Create a Compelling Online Portfolio by Guest Blogging

guest-post-no1Many freelancers I know have been shying away from guest blogging because they are used to being paid for creating content and guest blogging is all about spreading content for free. However, money is not everything, especially “immediate” money.

Guest posting is more valuable than your current paid task. It builds your reputation and positions you as an expert. It makes it possible for you to charge more by making you an authority. It exposes your expertise and high quality work to hundreds of potential clients.

Therefore, you must create your guest posting strategy. Just start now.


Step 1: Find Relevant Blogs Accepting Guest Posts

Before starting, you need a plan. Frst create the list of the blogs you feel like starting with. Here are a few tips on how to find solid guest posting opportunities:

  • Look around blogs you regularly read. Chances are, many of them welcome guest posts. You are already familiar with the style and audience at those blogs, so it will be easy for you to start.
  • Useful tip! Look for common “footprints” (signs that the blog should/might be accepting guest posts) like a category called “Guest posts”, posts credited to random guest authors, “Write for us” page, etc.

    One more useful tip! Run a quick domain-restricted search in Google to see if there have been any guest posts ever published at that site: [site:freelancefolder.com guest post]

  • Use Google: search Google for something like [“submit guest post” your topic here]
  • Use Twitter Search. The best thing about Twitter is that it has the most recent (and thus still valid) offers. So, be sure to search Twitter for something like [guest bloggers your topic here]

Useful tip! Twitter supports [?] operator to restrict your search to questions-only. So don’t forget to play with it:

guest-post-no2

Step 2: Create a Plan

The most difficult part about guest blogging is that it is optional. You don’t have to report to anyone on the status and the results. So, you keep moving the guest post to a later date after everything else is done.

Thus, you end up with too few guest posts a month and too slow results.
What you need is a plan to keep you disciplined.

  • Make it a rule to write and submit at least one guest post a week.
  • Add writing a guest post to your weekly work schedule.
  • Plan writing a guest post for the beginning of the week (Monday or Tuesday).

Step 3: Define the Priorities

What’s your main goal you want to achieve by guest blogging? Bear in mind that the hugest benefits of guest blogging include:

  • Building your brand and reputation
  • Building your connections with influencers

Never focus on other, more obvious, but less important benefits like link building or self-promoting.

This means, you should share your best content in a guest post. Do as well as you can. Make the real quality of your content your first priority. Be sincere in your effort to provide value.

Step 4: Create a Good By-Line

While you are not in the focus (your actual post is!), your by-line is your business card. This is what will always be attached to your post and will drive you exposure for months (maybe years) after your post goes live.
Your by-line should be:

  • Short and to the point (mention your area and level of expertise and years in business).
  • Free of self-advertising (don’t sound stupid and fake, refrain from phrases like “top expert”, “huge expertise”, etc): let your content speak for you, not your by-line.
  • Modest in linking (don’t try to link to all your websites, just link to your main one, your portfolio and maybe your Twitter ID).

Step 5: Never Give Up

By actively guest posting you are going to come across various people and different types of feedback. That’s when you need to remember the golden rules:

  • Accept the rejection. Negative feedback is what really makes us better.
  • Accept the silence. Most email conversations never happen: you just email the person and never hear back. Skip it and move further.

Just arrive at conclusions and move forward. Our ability to accept the failure is what keeps us going and growing.

Good luck!

Do You Guest Post?

Do you write guest posts? Do you accept guest posts on your blog?

Share your guest posting experiences and stories in the comments.