Writing for someone else’s blog on occasion has the potential of being a real win-win for all concerned. The regular blogger gets a mental reprieve from the writing process (unless he’s guest blogging elsewhere) and you both get to tap into one another’s reader base and possibly expand on both. But while the potential for success is there, it is not an automatic given. There are various things to keep in mind as you select a blog you would like to share your talents with.
What You Want From Them
Ultimately, when you get to the point where you are approaching a blogger with an offer to guest blog for them, you want to come across as if you are doing them a favor. Still, you need to see that certain standards are in place to make the experience worth both your whiles.
A Compatible Niche
While the focus of your regular blog, and the blog you propose writing for won’t be exactly the same, you should have enough overlap in order to potentially share a reader base. A tech blogger might not be a good for an artist blog, but a travel blogger that can tie art into their regular style and draw in readers looking for either subject.
A Clear Direction
Many people think a blog is nothing more than an online journal. This is not true. An online journal, while it may be accessible to the public is still written for the writer, and simply reflects what the writer needs to say at any given moment. A blog is for the reader, and needs to be written with a clear purpose in mind. The reader needs to have the opportunity to learn and even be changes through the experience of reading a blog. This is what will prompt them to comment, and what will make them come back.
Look through several entries for evidence of a good consistent style and sense of purpose. While an occasional guest blogger is good, the bulk of a blog should be written by its owner most of the time.
A Solid Social Media Presence
There may be a few hold outs when it comes to using social media, but if you want to maintain a blog with a strong readership you can’t be one of them. Social Media icons are standard issue on blog sites, and bloggers who are active and interesting on social media as well as their blog solicit readers.
Once you find your blogger’s Facebook page or other social networking site, look to see that followers are real people. If most of their friends are really new to Facebook, and have just a couple "friends" themselves, it’s likely that they aren’t real.
Part of the point of writing a blog is to have people read it, and hopefully become engaged. One of the nice things about blogging is that readers have the opportunity to take just a few seconds to say what they think in the comments. Even if they are left speechless, they can still share the post with their social networking contacts — one more reason why its so important to include those links.
The comments should make sense in relationship to the blog, not tell you how to marry a millionaire or about the hottest health supplement "everyone’s talking about." While a little spam might sneak in, an attentive blogger won’t let those stay for long.
What You Need to Offer Selling Yourself
A guest blogging spot might not lead to a corner office with a view, but that doesn’t make it any less of a job interview, so it’s time to straighten that tie, tuck your shirttail in, and try and look presentable — virtually speaking. Be prepared to tell about any other blogging experience you have, and provide samples or links to your work. Show them you are qualified, but remember you are looking to be a guest, so don’t leave an impression that you might want to move in.You can be confident in your abilities and still retain your sense of humility.
Do Your Homework
Some bloggers are more transparent than others, but in any case you should make it a point to know as much as you can based on what they are willing to tell. Follow them on social networking sites, and if you have an opportunity to schedule a live chat if you can.
Finding the right place to guest blog will most likely be an interesting journey. Like anyone looking to stick a foot in into the Internet pool search engines are one good place to start. Typing in phrases such as "looking for guest blogger" or "best blogs for guest bloggers" will give you a place to start and may even help generate ideas. There are also official places, such as GuestBlogIt or Blogdash that could potentially lead you to a blog you want to write for.
Know Your SEO
As a blogger, you obviously want readers to love you, but they have to find you first. Check out Google Trends and Analytics as work the ideas you get into your pitch to the regular blogger. Let them know what keywords you plan to use, so they can check your skills themselves before it’s time to post.