The Anatomy of a High-Selling Online Course

Online Course

Completing your online course is one thing, making sure that it sells is another.

If you’re sick and tired of creating online courses that others are ignoring, then it’s high time that you give your course development process a closer look.

Are there important elements that you are neglecting that would help increase your sales? Are your enrollees sharing your online course to their network

These are just some of the important questions that we will talk about and address.

Let’s hop right in:

1. Use a carefully crafted sales copy.

No matter how amazing your online course is, if you do not have a compelling enough sales copy to back it up, the chances of your sales skyrocketing is close to nil.

Remember that there are millions of online courses and ebooks published on the web. With that kind of competition, you need to be able to explain to your audience how your course is worth their time. And one of the best ways to do that is through a compelling sales copy.

While there are several techniques that can help improve a sales copy’s conversion rate, here’s my one best tip for you.

Talk about your audience’s problems. Then rub it in their faces.

If you’ve been into sales, or if you’ve studied quite a bit about conversion optimization, you will realize how emotions are what makes people act, not logic. And that is why this technique is so effective. It makes people emotional.

When you tell your audience about their problems, you’ll remind them of the hurts and inconveniences that they’ve experienced. This makes them emotional. This reminds them of how they’ll never want to experience that specific problem again, making them want to learn about the solution.Of course, your online course holds the solution that they are looking for. And that will compel them want to enroll.

2. Add actionable tips.

Clarity. This one word plays such a crucial role if you don’t want to frustrate your enrollees. On the flip side of the coin, clarity can also make your enrollees love you.

If your tips are vague, your audience will end up having more questions as they go along your course.

That’s the opposite of what your course should be doing-mind you.

Your course should be enlightening them, and giving them answers to the questions that they had in mind. Not the other way around.

That being said, you need to make your tips as actionable as it can be. That way, as they read along your course, they won’t ask the question, “how do I do that?”

They’ll be able to go through your course, and be armed with the information that they need to actually do the things that they need to do.

Here’s an example.

If you’re teaching your audience how to get more clients through Linkedin, you can give your audience an advice that’s vague like, “Optimize your Linkedin profile”.

As you can probably imagine, your audience will end up asking the question, “How do I optimize my profile?”

Now compare giving your audience a vague tip like that, with something like this, “Optimize your Linkedin profile by adding your keywords on your professional headline, by uploading a video on your summary talking about the benefits that your…”

At this point, I’m sure you can see how the latter tip is better than the former.

3. Add weave in your personal story in the course.

Everyone loves to hear rags-to-riches stories. It inspires the readers. It helps establish a strong connection between the creator of the course, and those enrolled to it.

Remember, while the quality of your content is important, the way you present it to your audience is just as important.

Instead of making your course sound one-sided where you’re bombarding them with important information (which will most likely bore them to death), why not add your personal experience? Why not weave in compelling questions that would make them reflect about their situation, ultimately making them emotional?

We’ve already established how making your audience emotional can do you wonders, right?

When you weave in your personal experience, there’s a good chance that your audience will be able to relate. At the back of their minds, they might end up thinking, “That happened to me too…” And because they can relate, they become even more receptive to what you have to say.

When your audience is in a state where they’ve lowered their defenses, it becomes easier for them to accept your ideas, making the knowledge transfer from your brain to theirs a lot easier. This results to them having a pleasant experience learning from you.

4. Make sure that your course is carefully formatted.

If your enrollees see a huge block of text on the pages of your course, you can bet your family jewels that it can easily compel them to click away.

When your course is crafted without any subheadings, bullet points, and proper spacing, it can cause your enrollees to be overwhelmed. They’ll find your course to be unreasonably burdensome to read, just because it looks burdensome.

However, if your course is properly formatted, it’s readability improves. It becomes a lot easier for your enrollees to consume your content.

When your course is broken down to bite-sized-pieces, your enrollees can munch through it effortlessly making the learning process more fun.

5. Ask your audience to share your course.

Don’t just ask them one time. Sprinkle your call-to-action multiple times within your course on places where it makes sense.

What do I mean by that, you might ask?

When I said, “makes sense” I’m talking about the places where you’ve added TONS of value. I’m talking about the places where you’ve thrown your Sunday punches.

That way, as you give them that life-changing advice, they won’t feel annoyed by you if you ask them to share your course. More than that, since they’ve just had an “AHA!” moment from reading your tips, they will want to reciprocate your goodness by helping you through sharing your course.

According to Robert Cialdini’s Six Key Principles of Influence, reciprocity is a potent tool that you can use to influence others. When you make use of this technique which is based on human psychology, there’s a good chance that you can elicit the kind of reaction that you’re looking for from your audience.

As you can probably imagine, if all of your enrollees will take the time to share your course, you’ll get way better sales.

Conclusion

Sure, this guide isn’t the end-all and be-all guide to creating a high-selling online course. I’ll be the first one to admit that there are several others techniques that you can use that will make your course sell like hot cakes. However, I promise you that if you’ll follow the tips that I shared, you are bound to see better sales results from your online courses.

It’s your time to share.

Have you ever sold online courses that have gotten you bajillions of enrollees? What are the things that you feel made it successful? What do you think are the things that can cause an online course to flop?

If you’d like to share your ideas, please do so in the comments section below. Cheers!

Photo courtesy – © tashatuvango / Dollar Photo Club

Why Creating an Online Course Isn’t Rocket Science

Online Course

Most publishers tend to get overwhelmed by the thought of having to create an online course. And it’s during these occasions when they start to procrastinate, or they tend to disregard the prospect of having to create one – just because of the sheer hassle of it.

You can probably relate to that, can you?

Look. If you answered my question with a “yes”, but you somehow still have not given up on the thought of creating your own online course, then allow me to share with you these 4 tips that can help you create your very own online course. At this point, I’d like you to forget daydreaming about the finished product. I just want you to follow the points that I’ll be sharing with you, until your course gets completed. Capiche?

Let’s hop right in:

1. Create a buyer persona.

It all starts with creating a well researched buyer persona. Without this, your course will end up looking low quality, or mediocre at best.

To give you a better idea of what buyer persona’s are, I’d like to share with you Hubspot’s very definition of it…

“A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better.” – Hubspot.com

As you can probably imagine, having a detailed and well researched buyer persona is a crucial step to creating an online course. Without it, you won’t be able to create a course that’s laser focused to a specific type of audience.

Of course, when your course lacks specificity (because you don’t have a clear idea of who your audience is) it becomes almost impossible for you to connect with them. Simply because the words you’re using (and the problems you’re talking about) are vague in nature.

While there are several templates that you can use to create a buyer persona, I urge you to use Hubspot’s template since it is the best that I have seen so far (you can access it by clicking the link above).

2. Market validation, and uncovering the problems that your audience are struggling with.

The process of creating an effective buyer persona should already include uncovering your audiences’ problems, however, I’d like to go a bit deeper on how this process works since this bit is really important.

Why am I so gung ho with helping you uncover your audiences’ problems, you might ask? Simple. That’s because we need to make sure that your course provides real value to your readers.

When you answer your readers’ questions, they will feel that you have equipped them with the tools and the knowledge that they need to solve their problems.

In short – they’ll feel that they’ve gotten real value from having bought your course.

That’s the whole point of taking the time to painstakingly uncover their problems.

Allow me to share with you the one best strategy that I use to help me with just that.

Using Q&A sites.

Website’s like Quora.com are such a goldmine to get a clearer idea of what your audiences’ questions are – or their problems. All you need to do is to go to the website, type in the keywords that pertain to your niche, then check out which questions are gaining more traction (or interest).

Here’s an example… If you’ll type in the keyword phrase “real estate” in Quora’s search engine, this is what you’ll see.

Online Course

Did you notice how the question has 20 answers and 32 follows to it?

That is an indication that the people are actually interested to learn more about the topic introduced in the question.

At this point, all you need to do is to look for as many questions/problems or “itch points” that your audience are craving to learn more about. The best part about using Q&A sites like Quora is that you can somewhat validate whether or not your audience will love reading or learning about a certain topic, by looking at the question’s number of follows, answers, upvotes, views, etc…

* Note – in addition to simply looking for the questions with a decent number of shares and interaction, I urge you to take the time to connect and interview some of the people commenting on these questions (10 – 15 people will do). That way, you’ll hear straight from the horse’s mouth some insights that will help you determine whether or not your course idea is something that people will bother buying.

3. Use a mindmap to organize your course.

Using mind maps will give you a bird’s-eye-view of your course’s landscape. This will help you determine whether or not your course has blind spots (or ideas that you need to substantiate), or if you have over-explained certain points so you can start trimming your course.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, of course.

Mind maps can also help you build the structure, or the sequence of how your course will flow.

Because you can see the main and the sub points of your course, you can pretty much determine which of them should go first, to help give your audience a smoother and better transition when going from one topic to another.

Remember that the way your course’s ideas transition can play a crucial role when it comes to helping your audience absorb the points that you are sharing. That being said, do not take this step lightly.

Putting things together.

At this stage of the guide, you now have these elements at hand:

  • a well researched buyer persona.
  • a clear idea of what your buyer persona’s problems are.
  • a clear outline (and a highly optimized one at that) of the points that you’d like to include in your course.
  • a clear idea of how you’ll sequence the ideas.

Now that you have these elements, you can start writing your course until it is completed.

Once you’ve written everything that you feel should be included (based on what’s on your mind map), the only thing left for you to do is to have someone proofread it, and to give it a rockstar cover design.

* Note – as you start writing your online course, there’s a good chance that you’ll add (or omit) some ideas from your outline. Don’t let it bother you. That’s how it usually is. Don’t expect the mind map (outline) that you created at the onset of your online course to be the be-all and end-all of it.

What’s next?

What is the one thing that’s keeping you from publishing your own online course? Please take the time to share the roadblocks that you’re dealing with in the comments section below.

Photo courtesy – © 3dsculptor / Dollar Photo Club

Do You REALLY Need to Hire a Coach/Trainer?

Hire a coach
© putilov_denis / Dollar Photo Club

Everything has a “code” – a code to success that is.

And if you are able to crack that code, then you’d be able to create systems that would allow you to experience repeated success in that specific area.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to earn online, or you’re trying to acquire the skill of teaching a lion to tame another lion (while using blindfolds), the only thing that’s standing between you and achieving success is whether or not you can decipher “the code”, and whether or not you act on it.

* Friendly reminder – there are often times more than just one code to achieving success. But you already know this, don’t you?

The good news is, we don’t always have to decipher the code by ourselves. We don’t always have to go through the trenches and endure hundreds (or thousands) of wasted hours (and money) going round in circles trying to blindly figure out what to do to be successful.

Somebody – a coach – already knows the code. And they are more than willing to share it with you, at a price.

So the question then becomes, are you willing to pay that someone for the code?

Allow me to answer that question by sharing with you the benefits to be had in having a coach. However, if after reading the post you still feel that the benefits I described still isn’t good enough, then you can truly justify answering the question that the title poses with a clear “no”.

Let’s hop right in:

1. You can hit your targets/goals with the least amount of time.

With the help of coaches, you can cut down your learning curve into half (or maybe more than that).

Because coaches already know their craft, and are great at transferring the knowledge from their brain to yours, you’d be able to learn the ins and outs, and the dos and don’ts of the craft that you are trying to master the soonest time possible.

That said, there is no need for you to delve on needless experiments that would cost you more time and money. You can pretty much cut through the noise and start learning the things that REALLY matter to you.

2. Have a more focused learning.

When you are learning the ropes all by yourself, there is a good chance that you’ll lose focus and be distracted.

I know this all too well since I became a victim of this myself. When I started earning online, I didn’t have a coach to guide me. No one taught me the ropes so I ended up doing all the research that I could on the internet about how to earn online.

My research initially led me to freelance writing. As I tried to research more on the topic, I ended up getting distracted into learning about other methods of earning like Google Adsense, affiliate marketing, surveys, and also the pay per download model (among others).

In hindsight, if I just stuck to freelance writing and learned the other skills that compliment it (just like what I am doing today), I am sure that I’d have gotten way further than where I am currently in my business and level of earnings.

3. Leverage on years of industry specific experience, even if you are a total newbie.

You may still be a beginner in your industry, but that doesn’t mean that you should act like one.

Imagine this.

There are two people who wants to earn online.

One of which decides to study the industry by himself. While the other decides to not just study the industry, but also, invest in hiring a coach who has been operating in the industry for years to teach him the tricks of the trade.

Which of the two do you think will prosper a lot faster?

Which of the two do you think will make the best decisions in the earlier stages of their career, that will help propel their growth into greater heights in the soonest possible time?

Of course, the answer is person number 1, right?

(If you answered affirmatively, then you need to read again.)

Seriously, though. Person number 2 will clearly be on the driver seat between the two. Simply because of the things he learned from hs coach that has years of experience.

Now here’s my question to you. Do you want to be on the driver seat like person number 2 and be the ones to lead the pack? Or are you contented with simply being a follower like person number 1?

Here’s another question. If you accidentally meet your previous boss – the one who fired you for no reason  at all – and asks you what you’re doing right now, do you want to tell him that you are still working for someone else? Or do you want to tell him that you are now the boss of your own business – the one leading the pack.

It’s your call…

4. Accountability.

One of the things that keeps us from reaching the level of success that we are seeking is our lack of discipline. This is especially true for those who have an online business (or those hoping to have one).

With how much of a distraction the internet has become, we end up creating all sorts of excuses to justify procrastinating in doing our most overwhelming task – the tasks that matters the most.

In short – we become pros at procrastinating.

If you have a coach that checks on you regularly, though, you will have an accountability partner that will keep you from procrastinating.

That means, not only will you be able to do your tasks the best way possible in terms of quality, but, speed will also be on your side.

What’s next?

Have you ever hired a coach before? What kind of experience and experience did you have with him/her? Was hiring the coach worth your time?

Please take the time to share your thoughts in the comments section below. I look forward to reading your ideas. Cheers!

Guest Posting Guide – Your Easy to Understand and Actionable Guide to Guest Posting Using Free Tools

Guest Posting Guide
© pieropoma / Dollar Photo Club

Warning: Acquiring the skills that you will learn on this guide will help triple or quadruple your earnings as a freelancer – mine grew 5x as much!

If you are truly serious about making money and giving your family a life filled with abundance and financial security, then be sure to take action on this guide.

Learn it. Read it a couple times until you have a full understanding of how the process works.

When you become familiar with the process of guest posting, you’ll be able to apply it on the different facets of your online career like acquiring clients, relationship building, and growing your brand – all of which can explode your earnings!

Do you want to increase your earnings?

If you’re reading this, then the chances are good that you are an online freelancer that isn’t satisfied with your current earnings.

You want to earn more. Way more than what you’re getting from your clients right now.

You’re probably not a newbie at freelancing online too, however, you’ve reached the point where you need to increase your earnings, because with the current skill set that you posses, the numbers (your earnings) just won’t add up.

Your expenses are slowly catching-up to the amount that you are earning, and the solution you’ve thought of to counter this is to learn a new skill so you can start getting additional work.

#YoureInTheRightTrack

While there are certainly other skills that you can learn that can help you get more jobs, learning about how to guest post and the entire process of it is one of the best skills that you can ever acquire.

Not only is the skill in demand because of the benefits that an entity can acquire from using it, guest posting is often times a good compliment to an existing skill that most freelancers have as well.

Learning how to guest post straight-up opens new possibilities for an online freelancer.

How, you might ask?

It’s like this…

Since the core of guest posting is really relationship building through proactively doing outreach to other people online, you can use the skill in other applications like looking for possible clients (and how to pitch them effectively), building a network of freelancers where you can get jobs from (or share your jobs to), or building relationships with webmasters so they can help you with your PR (or your clients’), among others…

The possibilities are endless, and learning the mechanics of guest posting is at its core.

That being said, if you want to explode your career as an online freelancer to get more jobs and more money, then you have got to learn the nitty gritty of guest posting.

Let’s hop right in.

The gist of it. What does it mean to guest post.

If you are new to internet marketing and aren’t quite familiar with how guest posting works (or what it is), then I’ll help shed some light on that.

In layman’s terms, to guest post means to write for another person’s website.

Since the website where your post is going to be published on isn’t yours, you are considered as a guest on the website and its community. Thus, you are posting your article as a guest. Or guest posting.

Capiche? :)

Why use guest posts out of all other marketing methods?

I cannot tell you how important it is for you to know the answer to this question. This is especially true if you are working for a client.

It is quite normal for a lot of your clients to ask why you should run a guest posting campaign, when you can do social media, paid ads, or video marketing (among others).

If you don’t know how to answer that question effectively, you might end up losing the opportunity of working with your client because they’ll decide to go with video marketing, so they’ll hire a video marketer, instead of hiring a person with a skill set like yours.

These are the massive benefits that a business can have through guest posting.

a. They’ll solidify their brand image as an expert in their industry.

Since the business owner’s target audience can see their articles published on reputable websites, it’ll give their audience the impression that they are an expert in the industry. Otherwise, why would other websites feature the business, right?

In addition to that, since the audience can read the articles and learn from the tips, they’ll experience first hand how amazing the ideas that you shared are.

* Note – this will only happen if you’re publishing high quality posts.

b. Your website will rank better on Google’s search results page.

While there are a plethora of factors that Google looks into when determining which website should rank the highest on their search results, one of the most important ranking factor are links.

The more high quality websites link to you, the more Google will view your website as relevant and worthy of ranking.

Note – my explanation above about how Google decides which website will rank the highest  in their search results is just a simplistic way of describing it. You can bet that there is more to it than just that. However, let’s leave it at that for now since the main topic of this guide is about guest posting only.

If you want to learn more about what makes a website rank, you should read more about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

d. You’ll get more traffic.

When determining which websites to pitch your guest post on, one of the metrics we look into is the website’s traffic. After all, what good is there for your work to be published on a website, if the website has very little to no traffic at all, right?

That being said, should your guest posts get accepted and published on the websites that we’ll describe as “qualified”, you can expect a decent number of readers to view it.

Of course, the more eyes there are on your write-up, the higher the chances that they’ll click your link and be routed to your website.

e. Longevity

Unlike paid ads where they’ll put down your content when the budget you’ve set has ran out, that’s not how guest posts work at all.

Once your article goes live, it’ll stay there until the end of days.

The webmasters or the editors don’t usually remove guest posts (or any kind of articles)  since it can have adverse effects on their website.

That being said, there is longevity to this marketing method. Can you imagine the kind of benefit you’ll get if you’ll manage to guest post on hundreds of websites?

Now that you’ve gotten a handle on the basics of guest posting, it’s time we start talking about the actual process.

The free tools that you will use.

I told you right? The tools we’ll be using are all free. You don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars worth of monthly subscription fees.

These are the tools that you’ll be needing to execute the guest posting process from start to finish.

a. SEO Quake

For scraping the URLs from Google’s search results page. This extension has tons of other nifty features. It can tell you the domain’s age, together with other data that can give you more insight about a website’s overall quality.

b. Similarweb

We need this to view the website’s estimated monthly traffic. In addition to the website’s monthly traffic, however, it can also tell you from which country a website’s traffic is coming from and what the source of the website’s traffic is (whether it comes from the search results, social media, referral, etc…), among others.

c. 99WebTools

We need this tool to obtain the website’s Domain Authority and Page Authority.

d. Microsoft Excel

This is the platform that I use where I sort out and “clean” the scraped URLs.

Step 1 – How to uncover niche related websites that will most likely accept guest posts.

There is more to using Google’s search engine by simply typing in your keywords when searching for something.

Google has advanced search queries that you can use. Here are some examples:

“Keyword for your niche” + “Guest post”

“Keyword for your niche” + “Write for us”

“Keyword for your niche” + “Become a contributor”

Using these search queries will make Google’s search engine come back to you with niche related websites that will most likely accept guest posts.

In addition to the 3 that I shared above, here’s a list that’s way more comprehensive.

* Note – Do not expect Google’s search results to be 100% accurate and relevant to what you are searching for. Rest assured that there are going to be pages that shouldn’t be on there.

Step 2 – How to scrape data.

You will need to install SEOQuake for this.

The good news is, installing the tool is pretty simple.

Once you’ve installed the plugin, you should be able to see SEOQuake’s icon on the top right part of your browser.

Guest Posting Guide

At this point, all you need to do is to go to Google’s search box, type in your advanced search query (ex. “Business Tips” + “Guest post”) then hit “search”.

* Note – this is the advanced search query that we used, “Keyword for your niche” + “Guest post”. You simply need to replace the part where it says “Keyword for your niche” with any keyword (or keyword phrase that is highly relevant to your niche.

This is how the page should look like if you’ll try to use the search box using our sample search query.

Guest Posting Guide

Pretty amazing, huh?

The button on the screenshot above that I told you to click will show you the URLs of all these results.

This is what will show up once you click it.

Guest Posting Guide

To copy everything, simply do this:

  • Click inside the box.
  • Long press the “ctrl” button then press “a”
  • Long press the “ctrl” button then press “c”

Now that you’ve managed to scrape the data, paste everything in your MS Excel sheet.

Step 3 – How to remove the URL extensions so you’ll be left with the domain name (and the TLDs) only.

Now that all the URLs are in your Excel sheet, it’s time you remove all the extensions of the URL so only thing left becomes the domain names and the website’s TLDs.

Here’s how you can do that:

a. Click column “A”

b. Click the “Find & Search” button. You can find this on the top right part of your Excel sheet.

c. A pop-up will appear. You will need to add the characters “http://” on the portion where it says “Find What”, then press the “Replace All” button.

d. Repeat step “c” 3 more times. But this time, you need to replace “http://” with, “https://”, “www.”, and “/*”

Following the step above will remove whatever kind of extensions your URL has.

Let’s proceed to the next step.

Step 4 – How to obtain the statistics of the websites on your list.

There are several guidelines that marketers use to determine whether a website is worth linking to.

Others go indepth with their research on the website by checking their prospect website’s backlink profile, all just to make sure that they don’t have several low quality sites linking to them.

In short – the “No bad neighbors” rule.

That’s a good guideline to look into, btw.

However, let’s not go too deep down on that rabbit hole. Simply because going that route can be a bit too technical especially for those who are new to the industry.

Instead of going too deep on analyzing your prospect website’s link profile, I urge you to check out the website’s Domain Authority, estimated monthly traffic, and the other guidelines that I’ll share with you below.

To view your prospect website’s Domain Authority , you can use this free tool from 99webtools. All you need to do is copy and paste the list of websites on your Excel sheet, into the empty box on 99webtools.

After you click “check”, the tool will tell you the Domain and Page authority of the websites.

I’d also like to mention that I personally do not accept/qualify websites that has a Domain Authority that’s lower than 25. Anything that has a DA of 24 and lower, I remove from my list. This is just a rule that I follow, however. Other marketers have stricter guidelines, while other don’t even care about a website’s Domain Authority anymore.

Guest Posting Guide 5

* Note – there is a limit of 50 websites/lines for every search that you make. That being said, you might have to do this several times if you’re doing everything by batch.

To view your prospect website’s estimated monthly traffic, you can go to similarweb.com.

Guest Posting Guide

The thing with similarweb is that you can’t run websites in bulk. You have to do it one by one.

Well. That’s the downside that I don’t like about using Similarweb.

However… If you’ll use the tool, you’ll be mindblown at how amazing it is.

You’ll be able to uncover several amazing data about your prospect websites.

Check these out.

Guest Posting Guide

The “Traffic by countries” data can do you wonders especially if you are targeting a group of people from a specific country.

Guest Posting Guide

Guest Posting Guide

Here’s an important note that you need to remember when using the “Traffic Sources” section. If you’ll see that the website’s source of traffic are referrals, you need to be very careful with linking to that website.

You need to give that website a closer look.

There’s a good chance that they may be blindly linking to other websites, or spamming their way to build their links.

That right there is risky – that is, if you’ll link to them. Simply because linking to websites with bad neighbors can cause your website to be penalized by Google.

Alrighty!

At this point, you now have several websites on your list with their Domain Authority and estimated monthly traffic listed.

Note – if in case you missed it, the DA that I usually go with is 25+. If you are new to reviewing websites, then I urge you use the same figure for now. As for the monthly traffic, I don’t go with websites that have less than 10k traffic.

In addition to checking the website’s DA and monthly traffic, I urge you to consider these additional guidelines when trying to qualify websites:

  • Make sure that the website’s overall niche is highly relevant to yours (or your client’s).
  • The website should only be publishing high-quality articles.
  • It would be nice if the website has been up for several years. However, do not simply disregard websites that are just months old.
  • There shouldn’t be anything on the website that is porn or gambling related.
  • Make sure that the website looks professional.
  • Make sure that the website is mobile friendly.Avoid websites with intrusive pop-ups.
  • Avoid websites that have too many outbound links. Especially if the links are pointing to shady / low-quality sites.

Others go a bit more in depth with how they screen websites. However, if you’ll follow the basic guidelines that I’ve shared, more likely than not, you won’t get in trouble with getting penalized by search engines due to building your links.

Step 5 – Guidelines for creating a high converting guest post pitch.

Guest Posting Guide

These are the points that I consider when creating a guest post pitch. If you’ll follow these points, you’ll be way ahead most freelancers who claim to be “outreach experts”.

a. Do not EVER us “Sir”, “Ma’am” or “Madam”. You’ll just sound spammy. No one will ever open your email message. Just use the person’s first name. If you can’t find that info, then simply use “Hi”, or “Hello”.

b. Personalize your outreach pitch.

c. Make it short, crisp, and straight to the point. Ideally, your pitch should just be 3 – 4 paragraphs.

d. Show samples of your previous work. That way, they won’t have to do the digging if they want to learn more about the quality of your work.

e. Depending on what their guest posting guidelines are, give them 2 – 3 ideas that you’d like to write about.

f. No grammar errors please. Proofread your pitch 3 – 4 times. Better yet, have someone else proofread it for you just to make sure that you have your blind spots covered.

g. Talk about benefits. At the end of the day, the question that the webmasters will ask before they decide whether or not to accept your pitch is, “What’s in it for me?”

And just so you know, telling your prospect webmaster that they’ll receive a carefully crafted and well-written article is often times not enough anymore.

That being said, be sure to address the “what’s in it for me?” question as best as you can. You can address this by telling them that you’ll help them with more traffic since you’ll share it across your social media platforms with thousands of followers, you’ll use paid ads to help them market the post, or you can tell them that you’ll send some clients over their way, etc…

In short – make accepting your guest post pitch worth the webmaster’s time.

f. Use a punchy subject line. If your subject line is boring and poorly crafted, all the other tips I shared above becomes useless – your prospect will never open your email.

Remember that the quality of your guest post pitch is an integral part of the guest post process. Mess up this part of the process, and you’ll find yourself frustrated due to being ignored by the webmasters you’re pitching your guest posts to.

That being said, pay extra attention to how you create your guest post pitch.

Step 6 – Guidelines for writing quality content.

After having sent countless guest posts to webmasters and editors, I have found several common points that they find appealing in an article.

These are the things that they feel will make the article “click”. And that’s what I’m going to share with you right now.

Note – the tips I’ll share isn’t the be-all and end-all guide to writing quality content. I urge you to check out the website’s list of writing guidelines first, then use the points that I’ll be sharing to compliment your piece.

If they don’t have any writing guidelines listed, then, feel free to use these tips.

  • Keep the word count to a minimum of 1200 words. Doing so will set you apart (somewhat) from the spammers. Spammers don’t usually like to put in the effort of writing a lengthy and comprehensive content since they are just that – spammers. That being said, the articles they usually send are 500-word articles – the word count that most people consider as the bare minimum.
  • Write in a conversational tone. Address your audience as “you”, and not “one” or “some people”. Using the latter makes your write-up sound vague. It can cause a disconnect between you and your readers.
  • Use images, videos, infographics, or any other elements that can help make your article “pop”.
  • Avoid adding 4 or more lines per paragraph. Doing so will make your paragraphs look overwhelming. Staying within 3 lines max per paragraph is a good practice to follow.
  • Use subheadings. This will make your article highly scannable.
  • Link to their inner pages.
  • Link to other sites. Be careful when using this tip since several webmasters are paranoid with people selling links to their websites. When linking to other sites, make sure that the sites you are linking to are highly relevant and reputable. Think Forbes.com, CNN, etc…
  • Have a clear CTA (call-to-action) at the end of your posts. Instead of asking your audience to contact or connect with you, ask them something that would benefit the webmaster instead. Like asking your readers to share the post, or asking the readers to subscribe to the webmaster’s newsletter.

That way, the webmaster will have all the more reason to accept your article, since at the end of it, you are asking the readers to do something that will greatly benefit the webmaster, and not yourself.

Wrapping things up

At this point of the guide, you should already have a list of high quality and relevant websites that you can pitch on, a carefully crafted guest post pitch that won’t be ignored by webmasters, and a clear idea of how to write an article that your prospects (and their audience) will surely love.

Now that you have all the elements that you need, all you need to do is to visit each website, look for the webmasters’ contact info, pitch your guest post, and wait for their reply.

If you followed the tips that I shared with you on how to craft your guest post pitch, I’m sure you’ll have several webmasters accepting your pitch. At that point, all you need to do is to write the article based on their writing guidelines (and the the writing guidelines that I shared with you), insert your link, then send it to them once it’s done.

Now that they’ve received your write-up, they’ll either accept it, request for minor changes to be made, or decline it. For as long as the latter doesn’t happen, you’d have successfully landed your guest post and relish on all the benefits that businesses can obtain from guest posts.

Pretty amazing, huh?

I told you it was simple, didn’t I?

What’s next?

Did you find the guest posting guide helpful? If you did, I’ll be tickled pink if you’ll take 3 seconds of your time to click the share button.

I wish you success in your future guest post campaigns!