Be their guest, and let them put your service to the test.
Though hosts usually do most, if not all, the work, when they have guests, being a guest content creator usually requires you to do the work.
You could be a guest on someone else’s podcast or livestream. You could write an article for their blog or newsletter. You could present at their event. (And remember, guests don’t typically pay [or are paid.])
But guesting can be worth the effort. Creator Gregory Ciotta says it helped his newsletter grow to 36K. Neil Patel calls guest blogging the best inbound marketing strategy (with the data to prove it.)
It’s a no-cost public relations tool. Think of it as a trade – you provide content and the host provides access to their audience.Think of guesting as a no-cost #PR tool: You provide content and the host provides access to their audience, says @AnnGynn. #ContentBusiness #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
Success, though, only has a chance if you find the best opportunities for your goals and deliver the best guest experience to your hosts. Let’s go through some advice for this type of PR.
Set your guesting goals: What do you want to achieve? New traffic to your site? Backlinks to help boost for SEO? More subscribers to your newsletter? Increased downloads of your podcast? Increased credibility to attract brand sponsorships? Reach an underserved niche in your community?
Once you know what you want to get out of guesting, you can move on to identify brands and fellow creators whose content products can help you do that.
List guesting possibilities: With your parameters identified, research brands and creators who are reaching the audience you want to connect with.
Narrow the list to the most relevant: Just because you want to reach their audience doesn’t mean it’s possible. Do some homework. Are they credible? Do they seem to have the audience you want?
TIP: Visit their community platforms to see if they interact with their fans, what people are talking about, etc.
Identify their content format: The Tilt founder Joe Pulizzi says he’s found the best results from guesting on the same content format. If you have a podcast, be a podcast guest. If you have a blog, be a guest blogger.Match your guest content to your format. That's what @JoePulizzi says he's found works best. If you have a podcast, be a podcast guest. If you have a blog, be a guest blogger. #guestblogging #creatoreconomy #PR Click To Tweet
Does the podcast or livestream include guests? Does the blog include bylines from outside their brand? Often, the content product’s website will identify guest opportunities. (At The Tilt, we post our guest blogging guidelines.)
TIP: If you see the brand uses guests for their content but can’t find the parameters, reach out to them. Just make sure you’re specific to their brand. Otherwise, your inquiry will get lost in the sea of “guest blogging requests” that appear (even when the site doesn’t have a blog.)
Connect in their community: Let them get to know you first. If you interact in their communities, offering helpful advice, interesting quips, etc., you’re more likely to be known by the publishing brand. Then, when they see your name come through in a guesting request, they’re more likely to take notice. (It’s also a good step to getting their audience to know you as well.)
Create what they want: Don’t forget you’re creating this content for them, not you and your brand. Still keep your goals in mind but write on the topics or angles they want. Deliver it in the format they requested. Do your homework and, if being interviewed, be prepared to answer their questions.
TIP: Ask (or read their guidelines) to know the parameters. Not every site allows external links in guest posts nor does every podcast allow guest to make promotional mentions. promotional mentions in podcasts.Don't forget guest content is for the hosts, not you and your content brand, but it should still align with your reason for marketing, says @AnnGynn. #guestblogging #marketing #creators Click To Tweet
Promote your guest content: You can do double duty when you promote your guest content. You let your audience see a third party sees value in what you create, which improves your credibility. And you can help your content hosts get additional promotion for their sites, podcasts, etc. Just make sure to tag them on social.
TIP: Create a media or in-the-news section on your website. Use it as a repository for your guest content (and any other PR you get). Post a description and a link to your guest content.
One more thing
Don’t be a pest. I once had someone sent 17 emails within the first five days after they submitted. And that was after I shared the guidelines that said we review submissions every couple of weeks. You don’t want your name to get remembered for the wrong reasons.
Resist that urge. Often, the volume of requests – and all the other work they’re doing – means they may take a week or two to review it. If you haven’t heard in that time frame, follow up with a polite email. If you don’t hear back for a few weeks, feel free to submit that content to someone who might be more interested.
About the author
Ann regularly combines words and strategy for B2B, B2C, and nonprofits, continuing to live up to her high school nickname, Editor Ann. An IABC Communicator of the Year and founder of G Force Communication, Ann coaches and trains professionals in all things content. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.