Sunday, April 22, 2012

April Platform Challenge: Day 22

For today's task, pitch a guest blog post to another blogger. Writing guest posts is an incredible way to improve your exposure and expertise on a subject, while also making a deeper connection with the blogger who is hosting your guest post. It's a win for everyone involved.


Guest blogging is a great way to build traffic and connections.

If you want to pitch ideas to writing-related blogs, here's my 2012 list of the best blogs for writers to read. There are some excellent blogs to pitch on this list--if your guest post is related to writing. If not, you'll want to find a blog that covers your guest blog topic.

By the way, I'm in a constant need of guest bloggers on the My Name Is Not Bob blog, especially for my Life Changing Moments series, which is about a moment that changes your entire perspective on life. But I also cover a lot of other random stuff too. Click here for details on how to get the ball rolling.

But how do I pitch a guest blog post?
After you know where you want to guest blog, here are some tips for pitching your guest blog post:
  • Let the blogger know you're familiar with the blog. You should do this in one sentence (two sentences max) and be specific. For instance, a MNINB reader could say, "I've reading your Not Bob blog for months, but I really love this April Platform Challenge." Simple as that. It lets me know you're not a spammer, but it doesn't take me a long time to figure out what you're trying to say.
  • Propose an idea or two. Each idea should have its own paragraph. This makes it easy for the blogger to know where one idea ends and the next one begins. In a pitch, you don't have to lay out all the details, but you do want to be specific. Try to limit the pitch to 2-4 sentences.
  • Share a little about yourself. Emphasis on "a little." If you have previous publications or accomplishments that line up with the blog, share those. If you have expertise that lines up with the post you're pitching, share those. Plus, include any details about your online platform that might show you can help bring traffic to the post. But include all this information in 1-4 sentences.
  • Include your information. When you close the pitch, include your name, e-mail, blog (or website) URL, and other contact information you feel comfortable sharing. There's nothing more awkward for me than to have a great pitch that doesn't include the person's name. Or a way to learn more about the person.
What do I do after the pitch is accepted?
First off, congratulations! This is a great opportunity to show off your writing skills. Here's how to take advantage of your guest post assignment:
  1. Write an exceptional post. Don't hold back your best stuff for your blog. Write a post that will make people want to find more of your writing.
  2. Turn in your post on deadline. If there's a deadline, hit it. If there's not a deadline, try to turn around the well-written post in a timely manner.
  3. Promote the guest post. Once your guest post has gone live, promote it like crazy by linking to your post on your blog, social networks, message boards, and wherever else makes sense for you. By sending your own connections to this guest post, you're establishing your own expertise--not only through your post but also your connections.
Now get pitching!

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How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Writing and Yourself.

In the webinar How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Writing and Yourself, super freelance writer I.J. Schecter teaches writers how to avoid the most common social media pitfalls, how to respond to others strategically, how to get work for yourself by talking about others, and more.

Click to continue.

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Need to catch up or re-visit earlier challenge tasks? Here are the most recent:

69 comments:

Amanda Socci said...

Hi Bob: This is a terrific challenge for today, thank you. I have been studying and trying to figure out how to pitch ideas for guest blogging, and today's daily challenge puts me in the driver's seat to do this. Thank you!

On another note, I wanted to take a quick second to thank you for offering this challenge to writers. It has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me. One of the most interesting developments that has happened is that several spin-off groups have been created.

Many of us challengers have been inspired by you and we have formed a linked in group and a facebook group and google+ circle to discuss your challenges and provide one another with add'l references.

However, I am noticing a trend that several challengers are starting to feel discouraged, as if they are struggling / sloshing through things and falling behind in completing your daily challenges.

Now may be a good time for you to please provide words of encouragement to those who feel that they "can't keep up." I continue with my positive keep the faith schpiel, but the words of encouragement would be stronger if they came from you directly.

Thanks! And thanks again for this motivating writing challenge. I absolutely LOVE it!!

GoingVeggie said...

Very timely post for me. I write about all things green and vegetarian and have a trip to Ireland coming up soon. I want to pitch a few writing possibilities that combine these experiences to magazines. Perhaps a guest blog spot would be a good first step to melding these topics together. Thanks for the idea!

Barbara Morrison said...

Done. I'll bet your mailbox is filling up!

J. B. Everett said...

Add one more to the mailbox, but I'm researching other options as well, along with a longer-term option once my blog has enough longevity to qualify.

Mary Bauer said...

I could take the easy route on this and just pitch to one of my teacher blogger friends. This is a good opportunity to step a little more out of my comfort zone. Thank you.

Pat Walsh said...

Done. I've queried the editor of a blog about education technology (www.emergingedtech.com), who I also happen to know personally, with a pitch for a post about ways to evaluate the credibility of content that is served from and delivered via online sources.

This assignment actually comes at a really nice time for me, as I've just been putting together some queries for other work, so I'm kind of in that 'knocking on the door' mode. I find it makes it a little easier when I'm able to group certain kinds of tasks (market research, querying, follow-up, etc.) — it involves fewer 'u-turns' in my thought process!

Erika D. said...

I'm going to say "done," only because I've been lucky enough to have pitched guest posts already as part of the virtual book tour for my story collection, Quiet Americans. Since the WD blog run by Robert's colleague, Chuck Sambuchino, is on the list of recommended blogs, I'll highlight the guest post I wrote for that blog.

It's good to have a reminder about the general usefulness of guest posts, and I'll try to come up with some new ideas as this challenge proceeds (just as I'll keep working on that SEO material). As I've realized throughout this challenge, the learning never stops.

Joy Weese Moll said...

Here's my one guest post: http://imlivingoutloud.blogspot.com/2011/10/stories-of-two-readers-for-deweys-read.html
It was an okay experience. Not one I'm that excited to repeat at the moment but will keep in mind for the future.

Romelle Broas said...
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Romelle Broas said...

I am not going to be able to complete this task right away. But thanks to this post, you are helping me get the ball rolling. Today I drafted my pitch. In the next few days or weeks, I will submit it. I have 2 blogs I am thinking of pitching to. One of them being yours. So watch for it in your e-mail. :o)

April 22, 2012 12:13 PM

Misky said...

I can't see that I'll be able to complete today's challenge before the end of April, so I reckon I'm destined to fail the Platform Challenge. Unless of course it counts that I was interviewed on Walt and Marie's Poetic Bloomings.

Melanie Cole said...

Love this one! I'll get started researching other blogs I think would be suitable and drafting a pitch. Thanks!

the whatnot shop said...

This is something I have to work on this week, but I am looking forward to it! I am considering writing something along the lines of my deliberate creations blog, ("changing your life by changing your perspective" type posts) for this one.

Thanks for the inspiration!!

Beth Stilborn said...

This is interesting. I had assumed that guest posters were invited to post by the blog owner, or responded to an invitation on a blog. I had never realized that people pitch themselves as guest posters.

This will require some thought. I'm certainly not ready to do this today.

Khara House said...

What I love about this challenge is that it doesn't demand too much--it's a fairly simple task to pitch a guest post, which doesn't even necessitate that the blogger you pitch you accept your proposal or that you write a guest post during April... it's just one more step towards increasing your presence and connecting with other writers! Fun times!

I haven't done it yet, but I'm starting the process of looking into some blogs. (Don't be surprised, though, if you wind up getting an email from me, Robert!) :D

Gail Kushner said...

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by someone who runs a blog in Europe about writing for them. I accepted, but there wasn't any deadline, so I haven't yet submitted a post. Okay, I will write for that blog this week. Done.

As for yesterday's challenge, I looked at TweetDeck, but I don't think I need it yet and I'm afraid to download one more program to my overburdened computer. Is looking at it and thinking about it good enough for this task to be considered "Done?"

Gerry said...

Interesting challenge. Like Beth, I'd assumed that guest posts were solicited, and I expect many of them are. But it can't hurt to try.

This will take some thought. I'm fairly new at the blogging (well, okay, I started nearly 3 years ago, but I haven't been consistent), and I didn't have a broad base of contacts outside of Facebook until I became involved in this challenge.

I bet your inbox is bursting, Robert, but you may get one more. Thanks for this task. It IS a real challenge for me, and that's good.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nicole here. A little help here. My blogs are movie reviewing so I don't know how I can give pitch ideas. Please help.

Lara Britt said...

Thanks to Khara for starting a doc on the FaceBook MNINB Platform Challengers group. We are networking with each other to help fulfill this challenge. But that won't stop me from pitching you, Robert. Look for a submission re: 1976 Thammasat University massacre in your inbox soon.

hcfbutton said...

I've got one done today, and I have an idea for an architecture magazine post. I just have to perfect my pitch and decide to go with our local provincial body magazine or a national one.

Thanks for pushing me out of my shell on this one. Now to go plan my own blog posts.

M.C. said...

Be our guest . . . hmm now I have that song from the Disney cartoon Beauty and the Beast stuck in my head. These suggestions are great, thank you.

Kirra said...

Done! I googled Bible guest blogging and that gave me some options. Now I'm just waiting to hear back!

De said...

Was blessed to just do this recently, and also inquiring with several fellow writer-bloggers about some upcoming opportunities, as well.
Sooooo, done.
Thank you!

Anne Kimball said...

I am thrilled beyond thrilled to say that I submitted a piece to Jill Smokler of Scary Mommy and she accepted it. It's due to be highlighted on her blog THIS Thurs, 4/27, so you can bet I'll be shoving this info down all your throats once again come Thurs. It's just a silly little humor piece, but still, this is HUGE for me as Jill's blog gets about a million and a half views per month!

Also, Robert, I took your cue and submitted a piece to you for consideration for your life-changing moments series (as I'm sure did everyone here and their brother, so fingers crossed).

A question: when pitching to a blogger about a gues post, is it OK to submit something that has already been published on your blog, or is it supposed to be a virgin piece?

Thanks!

Joseph Lalonde said...

Done, I've had a couple of guest posts published. It's helped a little but I know I need to do it more. I think I've been slacking on it because I'm waiting on creating an ebook to give away for signing up to my blog. Once that is completed, I'm looking at pushing out tons of guest posts.

Rowanwolf said...

Will finish this in the next week. It turns out Triberr actually has what amounts to a want ads section, where folks are looking for guest bloggers. Of course, it will require research to find a good place, but there are a ton of folks looking for guest bloggers.

F.S. (Sharon) Vander Meer said...

I did it, I did it, I did it! Now for the wait.

Julia Tomiak said...

Wow, out of my comfort zone. Will have to think about this one. Thanks for the tips from others posting comments about Triberr and FB. Will have to do some research, and summon up some courage.

Jo Ann J. A. Jordan said...

This is the first one I don't think I can do. I have a huge commitment on my blog and with a new project I started. I simply don't have time to take on another writing task right now.

Sorry...

Veronica Roth said...

Scary, scary stuff, opening up to criticism and rejection. Hats off to all you lovely people brave enough. I’m not sure I have that much to say of interest.

Laura Diane said...

Ohhhh... this challenge is really pulling me out of my nice comfy little writing cave that looks out over the mountains and the Salmon River.

Thank you so much Robert Lee Brewer for challenging me to step outside the comfort zone.

Day 22 completed and you've opened up all kinds of new ideas for me. I found the gal I queried as part of an assignment for a class I'm taking from Dan Blank on Author Platform Building. Our assignment this week fit in very nicely with today's challenge.

I am really grateful for this challenge.

DAY 22 done. Eight days to go.

Oh, and I finally caught up and finished day 16. So I am all caught up.

MaryPf said...

Wonderful idea; thanks for the nudge. I think I've been waiting for someone to appear on my door seeking available blogs. I'm on the hunt for the right fit.

Kyle Robinson said...

Hola amigos, I have done twice before in the past and got rejected, not a great track record haha. But now I kinda do this in a sense by contributing to an online wrestling Talk Radio site, I post 2 blog post a week there.

Brandi Daniels said...
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Brandi Daniels said...

Thank you for this challenge. I didn't realize people pitched themselves to be guest posters either. I will be researching blogs and ideas the next few days, so completing this challenge will take some time.

Khara House said...

Done! (Finally)

The biggest thing for me with this challenge was plucking up the courage (again!) ... despite what my online personality suggests for some folks, I am actually an extremely shy person, ha-ha, so the idea of asking someone else to let me write for their blog was definitely daunting. As Lara mentioned, I created a "Call for Guest Bloggers" doc on the MNINB Platform Challengers Facebook page, pretty much for that reason (assuming that some other folks are in the same boat as me) :D --Thanks for the challenges that are slowly easing me out of my comfort zone, Robert! :)

Elizabeth Saunders said...

Way to pull me out of my comfort zone, Robert! But that's what a challenge is, right?

I have too many deadlines to meet right now, but I've picked a history blog (and backup), I'm thinking about the post idea, and I'll write the query this week. Then I'll send it in late May when I get back from a trip.

Diane said...

Wow. Time to step up. I have asked someone to guest host on my blog, does that count? They are also doing an interview of me.

I have another blog I'd like to pitch to but I have to get through 2 submissions this week and teaching 3 days so it has to be on the back burner.
Thanks

Misky said...

Done. Proposal winging its way into your inbox.

Rhonda Parrish said...

Done :)

Also, if anyone is feeling shy about pitching for blog posts, I'm always looking for guest bloggers and I promise not to bite.

~ Rhonda Parrish

Susan P said...

I am giving this one some thought. I have a couple of blogs I read that I'd like to try but need to figure out the topic I'd like to pitch. Will do so in the upcoming days. Thanks for the challenge!

Madeline Sharples said...

I've already done this several times and returned the favor. In fact I pitched you to post on your blog, but never heard back. LOL

Just today I got accepted to write for the Open to Hope website -- at least four posts a year. And I write monthly for two other websites: Naturally Savvy and PsychAlive.

Lynn said...

Does it count if you pitch but aren't accepted?

Lauri Meyers said...

Funny things happen. I was requesting use of some intellectual property to include in my draft pitch to Not Bob, and the owner said "maybe you would like to interview me and give away one of my books." Well, okay. That might just work too! (now how the heck do I conduct an interview?)

Skipperhammond@gmail.com said...

Hmmm. This challenge is not only challenging but weird. We supposed to pitch a guest post to get invites to post to help drive readers to our blog to build our platform which, maybe, an agent will check out when we've attracted their attention with our pitch for our book. And, yes, tweet and update status and comment on others' blogs and post on Linkedin and Google+ to let friends and followers know were guest posting about the topic we blog about so readers will want to read our book. What book? The book we post about writing. You know, the one on building platform!
I'll think about this one.

Terri Hall @ 11713 said...

This is a step "beyond" for me. At first I was very hesitant. Now, not so much. I've spent 24+ hours thinking about this and I believe I can do it! It will take a little time, but I'm in!

Kendra Merritt said...

Done. I'm also doing a guest post over at Bookworm Blues next month on disabilities in science fiction and fantasy.

Raychelle Muhammad said...

Great post. For those who might be a bit intimidated by the "Rock Star" bloggers on your list, I would love to host a few authors, too! I talk about it in today's post:

"Guest Blogging, Good News, Derrick Barnes, and Lois Lowry" today on my blog Raychelle Writes. http://raychelle-writes.blogspot.com/2012/04/guest-blogging-good-news-derrick-barnes.html

CERN Wife said...

Done! This challenge is such a challenge. I thought that guest posts were solicited, and had no idea that people pitched their ideas for other peoples' blogs. But I did it!

Also, I must say that I really enjoy reading comments of all the other challenged writers here. I learn so much from all of you, and then, again, I'm also pleased to know that I'm not the only one who finds some of these tasks beyond my comfort zone.

Janann Giles said...

This was the most terrifying of all the challenges - asking someone to validate what I am doing. It's done and I'm glad to move onto a less daunting task.

Daniel Ari said...

Done!

Stephanie Puckett said...

Done! (at last!)

Jennifer said...

As this was my first guest post pitch I pitched to you. This summer (after I get back from a racing vacation in May) I hope to do lots of pitches for guest posts. This challenge was great practice. Thank you.

Jo Ann J. A. Jordan said...

Done... I managed the nerve to attempt this. I don't know if my ideas will be accepted, but I tried.

Lynn said...

After I have someone edit, I shall send it off.

Rowanwolf said...

Did a guest blog for a fellow bloggers. Will be up Monday 04/30/2012. Does that count?

Lynn said...

Done.

Muddy said...

Done! I pitched a guest blog and it should be up May 11. I'm going to try some more, but it's definitely hard to put myself out there. Probably even more reason to do it, right?

Kerry said...

That was the hardest challenge so far. But I've sent out a pitch to http://peebs.net/blog/
I almost hope it isn't accepted, because I really don't feel ready for this. I'm just stretching myself to the max right now.

Rena J. Traxel said...

This month is the first time that I've allowed guest bloggers on my own blog and it has been a wonderful experience. I also wrote my very first guest post this month. Now I'm working on my second!

Michelle Reynoso said...

I did a guest post titled, Brainstorming Techniques on Teresa Edmond's blog a bit back. Here's the link:

http://teresaedmond.wordpress.com/2011/05/page/3/

Denise Stanley said...

I will need more time for this one, but I will do it soon.

Blyth McManus said...

I have to mark this one not done. This is a great task and as I catch up with the last few days I will complete it.

GoingVeggie said...

DONE!!! and I'm so excited. I chose one of my favorite bloggers, Emily Levenson of {Custom-made Life http://emilylevenson.com/blog} and she will be having me guest post in June. This will be after I return from Ireland in May-June. My post will cover traveling as a vegetarian. We also have kicked around some initial ideas to get her book (and my manuscript) some attention. Love it!

Kasie Whitener said...

Done.

Paul Ellis said...

Guest Blogging is getting outside your comfort zone with someone else's followers! http://dsnite.blogspot.com/2012/04/here-wind-up-and-pitch-day-22-mninb.html

Nichole L. Reber said...

This is a stellar idea, one I keep forgetting to implement. Now I've got your reminder I'm going to seek two bloggers (who don't regularly comment on me) who can help me achieve that goal of getting more Facebook, Twitter, and blog followers.
Thanks for the reminder!
@NicholeLReber

Monica Miller said...

Winding up, and winding...and winding...pose...

And the guest blog post has been pitched!

I can't believe I just did that.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

To read the encouragement I gave myself in order to do that, check out: http://monicamiller.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/dont-be-afraid/

Pennie De Witt said...

Pitched it! Thank you!