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8 steps to writing a great guest blog post

How to write a guest blog

The famous Countdown clock is ticking and you're trying to find a 9-letter word when you realise it's the numbers round. Panic sets in. What are you going to do? You have to come up with something but you don't even know where to start....

The same feeling of dread can be induced when invited to write a guest post for someone else's blog. They've asked you because you're the authority on a subject, but now that you're sitting in front of a blank computer screen, you don't know what to do.

Welcome to our 8 steps to writing a great guest post. Partners of GrowthFunders are invited to write guest posts for our blog in order to educate readers on a relevant topic. This is meant as a guide for writing a post which could help you, the writer, to attract interest from potential customers. If you’re new to the world of blogging, I hope you'll find it useful. Alternatively, you may already be a business blog expert, in which case, we'd love to hear your feedback. Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment in the section at the bottom.

 

#1 Write catchy titles

You might think that this is one of the first things you need to think about when writing a blog post, but it’s actually one of the last (and one of the hardest). You may find it easier if you start with a working title and then make it more focused once you’ve finished.

But why is a post title so important? Aren’t people more interested in the blog content rather than its heading? Well, no. How will they know that your post is the one they want to read if they don’t know what it’s about, or if they can’t even find it in a Google search? It’s really worth putting a little bit of extra time and effort into producing a title that is both compelling and relevant.

 

#2 Write with purpose

The main purpose of your guest post on GrowthFunders will be to encourage entrepreneurs (and possibly others) to engage with your business and the services you offer but without pushing a hard sell. You have to be subtle. This is your opportunity to show the entrepreneur (your potential client) the expertise you have in your chosen field; let them know that by choosing you, they’ll be making a great decision and putting themselves in safe hands.

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#3 Write in a structure

Set your post out properly: tell a complete narrative with a beginning, middle, and end, and lead your reader through it. Briefly introduce your overall topic and give mention to the points you intend to cover. Set each point out as its own paragraph (with headings, if necessary) and discuss coherently. End with a recap of the post and a compelling CTA.

 

#4 Write original content

This is for the benefit of both the reader and search engine optimisation (which should always be considered in that order). Obviously the content should be original in that you should never plagiarise anybody else’s work, but also in terms of content that you have written and had published elsewhere previously.

Readers don't want to find exactly the same content on more than one site. They've taken the time to sit down and start reading, so the least you can do is to give them something fresh and enjoyable to read.

 

#5 Write for beginners

Because you’re not writing on your own website, the reader of your guest post on GrowthFunders may not be as familiar with your chosen topic as your own audience would be. Therefore, you write as if your readers are beginners; imagine they have the most basic grasp of your topic and then work hard to inform and educate them.

One of the most important things to consider here is your tone of voice. Don’t write condescendingly; there’s a distinct difference between not knowing or understanding something and just being thick (and it’s probably not going to give the best impression to imply that your readers are the latter).

 

#6 Write visually

“Visual” doesn’t just have to mean pictures, you can make a piece of writing look visual by making sure that it isn’t just one long block of text. Use headings, bullet points, and lists in order to make your post easier on the eye. Headings should indicate what the following paragraph is about, so that the reader can quickly scan the article and decide if it’s the blog post they want to read.

Also, images won’t hurt, as long as they are relevant to your topic. If you can, statistics, charts, and infographics all work exceptionally well in blog posts. As well as being “pretty to look at”, they work as visual proof and validate any claims you make. Remember to add relevant alt text, which is what shows if the images don't load properly. That way, the reader can see what the image was supposed to be.

 

#7 Write links and anchor text

Links are a crucial element of any blog post, but the destination is paramount. Instead of linking directly to your homepage, think about linking to a page or blog post on your own site which has relevance to the guest post.

Perhaps it explains a key point in more detail. Anchor text refers to the words you choose to use to cover the link. Search engines like Google pick up on these keywords, as well as the amount of times you use them in relation to your website, which means that they influence where you start to rank in Google searches.

 

#8 Write compelling CTAs

CTAs (Calls To Action) are the things you use to encourage the reader to do something. It’s your chance to direct them towards taking decisive action. Maybe you want them to check out your website, follow you on social media channels, or get in touch with you straight away. Hubspot have produced a great eBook on CTAs, which you can download by clicking on this link.

This post isn't meant as a definitive list, nor as a template, but rather as a few steps geared towards giving you a helping hand. If you feel we've missed anything, or you've written a post using our steps, we'd love to know. Leave us a comment in the section below.

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