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Writing guest posts for blogs is a very competitive business. Not only do you have to have great writing skills, you also have to compete with other writers and learn how to approach web site publishers. Or should I say, learn how not to approach them.

Most web site publishers are very busy. Not only are they writing for their own blogs, they are publishing newsletters, working with advertisers, and they are daily sorting through sometimes hundreds of emails from readers, as well as from potential guest authors such as yourself.

Good writing and common courtesy will go a long way in getting your email noticed in a publisher’s in-box. However, here are the top reasons you can almost guarantee that your guest post will be rejected.

Neglecting to do Your Homework

Rejected

Never submit an article idea to a publisher without first taking a good look at their web site or blog. Some writers try to convince a publisher why they should publish the article they have already written instead of making sure the article is a good fit for the web site. Often web sites are broken down into very specific categories, and if an article doesn’t fit one of the categories, it is very likely to get rejected.

Make sure that a web site does not already have articles similar to the one you want to submit. Most blog owners are trying to cut down on the amount of duplicate and repetitive content on their sites, so they don’t want too many articles about a particular topic. Look for a unique angle to a topic that is already covered on the site and the publisher will be much more likely to take a look at the article.

Ignoring Publisher Guidelines

Many publishers have specific guidelines for guest post submissions. Some have minimum and/or maximum word counts and now that Pinterest has become so popular, many publishers want photos to go along with articles.

Find out how many links are allowed in a post, and whether they are allowed in the text of the article or just in the byline. Don’t place more links in the article than the publisher wants, and make sure the links are relevant to the subject of the article. Publishers are not looking for articles that contain links to un-related web sites. Many publishers these days are very particular about sites they will link out to.

Ignoring the Blog’s Readers

Remember that a publisher will publish an article if they feel that it is providing value to their readers. They are not trying to do you a favor by posting your article for you to get your link out there. Their main concern is their readers. If their readers will not be interested in your article, then really think about how you can improve it to add more value to it. Articles that are not of value to the reader are really of value to nobody. Even search engines these days are not interested in articles that no one reads.

Many bloggers are also re-thinking the idea of the value of guest posts because their readers want to hear what the primary blogger has to say, not what guest bloggers have to say. Make sure that your content is relevant to the readers and that the format of the post is similar to that of the primary blogger, so that it blends in with articles already posted on the site.

A lot of people who write guest posts for blogs are located in different countries from the main audience of a particular blog. If the writer is located in the United Kingdom and the main audience lives in the United States, then there may be some differences in the way an article is worded, especially if there are measurements involved. Make sure you know the audience you are writing for, you would be surprised at how many writers don’t think about this before submitting a guest post.

Publishers are busy, and you want to make sure your article gets published on their web site. If you take the time to follow all their guidelines and write an article specifically with that web site in mind, you are very likely to have your article published. It may sound like plain common sense, but many writers do not take the time to follow these simple steps to success.

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Posted by Dan Ripoll

Dan Ripoll is co-founder and CEO of ContentBLVD.com - a content writing service that offers free, high quality guest posts to bloggers. The website features a blog post ideas section which makes it easy for bloggers in any niche to source fresh content ideas for their own blogs.

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