Guidelines and Suggestions for Guest Posts

Thanks for your interest in writing a guest post!

NOTE: I am only accepting guest post submissions from people who have been directed to this page by me.  Please do not submit a guest post submission if you have not been encouraged to do so by me first.

 

We’re looking for guest posts that present down-to-earth stories about how you have used relationships to grow your business or land a new job, combined with practical advice on how readers can do what you did.

There are three qualities that make Smart Business Revolution guest posts different:

1.  Tell Stories

2.  Original Reporting (including quotes from interviews you’ve conducted yourself).

3.  Statistics and citations to books.

General Guidelines

Long posts between 1,500 and 2,500 words with specific, actionable advice based on experience and/or research perform best.
Personal stories including overcoming real challenges and hardships allow readers to more quickly connect with a guest writer.
Step-by-step instructions (with helpful images) increase the number of shares a post receives.

Below are a set of guidelines to keep in mind when outlining, writing, and finalizing a post.

Introduction

  1. Is the title eye catching? How can it be better?
  2. Please suggest 1 to 2 alternate titles we might use.
  3. Does the post deliver on the promise in the title?
  4. Should I introduce the guest author? How did you meet each other?
  5. Do you tell readers why you are an authority on this topic?
  6. What should readers be able to do after reading the post?

Conversational Style

  1. Is the post consistent with what Smart Business Revolution readers want to read/learn?
  2. Engaging? Personal? Honest/vulnerable?
  3. Does the post create a bond, and use “you” and “I”?

Design

  1. Is it easy to scan? Does it use short sentences and paragraphs?
  2. Are there helpful/relevant images? Do the images need captions?
  3. Are important phrases/sentences in bold or italics?
  4. There should be no more than 4-5 lines (3-4 sentences) per paragraph, with spaces between the paragraphs.
  5. Are long sections divided by sub-headers?
  6. I do not use underlining at all (underlined words are confused for hyperlinks).
  7. Be sure to use “American” spelling, grammar and style.

General Structure

The general structure that works best is as follows:

  1. Attention-grabbing introductory story. Something exciting or interesting that will get people “hooked.”
  2. Next section: why this topic matters.
  3. Next section: Main specific advice as to how the reader can apply your advice (i.e. “10 tips” or “7 Ways…”)
  4. Final section: conclusion and Call to Action
  5. Ask a question at the end to encourage comments.

Taking Action

  1. Is the advice/knowledge broken down into actionable steps?
  2. Is it clear why readers need to know this?
  3. Are the claims backed up by research or direct experience?
  4. Are there quotes that should be “click to tweet”?

Wrapping Up

  1. Is there an “outro” that encourages readers to sign up to the guest author’s email list/Twitter/Facebook page?  You should include a giveaway to encourage people to sign up for your email list (this strategy has helped to grow my email list).
  2. Does “Leave a comment” ask for a specific action or ask a specific question?
  3. Are there old posts on Smart Business Revolution that you can link to the new guest post?
  4. Is there a giveaway/bonus? Is it open to all? Does it require mailing or is it digital?
  5. Please include at least 1 link to your website, blog or social media profile (or at a minimum, your LinkedIn page) so people can learn more about you.

After Posting

  1. Are you available to leave reply comments over the next 48 hours after the guest post is published?
  2. Can you email your own list with a link to the post?
  3. Can you Tweet/share on Facebook ?

Process

Please contact me first to propose 3 topic ideas before you start writing.

A great place to get Headline ideas is Copyblogger.  Copyblogger also has great advice for how to make blog posts very readable and clear. You can also download “Headline Hacks” from Boost Blog Traffic.

You can email article submissions to john@smartbusinessrevolution.com

Thanks for your interest in contributing a guest post!