How to Win Clients with Guest Blog Posts

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Winning clients from writing guest blog posts boils down to two simple things:

  • How well you build your relationship with the target site owner.
  • How much value you’re willing to offer – for free.

Full confession: I never thought guest posting would get me well-paying, high-quality clients, because, let’s admit it, most people view guest blog posts as a way to build links. But it turns out, you can leave a lasting impression — one that gets people to work with you simply by offering them a great experience.

Want to know how to win clients this way? I’ve got your back.

In this post, I’ll share my exact approach for writing quality guest posts, and how the process impresses folks enough to where they are ready to open up their wallets and pay me.

Spoiler alert: it’s a slow process. Don’t expect to land clients immediately unless you are ready to stop everything at once and dedicate all of your time to guest posting.

Ready to take notes? Let’s get going:

Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

Winning Clients by Writing Guest Blog Posts: The Secrets Behind It

Relationship building and offering value. That’s it.

Here’s a quick summary of the client-winning guest posting process:

  1. Curate a list of prospect sites you’d like to write for.
  2. Connect with the guest sites’ team. This could be their editor for the guest posting program, the Founder, or anybody else. It’s okay if you don’t contact the right person. Your point of contact can connect you to them.
  3. Build your relationship with them on social media or wherever they hang out the most.
  4. Go on to pitch after some time.
  5. Once your pitch is accepted, give them an exceptional experience working with you.

OK, that’s simple enough, you’d be thinking. Now, let me fill in the details for you.

But first, let’s be clear on this: for winning clients, you need to offer them exactly what they are looking for in a freelance writer.

From my observations and four years of experience in the freelance industry, people want to work with freelance writers who are committed to their work, have knowledge of what they are talking about, have a great workflow that helps them meet deadlines, and can adopt their brand voice and style.

Now, if you prove yourself to be all of this and more when guest posting for someone, they’d be sure to remember you. Eventually, they’d approach you for work, accept your let’s-work-together proposal, or recommend you to someone. Either way, you’ll get what you want: CLIENTS ✨

Let’s now walk you through how to reflect each of these traits as you guest post for sites and win clients.

Step 1: Get to Work Building Relationships

If there’s one thing that I absolutely loathe, it’s writing a cold pitch. Even if that’s for guest blog posts. Unless you’ve mastered writing cold pitches that get opened, I recommend you go ahead and connect with the target guest post site host on social media.

To get on their radar, engage with them. Start with leaving thoughtful comments on their posts. Then, go on to take the relationships to the DMs, sharing articles that are interesting, applauding their work (genuinely), and so on.

Editors also appreciate it when you privately share any typos or publishing errors you note in their site’s content. So, if you do find a typo or two, politely pointing out the issue can quickly get you into an editor’s good books.

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Step 2: Pitch, But Make It an A1 Pitch

Pitch, but after you’ve built your relationship and proven yourself an expert perhaps (your authority or subject matter expertise reflects from your social profile and interactions).

But make sure it’s a memorable pitch. For one, don’t just say:

Hey! I was wondering if you’d be open to guest post pitches.

Instead, take some time to put together your pitch:

Hey [name}, I’ve been following your site for quite some time and I really enjoyed reading {X blog post(s)}. I was wondering if you’d be open to collaborating with me over a guest post on {blog category}? I have some great ideas in mind including:

  • Topic 1 with 2-3 lines on what it is
  • Topic 2 with 2-3 lines on what it is
  • Topic 3 with 2-3 lines on what it is

I noticed that each has ranking potential and your competitors haven’t covered them yet. Also, since your audience consists of {X} judging from my understanding as your blog’s reader, your readers will love these topics.

Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll put together an outline for the topic idea you think is best suited to your audience.

P.S. I’ve written guest posts for {X, Y, and Z publications} to give you an idea of my writing quality.

Such a thought-out pitch shows the reader that you’re actually interested in writing for their blog as proven by the effort you put in sharing topics that gel well with their content strategy and target audience. Investing your time here also reflects your dedication to creating quality content that gets read.

Such a pitch also leaves a memorable impression. So if a site isn’t open to guest posting at that time, they’d remember to ping you when they are.

Fun fact: I once pitched topics for a guest blog post, but the person in charge loved them so much they told me to drop the guest post and write all the pitched topics for them if I had space in my schedule. Mind-blowing, isn’t it? I was amazed myself. 😃

Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

Step 3: Time to Impress ‘Em with Your Writing Skills

So you’ve shown you mean well for the guest site by pitching topics that’ll help them engage readers and beat their competitors. And, your pitch is accepted too. Now: show your writing chops.

Throughout the drafting process, your aim should be to make the process easy for the guest site.

How? A couple of things can help:

  • Share an outline

Sharing an in-depth outline shows the direction your piece will take, helping minimize edits and work for the guest post site’s manager/editor. Your point of contact can suggest edits early on, making things easy for both sides.

  • Settle on a deadline

Agreeing to a deadline helps set expectations. If your schedule gives you the flexibility to be quick, share your guest post within 2-3 weeks of getting your pitch accepted so it’s still fresh in your prospect’s mind. Make sure you share the outline before that though.

  • Keep the prospect updated

This tells your target site that you’re working on their post and how far you’ve progressed. What’s more, keeping people in the loop is a good way to gain their trust.

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Step 4: Write a Draft that Matches the Guest Site’s Style and Voice

Several guest sites have a style guide that they share with guest writers. Several don’t. Either way, it helps to study the publishing site before you get to work.

Read a couple of posts so you can get a grip on their brand voice. Note the pronouns they use, their formatting style, and whether they use the oxford comma.

These small details aren’t important, but nothing impresses an editor more than a draft that follows their style guide and leaves little work on their plate.

At the same time, if you’re really serious about winning clients with guest posting, I’d suggest you put in as much effort as you’d put in writing for clients. Or, almost that much.

For example, instead of creating a regurgitated piece, write an original one that includes a contribution from an expert on the subject matter. Or, share your experience as I am in this post.

Okay, now that you’re done creating a stellar piece, hit submit.

Step 5: Make it Easy for Your Prospect to Edit the Piece

Whenever you’re submitting, share it in a Google Doc, so it’s easy for the prospect to suggest edits.

When you share the piece, always ask for feedback. Writing: ‘looking forward to your feedback on this’ tells the other person you’re open to helping them polish the piece if needed.

Since you’ve already put in the work, edits would probably be minimal.

Lastly, make the piece ready-to-publish by formatting it the same way the guest site formats their regular blog posts. Why? Because, again, this takes work off of the editor’s plate.

Don’t forget to submit before or by the deadline. This confirms that you have a solid workflow and organizational skills that let you hit the due date.

Photo by Arthur Lambillotte on Unsplash

Step 6: Keep in Touch

By now, if a guest site is looking for writers, they’d be surely impressed enough to ask you if you’d want to work with them.

If they aren’t, they’ll contact you when they are hunting for freelance writers. People tend to work with people who they know and trust beforehand. By working with you on a guest post and getting an idea of how you work, prospects are likely going to work with you versus a freelance writer that they don’t know.

By successfully writing a guest post, you’ve already done some sample work for someone, which makes it easy for them to work with you again.

That said, you’ll come across guest sites that don’t convert into clients right away. Even still, keep in touch and consider doing guest blog posts on different topics for them.

At some point down the line, you can suggest you work together. Or, if they post their opening for freelance writers, you can apply and earn the spot (because you’ve already shown them what it’s like to collaborate with you!).

Wrap Up

That’s all, folks. This is my A-Z blueprint of winning clients by guest posting that has helped me win several clients. Put simply, focus on offering value and a memorable, easy-to-work-with experience as you write guest posts for prospective sites and you’ll win clients for sure. 💯

Interested in writing a guest post for InspireFirst? Take a look at our guest post guidelines!

Masooma Memon

Masooma Memon is a pizza-loving freelance writer for SaaS. When she’s not writing actionable blog posts, she has her head buried in a fantasy novel or business book.