How to Guest Post on Websites

Jun 29, 2022

So you’re an online content writer, posting about content that interests you and that you have expertise and knowledge in. You have your own website that you operate and write on, but you find that your readership growth has somewhat stagnated and you’re not sure where to go to attract more people to your site. While a wide range of methods to attract website traffic exist, a particularly unique solution is to become a guest poster for other websites and outlets that are also in your area of expertise.

In one of my previous blog posts, I mentioned the potential of guest posting on other online websites and outlets to demonstrate your own expertise and attract visitors to your own site’s content. In truth, becoming a guest poster to other online sites and outlets may sound more straightforward and simple than it really is. The process and etiquette behind requesting to become a guest post might not be easily understood without first being explored and explained. That’s why in this article, I’ll be informing you about how to request to become a guest poster for sites, how to maximize your chances of being accepted, and how to best approach the different aspects of this process, from start to end.

Before we continue, it’s important to say that it’s never too late to start your own blog or site to establish yourself and your skills. If you’re a novice who’s looking for a user-friendly website creation experience, I’d recommend you use They offer a completely free website building experience that uses a drag-and-drop builder rather than any coding on your end, and their plans also include blog pages that you can use to start sharing content. For those with more experience under your belt, or for those who feel a bit more adventurous, you can use WordPress to build a website entirely unique to you with its expansive library of free themes and plugins that enhance your website as a whole. WordPress sites will need hosting, so I’d recommend you try hosting with Doteasy, a value-packed hosting service that includes free domain name registration in your hosting signup cost, and boasts friendly and knowledgeable in-house support that’s helped me a ton whenever I run into things I need help with.

Find Sites to Post To

Before beginning to write your requests for becoming a guest poster, you should identify if the sites you’re planning to contact and request to post to have a need for guest posters in the first place.

A Need For Posts

Does a site have a need for guest posters? Take a look at how often posts and/or websites are added to their site. If a site, for example, posts 2 new articles on a daily basis, that demonstrates that they already have a fully productive and complete content team onboard creating content for their website, and would likely have little need for your posts to add to their already extensive production cycle. It may not be entirely fruitless to contact them and request to be a guest poster for their site, but your chances are likely better with sites that have smaller operations. On the other hand, if you see a site’s blog updates only around once a month, and all their previous posts credit the same one or two people as their writer, there’s a good chance that this content is all being written and managed by one individual or a small team at most. This scenario is more likely to be fruitful when you approach them to ask about if you can become a guest poster, as they would be more likely to welcome another source of publishable content for their website.

Is There An Existing Readership Base?

Another question you should ask yourself about websites you’re thinking of requesting to become a guest poster to is whether a site in question has an existing readership base that you can find success with. Your main goal in becoming a guest poster is to draw another website’s audience to your own website, so this is an important question you should consider and do your best to estimate an answer to.The issue is that you can’t know this for sure, since you don’t operate the website in question, and depending on the sort of website owners and representatives you may find yourself interacting with as you request to post to their sites, it may be considered a rude question to ask. The good news is, you can get a rough idea of whether a website has a readership base by looking at 2 aspects of the site: first, the frequency of content being published, and second, any signs of engagement (or lack of engagement) on the sites’ articles or posts.

How Frequently is Content Published?

Whether a site features content being frequently published can clue you in on whether the site has readership. If content is frequently published, people are naturally more likely to come to this site as return visitors, or to recommend the site to their friends, because frequent updates and new content will organically attract more people to a site. Better yet, content published on a consistent basis is likely to attract even more people, who come to anticipate and look forward to a site’s consistent updates. This signals a uniquely productive opportunity for you as a guest poster, because a consistent readership base that is likely to have a degree of loyalty and trust in the site you’re a guest poster to will show up and be more receptive to your content by default thanks to their innate interest in the site.
Website attracting audience

Use the frequency and consistency of a website posting to their site to get an idea for whether or not this site will have an audience to appeal to. Frequent updates and new content will organically attract more people to a site, which is something you’d benefit from if you were to guest post on the site. 

On the other hand, if a site publishes content on a very irregular basis and, for example, publishes 20 articles in a month before only publishing 1 new article in a span of 2 years, this likely means that this site has little to no readership that will come to the site to see its content. This could be happening because the site owner is, in one way or another, letting the site become unsupervised and die down on its own. In either case, we can extend this understanding to predict that there won’t be much readership on your content if you become a guest poster to this site. This ultimately means that little to no interest will be successfully directed to your own site, which is the goal that you have going into becoming a guest poster. After reaching this conclusion, it would likely be best to refrain from posting to a site like this, and to look for other sites with better readership.

Is Site Engagement There?

Comments, likes, shares, and more are all forms of site visitor and reader engagement, and looking at changes or trends in their amounts over time can let you know about changing amounts of interest in the site and its content. While not all sites may have these numbers displayed on their pages, those that do offer you a clearer idea of whether their readers really have an interest in the content they put out. Whether a site has engagement with its content, and any simple trends that you can identify in the engagement you can see, can say a lot about whether you should consider requesting to post to a site. Engagement can be a key indicator not only about whether a site has visitors, but whether a site’s visitors are interested in the content being published.

For sites that don’t have their website engagement numbers displayed on their site pages, you could visit the social media pages they might maintain to get a similar feel for how people are engaging with their content. For example, if a website uses their social media page to post links to posts on their actual website, see how many likes, shares, and comments that social media post receives. This will give you an idea for if and how people are engaging with a site’s content.

It’s important to note that engagement numbers, both on sites themselves and their social media pages, only indicate a fraction of content’s actual engagement rate: many readers may be interested or swayed by the content they read without directly commenting or sharing it. This can be the case for a variety of reasons, from readers simply not feeling a need to add to the engagement numbers of content, to forms of engagement like commenting or sharing being locked behind membership or logins that some people don’t have the effort to go through with. So if you see a post with, for example, 30 comments and 20 shares, you can be sure that the actual number of people that this article reached was much more than just 20 or 30 people.

Website guest post guest posting shares data

An example of a page that shows its engagement numbers is this post from Orbit Media Studios, showing that their post has 1500 shares across a variety of platforms.  When you see numbers like this on a site’s post, you can get an idea of how much readership their article has.

Is Site Engagement Changing?

For example, you might see that on a site that posts content once every 2 weeks, older posts from a year ago each had around 10 comments and 20 shares on it, and each comment had a unique and thoughtful response from the website’s owner or representative. Then, you look at posts from 2 or 3 months ago and see 0 comments or shares. This would show you that the visitor and reader engagement on this site has decreased, and that the number of people who would engage with this site is certainly less than it would’ve been one year ago. Reaching this conclusion, it would likely be best to find an alternative site to request to post to, as your content is unlikely to reach many people if you were to post it to this site.

On the other hand, you might see a growth in the engagement on a site’s content over time, a promising indicator for a site you’re considering posting to. Maybe, for example, a post from 1 year ago has 5 comments and 2 shares, while a post from 1 month ago has 30 comments and 15 shares. These growths in engagement show that the readership base of this site has increased meaningfully over time, and you can assume that were you to guest post to this site, an active number of readers would see and engage with your content. This means that guest posting to this site would be much more likely to have success in attracting new readers to your own website to continue consuming content that you put out.

What Does Data Say About a Site?

Aside from making your own judgements on how a site is performing and whether it’s somewhere you should consider reaching out to about guest posting, using real data related to a site’s content and popularity is very helpful in gaining insights into how a site is performing. One of the forefront website data analytics websites is Websites like SimilarWeb collect and use data to estimate the total amount of traffic that different websites receive from users around the world. Using these kinds of sites, you can find real data about different aspects of sites’ performance with visitors, from total visitor count and average visit duration to bounce rate (the rate of visitors who only view one page before leaving the site); check out my article about marketing terms you should know for more information about concepts like bounce rate. Using data like this, you can be more informed with objective facts to understand how a site is performing. You can also get a better idea of whether you should consider requesting to guest post on a site you might be interested in.

Your Starting Approach

Going into requesting to become a guest poster, there are some key foundations we should lay first before we go any further.

Find the Right Contact Channels

It’s important to note that reaching out to some websites or outlets to request to become a guest poster may be more straightforward or a bit more uncertain than others. Some websites or outlets may offer very clear methods of contacting someone who owns or represents them: there might be a “send us an email” link at the bottom of their home page, a “leave us a message” option embedded somewhere on their website, or any other method that designates itself as specifically made for inquiries into the website/outlet.

However, other places might not make things so clear, and might completely lack a method of contacting them upon first inspection. In cases like this, you might have to get a bit more creative with how you reach them. If they allow comments on their website posts, for example, try leaving a polite and brief message on their most recent post requesting to be able to directly contact them. If they have a social media page, try sending them a direct message through these channels. Of course, some places check their website comments or direct messages more frequently than others, so don’t be too surprised if some websites or outlets take a little longer to get back to you. In the case where you don’t receive any responses from them in something like a few weeks, you could decide to either find another channel to contact them through or to simply move on to requesting at a different website or outlet.

No matter how you choose to try and reach out to a website or outlet, make sure your method of contact is a valid channel, and doesn’t risk infringing upon anyone’s privacy. Unless their public website or social media page openly links to a representative or owner’s personal social media page, for example, it would be best if you don’t track down someone’s private page just to send them a business-related message out of the blue; this might be interpreted by some as overstepping boundaries.

Polite, Humble, Respectful

Foundationally, the attitude and respect you give another website owner or representative can go a long way when communicating with them, and especially when requesting to become a guest poster for them. In any social situation, regardless of who or why you’re interacting with others, you should always remember to be polite, humble, and respectful. This is especially true in the case where you’re asking for someone to allow you to become a guest poster to their site. No website owner will accept a rude, arrogant, and demeaning request to post to their site, after all. When asking something of anyone, you always want to give them the best possible feeling of you being a likable and pleasant person to interact with, since they’ll likely be interacting even more with you during the process of, for example, communicating what topics you should be writing about for their site, or suggesting edits to your guest content for their site.

Being polite, humble, and respectful to the person you’re reaching out to is the first and arguably most important step in requesting to become a guest poster. Keep this in mind throughout all your interactions with websites’ owners and representatives, even if you encounter some difficulties or are met with rejection.

How to Stand Out

In the world of sending online communications or requests, it’s not rare to see messages or content copy-pasted across different locations or usages for convenience and to save time. Online content writing isn’t excluded from this issue, which is why it’s important for you to set yourself apart from others who request to guest post to sites.

Make Yourself Stand Out

Copying and pasting the same request or comment is common in the online world, and is seen in cases such as college applications, social media posts, and news articles. In the case of content writers looking to guest post to sites, they’re eager to send requests to any and all possible sites they encounter, which leads them to create generic reusable messages with no real substance to them that are then sent out to as many sites as they can find. Additionally, the issue of spam and people’s habits of dismissing communications as spam before reading them should also be considered: with a whopping 122.33 billion spam messages sent globally every day, you don’t want your request messages to be lost in the downpour of spam. Websites are likely to receive multiple requests for guest blogging daily, and because of commonly encountering generic communications from countless people, or constantly dealing with spam messages, it may be harder to get them to take you on as a guest poster. This makes it important for you to differentiate yourself from other guest post requesters by making your best efforts to personally and directly appeal to the blog you’re requesting to post to.

The key method to go about differentiating your request from others is to personalize each message or request you send out to sites’ owners or representatives. Preferably in your first initial contact with the site, directly mention names, dates, pieces of content, and anything else that are specific to the website or outlet that you’re requesting to be a guest poster to. This demonstrates that your message is uniquely written as a request to their site, rather than being a mass copy-pasted message that’s been sent out to dozens of other sites. In your writing, do your best to express an interest and enjoyment of their work, and remember to stay polite, humble, and respectful of the person or group that you’re communicating with.

Show Your Potential

To capture the interest of those that you’re communicating with, consider showcasing a piece of your past work that you’ve uploaded on your own site, or maybe even guest post to another site in the past. This has the potential to make a strong and lasting impression on those that you’re communicating with, which could be the difference between your request for guest posting being accepted or rejected. For each individual request you send out, see if any of your previous content matches the feeling or type of writing that the site you’re requesting to guest post to features, and include links to that work in your message as a showcase of how your guest posting to their site could align with their usual content. This shows that you’ve actually looked at the site’s content, and have taken into consideration how your writing would fit in with the sort of writing the site usually publishes, yet another indicator of the initiative and capabilities that you have as a potential guest poster.
Website guest post guest posting stand out
While there might be many other writers requesting to guest blog on a site, make yourself stand out in the eyes of the site’s owner and/or representative so that their allowing you to guest blog is their most logical choice.

Stay Brief and Organized

In the vast majority of scenarios, regardless of what or why you’re writing, it’s best to keep your writing short and sweet.

Don’t Lose Your Readers’ Interest

Avoid dragging on or extending what you’re writing simply for the sake of extending it. This is very important when requesting to post to websites or outlets, because it can be the difference between you earning or losing the favor of the person or people who read your request. Nobody wants to sit in place and read 10 paragraphs of mostly meaningless self-introduction, with only a few sentences of actually important information sprinkled throughout. To do this would lose you the attention and favor of your readers long before they finish reading what you’ve sent them.

Length and Organization

In any request you send out, you should maintain a healthy length of around 3 to 4 paragraphs that are on the shorter side, in which you remain mindful and fulfill the different aspects of communicating with websites that we’ve discussed in this article so far. Try to focus each paragraph on a different purpose for a clear and digestible reading experience. As an example layout, use your first paragraph as a brief introduction for who you are and what you want, your second paragraph to demonstrate that you’ve read content and are interested, your third paragraph to discuss what you bring to the site with your content and to showcase or link to your past content, and your fourth paragraph as a quick wrap-up to what you’ve written and an expression of your gratitude for them considering your request. This is a straightforward organization of what you include in your request that should be simple and likable for its reader or readers. Because this is an example, the content you write can certainly be altered based on what you feel would be a good fit, but neat organization like in this example of what you communicate will likely get you further than the absence of it.
Website guest post guest posting stand out

Keep your writing on the shorter side, with clear divisions between paragraphs that cover different topics, so that whoever reads your request has an easier time and could take more of a liking to how you present yourself. After you’ve made sure your request is well-written, don’t wait a minute longer than you should: send it out to the site!

Once you’ve taken everything that we’ve discussed so far into consideration, and you’ve prepared everything you need to, don’t hesitate for longer than you need to. Send out requests and wait to hear back from the websites and outlets you’ve contacted. Following the aspects and steps we’ve talked about so far, you should eventually find success and be able to become a guest poster to some websites.

Success with Conditions

So you’ve sent out some requests to different websites and outlets, and you’ve received a reply from a website owner expressing interest in you guest posting to their outlet. Before you can declare your success at being accepted as a guest poster, however, the interested owner has some conditions or expectations for how they think you should write for their outlet.

Keep an Open Mind

Depending on what they entail, the conditions and/or expectations of website owners and representatives may cause you to second-guess whether you’ll post to a site or outlet. Maybe the owner tells you that they’ve reviewed your past writing and thinks you should write for their outlet in a different way from how you usually write. Maybe the outlet wants you to write only about a certain topic that might be a little outside the topics you’re used to writing about or are passionate about. In scenarios like this, your instinctive reaction may be to try to negotiate back or outright reject the post offer just for these reasons, but the important thing is that you don’t do so, at least not irrationally or without thinking things through first.

Unless the conditions or topics are extremely beyond what you’re capable of or used to doing, to the point where you feel uncomfortable completing this content or know your quality of content will be far below what you and/or the owner expect of you, don’t act on any gut desires to reject the offer. You’ve already gotten further with this website than you may have gotten with other sites or outlets: you want to post to this site, and they want you to post to their site, so you’re both on the same page, and this is undoubtedly an opportunity for mutual cooperation and growth. This is their site, after all, so them wanting you to follow some of their expectations isn’t surprising, since they should know what sort of content or writing style will more cater to their site’s visitors. Additionally, you were the one to initiate asking to become a guest poster, which they took the courtesy of responding to and accepting; to suddenly reject this offer because of conditions would be a negative demonstration of your character as someone who doesn’t commit to what you seem to want.

The key point is to not reject the guest post offer simply because of any conditions or expectations. As a content writer looking for opportunities, you should keep an open mind and not shy away from chances to prove yourself. You should have what it takes to write what’s most needed from you, and if it’s a bit different from what you’re used to, that shouldn’t be something that stops you from giving your all regardless. So take the offer you get, and turn it into a learning experience, or a chance to strengthen and broaden your own writing abilities, both in the short-term and long-term.

If At First You Don’t Succeed

Just like everything else in life, success might not be found immediately after you begin something, and it’s important to be ready to acknowledge this and embrace it.

Try and Try Again

Being successful within your first or second tries of anything in life isn’t a given, and sometimes things just don’t go your way. In the case where you find yourself being rejected by a website or outlet, don’t feel too down, and don’t let it discourage you from continuing to request being a guest poster to other places. Remember not to fall for the common pitfall of taking rejection personally: rarely is it that you weren’t good enough, because there are too many potential reasons unrelated to you that could explain why your request was rejected. This is why, rather than lingering on what you could’ve had, do what you can to quickly move on to other and better opportunities; after all, there will always be more websites and outlets to request being a guest poster to.

Being rejected from one website, or not receiving a reply from an outlet, is just part of the process to eventually find success and be accepted as a guest poster for another. As long as you’ve tried your hardest and given it your all, you can take a rejection or failure knowing that there are always more chances on the horizon, and that every experience, regardless of if you succeed, is a chance to learn and grow.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a guest poster to a website or outlet is a process that might seem a bit complex on the surface, but when you take the time to think about it and prepare everything properly, it’s really no more difficult than anything else you’d encounter as an online content writer. Hopefully after reading this article, you can go into this process more informed, more prepared, and more ready to succeed. Remember that everything rewarding in life likely takes time, effort, motivation, and failure for you to get the results you want. All the positives and negatives are just part of the process you need to commit to in order to have the rewards you aim for.