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The Internet is full of bloggers, from industry leaders to your neighbors, and everyone has something to say — if you want them to lend you their platform, you’re going to have to go about it the right way.

Whether you’re trying to promote your home business Get It Right: 5 Creative Ways To Promote Your Home Business Online Get It Right: 5 Creative Ways To Promote Your Home Business Online Just because your business is not an Internet business doesn't mean you can ignore the Web. Here are some simple ways that anybody can utilize the Internet for some affordable business exposure. Read More , establish yourself as an expert, get more Twitter followers 8 More Tips to Generate Lots of Twitter Followers 8 More Tips to Generate Lots of Twitter Followers We won’t get a ton of Twitter followers because of a famous surname. We have to work our asses off before we cross and starting causing a few fail whales to show up on Twitter.... Read More , or just make a little bit of cash, guest blogging is a great strategy. Want to get your foot in the door? Here are some strategies that will help.

Write Well

This is very crucial. There’s a lot of bad writing on the Internet, and adding more of it won’t impress anybody. Practice your writing, improve your skills, and make sure that you either have access to a good editor or that you are a good one yourself.

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Getting a guest post is hard enough — don’t make it harder on yourself with bad writing. You can start by checking out these tools that will help you write better Write More Good: 7 Free Online Tools To Ensure You Use Proper English Write More Good: 7 Free Online Tools To Ensure You Use Proper English Improper use of English is one of my pet peeves. I’m not a full-blown "grammar nazi" (a colloquialism for someone very strict with grammar) but it does irk me. An exception can be made for... Read More . At the very least, proofread your pitch and your post a few times and have a friend look at it too.

Make Yourself Known

When it comes down to it, the objective of guest blogging is to get your name out there as someone who has useful things to contribute. Whether you’re contributing to a controversial discussion, suggesting a solution to a problem, or just adding to general knowledge, the important thing is to show people that what you have to say is worth reading.

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What many people don’t realize is that you often have to do this before you start guest blogging. If you want a guest post on someone else’s website, you have to show them you care about the subject and have interesting, useful things to say. One of the most natural ways of doing this is by becoming a part of that blog’s community.

By regularly commenting on a blogger’s posts, you can show them that you’re interested in their area, that you value what they’re saying, and that you have interesting contributions to make. If you engage a blogger in conversation via the comments on their blog, you’ll go a long way toward getting yourself an invitation for a guest post.

Show What You Can Do

Getting your name out there is important, but it’s also important that you make sure people know you can generate high-quality content that others want to read. The best way to do this is to have your own blog that has a lot of readers. Obviously, this isn’t easy.

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Another strategy that you can use to is to develop a following on social media. This isn’t exactly easy either, but if you start sharing useful information How to Write Tweets That Your Followers Will Want To Retweet How to Write Tweets That Your Followers Will Want To Retweet If you do it right, you could go viral on Twitter. Twitter is one of the fastest ways you could go viral today. The key? Write compelling tweets that others will want to share. Read More and curating good links on Twitter or Google+, people will want to keep track of what you’re putting out there.

What’s important here isn’t that you’re a world-renowned expert, but that you have at least a few examples of good content and that people want to read what you write or share.

Find Out Who’s Looking

Guest blogging isn’t always a matter of convincing people to give you a chance — in many cases, there’s an easier way. A lot of bloggers, whether they want to keep the content on their site fresh or want to expand their reach, are openly looking for guest bloggers. You just have to figure out who they are.

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Often, this just involves looking at the contact page for your favorite blog and clicking on “write for us.” You’ll usually see an application form or instructions on how to get in touch with a pitch (I’ll be discussing how to pitch a guest blog in a future article). Just follow the instructions.

You can also take a look at job boards like the ones at ProBlogger or BloggingPro, where people post requests for bloggers. The listings include full- and part-time opportunities, PR positions, and marketing gigs in addition to guest blogs, so you should be able to find a variety of opportunities that you might be interested in.

Introduce Yourself

You can also take the initiative and introduce yourself to a blogger who you think might be interested in having you write a guest post. This is the most direct way, and it can be a bit intimidating. It doesn’t always work, but if you can show that you can add a lot of value to the blog, you might have a shot!

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Your introduction e-mail doesn’t have to be extravagant, and doesn’t need to contain much more than this:

  • Greeting
  • Thanks for publishing an awesome blog
  • I’d love to help out in any way I can / I have some great ideas
  • Links to a past post or two, if possible
  • Thanks again

Keep in mind that bloggers get tons of e-mails every day, and a lot of them will be asking for something. “Review my product,” “link to my site,” and similar requests will get deleted immediately, especially if that blogger has much of a following.

By being extra thankful and offering to help, you’ll stand out from the crowd.

Start Small

If the first e-mail you send is to Lifehacker or Huffington Post, you’re not going to get anywhere unless you’re an extremely established blogger with a huge following. Find smaller blogs in the area you’re interested in and start there. You don’t get to start at the top, but you might just be able to work your way there!

Conclusion

Guest blogging can be a tough thing to start, but by going about it intelligently, you’re more likely to succeed. There are a lot of great places to get more information about guest blogging — my favorite is Sophie Lizard’s guide to 57 sites that pay $50 for posts, which you receive for free when you sign up for the newsletter at Be A Freelance Blogger.

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The most important thing in kicking off your guest-blogging career is to be persistent. You may have to send out dozens of e-mails and applications before you get even a minimal response, but don’t give up! Stick with it and eventually you’ll find someone who values your opinion and your writing enough to offer you a post.

Have you done any guest blogging? What’s the most useful advice that anyone has given you on how to get started?

Image credits: mkhmarketing via Flickr, Nic McPhee via Flickr, JD Hancock via Flicker, Michael Coghlan via Flickr, Wesley Fryer via Flickr.

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