IFB's Introductory Guide to Accepting Guests Posts For Your Fashion Blog.
I penned a blog post about growing your audience that sparked some conversation in the comments about the idea of guest posting.
If you're anything like me, your inbox is filled with emails from random people. And they're all asking if they can write a guest blog on your site. In order to clear up any confusion and to help you field these requests, I've partnered with IFB to create a guide on the topic.
Check out IFB's “Guide on Accepting Guests Posts For Your Fashion Blog” below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Introductory Guide to Accepting Guests Posts for Your Fashion Blog, by PR Couture's Crosby Noricks
Different Types of Guest Post Requests…
In my experience, there are three main types of people who will reach out to you to write a guest post on your blog. The two main motivations of each of these groups are exposure and links. A guest article will introduce the author to your readers. If they like what they read, they (hopefully) will also follow the author on social media and read their blog. The guest post will also include links. These links will help drive traffic back to the guest poster's website, but these inbound links will help with that websites search ranking. This process of getting links on other websites is called link-building, and it's a core component of how SEO experts help companies, blogs etc rank higher in search engines.
Guest Post from Other Bloggers or Freelance Writers
The best scenario is for another blogger to email you with an idea for a guest post. Ideally, this person already has a strong social media following. They're probably looking to get in front of your audience, by sharing an article they've written for the byline and short bio with a link to their blog. On PR Couture, we have a subhead underneath the article title that reads “A PR Couture Guest Article By Lady Gaga” that typically follows a guest post. And then at the end of the article it says “About Lady Gaga,” and includes a few sentences about the author and a link back to her website.
Again, the key benefit is that the blogger gets in front of your audience, and, by promoting her guest post, she will likely send some of her own readers over to discover your blog, and hopefully become loyal readers.
Here is a sample pitch that resulted in my acceptance of a guest post…
My name is [name withheld] and I'm a Publicist here in the [location withheld] area. I am looking to gain exposure for myself and my brand and this is the reason for my email today. I specialize in fashion, beauty and entertainment PR and would love to become a contributing writer for PR Couture. It would be an amazing opportunity to write for you guys, as I follow the blog and I'm also subscribed to newsletters. Please see below for writing samples.
Looking forward to working with you soon.
For someone looking to become a recurring writer, I often respond by asking them to pitch a few ideas they think would fit. I then choose one and work with them on that post. If all goes well I might ask them to stay on and continue to contribute to the site.
Guest Posts from Link-Builders…
The most common type of request you are probably getting are from individuals who purport to be freelance writers, but are actually attempting to place articles on blogs are part of a link-building SEO strategy. These guest post requests come in several forms, but the are often easy to spot because they will likely not use your name in their inquiry. They can also be overly formal or just plain bizarre.
Here is a sample pitch, that I recently received from a Link-Builder…
A very good Afternoon to you! It was a great pleasure to read your blog http://www.prcouture.com/. I believe the articles which I have on “Fashion, Beauty, lifestyle, Shopping” will certainly grab the attention of your visitors. So, I am really eager to know whether you will be interested enough to accept the articles as guest posts. You can also provide me other topics if you want to.
In case you have any query or you need some information, you can certainly email me whenever you feel like. I will really be waiting to hear from you. Thank you once again for your delightful blog.
N.B:- I would like to request you for a bit of free by-line exposure and also a link to the site for which I blog.
This example is a quick delete for me…
It's not always so easy to spot these types of emails. Many will have a fake Google profile (even fake social media links) and might also include articles published on other sites. What's the trick to spotting them? Somewhere in the email, there will likely be a sentence saying that they will provide the article. All they'll want in return is for you to link back to their website, in the article.
Now, it's not always the worst idea to work with someone seeking to build links, if they represent a website that is a fit for your community. This just seems to be rarely the case. I can always spot someone with an ulterior motive when they reach out to me and suggest writing a fashion or style post like “5 Summer Accessories,” as this shows me they clearly don't have any idea what type of things we actually cover on PR Couture.
Guest Posts from Brands
Guest posts can also be a strategy employed by a brand that is looking to get the word out about a new product, build links back to their website, or demonstrate thought leadership. If you receive a request from a brand to write a guest post on your blog, it's worth it to ask if they have any budget – as these types of guest articles are essentially advertorials – you are giving up space on your blog for pre-written content, which is advertising. Of course, if it's the right brand and the right article idea, it's up to you to figure out what makes the most sense.
Developing A Guest Post Policy
If you do decide you want to open up your blog to guest posts, there are a few things you should do first.
Create A Contributor Style Guide
You have a particular voice and tone on your blog, and it's important that anyone writing an article for you understand your brand personality. Of course, one of the great benefits of inviting someone to guest post is the ability to expand that a little (perhaps your new writer is incredibly funny, or a great photographer), but they should know your guidelines. Here is a link to the PR Couture contributor guidelines, for your reference. We created the document for our regular writers, but I have taken to sharing it with anyone who writes a guest post for us, just to give them as much information as possible about what I am expecting. This cuts also cuts down on revisions. Speaking of…
Clarify The Revisions, Editing & Review Process
If someone is writing an article for your site, I believe that you should still retain full editorial oversight. This means making any edits or notes on a draft article before publishing. Clarify with your guest author that you will review a first draft. Then, send them an updated draft for approval before publishing.
Have A Promotional Plan in Place
Support your guest post by making sure you promote it throughout the week that it goes live. Tag the author's social media handle in tweets, Instagram stories, etc.
The idea behind guest articles is that you get content for your readers to enjoy (that you don't have to write!). In return, it's nice to thank your writer by acknowledging him or her in social media.
What other questions do you have about requests to write guest posts for your blog? Let us know in the comments below.
This post was originally written by Crosby Noricks and was published on February 13th, 2017. It was updated on November 17th, 2017 by Laura Kell.