Over the last several months, I’ve given my writing portfolio a tremendous boost. I’ve also widened my circle of influence and increased my income.
And I did it all using a secret weapon: the guest post.
My first guest post was here on Nukeblogger. I didn’t have any experience writing for a blog, but I gave it my best shot. I emailed Ryan with my idea, and he kindly responded with the go-ahead. That idea turned into series of posts on running a Fiverr business.
Ever since then, I’ve been able to guest post for other wonderful sites, like The Penny Hoarder and HowlRound. (I wholeheartedly recommend checking out both sites.) Along the way, I’ve added to my portfolio and increased my digital presence. Guest posting is a terrific way to grow as a writer and draw more attention to your writing.
Here are four reasons why I guest post (and why you should):
1. Writing a guest post boosts your credibility.
As an upcoming writer, I didn’t have much work under my own name. I had one bio to display in my portfolio, and that was about it.
Being published on Nukeblogger allowed me to gain instant credibility because I posted on an established blog with an audience. The byline gave me an additional entry into my portfolio and thus more credibility.
Tip: It’s better to guest post on little-known sites than to not guest post at all. If you’re still an emerging writer, it may be wise to reach out to several smaller sites that will give you a byline with your post. Make sure the sites are professional ones that you can proudly reference later on in your career.
2. Writing a guest post enhances your writing skills.
I’ve written a variety of guest posts that deal with all kinds of topics, from brand development to playing cards. By writing about different subjects, I’ve trained different writing muscles. As a result, I’ve grown as a writer.
In particular, I’ve learned a lot from the editing my posts have gone through. Even as a professional writer, I sometimes don’t phrase things as simply or as nicely as possible. Seeing which parts of my writing were edited helps me get a sense of my weak areas.
Writing is something you have to practice over and over to get it right. Writing guest posts has given me ample writing practice and strengthened my skill set.
3. Writing a guest post establishes you as a valuable resource.
Writing a guest post certifies your value in two ways. When readers go to their favorite blog and see your guest post, they are automatically biased toward liking it. Since they trust the blog as a reliable source of quality information, they’ll go into your guest post with that mindset.
Furthermore, writing a guest post establishes your value to the blog’s team, which can be wonderful. If the team likes your guest post, they might ask you to write more for them. That’s exactly how I came to be an editor here at Nukeblogger.
Since connections are so vital when it comes to blogging, becoming a valuable resource to a blog is huge step forward. Many blogs and sites hire writers who have contributed in the past. If you guest post once, try pitching another guest post to the same site. Developing a work relationship with a site will work entirely to your advantage.
4. Writing a guest post can generate extra income and/or exposure.
Generally, sites that accept guest posts offer two forms of compensation: cash or a link to your site. Depending on your goals, both can be beneficial. Some places offer both, though it’s rare.
If you’re looking to make some extra cash by guest posting, know that it’s a completely practical plan. Over the last few months, I’ve made $200 by guest posting. Depending on the frequency of your guest posting, you could accumulate thousands of extra dollars a year.
Tip: If you’re an up-and-coming writer with something to say about blogging or freelancing, consider contributing a guest post to Nukeblogger! It comes with tons of perks, and we’re lots of fun to work with.
Bonus: Pitching a guest post trains your communication skills.
Pitches are scary. You can spend valuable time writing the world’s best pitch only to have it rejected. No writer is comfortable with pitches right off the bat (pun intended), so it’s important to practice by doing it. A lot.
If your pitch is successful, you can analyze it to see what worked and use those elements in the future. Likewise, if your pitch flopped, you can dissect it to learn what you could do better next time.
After a few successful pitches, your pitching voice will be refined, and talking to editors will be easier than ever. You can then pitch more well-known publications, and you’ll have a much better chance of being able to guest post there. Pitching a guest post for a medium-sized blog is much less stressful than pitching The New Yorker, and it will allow you to build confidence and skill.
Do you guest post? Are you struggling to get your name out there? Share your story in the comments.