Your goat decided to start a new adventure with writing by contributing to other blogs. What a fine and swell idea, a very popular one these days. However, it’s hard to get to the proverbial greener side. Editors get a lot of guest post ideas – their inbox is an endless pit of “3 innovative, never before seen, great ideas for posts.”
But you’re better than your goat. There is much more to you, an established writer, right? Thought so. Which is why in case you’d like to help Murray, Finn, or whatever your goat’s name is – here’s how you should prepare him for the guest writing journey:
1. Who is Murray trying to reach?
The number one mistake potential guest writers make is not knowing the company they’re trying to reach. I don’t mean that you need to know the name, address, and favorite coffee order of the entire content team, but it just does not look ok if you can’t even remember how to spell the name of the blog.
GetResponse is not necessarily the hardest name to spell, but we’ve had a chuckle or two over some misspellings (or blatant changes in our name) like:
- Get Response
- Got Response
- Get the Response (my personal favorite)
Although accidents happen and everyone can understand that Murray might eat one letter and write to GetReponse, he might be taken less seriously with Got Response.
Since it is Murray that showed interest, it would put him on top of the “awesome goats” list if he read up on the blog and/or business he’s trying to read. Furthermore – it doesn’t hurt to proofread the email! Autocorrect or caffeinated fingers tend to cook up more than a fair share of crazy words. If it makes Murray feel better – I’m one of those people who’s computer turns “Hey Chris” into “Hey Christ”, so proofreading is almost necessary.
It’s the little things that count. I guess misspelling GetResponse or writing my name wrong will make him more memorable – but is this the way to go about it? I’d say no. Charm people with your knowledge, presence, and great ideas!
2. Does Murray know the blog’s audience?
It’s one thing to let Murray eat a letter or two, but it’s another to let him email editors without knowing their brand. Don’t let the goat email, tweet at, or stalk different blogs just because they have lots of shares and readers. It’s great to be visible everyone, but it’s better to be “famous” on blogs that share your expertise.
Craft titles that won’t just fill the void. Empty topics are quickly recognized and no blog will take Murray seriously. We want to help writers share their knowledge and their insights in a field that we see them excel in!
Train Murray to be an expert in one field or industry. Help him become the voice of reason that will be able to bring in valuable information to a specific targeted group. Read a few posts, see what the tone of voice is like, make sure that your goat understands how the posts are crafted and at what audience. A social media marketer won’t be as interested in new WordPress plugins as a content marketer might be.
3. Can Murray follow guidelines?
Once you get him past the gatekeepers of the content calendar, make sure that Murray reads the guidelines. What does the editing team ask for? Are there any guideline points that are not clear? Reach out and ask for more info – editors don’t bite!
Too often, writers send back texts that have numerous mistakes that could have been spared if they just read the guidelines. Missing an Oxford comma here or there will fly, but quoting competition or adding linking to a personal website every other sentence? Not so much.
As you will see with every step in this post – get Murray to reach out to the editor! We love goats, we are more than happy to help. Keep in mind that sometimes we take a day or two to email you back, but know that your email is certainly flagged in our email accounts and we remember about you 🙂
4. Is Murray able to keep up with the due dates?
Hey, we’re all busy people, right? So make sure that Murray doesn’t keep the editor waiting, due dates are there for a reason. Keep tabs on the progress or dates but using tools like Trello, Wunderlist, CoSchedule, or Todoist.
And as with every post – it’s always better to let the editor know that something came up, than to leave them hanging and emailing you every hour. A simple “I had an emergency, I’m sorry I can’t make the deadline, I will be in touch when I can get a hold of my computer. – Sent from my iPhone” will do.
5. Will Murray be part of the conversation?
Not every blog will ask of Murray to share the post via his social media, or even to take part in conversation that might arise under his text. However, that being said, it’s always nice to see Murray share his work.
What’s more, get Murray to talk! It’s always nice for the reader to see a response from the author himself. As an author he might offer more insights and quick tips than the editor ever could on his own. We love seeing people interact, even with us!
May the guidelines be with your goat
Hey, work is always easier when you have a map to follow. The geography of guest blogging is fairly simple if you have the right guide(lines). Never be afraid to ask the editor for advice. Sometimes you may not understand the rules – we get that, so we’re here to help. Better yet, you might have a very outside of the box idea about goats and blogging that might not be on the list of topics!
Editors are people with giant content hearts, funny bones, and minds that can foresee the future. We will know if your idea has potential, even if it does sound crazy. Once in a while the crazy ideas are the best ones, let us help you change the face of the Internet with them!
So, write like a human (or a goat?), for a human, and cross to the writing side of the force. You like writing? We like guest bloggers!
Seriously. We’re waiting (look below) to hear from you! Guest contributions are always welcome. We love content and we enjoy working with new guest bloggers. If you have an idea, a question, or a post that will change marketing as we know it, fill out the form and we’ll be in touch soon!