Guest blogging has been pretty straightforward for most of its existence in the blogosphere. I mean, granted, getting a post published always involved a lot of work when reaching out, pitching the topics, writing the article, editing and all that stuff. But when it comes to the content types, guest posts have been pretty exclusively text only.
Well, not anymore.
Things have changed, and these days, guest blogging tends to get much more complicated.
Guest authors are forced to try different content types for a number of reasons, and the main one being differentiating themselves. The thing is, there’s just so many guest posts circulating around that sending something that’s text-only no longer makes you unique.
Therefore, let’s look into some of the more creative types of guest posts that are in use today and talk about how to take advantage of them.
Currently, infographics are one of the most popular types of content on the web. They are highly sharable and provide great insights in a very concise form (at least when done correctly).
Blog owners are keen to publish them, but only if you offer something unique and for their use exclusively. This last part is key here. I’m not talking about preparing an infographic and then blasting it to a number of blogs asking to be embedded. This is about designing an infographic for one blog specifically and then letting them decide what to do with it.
Getting a truly quality infographic built can consume a lot of time and resources if you don’t have design skills yourself. And the design part can’t be done on a mediocre level, unfortunately. No one will accept an infographic that doesn’t look absolutely awesome.
Then, there’s the other part – a good infographic is made not only with the visual side but also with clever interpretation of data that presents a unique take on an important matter. Getting this data and putting it together, again, takes time and money.
2. Visual posts
This is something I’ve been testing for the last X months. While I don’t see the technique being used by anyone else, that’s actually a good thing and probably one of the reasons why I’m having 100 percent success rate with it. It’s just way different than what all other guest bloggers are doing at the moment.
The general way of building them is kind of similar to working on a standard post, except when you have all the text ready, there’s one additional step – giving the post a visual presence.
But just not to make it too easy, I have to admit that this one additional step can often double the amount of time the post creation process takes.
When it comes to the tools, it’s rather simple – the final product is just an HTML structure built with DIV elements and a handful of images. To get the early version of the design ready as quickly as possible you can also use Word, and then just replicate the structure in an HTML editor of your choice block by block.
3. Large guides
Large guides or ultimate guides or complete guides or advanced guides (etc.) have exploded on the web in the last year. Almost everyone publishes them.
(The person I consider to be the master of the craft at the moment is Neil Patel (example). He publishes a new guide every week or so and a lot of people would like to replicate his methods seeing the success.)
The biggest downside of this sort of guides is that they take a lot of time to develop and not all bloggers can simply afford to do so. That’s why if you reach out with a good enough pitch to have such a guide written for them, they are very likely to say yes.
Of course, it’s on you to pick the site right so you can get your time investment back in traffic/sales for your business.
4. Comic strips, funny drawings
This is a more fun type of content, and in all honesty, it can be difficult to make worthwhile for you from a business point of view. It really depends on the nature of your business itself. Nevertheless, it’s still a viable guest blogging approach, so you should consider it when planning your campaigns.
What’s particularly nice about comic strips and all kinds of funny and satire drawings is that they are highly shareable despite bringing very little factual value (feel free do disagree).
That being said, though, getting a quality comic strip created can cost you just as much as getting a standard post written, or perhaps even more. You can find artists on most freelance job boards, but the top people really value their time.
Additionally, the comic strip itself still needs to be somehow related to the topic of the site where you want to get it posted. For some types of niches, like home improvement or lifestyle, this can be quite straightforward, but for more boring ones like email marketing, you can find it a lot harder to pull the project off and offer something that doesn’t look corny.
These days interviews get really popular on the web, especially if the person being interviewed is well recognized in a given field or has a specific insight to share.
What’s great about interviews is that they can get you featured on some popular sites (as the interviewer) that wouldn’t be otherwise interested in a standard article, which is just one person’s perspective on a topic.
The reason for this is because those sites are usually flooded with different guest post pitches coming in, so just yet another article doesn’t seem particularly unique even if the headline is catchy. More than that, with a standard article, the site in question can never know for sure if having it published is going to pay off (in terms of traffic, social media shares, etc.), so accepting it is always a guessing game for them.
With interviews, on the other hand, it’s a slightly different story. If the person being interviewed is recognizable then the interview presents much better potential results, purely because of the person’s reputation. The site is therefore much more likely to feature it.
And what’s in it for you? You get the byline and, additionally, if the topic of the interview is related to your business, you can somehow mention it casually in the interview itself.
Of course, the most difficult part is finding the right interviewee and convincing them to take part.
Note. This isn’t about pitching a review of the product that you are offering in your business. This is about interviewing someone else’s product.
Here’s how it plays out step by step:
- Browse through the affiliate links that the blog is using on its pages already (search within posts, resource pages, and so on).
- Find certain products that get mentioned multiple times.
- Check which of them haven’t been reviewed individually in a blog post.
- Send your pitch mentioning that you’ve noticed the affiliate links and that you’d like to review the product for the blogger.
I do agree that placing your own link within such a review can be tricky, but I leave it up to you to come up with a creative solution to do so. As usual, the key is being relevant and making sure that all of your links are thematically related to the main topic.
The six content types above are probably just the tip of the iceberg, and I’m sure we will be seeing new ones sprouting up in the future as Google gets more and more suspicious about standard all-text guest posts.