This is a guest post by Mickie Kennedy.
You’re probably — scratch that: definitely — stretched for time. Between clients, research, and keeping on top of your own blog (if you have one), putting the hours and effort into guest blogging for other publications is a daunting idea. The time required to provide interesting, accurate, and well-researched information is huge, and being a guest on someone else’s site is a terrific responsibility.
But blogging on your own site can get lonely, especially when you’re just starting out, and if you don’t have your own blog you may be looking for a way to share your insights. As a PR professional you already know that in order to get traffic and leads to your own homepage, putting forth the additional effort to place some occasional guest articles can be well worth it.
Securing Guest Blogging Opportunities
You’re already an expert on “outreach.” It’s what you do. Start by offering a guest blog post to a colleague or partner, preferably someone you have some semi-regular contact with. Or take a chance and reach out to someone you admire in the PR field — getting in good with a PR heavy-hitter can only benefit you. As a PR pro you already know this, so put your knowledge to work for the benefit of your own Solo PR business.
Some other thoughts to keep in mind as you pursue guest blogging opportunities include:
It is imperative that you know the blog that you’re writing for and are familiar with their readers. You wouldn’t pitch a journalist without reading past articles first – it’s equally important when approaching bloggers (perhaps more so!).
Search to see if the blog you’re approaching has guest blogging guidelines. Is there a particular subject that they’re looking for? Word limits? A dedicated email for guest blog proposals? Taking this simple step will put you ahead of the pack!
Search the blog’s previous posts to ensure they haven’t already covered your topic. If they have, perhaps propose exploring it more in depth – just don’t be ignorant to their previous subject matter.Another point on originality: don’t try to pass off something you’ve already published as a guest blog post– that’s rude.
Guest Blogging Topics
Coming up with topics for a guest blog post is similar to writing for one’s own blog (if you have one). Here are some great approaches to help get you started:
- Trending Research/Analysis
If you’re heavily entrenched in the numbers-end of PR (like Google Analytics or mobile marketing growth stats), it’s easy to offer up your findings in a blog post. If you’re not doing the research yourself, why not offer your opinion on the work someone else has done? There’s nothing wrong with that. Play devil’s advocate, turn some heads.
- Current Affairs and Events
If people are paying attention to a news event, it has PR implications Take a look at what’s happening and offer some PR insight. Let the world see your thought leadership.
- Share a Personal Story
Can a recent event in your personal life be extrapolated into a meaningful PR moment? Maybe that coffee shop you visit every morning made an inadvertently brilliant PR move — or maybe it was your child’s teacher or school. Telling a personal story not only engages people in an irresistible way, but it makes your “brand” more approachable.
- Common Problem
If there is a common problem (social media gaffes, for example) that you’re seeing often, blog about it. Clients and colleagues looking for some perspective and how-to will see you as an authority on the subject. You can also research comments on forums and other blogs to see what folks have questions about most often.
Back to that data. You don’t need to have done the research yourself — scan other blogs and popular sources of information, and look for commonalities. Putting the graphic together is easy enough, too. Use a tool like Canva or tap into someone on eLance or Fiverr to turn your idea into viral magic. Just be sure to cite your sources.
Ask your readers or social media followers which topics they want to know more about. You can also take a look at trending topics through Nuzzel, Feedly or Topsy.
As you know, the PR field changes rapidly so choose your topics with care, especially when covering subjects like new tools and apps and breaking news.
A final tip: Be sure to add a call to action at the end of your guest post so your host’s readers can follow you, too.
Do you have any other tips? Talk to us in the comments.