The idea I’m going to describe here is something I’ve stumbled upon by accident. But when I did, I couldn’t believe I didn’t try it out earlier.
I mean, it’s so obvious and so effective, yet it remains somewhat under the radar in the guest blogging space … even among more experienced guest bloggers.
The thing itself is rather simple. Instead of getting one guest post published on a given blog, you get two or three posts published on said blog in a sequence.
This maximizes your exposure and ensures that you will get in front of the majority of the blog’s audience – something that’s very difficult to do with just a single guest post.
However, since I want to be honest with you, I have to come clean about two downsides first:
- Downside #1: It’s a lot of work. This one should probably go without saying. After all, writing three posts is at least 3x more work than writing one.
- Downside #2: It’s not particularly stunning for SEO. I mean, having a series of posts published on some blog will almost certainly not hurt you. But it will have nowhere near as much effect as getting three posts published on three different blogs.
What the above means is that guest (series) blogging is only for those of us who care about other business goals more than we care about SEO (which should be your strategy, by the way).
Okay, so let’s start by listing some of the benefits first and then get into the how-to part.
Why guest (series) blogging works
I’ve already mentioned this briefly a couple of paragraphs above, but let’s discuss this in more detail for a minute.
The main, huge, great benefit is that you get maximum possible exposure.
Think of it this way. You go to one Michelin starred restaurant, and order a dish. You eat it, enjoy the experience, and go home. This is guest blogging.
Guest series blogging, on the other hand, is when you go to the same restaurant, eat the main dish, preceded by an appetizer, and followed up by a dessert.
Or to put it in a bit dryer marketing terms, you can’t effectively assess a given blog’s value when it comes to sending you business until you post multiple times on its pages, and doing so with a guest series is the fastest possible method.
Another benefit is something that’s a bit counterintuitive at first. Believe it or not, but pitching a guest series isn’t any more difficult than pitching a single post.
Weird, I know. Here’s the science:
How to pitch a guest series
At the beginning of this post I said that I stumbled upon this whole idea by accident, and this is somewhat reflected to this day in my approach of pitching a series.
Drumroll please …
The secret to pitching a series is not actually pitching a series.
Pleas bear with me, I know it sounds strange.
Proposing a series right from the get-go might raise some doubts. After all, the blogger indeed needs to invest in you more if they agree to publish your series of posts. So if they don’t know you beforehand, they will decline.
Here’s what to do instead:
(Note. Please refer to other posts on this blog to find individual guides on how to handle each of the steps individually.)
Step #1: Propose a topic normally
The first step is rather standard. You don’t do anything differently.
Like with every other guest post, what you need to do is:
- Research the blog.
- Research your offering.
- Combine the two together.
- Come up with a topic(s) that fit(s) the collaboration.
- Pitch the topic(s).
However, make the post you’re pitching a rather large one – something that looks very attractive, in-depth and like an overall great publication.
This is how you get someone excited, you want them to be thinking something along the lines of: “Wow! This person will cover all of this in a single post, this is going to be great for my audience!”
(Note. Notice that you’re not mentioning the series anywhere in your pitch.)
Step #2: Craft a great outline and intro
This is the part where you’re getting ready to pitch the idea of turning your post into a series.
You do it with the help of two main building blocks:
- Great, jam-packed outline.
- Really enticing intro.
The outline should be the easy part. All you have to do is list everything you want to cover in your series in a concise way. There’s nothing more I can say about it, actually.
The intro is where you hook the blogger and convince then that your work is going to be great.
One of the not-so-popular facts about the publishing business – which blogging is surely a branch of – is that the headline is more important than the article, and then the first paragraph is more important than all the other ones.
The intro really is where you win or lose readers, as well as blog owners who you’re pitching to.
Now, I’m not among the best bloggers (craft-wise) out there, so your mileage may vary, but from my experience, what works best is starting each post with a story.
The story doesn’t have to be complex, but it needs to have three elements: who, what, when.
For example, look at the first paragraph of this very post. I know I’m no Dan Brown, but it’s “a story” nonetheless.
Step #3: Send your mid-pitch
This is where you take your outline and the intro paragraphs and send it all as part of your mid-pitch.
In this pitch, you want to achieve the following:
- Showcase the outline as something that’s too big for a single post.
- Use your intro to hook the person into wanting to read the rest themselves, and eventually publish it as well.
Now, this isn’t sneaky or anything, you’re being honest here. What you should say is that what you’re working on is turning to be too big to fit into a single guest post and that you don’t want to remove any vital info, so this is why you’re asking to turn it into a two- or three-part series.
If the blogger likes the overall idea of your post/outline/intro, they will say yes.
I, for example, have a 100 percent success rate when it comes to those mid-pitches and turning a single guest post into a series, so you can surely do it too.
Of course, getting a series published is only where the fun starts. What you need to do next is participate in the promotion of the post (we’ll talk about this in one of the upcoming posts), and capitalize on the incoming traffic on your end.
A well executed series can provide you with a nice stream of leads or even customers if it’s published on the right blog.
Not to mention the relationship you’re building with the blogger that published the series. After all, you’ve just given them a two- or three-week supply of content.
So what do you think about all this, is guest series blogging something you are likely to try out for yourself?