how to guest post The Marketing Moxie Show

Episode #6 – Creating Effective Guest Post Pitches

In episode #6 we’re talking about pitching guest posts.  The pitch is the scariest part of guest posting for most people. They get stuck, make a mistake or simply don’t bother even trying.

Items Discussed in this Episode:

  • The power of no in your pitching.
  • The one thing you must avoid when pitching.
  • How to write a great pitch and what supporting elements you need to sell your pitch.
  • Why you want to avoid “over pitching”.
  • The fine art of pitch follow-up.

Top 3 Takeaways for this Episode:

  1. Use templates as a guidelines or example. Do not use them as a fill in the blank.
  2. Make sure your pitch is correct, complete and concise. Answer all the questions the blogger or media you are pitching may have.
  3. Create systems to keep track of your pitches and follow-through.








Links in this Episode:


how to guest post PR for small business The Marketing Moxie Show

Episode #5 – The Ins & Outs of Guest Posting Research

In episode #5 we delve into the world of guest posting research in a bite-sized 12 minutes!

Items Discussed in this Episode:

  • The importance of guest posting research and why you can’t skip this step
  • Using your ideal customer to help shape your research
  • Looking at the competitive landscape to find opportunities
  • Getting up close and personal with every site
  • Leverage Google search and Topsy to find new opportunities
  • Take the time to get to know media/bloggers you’ll be reaching out to

[Tweet “Guest post research separates you from the rookies. Get the scoop in the latest episode of #marketingmoxie #podcast”]

Top 3 Takeaways for this Episode:

  1. Get clear on your ideal customers and where they may be hanging out online
  2. Conduct in-depth research on the web site and find a “hole”
  3. Use Google and Topsy to unearth opportunities








Links in this Episode:


how to guest post The Marketing Moxie Show

Episode #4: Why Get Started with Guest Posting

In episode #4 we start talking about Guest Posts. Over the next few weeks we’ll be going step-by-step through the elements of a successful guest posting program. (All in under 11 minutes!)

In this episode, we talk about why you want to do them and how to get started.

Items Discussed in this Episode:

  • Why should you guest post?
  • What can you expect from guest posting?
  • Finding your guest posting WHY?
  • How to be confident about your guest posting.

[Tweet “Want to guest post? Figure out your why so you can do it with confidence. #marketingmoxie #podcast”]

Top 3 Takeaways for this Episode:

  1. Get really clear on your guest posting – how does it support your mission?
  2. Start thinking about your stories and how you can use them for guest posting?
  3. How can you make room for this in your business?








Links in this Episode:



how to guest post PR for small business

Your Guest Post is Published. Now What?

  • You’ve waited weeks or even months for your guest post to be published. The post goes live, you tweet it out once and wait. And wait some more.Taps foot. Twiddles thumbs. Still nothing. Disappointment creeps in.

    I’m active in a lot of Facebook business groups, and often hear grumbling about guest posting opportunities that didn’t quite go as expected. Sure, maybe you didn’t get 100 new subscribers or an immediate booking, but this is a marathon not a sprint.

    Each guest post, on its own, isn’t going to amount to a lot. The real power comes in the momentum of guest posting and the body of work you’ll build over time.

    But enough with managing expectations. Your sweet words are out in the universe, so now what?

    Remember all that hard work and hustle it took to get the opportunity in the first place? Time to summon it up and get ready to promote the ever lovin’ out of that guest post.

    This is all on you. You can’t wait for people to find it. And definitely do not wait for the blog it’s running on to promote it. It’s your content, so own it and create a plan for promoting it.

    Let’s break out the “how” promoting your awesomesauce content on publishing day and for months after that!

    Your Guest Post is LIVE – Sharing is the Name of the Game 
    Today’s the day and your little slice of genius has been shared with the world. Don’t drop the ball now and let your guest post go unnoticed. It’s time to share, loud and proud what you’ve been up to:

    • Share Guest Posts with Your List. In your next regular communication with your list share your latest guest posts. This builds you up as an expert with a little bit of old fashioned third party credibility. If appropriate, you could also ask them to share the content to their networks.
    • Share on Your Social Networks. Share it widely – vary your intro to it, pull out different things as most appropriate for the platform. Be sure to cover off all of the ones you are active on.
    • Share an Excerpt on your Blog. Just an excerpt with a link back to the original content. Do not post the entire article, because Google has a hate on for duplicate content.
    • Ask Friends and Supporters to Share the Content. Ask for people to share it when appropriate. It’s amazing what can happen when you simply ask. Write the tweet or post for them to make it dead easy for them to share it.
    • Post in Groups. If you are active in Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn groups, you can share the content there as a resource for the other members. If you are going to go this route, make sure you don’t only show up to shamelessly plug yourself.

    A few other things you want to make sure you have on the radar for when the post goes live:

    • Monitor and Respond to Comments. Responding to comments and being active with those engaging with your post is one of the key areas that many guest bloggers miss. This is just good follow-through and helps add to your credibility. Plus, the blog owner will notice if you do or don’t do this.
    • Track Results. In the days following the post, you want to track sign ups to your list, referral traffic and other key metrics. Don’t get too stuck on the numbers, this is more to give you a snapshot, numbers don’t always tell the whole story.

    Ongoing Promotion – Recycling Guest Post Content for Months to Come 
    The true value of any guest post (or media coverage) is what you do with it in the long-term. The majority of the content shared in guest posts is evergreen meaning it has a long shelf-life.

    Here’s some ways to keep your guest post content front and centre for months to come:

    • Use it to Answer Questions. Seek out opportunities to answer questions on your areas of expertise in Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn Groups. Find industry forums or communities to participate in. Your guest post becomes a quick way to answer questions as they arise.
    • Keep on Sharing. As you plan your social media content, add tweets and posts about older guest posts. Think “from the archives” or “you may have missed”. Add something new when you share it to dress it up, or highlight something you think is timely.

    Are you ready to get out there and promote your guest posts? If you have one coming up, create a checklist so you can make the most of it.

how to guest post PR for small business

Guest Posting: Writing and Editing Tips for Your Post

tips for writing a guest blog postLove it. Hate it. Writing is an all too necessary reality when it comes to guest posting. No matter how your feel you’ll need to embrace it wholeheartedly.

That said, it doesn’t have to be a chore. There are some specific things you can do to make your writing comfortable and fun. I know for me, much of the stress around writing comes from being strapped for time and then “having” to write something.

Inspiration doesn’t always strike on a schedule…

Batch it, Baby

By doing solid research and writing pitches, you’ve got a lot of the hard stuff out of the way. So, it’s just a matter of making time to write the post.

Writing is one of those things where you need to get in the groove. So if you can, but aside time every week for writing your guest posts. If you are pitching on an ongoing basis you’ll quickly have a couple to write each week.  By batching them this way you can save time and energy.

Set up shop somewhere that inspires you or at a time of day that you find super productive.  If you get distracted turn off the Internet to help you stay on task.  Just do what you need to do to get the post written and ready to share with the world.

Creating Compelling and Complete Content 

Sure you’ve got your pitch as a starting point, but when you sit down to write, there’s a few things you do not want to miss as part of the writing process.

First stop, SEOville.  That’s right, time to talk keywords:

  • Title: If possible include them in your title for the piece, as close to the beginning of the title as possible.  If you want to learn more about great titles, check out Using Titles Effectively on ProBlogger.

  • Body Copy: Use your keywords throughout your copy but avoid using too many links, particularly back to your web site. This is a complicated issue and really needs its own post, but the bottom line is to not add a whole pile of links back to your web site in the post. If you are interested, you can check out this article from PC World on all the Google ins and outs on backlinks.

Now that we’ve got that pesky SEO stuff out of the way, here are some additional things you need to check as you write your post:

  • Tone: Avoid sounding like a professor. Yes, you want to write with authority, but you want to approach it from the place of “hey, I’ve totally been there” instead of “yo, I’m all-knowing”.

  • Research: Ensure you back up what you are writing as much as possible. It’s not about your opinion but an industry best practice or proven tactic. That’s where statistics, quotes and other things come in handy.

  • Be Specific: Deliver content that readers can take action from instead of talking in generalities. What do you want them to walk away and be able to do?

  • Create Original Content: Whatever you do, do not simply take another blog post you’ve written and slap a new title on it. Google wants original content and you want to serve your desination blog well with quality content not something you grabbed out of the recycle bin.

Edit Like a Pro or At Least Like You Mean It 

Once you have a finished piece, get ready for editing. This is where you should spend the bulk of your time.  The goal is to cut, tighten and improve your copy time and time again. So, last minute Lucy, this is why you do not want to write your guest post the night before the deadline, okay?

For your editing, if you can, trade off with friend or someone with a keen set of eyes. Recruit your VA or business BFF to get them to review and make changes.  A second set of eyes is always a good idea as sloppy mistakes can quickly kill your post if you submit it that way.

Self-editing is always a challenge, so try one of these tried and true editing tricks:

  • Read your text backwards. It’s a great way to find spelling or grammar mistakes.

  • Print it up and read it in hardcopy. It’s easier to see mistakes offline.

  • Read out loud. Does it sound like something you’d actually say? Does it make sense?

Finally, once you’ve written and edited, if you can give the post a day or two to mellow so you can come back to it with a new perspective. This is the perfect way to ensure you can chop sections that aren’t relevant and spiffy things up as you aren’t as attached the product. It’s no longer the masterpiece you just wrote but that post you are working on so you can definitely polish it up.  Good luck!


how to guest post PR for small business

Guest Posting: Avoiding Looking Like the Freakin’ Amateur Hour

If you’ve done your research and taken the time to write a pitch that is targeted to the audience, you should be confident about sending your pitch.  I get all the mental stuff that goes with pitching, because after 15 years of pitching the media, I still get a feeling in my gut.   It’s a cocktail of excitement with a sprinkling of the “what ifs”.

The good news for you is that we are doing this pitch on email, so really you only have a few possible outcomes:

1. They like the pitch and say yes.

2. They like your pitch and forget to respond to you.

3. They don’t think it’s a fit and delete it.

Not so scary now is it? You can totally deal with being deleted.  No pain in that one.  You won’t even know about it.

Notice I didn’t say anything about being yelled at or publicly called out? If you’ve followed along with the past few posts, you are going to be pitching the right way. I’ve got you covered. So no fear of ending up on the Bad Pitch Blog or being the subject of Ash Ambridge’s ire.

Before You Hit Send on the Pitch – The Top Five Check List

So, you’ve got your pitch, you are nearly ready to hit send, so here’s your last minute checklist to ensure you don’t come off looking like the freakin’ amateur hour. Hard to look like an expert when you make rookie mistakes, right?

1. No Dear Editor. Make sure you are pitching the right person and using their name.  Do everything you can to find the name instead of just sending them to “hi editor”.  Double check spelling and names.

2. Review Guidelines. Do a quick review on any guidelines they may have to ensure your pitch complies.

3. Have a Clear Subject Line.  This is not the time to get all cute and clever. Be clear with your subject line using something like Idea for Guest Post or Proposed Guest Post for X Site.

4. Proof It.  Double, triple, and quadruple check that your pitch is correct and complete.  Typos are a deal breaker.

5. Send More than the Pitch. Remember you want to send an intro, your pitch, your two line bio and a couple writing samples. Make it simple for them to say yes to your guest post.

Are you ready to hit send? Do it, you’ve got nothing to lose and expert status to gain. Deep breath and go!

If they don’t get right back to you, do not despair. How many unread emails do you have in your inbox. Exactly! Your pitch probably hasn’t been read or was missed. After a week or two, go back and follow-up to see if they are interested. The key is to be gentle.  Usually then they will get back to you with a yay or nay.

If they don’t get back to you, feel free to recycle the pitch for another target. Whatever you do just don’t threaten to do this in your follow-up pitch, because that’s like stomping your feet because you are pissy. Not cool.

The key to great guest post pitching is to be professional and patient. And just know that not every single pitch will be a success. It’s all part of the game.


how to guest post PR for small business

Writing Your Guest Post Pitches: Why Pitching is Like Dating

Once you’ve done your homework and figured out where to guest post, now you’ll need to start working on your pitches.

Before you start sending pitches, you may want to spend sometime connecting with the people you are going to pitch.  Start by following them on Twitter, engaging on their blog by commenting and getting on their email list.

The goal, if possible, is to make yourself a “known” entity before you land in their inbox.

 In doing this, be genuine, because fakery and B.S. can be smelled a mile away. And then your guest post efforts are going nowhere fast.

Think of dating – people know when people are desperate, right. Total turnoff! If you were meeting Ryan Gosling, would you go all fan girl, or would you play it cool?  Experts add value, but they don’t go all fan girl.

Remember, good relationships are built over time and are based on trust.  Being helpful, knowledgable and of service can go a long way to helping your business in the long-term.

Be Unique – Create Stories that Sell 

As part of your preparation you should have developed specific stories for you guest posting. So before you  start writing your pitch,  do a full search on the blog/site you are targeting and make sure they have not had this story appear on their site before.   If they have, find an approach that will make it fresh and new.  Create a story you can sell.

If the blog has already done this topic to death, they are going to delete your pitch as you aren’t saying anything new.  True experts have something new and interesting to say, so take your expert status seriously.

Elements of Your Successful Pitch

For each of your desired targets, you will want to prepare:

  • Title of your post

  • Summary paragraph outlining the key points for your story

  • Short two line bio that jives with their site

  • Links to your best writing samples

The bulk of your time should be spent on creating a short and impactful summary paragraph that sells your story.  Remember, you want to establish the issue and outline what you are going to talk about in your story. Keep pitches short, short, short. (Seriously, I mean short!)

People skim over emails, so you are going to lose the blogger/editor if you send an epic pitch.  If they want more detail, they will ask for it.

Your bio should be short and to the point as well. Give them enough to know that you are qualified to write on the topic you are pitching and have experience in your field. Two lines maximum.

More than anything, pitching is about providing everything they need so they know they can trust you to execute and you are legit. Before you send that pitch, consider things from the decision maker’s point of view – is your pitch correct and complete, are you credible, are you professional? If you can cross those things off the list, you’ll greatly increase your chances of success.

how to guest post PR for small business

Preparing For Your Guest Posts: Sydney Bristow Spy Style

find places to guest postAre you ready to start guest posting?

Before you can really get going, you’ll need to channel your inner super spy so you can sleuth out some seriously sassy guest posting targets.

This is probably going to be one of the most time consuming phases of the guest posting process, but it will be well worth it.

Are you ready to get all bad ass like Sydney Bristow? (Yep, I was just waiting to drop in an Alias reference.)

Where Should I Guest Post?

A lot of marketing experts and blogging gurus will tell you to only go after “authority” sites with lots of traffic.  Solid advice because you totally want the maximum number of eyeballs on that post and driving traffic back to your site.

But it is also misleading, as you are often going to need to a certain level of credibility in your niche to be accepted to post on these sites. Not to mention, a smaller, highly focused site can go a long way to helping you reach customers in your sweet spot.

If you are just starting out and have never had a guest post published, focusing only on higher authority sites is likely going to be a recipe for frustration. Insert banging head against desk here.

Smart entrepreneurs like you don’t have time for that. You need to be making progress and building up a body of work for your “as seen on” page.

Start with some smaller, more targeted sites ones and then work on pitching the big kahunas.   This gives you time to learn the guest posting process and avoid rookie mistakes. I’m all for the stretch goal, but you don’t want to choke on your first big mission, right?

Already been guest posting for a while? This means you have published posts you can share when you are pitching, so look for targets where you can play a little bigger. Maybe a more general site in your area of expertise or even a higher tier business site.

Keeping Track of Opportunities

Before you jump in, you want to create a place to keep track of any and all opportunities you find. Create a spreadsheet and include details such as site address, contact, link, guidelines, page rank, Alexa rank, any story ideas you have and notes.

How Do I Find Guest Posting Opportunities?

There’s many ways to go about researching opportunities, but my favorite way to find guest post opportunities is to reverse engineer the process. Find top bloggers in your target market and go to their media pages and see where they have guest posted.   Check out where your competitors have been guest posting. By using this approach you’ll save yourself a lot of research as you’ll know most of those sites are open to guest posting.

Another sure-fire way to find them is Google. Use the main search and the blog search function and then topics you want to write about as your keywords.  Simple.

Try using a few different tactics to seek out your information such as:

        • Questions – how to, why, what

        • Tips – tips for, five easy steps for, three tips for, top 10

        • Common Search Terms – use variations on common search terms people would use searching for information on this topic. For example, for guest blog posting, I may search for blogs focusing on PR, marketing, online marketing, blogging, search. Think of all the adjacent areas.

Also, you want to go back to your story ideas from the storytelling worksheet. Do you have an idea outside of your niche that you feel passionate about and want to pitch? Look for specific targets using your story ideas. Perhaps you want to write about tips for working moms, as most of your clients are busy moms.  So you’ll use search terms related to working moms like work/life balance, mom blogs, and more.

Next Steps: Determining Your Top Five

You’ve done all the hard work, so now you want to pick five of your targets that you’ll work on preparing pitches for.  The rest of the targets you can file and save for later as you don’t want to create a situation where you pitch 10 at once and spend two straight weeks writing guest posts. (Unless you have time for that, but I’m guessing you likely don’t as you have a business to run.)

Great research will help you feel much more confidence about the pitching process, so time spent before your start pitching is time well-spent.

how to guest post

Get Ready to Fuel Your Fame with Guest Posting


September is here, which means it is the perfect time to create a game plan and get moving so you meet your 2013 goals!  Before you call me on on a total and complete cliche, hear me out.

It’s a cliche, because it is TRUE. For reals. 100% correct. Something magical happens with back to school. Think back to when you were a kid.  The anticipation and excitement of a new year…oh the possibilities!

As an “adult” – we feel it too. We’ve all been conditioned, so why fight it?

So, let’s capitalize on that excitement and do something good for your biz.

All month long I’m offering a free course all about guest posting that you won’t want to miss. I’m going to walk you through the process of researching, pitching and writing your guest posts.  I’m not making this stuff up either.  I didn’t just wake up one day and think…hey, I’m going to teach fellow entrepreneurs how to guest post.

What I’m sharing is based on years of actual work I’ve done as a PR pro in the trenches. Stuff my corporate clients pay the big bucks for.  All in a bite sized, entrepreneur-friendly package.

Guest posting like most parts of PR is totally something you can do yourself. However, you need to do it RIGHT.  Some discipline will help keep you out of the pitching black hole, or even worse being slaughtered publicly as having a “bad pitch”.  That’s not to scare you, but rather to reinforce that there’s some steps you want to follow as part of your outreach to bloggers. And not to worry, we’ll make this fun!

You may be thinking, hey lady, I know what I’m doing already.  Great, then play along and pick up a couple tips and tricks. Or you haven’t even started and you want to throw up when you think about guest blog posts.  Awesome. Let’s get you going!

I want to address a few quick things before we dive in. First, when I say fame, I don’t mean the paparazzi following you kind. I mean the kind where you are known and respected as an expert. (Can I just say, I don’t even like the words fame or the word expert, but they are the most apt terms, so I need to use them.)  In short, fame = where you are credible and people trust you to deliver your product or service to them. No glitz, no glamour, just business success on your terms.

What you can expect is four weeks of cheat sheets and content to help you make this a priority and make it happen for your business. Content for you to action now and get results.

I am going to be straight up so there’s no confusion, because there’s nothing I hate more than free content with a hard, cheesy sales pitch at the end. It’s not how I roll, or how I want to do business with any of you. I respect you too much for that garbage.

Fuel Your Fame is the “light” version of the Guest Posting Workshop I’ll be leading in October. And by light, I do not mean fluffy. I mean it is a taste of just some of the awesomeness that will be the Guest Posting Workshop.  It is your way to get started, figure out if I’m a “fit” for you or if you need the workshop at all.  No BS. No obligation either.

Are you ready to rock your world with guest posting?  Get yourself signed up below and watch your inbox on Thursday for all the details!


how to guest post PR for small business

Guest Blog Posting: Nailing Down Your Stories

There are probably a million and one reasons why you should be guest blog posting, many of which we had a heart to heart about in this post.

I’m willing to bet there’s a billion more reasons why you’ve not already started.  I totally get it. Many of them are legit like what on earth would I pitch? How do I pitch so I don’t become the object of a nasty tweet or even worse, blog post railing against bad pitching?

Totally legit. You want to go pro, so let’s lay some groundwork so you can get going already.

Start at the beginning – before you can pitch, before you can write a post, you need a story.  And not just one your mama wants to read.

It needs to connect with real trends, issues, fears, while not being the same old, same old.

Your story doesn’t need to be revolutionary. But it does need to offer something unique.

That’s why you actually need to do a bit of planning now before you get into the weeds of pitching and posting.

Pulling Your Story Together with Grace and Style  

When it comes to PR in general, this is where a freak out is most apt to occur. It’s totally natural and entirely expected.

Storytelling is a process.  That’s why corporations spend thousands and sometimes millions of dollars on things like strategic corporate messaging and brand strategy. These are some fancy terms for learning how to create and tell stories.

Stories are what people engage with and attach to. Powerful, powerful, stuff, which is why you can’t skip this step.

But let’s get back to reality where you aren’t spending a cool million to hammer out your story. Back here in reality, let’s work through what may have you close to the edge. (I have Grandmaster Flash rolling through my head at this moment. I wonder if I can use a funk/disco reference every blog post.)

Here’s the three most common freak outs along with some practicalities so you can tell a kickin’ story with grace and style:

Freak Out #1: I Have No Story

If this is your deal, we need to talk. Take a deep breath.

Go back to the beginning.

Questions to Ask:  Why did you start your business? What do you do? Who do you serve?

Work through those points and you’ll start to see your story taking shape. This should not be the whole story, but gives you some clues as to where you should be heading. Read on for more on how to build from there.

Freak Out #2: What Do You Mean It’s Not New or Unique?

Know you aren’t alone, because this is probably one of the most common ones when it comes to storytelling. As an entrepreneur, we live in a bubble where we live, breathe and literally eat our own brand and value.

The result is the possibility of being so far up our own, ahem, derrieres, that we don’t really know what is going on around us. We don’t realize that our most common stories are O.V.E.R.

As you map out your story, do some homework to make sure your big idea hasn’t already been done to death or so two years ago.   Google it and then Google it some more.

Does every story you tell need to be 100% new? Definitely not, but it should be unique in some way.

Questions to Ask: What’s your unique take on this? What makes this different? What do you do better than anyone else? And what do your customers tell you?

Freak Out #3: I Have Story Overload

This may seem like a “good” problem to have, but this is a challenge as when you have too many stories it can be a clear signl that your business or ideal customer is too broad. The key for story development for your guest posting is to have laser-like focus.

Questions to Ask: What specific niche or even sub niche do I focus on? What specific types of people are my ideal customer? Who are my clients today and what type of media do they consume? What ideas resonate with them?

Your goal here is to pick two or three specific areas to focus on or types of ideal customers.

Take the rest of your ideas and park the other ideas in the “later” category.  That will give you freedom to get super clear on what stories will be impactful and timely for your customers.

Preparing to Tell Your Story 

Storytelling may not come naturally to you, but know that the stronger your brand and clarity around what you  do, things will be so much easier.  At the end of this you should have some broad story angles along with some audiences determined.  Write them out. Save them so you have them ready for when you start writing pitches.

Trust me, you want to nail this piece down so that you are able to figure out your next step…where should I guest post?  The pain of nailing this all down now will help you save time later and make you into a star that much faster.