The 7 Most Common Reasons Guest Blogposts Get Rejected at Copyblogger (with Sonia Simone and Jon Morrow)

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The following is a recap of a Remarkable Marketing Blueprint with Sonia Simone and Jon Morrow – both editors at Copyblogger.

1. They Don’t Know Who You Are

Go ahead and submit a guest post via traditional means, but that still means the blogger won’t know who you are. If you’re an unknown, then the big blogs get so many posts from people they know, then why would they post yours?

So how can you fight against it?

  • Start commenting on the blog. If the blogger sees that you are participating in the comments, that will work toward the chances of your guest blogposts being published.
  • Get on Gravatar.com and get your face connected to your comments. It helps connect your name with your face.
  • Don’t use “doppy names”. You’ll stand out…but in the wrong way.
  • It’s all about building a relationship with the blogger:

2. You didn’t meet the standards of the blog

Consider the audience.

Submit your best work to the biggest audience.

Put time into your guest post. (Jonathan put together some point that relate to that here.) There’s a direct correlation between time spent on the post and the amount the post is shared.

Feel free to repurpose your content that you submit to guest post, but don’t do it as a blogpost. Try a PDF or a video – repurpose it as something else entirely.

Don’t submit a post you’ve already run on your own blog.

3. You didn’t match the editorial style of blog

For example, Copyblogger’s first paragraph – even the first few paragraphs – is usually only one sentence long. They use a lot of sub-headers and juicy sub-headers throughout the post. Take time to match the writing style of the blog.

Look through the popular posts and mimic the structure of one of those posts. Don’t reinvent the wheel here. Stealing framework is ethical as far as Copyblogger is concerned.

Adapt your own personal style for the blog you’re writing for.

4. Your topic isn’t a fit

If you want to write a post that is PG-13, you wouldn’t want to post it on the PG-rated Copyblogger. If you’re hell-bent on keeping curses in your post, then try to find another blog that would post a PG-13 post.

5. You weren’t memorable

Help readers make a connection with you with a personal story. Mention your kids, or your dog, or how much you hate broccoli – whatever it is! Those personal details will stick with people and bond you with them.

6. You keep making the same mistakes

Take the original post and compare it to the published version. You’ll learn more from those edits than you ever could from a writing book.

Editors feel good when you correct posts you write again for the blog. If you don’t fix mistakes you keep making, editors might see it as being lazy, that you don’t get it, and that it’s going to take a ton of time to edit/keep up with (and the writer becomes a chore).

That said, you’re not expected to be perfect the first time around. They might even make you rewrite the post. That’s not a big deal. You’re never going to be perfect, either.

Guest posts are a collaboration – don’t feel insulted if and when your posts are edited. For one guest post Jon did, he was told up front he’d be creating 3 drafts. Copyblogger posts go through three rounds of edits with multiple editors, including Brian Clark. (Due to this, Copyblogger is willing to take a post with strong ideals and poor writing and do the work to improve it for publishing.) These are all things you need to be aware of for whichever blog you’re looking to do guest posts for.

You can create a relationship with other guest bloggers by reaching out and asking “How was your experience doing the post for Copyblogger?”

7. You think you’re entitled

Sonia talks about an example with a woman who was persistent about a post she submitted which simply wasn’t suitable for the blog’s audience. Sonia nicely told her this, but the woman pushed. Instead of saying “OK, I’ll edit it and make it so it does suit your audience,” the woman presumed her post she be published. So instead of following up and standing out, she’s actually called attention to herself as a trouble maker.

It’s important to remember humility when you post on another person’s blog – you’re a guest blogger, after all. Act like one.

Sonia Simone – Remarkable Marketing Blueprint

Jon Morrow – Associate Editor of Copyblogger

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