You’re a fellow blogger and would like to contribute to Travel World Heritage? You’ve come to the right place! I get a lot of requests for guest posts these days (maybe 1-2 a week), so I think it is time potential writers understand what I look for before they send me an email and are disappointed if I reject the idea. Here are my ground rules and things you need to understand before considering this venture.
[Just for the record though, a blogger in my book, is someone who is sharing information about travel freely, without pushing a product for either themselves or another company. If you are looking to advertise, go here for info on how to do that.]
I Rarely Accept Guest Posts
I’ve been blogging since February, 2013 and have accepted a grand total of 5 guest posts. This is by design. To be honest, most ideas sent my way are not very good or relevant to my blog. This is partially my fault because I never set any ground rules. However, it is also part of a plague of lazy writing, which reminds me…
It Needs to be your Best Work
People these days don’t care to be an expert about their travel destination and would rather just dish out the minimum 300 or whatever words Google looks for to get a link. When you write a guest post, it needs to be good, REALLY REALLY good. Like, the best stuff you’ve ever written good. I remember reading Nomadic Matt’s book on travel blogging a while back and when he suggested this, I thought it was stupid. WHY ON EARTH would I give my best stuff to someone else’s blog? It took me until I had my own following to realize how much this matters, especially when accepting someone else to write on your blog. I am a quality over quantity type of blogger and would rather just post nothing than filler.
It Needs to be Relevant
I cant stress this enough. My blog is about traveling, yes, but it has a very clear direction. In fact, I made it easy for everyone to know that direction BY PUTTING IT ON THE URL (it is about world heritage sites for one). Noodle around in my blog to actually know what it is about. And please, don’t say a generic “I have looked around your blog and like what I see.” I am not an idiot, I know who has and who hasn’t at least looked. These are usually followed by suggestions to write about something irrelevant to my themes. Have a clear idea, be sure it fits my blog, and write about that…which reminds me…
You Need a Sample BEFORE I Consider It
I do require that a sample of the proposed idea is submitted. For example, if the idea is a list (and I do like lists), the attachment in the email should have the first few items on the list (maybe 3-4 of a top 10). If it is not a list, you should attach about 40-50% of the post proposed. This includes media like videos or pictures. I prefer pictures personally (may be watermarked by you). Before you do that though…
Pitch Me Some Ideas
A good way to get your foot in the door is to pitch a couple of ideas. From those, I may say, “Oh, I like this one,” and from there you can write the sample I just talked about. Now, that is not to say that I will automatically accept it and reserve the right to refuse a guest post at any point during this process. You have to understand that this blog is biggest hobby I have, and probably the thing I have worked on for the longest in my life. I can be a bit protective.
No Personal Stories
Look, I took a year to even write an about me page. IMHO, blogs should be about content, not personalities. I admit, I do sometimes grow an appreciation for a particular person’s point of view. However, I am far more interested in what you have to say than in who you are. That is not to say you shouldn’t introduce yourself in your pitching email, just don’t make your potential post about yourself.
Be an Expert
I am going to the Maldives soon for my honeymoon. You know who I trust with information? This guy named Alex Horoshkevich or this girl named Jinhee. Why? They have both lived in the Maldives and know more than someone who has been there a week or so and thinks they are experts. Don’t get me wrong, your life epiphany in that one week trip to Europe sure is fascinating to your readers, but that’s just not what I’m looking for in a guest post. I am looking for experts in whatever they are writing.
The very first thing I do when someone pitches an idea is google key words and see if someone has done something similar. If I get more than a hit or two, it’s been done. I’ve been teaching in Korea for almost 6 years now and it took me 2 yrs to even talk about how to become a teacher. Quite frankly, until then, it had been done and it wasn’t until I felt I had the ability to do it better that I even gave it a shot (lots of misinformation out there). Likewise, travel blogging has a billion possibilities, but no one needs to read about what to do in Rome again. The content submitted should not be already published elsewhere.
That is all I can think of for now. If you think you have what it takes, email me: Maximuz04[at]gmail[dot]com.