If you don’t have one of the more authoritative websites in your niche (yet), it can seem difficult to grab the attention of the great writers in your industry, let alone get them to contribute content. Most of what we would call “A-list” writers are incredibly selective on where they publish their content, which is usually for two reasons:
- One of the ways to become an A-list writer in the first place is to constantly show up on authoritative websites. This helps you gain respect and credibility. These writers might have started writing for smaller sites, but once they start working with bigger sites, that’s usually the preference.
- Second, and typically why the first reason is so common, is that writing good quality pieces is very time-consuming. It’s hard to convince a popular writer to spend a lot of time on an article that isn’t going to reach known readership.
While these roadblocks do make it difficult, there are several strategies and tips you can follow to start connecting with some of these popular writers. You might have to start smaller, but your guest blogging outreach should work like a domino effect as long as you’re patient.
Top 7 Tips for Drawing A-List Guest Authors to Your Blog
The biggest thing to remember is that there is a lot you should do before you even approach the writer personally. Prepare for that initial meeting by doing a few things:
Make Sure You are Consistently Producing New and Quality Content
This is an obvious point but definitely worth mentioning. The first thing an a-list author is going to do if they come to your site is check out the content you’re producing and how often. This is one way to show not only that you have the potential to really offer quality to readers, but you care about your blog/ website and you care about making it the best it can be. Writers want their writing to help achieve a goal, not just be published somewhere for no reason.
Create Mutual Social Connections
Try to see whom that writer is connected with on social media and connect with those people first. When you finally go to connect with the author, it will help if you have mutual friends (particularly on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook). This brings me to my next point:
Make Yourself Known Amongst That Writer’s Circles
Not only should you connect with those who know an author, but make yourself known by commenting on articles, striking up conversations in forums, and sharing articles on social media. The more you can get your face and your voice out there the better chance you have that you will be noticed. It isn’t enough to simply connect with these circles on social media—you have to actually put in the effort to get to know them.
Have a Clear Set of “Write For Us” Guidelines on Your Site
Any proper blog or website is going to have a set of “Write for Us” guidelines. If you are really only looking for top authors and you don’t want to have this published on your page, you should still have something written to send the writers who you are interested in featuring. This shows that you have a clear set of business goals and that you’re organized.
[pullquote]Once you have a good foundation, you can move on to talking to the author.[/pullquote]
The moral of the story is that it needs to be a realistic possibility to have an A-list writer on your blog, and the three points above will help you get to that point. Once you’re sure that you have a solid website, you have a better chance of success when reaching out to an author. A few things to help:
Bring Up Any Way You Might be Connected
Chances are an A-list writer gets a lot of emails and requests, so you want to come out right away and say how you are connected. Recognizing a name or company is a good way to get someone’s attention. Even if you were to mention an article they wrote or a group you both belong to could help give you an edge.
The best scenario is being introduced by someone who writer knows, so if you can make that happen definitely don’t hesitate.
Show That You Really Know and Love the Author’s Work
You don’t want to be annoying to send an incredibly long email discussing the finer points of every article they have ever written, but slip in there that you have been following their work and are a big fan. Give a quick, specific example that’s really genuine to show you are serious.
Offer Metrics About Your Website or Where You Plan to Take it in the Coming Months
If your blog is steadily growing, let the author know that briefly in your email. The same goes for social media and the number of fans and followers you might have. This is a great way to show the type of readership you have to offer, which is particularly important if the writer has never heard of your website.
On that same note, in one or two sentences try to explain your goals and your vision for the website in the future. The more organized and driven you are, the more attractive you’ll look to any writer.
In the end, time is going to need to be on your site to get some of the a-list guest authors out there. If you aren’t successful the first time, wait several months and try again.
However, don’t forget that there are quite a few authors out there who write great content but are working to break into some of those authoritative websites themselves. These people can help you create a quality blog, and you never know—someday they might be considered A-list — and you discovered them first.
Do you have any tips for attracting A-list authors to your blog? We’d also love to hear from anyone who might be considered an A-list author in a particular industry. What would make you want to write for a newer or lesser-known blog? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.