When a site gets to be a particular size, they start getting overwhelmed with requests to guest post from people doing outreach wrong.
Requests from subject matter experts who can write original, comprehensive content on topics they really know are fantastic. Small businesses sharing their knowledge and experience are great.
Please do pitch if you have expertise to share!
Unfortunately, most requests come from freelance writers paid to submit mediocre content just to get a link. This falls into all the people doing outreach wrong!Companies, please stop wasting your money paying people to submit bad content. No one reads it, links to it or shares it so it has no SEO value anyway!Click To Tweet
Do you really want your brand associated with inaccurate, poorly written content? If you want to do outreach, have someone on your team write something worth reading and hire someone to pitch that! Or just send it yourselves.
I’ve been recommending quality over quantity since at least 2011: Quantity Equals Failure. Success Focuses on Quality!
Ask – Don’t Tell
Telling a site owner you are going to publish on their site is just wrong. You are asking for a favor from them. If your content is excellent, you may also be doing them a favor.
But even then, you are asking them to spend time getting your content ready to publish. And asking them to review your content to see if it fits on their site.
So please choose relevant sites and be polite. Site owners are busy so sometimes good pitches don’t get answered and it isn’t because of the pitch.
But if sites ignore your pitches, look at them and make sure you are asking — not telling. Maybe this is a cultural difference in language usage?
I’m not sure, but I get messages like these all the time:
- ” I need to publish on your site.” (Probably not content that site really wants.)
- “Here is the article. Please review. So, how much days it would take?” (This is likely to need a lot of editing.)
- “Hi , can i know the exact publishing date?” (No, because I don’t know.)
Did You Read and Conform to the Site’s Guidelines?
There is a good reason sites have guidelines. They benefit you by giving you a better idea what that site requires for your content to be published.
Look on the home page and the major pages for a site’s guidelines. Here, they’re found in the footer clearly labeled GrowMap Guest Blogging Guidelines.
Almost everywhere online, you can use Ctrl-F (control key on your keyboard + the “F” key) to get a search box. Put “guidelines” or “write for us” or “guest blogging” or “guest posting” in that search box to find them.
If the site specifies a 700 word minimum and your content is less than that, it should be obvious that it won’t be published until you add to that content.Site owners do not want their hard work to be nullified by getting their site penalized.Click To Tweet
That is why some will tell you outright they don’t allow links to sales pages. Others will just remove those links when they publish your content.
How to Get Your Content to Go Live Quickly
Did you know that great content that is ready to publish is likely to move to the top of the queue? Sometimes, it doesn’t even have to be great if it is publication ready.
This is what that means (details for some of these below):
- Text already edited into American English
- Saved as a draft in WordPress
- Proofread to fix any typos or grammatical errors
- Images scaled and compressed
- SEO fields completed (if you have access)
- Top image created, uploaded and set as featured image
- Categories selected (1-2)
- Tags selected (some sites prefer you not do this)
1) Already written in American English and proofread.
UK or Australian English can be edited quickly. English as written in most other countries takes a lot of editing. Sometimes, it can’t even be deciphered.
So if you learned English somewhere else, if you want your content to go live quickly, ask an American friend to edit it first. Or offer to pay for editing. It usually costs $15-$25.
2) Request contributor access and save it as a draft instead of submitting it as a Word Doc.
Here are your options:
- Write your content in WordPress (WP) on this site.
- Or you can write it on any WP site running Classic Editor (not Gutenberg)
- Switch to the “Text” tab
- Copy the HTML from the “Text” tab
- Paste the HTML into the “Text” tab of a new post here
- Write in Word
- Copy the content from your Word Doc
- Paste it into Textfixer
- Click “Convert Word to HTML
- Paste the HTML into the “Text” tab here.
DO NOT write your content in other popular cloud services unless you have a premium account with CoSchedule to remove the broken code or know how to edit HTML and are willing to spend the time to do it.
This site does NOT accept content written in other tools!
This is because we do not want to spend time fixing the HTML errors.
4) How to submit images
By default, WP contributor access does not allow you to upload images. Images do make your content more compelling and we encourage them here.
Not all sites do because far too many people are still stealing images. You cannot just take any image you find and use it! You must have to have permission to use someone else’s images and provide attribution.
Or get them from a free image source, such as:
To find more free sources and understand why you cannot steal images, read 43+ Free Blog Images Sources: Where to Get Royalty Free Photos.
Image Optimization (scaled and compressed)
Getting images optimized for upload takes time. The more images in the content, the longer it takes. Before they can be uploaded to the WP database, they should be resized for width and compressed.
Open a post on the site you wish to be published on in FireFox. Right click, view image info and you will see the width. (Or just ask the site editor if you are in contact. Image width on this site is 880.)
- How to Reduce Images Using GIMP (Free program for any OS)
- Compress the images using Tinypng or Compressjpg or Compresspng or similar.
- SEO the image: Image SEO: How to Write Powerful Alt Image Tags
5) SEO Fields
If you can see the SEO fields and know how to use them, fill them in. (Some sites may prefer you not do this. On those, you probably can’t see them, anyway.)
6) Top Image Created
Look at the content the site publishes. If all their images are similar, they may have a graphic artist who creates them. You don’t need to do anything.
On this site, images are created for each post. There is no one template. If you know how to use Canva (tutorials at that link) or similar and want to create the top image, for this site they are 880×440.
Look through other posts and get ideas from them about what to put on your featured image. (If you don’t know how, don’t worry about this. I will add the featured image for you.)
You may choose 1-2 categories you feel suit your content best. If you’re not sure, you can choose more than that or none and I’ll change the categories before publishing.
DO NOT ADD NEW CATEGORIES HERE OR ANYWHERE ELSE!
Some sites don’t want you to choose tags yourself. You can choose them here as I haven’t optimized them, yet. All of us need to optimize our tags, but most sites haven’t.
Do Follow Up, But Don’t Hound
This site usually has 15-20+ posts pending. It gets really depressing when post after post after post has problems that keep it from getting published.
How often you can follow up depends on the site. Some don’t tell you anything and you’re just submitting into a black hole. Patience is a virtue.
Other sites may tell you how many posts are ahead of yours. If your is publication ready, it may jump up many spots as other content has issues that keep it from publishing.
If yours is the content that has problems, it will keep getting pushed down until those problems can be resolved. So do follow up to find out what they are. Then fix them to get back on track.
Why Your Content Doesn’t Go Live
One of the major challenges editors have is lack of comprehension. Even though I explain the problems with the content, the writer may not understand what I mean.
They have a particular difficulty understanding what a “sales page” is. If the site is offering something for sale on that page, it is a sales page. If I tell you it is a sales page, you just have to believe me.
That content will not be published until that link is removed or replaced with a highly relevant link to content providing value to my readers.
If I ask you for the source of the images and who gave you permission to republish them and you don’t answer, the content stays in limbo.
Images that appear to be stock photos may be replaced with other images so that the content can go live.
Sadly, there are far more pending submissions in the “problem with content” status than any other status. (But the good news is that is because content without problems gets published and is no longer pending.
What Else Might Assist You
The key thing is to keep in mind that you are asking a favor and phrase what you say according. And I don’t know about other Americans, but personally, please don’t call me “Dear”.
This is a cultural thing. In America, terms of endearment (like dear, honey, sweetie, etc.) are only used between people who know each other very well — not strangers you’re asking for favors.Small businesses can increase their visibility and sales by sharing their experience and knowledge in content on relevant sites. Please stop hiring offshore writers to produce valueless content no one wants to read, link to or share! Click To Tweet
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