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Tips for Academics: Why and How to Guest Blog

Guest blogging is way to expand your following by publishing articles on third party blogs. This practice introduces people, who would otherwise have no exposure to your work, to what you do. It can also supplement your income since most sites pay guest writers.

By regularly guest blogging, you will build a reputation as an expert in your field. This reputation could lead to more lucrative assignments such as writing for magazines, doing television interviews or getting published.

Where to guest blog

Before even exploring guest blogging, you must already have high quality articles. This is essential because host sites will review your work before accepting your offer. They look for the quality of your writing, the frequency of typos, the number of likes, comments and shares that you receive, and whether you are indeed a subject matter expert who generates original ideas.

Once you have a library of articles, find sites that lets users publish guest blogs. Unless you already have a stellar reputation as an expert, focus on smaller blogs maintained by academics in your field. Then graduate to larger blogs: Bamidele Onibalusi wrote a list of 20 science blogs that accept guest posts.

If it is your objective, with time you will build a reputation that can lead to lucrative guest posts on major publications like Scientific Americas or National Geographic.

Writing a pitch

After identifying sites where you can guest post, write a pitch that will state your credential, explain the story that you want to tell and give a link to your blog. Your pitch must stand out because publishers often receive dozens of pitches every week. When writing a pitch, remember to:

  • Be impressionable: Address the editor by name. If you do not know their name use a tool like Rapportive that scours the internet for their name, based on their email address.
  • Introduce yourself: Introduce yourself by name, and mention your institution, area of expertise, published academic articles and a link to your blog.
  • Explain the value of the article: Write a description of the article that you are proposing and explain why it would be of value to the publication and its readers (i.e. in the news, the subject has not been covered in that blog, ground breaking, relevant …).
  • Adhere to guidelines: There are usually specific requirements on sending pitches. Make sure to follow them.

Finally, we recommend keeping a spreadsheet of which blog of where you have sent your pitch and their response. It will help you manage your communication and discover which types of pitch are most successful.

For tips on how to structure the actual article, you can read read our article on how to write a scientific blog post.