In my last article, I talked you through four steps to get yourself ready to pitch yourself as a guest blogger, including identifying your expertise and researching blogs that could be a good fit for your work.
Now that you have that foundation in place, I want to share my #1 tip for writing authentic, compelling, potential-to-go-viral guest blogs: When you write, tap into all of your juicy humanness.
I know—it’s a strange phrase. But hear me out: When I say “juicy humanness,” I simply mean all the things you’re currently seeing, learning, experiencing, and feeling that support and give context to the topic of your post.
When it comes to pitching any kind of marketing opportunity—including guest blogging—I see so many people focus all their marketing brainpower on coming across as smart, polished, and professional. Those are great qualities, of course, but in most cases, they end up zapping the humanness right out of them.
The disconnect? Now more than ever, people want to connect with brands in a human way. Think about Apple or Google or Disney. Yes, their products are amazing—but we love them because they make us feel a certain way. The same goes for guest blogging; you want your readers to feel a connection to you.
So, in order to infuse your guest blog with all of your juicy humanness, try these two key strategies.
Share a Story
I didn’t think there was anything harder than writing corporate jargon until I started trying to share my personal stories and experiences in the way that I’m suggesting you share yours. But when I finally did, those blogs got shared five to six times more than the more business-minded, less human posts I wrote.
Sharing a personal story about an experience—rather than paragraphs of information—helps readers place you, so that instead of sounding like an information-spouting, monotone blogger robot, you become a person. It also puts you on the same level as readers by saying, “Hey, I’ve been there, too!”
And, stories tend to elicit an emotional response from readers, which can make them more likely to check out who you are and what your brand is all about.
Write With One Person in Mind
When you write for the entire universe, you tend to play it safe; you’re not totally sure who’s out there or how they’re going to react to a particular piece, so you just present the facts. But as the adage goes: When you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.
Instead, write with one person in mind. If you have a strong sense of your ideal client, write to him or her. If you’re still working on that part, write to someone who would read the platform on which you’re trying to get your blog published.
By writing with one person in mind, your tone, story, and message will be much more focused and detailed than if you’re writing to a nameless, faceless group of people. And your readers will connect to that focus and detail.
Once you have a final piece, your next challenge is to get someone to publish it—and you have to do that with a little humanness, too. You may write the most genuine, interesting, shareable guest blog out there, but if you write a robotic pitch, the blogger or editor isn’t going to open your attachment, and no one is ever going to read your work.
To add your humanness to a pitch, start by simply being personable. Introduce yourself! Say something about the weather or, if you’re a fan of the blog, applaud something that was published recently. Sign off by thanking them for their time.
The moral of the story: Once you’ve nailed down your expertise and done your research, stop worrying about what you think people want to hear, and start worrying about what you actually want to say.