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Guest posting has helped me increase my reach, make a bigger impact, and help more people Unsettle than I could have ever imagined.
I can’t ask for others to take guest posts from me if I won’t take guest posts on my own site, because that would be selfish and contradictory and I want to help you succeed.
So, I do take high quality guest posts from Unsettlers.
Please send me an email (sarah @ unsettle.org) with 3-5 suggested topics, headlines, and a brief overview of what the post will cover.
Please do not approach me with an entire post – I don’t want to waste your time (or mine!) if you go ahead and write an entire post, so I just require a pitch.
I really want to accept every single pitch that comes my way. Unfortunately, some of them miss the mark, but these guidelines will help ensure that yours won’t.
When I pitch a guest post, I make it my job to get into the reader’s heads.
I start by reading 5-10 of the most popular posts on the blog. I then read the comments on those posts. I consider whether there’s anything similar about the posts – maybe they’re all about success or failure. I dig into the meat of the posts, and try to uncover why the post is popular.
Yes, it’s popular because readers liked it. Maybe it was well written and maybe it was fun and uplifting. But I look underneath all of that.
I turn over stones to find out what need, desire, or want the post touched on for the reader. Because let me tell you something: it doesn’t matter if you’re not a good writer. If your writing addresses something that keeps the reader up at night, it will be popular.
Just because it’s been written about on Unsettle before doesn’t mean that it’s a no-go. And if you (respectfully) disagree with what I’ve said, or the point of view of another Unsettler and want to write a post about the topic with your personal spin, I love it! Let’s get some lively debate poppin’.
You should just know that I won’t accept anything that doesn’t have a new perspective. Regurgitation is not for Unsettlers!
Listen, I love me some theory. I think it’s fun to hypothesise about how something might work. But I try to never recommend something or teach something unless I’ve tested it – even if it’s been tested over and over again by people more successful than me.
So, if you have a blog post topic you want to pitch for Unsettle, I probably won’t accept the pitch unless you have tried the methods before.
For instance, if I had just written a post on how I think you may be able to get freelance clients based on a theory I have, it wouldn’t have made a strong post. Instead, I saw a pattern in how I was landing clients, and then replicated the effort from the very beginning to make sure I could bring my readers tested information on how to land clients in my article The Bulletproof Guide to Launching a Successful Freelance Writing Career.
I do not want to teach my community something that may not work for them. So if you’ve just heard about the methods in your pitch, wait until you try and validate them before pitching it to me.
After you’ve pitched me the topic ideas and I’ve given you the go-ahead to write the post for Unsettle, it’s time to write the article! Just because I’ve accepted the pitch doesn’t mean I’m obligated to accept the article. So follow these tips to make sure your article gets posted :):
I post only on Mondays, so an average of four blog posts are live each month. That’s not a lot, so I like to make it count.
Which is why they are often long-form, detailed, and (I hope) insanely helpful. Make sure your post is just as – if not more – helpful, actionable, and inspiring as one that I would write.
Include case studies, research, and expert quotes to back up your claims. Use examples, analogies and comparisons. Every piece of writing is made stronger with a strong analogy or example.
If you read through most of the articles on Unsettle, I usually start as if I’m talking to you, rather than talking about myself.
Consider: what are the thoughts, feelings, and frustrations the reader is experiencing with this topic? What language do they use to talk about the topic? (hint: find out exactly what language they use by snooping on their conversations about the topic in Reddit or Quora and use the exact language in the intro copy).
Make the reader feel as if you know them, as if you’re in their head, like you understand.
The introduction is the first and sometimes only contact a reader has with a blog post. You want to keep their eyes moving down the page!
Make the post as actionable as possible. Always think to yourself: what do I want the reader to do when they are finished reading this article, and does the article support that goal?
Make sure that your conclusion motivates the reader to take action.
Almost all of the blog posts published on Unsettle are meant to be a one-stop shop resource for readers. I’d rather see a blog post that goes very deep on a narrow topic, rather than shallow on a wide topic.
If the ideas in the post aren’t enough to make up at least 1,000 words, the post probably isn’t right for Unsettle. There’s no upper word limit as long as every word helps the reader achieve the goal you identified in the bullets above.
Before you go write your post, there are a few more things to address:
So there you have it. In a nutshell, write great content that Unsettlers will like.
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