the posts and not on the quantity. In other words, I will only write when I have something to say. I won’t be running filler posts anymore.”
Reverse-engineer his words and you'll get: accepting guest posts for the sake of putting out content means
- low quality content,
- filler posts,
- low quality readership.
Good for them.
Now I might actually consider reading those blogs again.
Guest Blogging is a Doozy?
Not at all.
It just means that the wheat is being separated from the chaff.
It means that writing quality guest posts is more important than ever.
It also means that the resulting traffic, links, credibility, and authority would be of much higher quality/quantity than ever before.
You WANT them.
And you have to become a smarter and better guest post writer than ever before.
And so do I.
It might surprise you to know that I am not a great guest blogger.
Sure I can write killer posts for Traffic Generation Café.
However, writing a successful guest post for another blog?
The kind of guest post that gets accepted, published, well-received by their readers, generates great response, results in traffic and brand recognition, PLUS doesn't take a week to write?
This is unchartered territory even for me.
So how do we become successful guest post writers?
For me, the answer was easy: turn to the one blogger who wrote 80+ remarkable guest posts for some of the major blogs while spending about 2 hours on each post of 1,200 – 1,400 words.
Plus, he went from this to that:
…doing nothing but guest blogging.
For the past week, I've been studying Danny Iny's Write Like Freddy guest blogging course and here's the skinny.
Guest Blogging with Write Like Freddy
Danny Iny is the Freddy Krueger of blogging.
What do you need to do to earn such a cool nickname?
That's exactly what we felt like when Danny decided to take the blogoverse by storm in 2011 – wherever we turned, he was there, sharing his amazing insights in guest posts on what seemed like every major blog around.
In the process, he discovered a very effective guest blogging formula that got his posts accepted and published with ease.
And so Write Like Freddy guest blogging
course bootcamp was born.
1. Who Is Write Like Freddy For?
Whether you are a
- newbie blogger, looking to establish yourself in your niche;
- an experience blogger who never made the step to promote your work through guest blogging
… and you want to learn to:
- write great guest posts;
- get them published anywhere you want to (including on blogs that say No to everyone else);
- get the traffic, reputation, and sales that come with it;
… even if you are not a great writer.
Does it sound like you so far?
Let's dig deeper.
2. What type of learners is it best for?
Each module can be consumed via:
- slide PDFs;
- plus several checklists for each module.
So whether you prefer to watch or read, Write Like Freddy leaves you with no excuse.
The Skinny: Module 1
Do you know when you should post on your own blog vs on other blogs?
How do you choose which blogs to guest post for based on the desired results (traffic, credibility, or relationships)?
How do you find the best “blog clusters” to write for for the maximum impact?
What on earth is a “blog cluster”?
My “Wow” Takeaways
Publish several guest posts on several core blogs within the same week.
That way you can avoid this:
And get this reaction instead:
- Identify the best “blog clusters” to group guest post into – that way you'll get the maximum effect of “being everywhere”.
The Skinny: Module 2
The topic. The angle. The headline. The pitch.
All equally important.
Get any one of them wrong and the rest of your hard work might go down the drain.
The key to writing a great post is to find what the readers want, then write about it.
80% of the most popular posts on any given blog are usually about the same 2-3 topics.
Finding the right topics are half of the battle.
Turns out that the post topic and the post angle are two different things.
Topic is the high level subject of the post.
Angle is the specific value offered by discussing the topic.
Share ONE key insight per post.
Research what headlines work best for that specific blog.
Find the pattern and follow it.
Use Danny's “pitch template”.
SUBJECT: Guest Posting on [BLOG NAME]: “[HEADLINE IDEA]”
Hi [BLOGGER'S NAME],
I only recently discovered your blog, but as you know, I really like your stuff! [ALTERNATIVELY, I'VE BEEN READING FOR A WHILE, ETC.]
I’ve been thinking about writing a post about [SUBJECT], and it occurred to me that it would be a great fit for your audience. Here are a couple of ideas for the headline (which can be changed, of course):
To get a sense of my writing, you can check out FirepoleMarketing.com, or my recent guest post on Copyblogger – it got over 200 comments and 900 tweets.
What do you think? Shall I write up a draft?
This template will help you to pitch your guest posts.
The nuances (will have to find out what they are for yourself) that make the difference between having 50% of your guest post proposals accepted vs 90%.
Quick tip: DO pay particular attention to the last paragraph of your proposal; Danny will explain why.
My “Wow” Takeaways
It was extremely interesting to see Danny's logic behind coming up with the right angle/headline for a successful guest post.
His is a very logical process that makes sense and I can definitely see why it works.
I'll definitely have to stop throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it sticks when writing guest posts – maybe a lot fewer of my guest posts would be rejected…
(Yes, my guest posts DID get politely rejected every once in a while; so don't take it personally when yours get turned down as well.)
And going through Danny's proposal template was priceless.
The Skinny: Module 3
This module is all about the following three aspects:
- How to write an outline in 10 minutes;
- How to write the entire post;
- How to polish it until it shines.
Since this goes to the heart of why we don't guest blog nearly as much as we should or not at all, I paid particular attention to what Danny had to say.
10 minutes later…
I just watched in awe how Danny outlined an awesome possible guest post off the top of his head.
I had to go back several times and watch it again and again just to get a glimpse into how he thinks.
If you are thinking “Sure, it's easy for him – he's a great writer!“, I am with you.
However, I also know better than to avoid guest blogging because of a silly excuse that has no merit.
Practice makes perfect.
Whether you are Danny Iny, or Ana Hoffman, or YOU.
Let's get back to work.
The Skinny: Module 4
And now the rubber meets the road.
Our guest post is out; it's time to get all we can from it.
My “Wow” Takeaways
How do you build relationships with your peers by guest posting on other blogs?
Danny's strategy of linking out to other blogs is simple and brilliant.
I've been fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of it a couple of times lately and I'll tell you: there's no better way to build a strong relationship with another blogger than this.
Bonus: the Alumni Promotion Network
Learning how to guest blog for maximum benefits is one thing.
Having a support network to hold you accountable and help you improve your writing skills is priceless.
The alumni promotion network is for “Write Like Freddy” students who are going all the way.
The network is there to critique your work, promote your posts, and help you out.
And it’s all free for the current members of Write Like Freddy.
How to Join the Ranks
Ready to become an exceptional guest blogger?
I was hoping you'd say yes.
The rest is simple.
Your Guest Blogging Checklist
2. Study Danny's guest posts.
Remember that part where you were thinking you weren't that great of a writer to pull this off?
And remember that part where I said “practice makes perfect“?
Perfect your newly acquired guest blogging skills by studying Danny's guest posts.
That's the best way to learn how to write such remarkable guest posts in such amazingly short time: under 2 hours.
It goes without saying that you can apply the same writing principles when writing for your own blog.
Enough of those dry posts that no one wants to read, right?
3. Start pitching your attention-grabbing headlines.
Remember, you don't have to have the post written before you approach other bloggers.
A perfect headline is all you really need.
Why this is important:
Use this to fight your procrastination and all the reasons why you can't or shouldn't do guest blogging right now.
Coming up with a great angle for your future posts and a headline to go with it is a far lesser commitment on your part than being ready with the entire post.
Once you pitch the headline and get the nod from the other blogger, you'll have no choice but to write the post.
That's what I call a “positive constraint” and it's the best way to ensure things get done.
What if English is not your first language?
This is another thing I want to address with those of you who use this excuse to not write guest posts.
“English is not my first language…”
Well, it's not mine either!
You don't hear me complaining about it, right?
I just have to work harder than other folks, but that's fine by me. I knew what I was getting myself into when I decided to start Traffic Generation Café…
To help you with spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure, use language software like WhiteSmoke.
Where there's a will, there's a way, right?
What are you still doing here?