Guest posting is a common practice used by business owners and bloggers alike as a way to get more website traffic and increase brand recognition. At face value, guest posting seems pretty straightforward. You just have to find a website and make a pitch, right? Well, not quite. It takes plenty of hard work and patience to break into the guest blogging scene.

We are going to show you how to research and cultivate relationships with partner website. Next, we will show you how to craft an excellent pitch. Finally, we are going to look at one crucial tip to keep in mind once you start pitching to publications. All of these tips are designed as a way to help those creating their first blog and seasoned bloggers with waning viewership.

Research Your Options

Before going out and pitching to every blog that you think will accept your content, take some time, and look over your options. There are several factors to consider when you’re looking for a blog that will help improve your brand recognition.

The first thing you should do is find opportunities for websites that fit your niche or industry. Any editor will tell you that they get countless pitches every single day that have nothing to do with the niche the blog covers. For example, if you wanted to generate leads to your website that focuses on teaching guitar lessons, you wouldn’t want to pitch an article about playing guitar for a site that publishes content on freelance writing.

It’s helpful to research the audience of the blog you’re thinking about contacting. Guest posting for businesses with consumers that aren’t interested in your product or service will not do you any favors. Your ideal audience doesn’t have to make up the entire viewership of the website, but there should be a significant overlap in interests.

Get Your Foot in the Door

Once you’ve decided on a site where you want to guest post, it’s time to get your foot in the door. The first thing you should do is consume content on their blog. Don’t just read one article, but instead read at least 10-20 articles and post meaningful comments that add to the value of content.

Reading the website’s content will help you get a better feel for the writing style and tone, and it allows you to build a relationship with the editors and website owners. If you want to take it a step further, consider following the business owners on social media and tagging them in the posts that you share online. This tactic may help build rapport and will establish your name as more than just a stranger when you submit your pitch.

Craft a Killer Pitch

It’s time to move on to the most detailed part of the guest posting process — crafting your pitch. A pitch will cover who you are, why you think you would be a good fit as a contributor, and some headline samples. Pitches vary depending on the publication, so make sure you follow the guidelines.

There’s nothing that will get under an editor’s skin like complete disregard for the pitching guidelines. In their eyes, if you can’t follow the first step of the process, your content likely isn’t worth their time. Take the time to comb through the guidelines before you even think about sending them an email.

Now, start writing your pitch. There are several general tips to keep in mind if you want to write a pitch that gets a response. For example, always keep your pitch and content concise and focus on how your guest post helps the website, not how it will improve your status as a website owner. Editor’s don’t want a 1500 word piece on your life story before they even get to the topic you’re pitching.

Use a friendly — and personal — approach when crafting your pitch. Most websites have the editor’s name available somewhere on the site, take the time to look for their name. It’s a safe bet that if you start an email with “Dear sir or madam,” it will likely land in the trash folder.

Try to include multiple headline topics with a brief description. You’ll have a better chance of getting accepted if you show that you have a knack for brainstorming topic ideas. In fact, if your pitch is good enough, the editors could ask for full articles based on several of your ideas!

Be Patient

Finally, you have to wait for the editor’s approval and write the guest post based on the contributor guidelines. The most important thing you should remember when submitting pitches to publications is sometimes you will get rejected. Remember, every “no” is one step closer to a “yes.” If you want to improve your brand recognition by guest posting, you’re going to face rejection. It’s all part of the process.

If you don’t get a rejection email, consider following up on publications where you’ve pitched, but haven’t heard back from them. Sometimes, a simple reminder after a few weeks can prompt a response from the editor and move the process forward.

There are multiple reasons to guest post online, but one of the most important reasons is that it allows new consumers to discover your website and engage with your business. Before long, you’ll have pages of stellar content under your belt that spans across multiple sites.